University News

New Major in Health, Exercise, and Sport Studies

Health, Exercise, and Sport Studies
July 8, 2016

Denison University announces that a new major, “Health, Exercise, and Sport Studies,” will be available for students beginning in the fall of 2016. The new major is especially apt for students who are interested in careers such as physical therapy, sports medicine, public health and exercise science. The curriculum offers exciting opportunities for students to broaden their knowledge and connect it to their experiences in and out of the classroom as they prepare for their desired professions.

“We believe that our liberal arts approach to the blended undergraduate study of physical medicine, exercise science and sporting culture theory will be both intellectually challenging and unique,” commented Denison University President Adam Weinberg.

Within the health, exercise, and sport studies major, students will explore the body through the study of physical rehabilitation, public health and exercise science. They will learn how exercise impacts health and well-being. In addition, they will explore the social context of competition.

“Framing the sciences of health, exercise and sport within the liberal arts gives our students a larger context to understand the whole person, which is invaluable as they move forward in their careers,” said Nan Carney-DeBord ’80, professor and director of athletics. “The curriculum allows for a lot of flexibility — these students can explore electives in other departments, such as biology and psychology, that can enhance their chosen field.”

As each student progresses through the major, they will work with a faculty mentor to help them to prepare a plan that will link their coursework to their professional goals. This plan will guide the student through their senior year project, the culmination of the curriculum. The project connects the students’ educational experiences to their early career goals.

For example, a student interested in a career in physical therapy or medicine will connect with a faculty mentor who will help them explore the areas of the major that are most relevant to medical practice. They will complete three core courses and can choose to take further courses such as orthopedic assessment, therapeutic modalities and therapeutic exercise. They will work with their faculty mentor to design and create a senior capstone project that will prepare them for professional or graduate programs.

“This is the best way to present the traditions of physical medicine, rehabilitation, and public health to our students,” said Carney-DeBord. “They will explore the dynamic relationship between the structure and the function of the body within a competitive context. This will prepare them exceptionally well for their career goals, including medical school.”

“With this new major, Denison will be well positioned to serve students with interests in health, sport culture and medicine. It will prepare them for a range of careers and roles in life after Denison,” said Associate Provost Jim Pletcher.

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