Exercise and Sport Science Degree

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Exercise and Sport Science Concentration

Have you always had a love for sports, exercise, and physical movement? Maybe you don’t miss a single sporting event of your favorite team or maybe you’re passionate about finding the best exercise regimen for longevity. If your passion lies in the world of fitness, movement, and sport, the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Exercise and Sport Science Concentration is the place for you to dive in, discover your niche, and build the foundation you need to go from here. 

What is exercise and sport science exactly?

Exercise and sport science focuses on the study of human movement from developmental, mechanical, motor control, psychosocial, psychological, and physiological perspectives. In this program, you will study the human body and how it functions in a variety of settings. You’ll research nutrition and exercise, physical conditioning and performance, sport performance (including developing talent and mental performance), as well as injury prevention and recovery. There are a variety of career paths you can choose upon graduating with this degree, but it is also a gateway for many pre-professional occupations including physical or occupational therapist, athletic trainer, physician's assistant, and other types of health professions.

The professors I had at IU Kokomo were some of the best I have ever learned from throughout my educational career. I love the small campus and the connections that I built with professors and students.

Heidi Hendryx, B.S. Health Sciences (Sport and Exercise Science), '17

The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences is a versatile degree that provides students with preparation for work and/or graduate school in the health field. This interdisciplinary degree is for students seeking a comprehensive understanding of the science of human health. The exercise and sport science concentration is appropriate for students interested in personal training, sports administration/management, sport leadership, exercise science, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, athletic coaching, and fitness specialties.

Upon completion, a number of students apply and are accepted into the following professional schools: physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy and athletic trainer. To accommodate these careers, we offer courses that are both academically and physically challenging. This unique degree offers science-based courses in the field of health and nutrition as well as performance-based activity courses.

In this course of study, you’ll have all kinds of cool classes related to your interests and passions. You’ll take courses with topics ranging from the psychology of sport and physical activity to first aid and safety. You’ll also have the opportunity to work closely with faculty as you work on undergraduate research projects. As a way to specialize your course of study and dive deeper, we encourage you to supplement your health science degree by adding a minor offered in the Division of Allied Health Sciences, including nutritional science, coaching, or sport marketing and management.

If you are looking for more details on the most current requirements for this degree, please visit our Academic Bulletin. To find out what the next four years might look like for this degree, fill out your information and follow the prompted steps to arrive at a sample degree map. For more information specific to you and your situation, please schedule a visit with an advisor today.

Watch the Dave Hancock and Relative Age Effects Video with Audio Description

Description of the video:

IU Kokomo: Dave Hancock and Relative Age Effects

Aubrey Sherman, Junior, Allied Health Sciences, Indiana University Kokomo speaks to the camera: “It’s definitely a huge opportunity and I appreciate it. When he first came to me, I was really shocked but at the same time, ya know, this is kind of cool. I was only a junior at the time; I’m still kind of in between but for somebody that’s been dealing in research and wants me to come join their project, that was pretty big.”

Professor Dave Hancock is shown in his office talking to Aubrey via webcam.

Dave Hancock, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, Indiana University Kokomo speaks to the camera from the Cole Fitness Center While video footage shows him coaching the golf team: “My name is David Hancock and I teach in Allied Health Sciences. I also coach both golf teams here on campus. Mainly, my work is in sport science and in particular, sport psychology, talent development, and expertise in sport and I think one of my main research interests is relative age effects which is how your birthdate impacts performance. Right now, I’m working with Aubrey Sherman. She’s a junior in the health sciences program and I spoke with Aubrey in the spring about doing this project because she has ideas of going to graduate school so her task right now is transcribing interviews that I conducted with parents and coaches and athletes that look at relative age effect.”

Footage is shown of someone in golf cleats taking a swing at a ball. Dave talks with a student golfer. Aubrey Sherman walks through campus. Dave and Aubrey work together on a computer. Aubrey works on a laptop.

Dave Hancock, Ph.D. continues speaking to the camera: “In sport, we often set cut off dates where children in the same year will compete against each other and it makes sense. You don’t want a five-year-old competing against an eight-year-old but what happens is you get some athletes in that case who are born earlier in the selection year that are up to 11 months older than those born later in the selection year and of course when you’re five years old, that 11 month difference in age can be a huge physical advantage. Is this effect something that is truly physical like we think it is, that it’s just they’re more mature, they’re better athletes or is it something that coaches are looking at these players and thinking, ‘that player looks bigger, ‘that player looks stronger, I can coach the rest.’ And they’re selecting them when they’re not really the most talented player.

As Dave Hancock continues to speak, athletes are shown playing hockey. Then video cuts to Dave and Aubrey work together in his office.

Dave Hancock, Ph.D. continues speaking to the camera: “Number one, I’m looking for more answers on the topic. I want to find out more about how coaches make those selections. I want to find out more about why parents might withhold their relatively younger children from sport which is a pattern that we see at young ages and from there, once we know more about why this is happening, trying to target interventions that could help make sport participation equitable for everyone. It would be nice to see that regardless of when you’re born, you’re given an equal opportunity to compete in sport. And, you know what, if you’re younger, and you’re not as good as someone who’s older and that’s actually the case, then so be it. That’s what sport is. But, we want to have a situation where people feel like they’re given a fair opportunity to be given a fair shot to compete in sport.



Indiana University Kokomo, Fulfilling the Promise

Ready to jump in?

If you’ve decided a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Exercise and Sport Science Concentration is the degree for you, we’re excited to meet you! If you have any questions about our program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone in our department. If you’re ready to take the leap and apply, contact an admissions counselor today!

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