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  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science (Pre-Physical therapy)

    student using exercise science equipment

    Pursuing a degree in exercise science means dedicating yourself to helping others lead better, healthier lives. This distinctive pre-physical therapy major was created specifically to prepare you for a Doctor of Physical Therapy program.  Our interdisciplinary approach incorporates classes such as nutrition, biology, physics, athletic training and chemistry to ensure that you are prepared for whatever comes next in life.  You will develop critical thinking skills, enhance problem solving skills and learn to apply fundamental knowledge of human movement. With an emphasis on outstanding classroom teaching, practical experiences, undergraduate research, mentoring and service, the exercise science program not only prepares you for physical therapy school, it prepares you to begin living out your calling to serve others. 

    Why Samford?+

    As a student in the exercise science program at Samford you'll find:

    • Committed and passionate faculty who will help you pursue excellence as you identify your calling
    • A rigorous curriculum with elective credits allowing you to tailor your program of study to meet your needs 
    • Medical mission trip opportunities that fulfill internship requirements
    • Research opportunities in which many students have won regional and national awards
    • A long track record of successful graduates who have moved on to some of the most prestigious physical therapy schools and graduate programs in the country

    Admission Requirements+

    Prospective students must receive admission to Samford University. To apply to Samford, please click here.

    Students and applicants with disabilities who seek accommodations must make a request by contacting the Section 504/Disability Access and Accommodation Coordinator, Anne Sherman, Director of Disability Resources, 205-726-4078.   


    Our graduates are prepared to seamlessly transition into entry-level doctorate degree programs in physical therapy. Click here to see some of the Physical Therapy Schools our graduates have attended. 


    Samford University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Our Commitment+

    Having advised pre-physical therapy students for the last eighteen years, I firmly believe that the Samford University student majoring in the pre-physical therapy program in the Kinesiology department is extremely prepared for graduate physical therapy school. Although rigorous, the pre-physical therapy curriculum contains twenty-four elective credits allowing students the opportunity to have ownership in their program. The success that the Samford pre-physical therapy students experience is clearly seen in the very high graduate school acceptance rates. It is not uncommon to hear our pre-physical therapy students say, "Samford University laid a strong academic foundation. I was very prepared for physical therapy school."

    - Dr. Ralph Gold, Associate Professor, Exercise Science

    Life in the Program+

    "The exercise science department at Samford provides a stimulating and challenging academic environment. The small class sizes allow you to get to know your classmates better, as well as develop strong working relationships with the professors.  Not only do the professors promote you to pursue excellence in Academics, they also teach the importance of, dedication in all aspects of life. The faculty and staff have inspired me to never settle for less than what God has intended for me, and for that I am so thankful."

    - Chelsea Tillman, Exercise Science major, class of 2014

    Plan of Study+

    Freshman Year, Fall Semester includes: Communications Arts I (4 credits); Cultural Perspectives I (4 credits); Concepts (2 credits); Pre-calculus (4 credits); Fine Arts (2 credits) -- Total Credits (16) 

    Freshman Year, Spring Semester includes: Communication Arts II (4 credits); Cultural Perspectives II (4 credits); Intro to Health Sciences (2 credits); General Psychology (4 credits); PHED Activity (1 credit) -- Total Credits (15)

    Sophomore Year, Fall Semester includes: Biology I (4 credits); Biblical Perspectives I (4 credits); Foundations of Chemistry (4 credits); Chemistry Lab (1 credit); Humanities (4 credits) -- Total Credits (17)

    Sophomore Year, Spring Semester includes: Biology II (4 credits); Fund. Organic Chemistry (3 credits); Chemistry Lab (1 credit); Elementary Statistics (4 credits); KINE Elective (4 credits); PHED Activity (1 credit) -- Total Credits (17)

     Junior Year, Fall Semester includes: Foun. Scientific Inquiry (2 credits); Psychology (200+) (4 credits); General Physics I (4 credits); Anatomy (4 credits); Medical Terminology (2 credits) -- Total Credits (16) 

    Junior Year Spring Semester includes: Exercise Physiology (4 credits); Anatomy & Kinesiology (4 credits); General Physics (4 credits); Physiology (4 credits) -- Total Credits (16)

    Senior Year, Fall Semester includes: Research Methods (2 credits); Recog/Eval. Athletic Injuries (4 credits); Gen. Elective (300+) (4 credits); KINE Elective (4 credits); Externship in PT (2 credits) -- Total Credits (16)

    Senior Year, Spring Semester includes: Senior Seminar KINS (2 credits); Gen. Elective (300+) (2 credits); KINE Elective (4 credits); Psychology (200+) (4 credits); Gen. Elective (4 credits) -- Total Credits (16)

    Total Credits Required: 129 

    [Download a printable version of the plan of study]

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