A Gym-Centered Career: Apply Your Knowledge With Health and Exercise Sciences

Health and exercise sciences, including clinical and public health as well as wellness, fitness, and rehabilitation services, involves the study of the human body and health. Like doctors and nurses, these health professionals use their knowledge to treat illnesses and promote health.

Medical students looking into microscopesThis broad field consists of various majors in the health and exercise sciences. How these related-but-differing sciences are divided may vary depending on the institution, but will have similar course requirements and career outcomes.

  • Clinical Health: This field concerns the areas of healthcare that address individual health. Experts in clinical health include nurses, physician’s assistants and healthcare administrators.
  • Public Health: Professionals in public health are concerned less with the wellbeing of individual persons, but instead with the systemic and social conditions that foster health and wellness. They approach sickness and health from a broader perspective and prescribe solutions in the realm of policy and governance.
  • Fitness, Wellness and Rehabilitation Services: Fitness and rehabilitation services involve the maintenance of individual fitness, cultivating wellness or treating specific injuries. Professionals in these fields will work hands-on with clients in short or long term increments.

Careers in Health and Exercise Science

While this field of study is often split into many majors, these majors intuitively lend themselves to various career paths. Many health science majors can serve as a valuable prerequisite for medical school or an advanced nursing program. Majoring in exercise science can prepare you for a career in physical therapy, personal training or sports medicine.

Want to learn more about this possible career path and college major? Have questions about which UNCF colleges and universities offer degrees in health and exercise science? Looking for help with financing this degree? 

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How to Prepare for Success

Success in this field requires foundational knowledge in biology, anatomy and physiology. Supplemental knowledge in psychology or communications will help tremendously. Finally, working or volunteering in healthcare facilities is a great way to expose yourself to the day-to-day work of health and exercise science professionals.

UNCF Schools to Consider

Six UNCF-member HBCUs offer programs for students wishing to work in the field of health and exercise science, including:

A Dillard Universtiy campus building

Dillard University


Several scholarships are available through UNCF. The UNCF General Scholarship Awards are an excellent opportunity for any student going to a UNCF-member college, regardless of their major. The UNCF/Koch Scholars Program offers scholarships, mentorship, academic support and networking opportunities to undergraduate African American students. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program awards a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior each year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need.

CVS Health Foundation logoThere are numerous scholarships available for students looking to major in the health and exercise sciences including:

Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study health and exercise science.

Reach out for guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in health and exercise science. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!