The Many Paths of Health and Exercise Sciences: From Personal Training to Public Health

Health and exercise sciences — a multidisciplinary field encompassing clinical and public health, wellness, fitness, and rehabilitation services — involves the study of the human body and health. Professionals in this field use their expertise to treat illnesses and promote overall well-being, much like doctors and nurses.

Fields of Study

This broad field consists of various majors in health and exercise sciences. The division of these related but differing sciences may vary depending on the institution, but programs in these areas generally have similar course requirements and career outcomes.

  • Clinical Health: This field focuses on individual health and includes roles such as nurses, physician’s assistants, and healthcare administrators.

  • Public Health: Professionals in this sector are concerned with systemic and social conditions that foster health and wellness. They approach health from a broader perspective, often involving policy and governance.

  • Fitness, Wellness, and Rehabilitation Services: This area involves the maintenance of individual fitness, wellness, and the treatment of specific injuries. Professionals work hands-on with clients for varying durations.

Course Subjects

Students planning to pursue careers in these fields will typically enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in health and exercise sciences. Such programs include a wide range of related course subjects, such as:

  • Analysis of movement
  • Assessing athletic injuries
  • Fundamentals of athletic training
  • Physical activity and aging
  • Motor development
  • Physical education
  • Kinesiology
  • Sports medicine
  • Legal issues in health
  • Bioenergetics of movement

Careers in Health and Exercise Science

Majoring in one of these fields can prepare you for a wide variety of careers, including:

  • Physical therapist or physical therapy assistant
  • Personal trainer
  • Fitness trainer and instructor
  • Sports coach and scout
  • Recreational therapist
  • Physical education teacher
  • Community program director
  • Recreation and sports director
  • Sports facility manager
  • Strength and conditioning coach
  • Gym manager
  • Massage therapist

The Importance of Black Representation in Health and Exercise Sciences

The field of health and exercise sciences has historically lacked diverse representation, particularly among Black professionals. Increasing Black representation in these areas not only enriches the field but also addresses health disparities that disproportionately affect Black communities. It also brings different perspectives and approaches to healthcare, ultimately benefiting communities at large. Black professionals in this field contribute significantly to research, policy-making, and community health, adding their unique voices to the canon of health sciences. By supporting HBCUs and their health and exercise science programs, donors can play a crucial role in fostering diversity and equity in healthcare.

Why Choose This Field?

  • High Demand: The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors, offering numerous job opportunities.
  • Diverse Career Paths: From physical therapy to sports management, the field offers a wide range of career options.
  • Positive Impact: Professionals in this field contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities.
  • Financial Stability: Many roles in this field offer competitive salaries and benefits.

How to Support Students in This Field

If you’re interested in supporting equity in health and exercise sciences, consider donating to UNCF. Your contributions will help students achieve their academic goals and diversify the healthcare industry.

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?

Click Here So We Can Help You!

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

These UNCF-member HBCUs offer health or exercise science programs:

Professional Organizations

There are many organizations in various fields of health and exercise sciences that can offer more insight into working in those fields. A sample list includes:

Whether you’re a student eyeing a career in health and exercise sciences or a donor aiming to make a difference, supporting programs in this field is a win-win situation. With the right education and support, the next generation of healthcare professionals can make a lasting impact on individual and community health.

Scholarships Available

There’s no better way to start on your path to a successful career in health and exercise sciences than with a solid financial foundation. Fortunately, many scholarships are available through UNCF, including some specifically for health and exercise sciences majors. Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities and announcements. 

Search for specific scholarships and view those that are currently accepting applications here! Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study health and exercise sciences.

As you explore your options, be sure to use our guide to applying for scholarships and grants. You can also receive guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in health and exercise sciences. 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!

You can also show your support for students pursuing careers and furthering equity in health and exercise sciences by making a contribution to UNCF member schools. Education is the greatest tool we have in creating a just and equitable society in which economic mobility is available to all. Help us achieve this future by donating today!