Exercise Science Program Major - Defiance College - Defiance, Ohio

Exercise Science

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Exercise Science is a broad field that deals with many professions in settings related to fitness, recreation, coaching, strength and conditioning, and health risk prevention and intervention. The Defiance College exercise science program focuses on preparing students to reduce health risks and increase physical performance for general, special, and sport-specific populations. This major program also provides the educational base and practical experiences that can lead to graduate study in health management, exercise science, exercise physiology, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, fitness management, coaching, and strength & conditioning.

The exercise science program also provides support for the physical education, health, athletic training education, and sport management programs. The exercise science area allows each of these majors to share core educational experiences with related majors in addition to specializing in their specific major program.

Students within the Exercise Science program are required to select one of two tracks: "Fitness and Wellness" or "Coaching, Strength and Conditioning."

The "Fitness and Wellness" track is designed for students that would like to work in general or special population settings with an emphasis on fitness as a means to reduce health risks. These settings can be for-profit, non-profit, or school-based fitness, wellness, and recreational programs. Guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine are emphasized within this track.

The "Coaching, Strength and Conditioning" track is designed for students that would like to work within athletic settings or fitness programs that specialize in strength and conditioning. Personal training is also a professional option for students in this track. Guidelines from the National Strength and Conditioning Association are emphasized within this track.


Minor in Exercise Science

Major Brochure 



Students have completed internships at the Defiance Area YMCA, Defiance Regional Medical Center, the Kettering (Ohio) Sports Medicine Clinic, the Lucas County Metro Park System, and the Defiance County Health Department as well as many other regional programs.


After College — What’s Next?

After graduation, one may pursue an entry level job or move on to graduate school. With a major in Exercise Science one is equipped to work in a variety of for-profit, non-profit, or school-based fitness, wellness, and recreational programs.


The Faculty

Timothy E. Rickabaugh, Ph.D., Professor of Exercise Science
419-783-2584 | trickabaugh@defiance.edu | Profile 

Craig A. Rutter, M.Ed., Associate Professor of Exercise Science
Coordinator of Student Athlete Engagement
419-783-2374 | crutter@defiance.edu

Katherine Griffes, Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education
and Exercise Science
419-783-2419 | kgriffes@defiance.edu

Kevin M. Tong, M.S.Ed., ATC, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science
Head Athletic Trainer
419-783-2340 | ktong@defiance.edu

Kathleen Westfall, M.S., ATC, Clinical Education Coordinator
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Instructor of Exercise Science
419-783-2345 | kwestfall@defiance.edu