Bachelor of Science in Health & Exercise Science

Degree Awarded: 
Bachelor of Science Degree
  • To learn more about the faculty and staff of the Health & Exercise Science Program, click here.
  • To see Jefferson College of Health Sciences Catalog, with the Health & Exercise Science section beginning on page 74, click here.

Below are frequently asked questions about the HES program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences. If you have a question that is not addressed on this page, call (540) 985-8483 for admissions or financial aid questions, or to speak to the HES program director regarding programmatic questions, please call (540) 985-9943.

Click on a link below to skip to a question and answer.

  • What kinds of coursework would I take in the HES program?
    See page 78 of the current Jefferson College of Health Sciences Catalog by clicking here.
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  • What are the admission requirements for the HES program?
    See the HES section, beginning on page 74 of the current Jefferson College of Health Sciences Catalog by clicking here.
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  • Are there any scholarships available for HES students?
    Scholarship funds are available through the Admissions process. For more details, you can contact your Admissions Counselor by calling 1 (888) 985-8483. For additional financial aid information, please call (540) 985-8267.
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  • I am currently enrolled at another institution. How do I find out if the credits I’ve taken so far will transfer toward credit in this program?
    The HES program accepts students from other institutions with varying amounts of transfer credit. General education coursework transfer credit is determined by the Admissions department, while programmatic courses (HES, etc) are determined by the Program Director. Transfer credit is considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Students in the Exercise Science Certificate Program at VWCC greatly benefit from the articulation agreement between VWCC and JCHS. Students who successfully complete the Exercise Science Certificate program at VWCC may complete the HES degree in two years or less. All EXC coursework transfer as elective credits or as programmatic credit. For more information about this opportunity, please contact the HES program director at (540) 985-9943.
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  • Where can I find a list of HES program faculty and their contact information?
    To learn more about the faculty and staff of the Health & Exercise Science Program, click here.
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  • What are some of the internship opportunities available for HES students?
    In addition to many area healthcare organizations like Carilion Clinic, Lewis Gale and Centra Health, the HES program offers many opportunities for unique, individualized clinical experiences catered to each student's career goals. Some of the recent HES student internship (clinical) experiences have included:

    - University Physical Therapy
    - Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Salem
    - Healing Strides of Virginia
    - YMCA of the Roanoke Valley
    - Lab Sports Performance Center
    - Brandon Oaks Retirement Community
    - Happy Healthy Cooks, Inc.
    - Therapeutic Recreation Services of the Roanoke Valley
    - Professional Therapies of Roanoke
    - Blue Ridge Therapy Associates
    - Town of Wytheville Parks & Recreation
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  • How many internship hours do I have to complete for the HES program?
    As the HES program follows recommendations set by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and its standards for certification qualification, HES majors must complete a minimum of 500 hours of clinical (internship) hours. However, unlike most similar programs, HES graduates are able to spread those hours across four semesters starting fall semester of their junior year or equivalent time frame. This way, students have the opportunity to experience four (not one) separate and unique clinical internships which means not only a greater variety of practical experiences but also the chance to connect with mentors and potential employers at four separate organizations (if that is of interest to them).
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  • Where have recent HES graduates been accepted for graduate school?
    - Jefferson College of Health Sciences- Occupational Therapy Master’s Degree program (MSOT)
    - Liberty University- Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) program
    - Liberty University- Master’s Degree in Human Services/Health & Wellness program
    - Liberty University- Master’s Degree  in Health Promotion
    - Lynchburg College- Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program
    - Murphy Deming School of Health Sciences, Mary Baldwin College- Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (DOT) program
    - Radford University- Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program
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  • Where are recent graduates employed?
    Virginia Tech Fralin Translational Obesity Research Center
    - Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana Department of Neuropsychology
    - Arthrex Orthopedics
    - Rockbridge Area Health Center
    - Blue Ridge Autism Achievement Center (BRAAC)
    - University Physical Therapy Roanoke/Salem
    - YMCA of the Roanoke Valley
    - Carilion Clinic
    - Lewis Gale Health System
    - Centra Health System
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  • What are some career opportunities for HES graduates without a graduate degree?
    - Commercial/corporate fitness facility management
    - Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
    - Health and wellness research and development
    - Community health
    - Health education and promotion
    - Personal training and health coaching
    - Group fitness management and instruction
    - Sports performance facility management and instruction
    - Entry-level allied health employment opportunities
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  • Which graduate degree programs may I pursue as an HES graduate?
    Examples of graduate degree programs for which successful HES graduates qualify may include:
    - Exercise Physiology
    - Master of Public Health (MPH)
    - Physical Therapy
    - Occupational Therapy
    - Physician’s Assistant
    - Master of Science in Health Promotion
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  • What is the acceptance rate for HES graduates among various graduate degree programs?
    - 100% acceptance rate for occupational therapy graduate degree programs *
    - 100% acceptance rate for doctorate of physical therapy degree programs*
    - 100% acceptance rate for allied health graduate degree programs (Health Promotion, MPH, etc)

    Acceptance rates reflect those among students who met all admissions criteria for the respective degree program. OT, PT, and PA graduate degrees programs are extremely competitive. To find out more information about graduate program admissions criteria, check individual college or university website pages for each program. Program requirements vary among each institution and sometimes within each program of the institution, so research these requirements with attention to detail.
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  • Is there any benefit to pursuing the HES degree if I am interested in applying for a graduate degree field located in the Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital (CRCH) facility in which Jefferson College is located?
    Yes! HES students benefit from physical proximity to these programs in several ways:
    - Current HES students: Senior HES students have the opportunity to complete 100 hours of research-related internship work under supervision of faculty in graduate degree programs “housed” in CRCH: JCHS MSOT, JCHS PA-C, and Radford DPT. By successfully completing this internship opportunity, students not only gain important research-related experience, but they also have unique one-on-one time with faculty in that program. Therefore, should the student go on to apply for this graduate degree program, the student is not just a file among hundreds of applicants but a familiar face with established rapport and demonstrated work capability as a result of the internship experience. 

    - Graduating HES students: students in good standing who also meet the admissions criteria for the JCHS MSOT program are guaranteed an on-campus interview for that program. Students in good standing who meet admissions criteria for the JCHS PA-C program have the opportunity to network with program faculty on a regular basis. While this does not guarantee an interview, frequent “face time” with faculty increases the likelihood that a student may be selected for an interview out of hundreds of other qualified applicants.
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  • I have a question about the HES program not listed in these FAQ’s. Who should I contact?
    If you have a question about the admissions process, please call (540) 985-8483
    - If you have a question about financial aid, please call (540) 985-8267
    - If you have a question about the HES program (coursework, transferring from another program, scheduling a meeting with the HES program director), please call the Department of Arts and Sciences at (540) 985-8364.
    Back to frequently asked questions.

The Health and Exercise Science (HES) Program at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences is a four-year, Bachelor of Science degree program. The blend of classroom, laboratory, and clinical components is designed to prepare students for careers in Health and Exercise Science and/or post-baccalaureate education.

A Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science from Jefferson College of Health Sciences prepares graduates for careers in college, clinical, corporate, and commercial settings, including personal fitness consulting/training, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, hospital and/or corporate wellness, community health and obesity prevention, and industrial rehabilitation/worksite fitness. Students enrolled in the program will have the flexibility to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities to pursue post-baccalaureate education in health-related programs.

Program Mission: 

The mission of the Health and Exercise Science program is to provide an academic environment that will enable students to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) in the areas of health and exercise science. Through a focused curriculum, faculty-student interactions, and clinical opportunities, graduates of the Health and Exercise Science program will cultivate the competencies and proficiencies required for entry-level professional practice or continuation to graduate-level education.

Program Goals Intro: 

Graduates of the Health and Exercise Science program will be able to:

  1. apply biophysical and behavioral theory and research from health and exercise science to critically analyze health, exercise, and fitness processes, behaviors, and outcomes,
  2. demonstrate integration of health and exercise science scholarship into clinical practice through
    • assessment, design, and implementation of individual and group exercise programs and fitness activities for persons of all ages who are apparently healthy and those with controlled disease,
    • application of skills in evaluating health behaviors and risk factors, conducting fitness assessments, writing appropriate exercise prescriptions, and motivating individuals to modify negative health habits and maintain positive lifestyle behaviors for health promotion,
  3. demonstrate competence, professionalism, cultural sensitivity, and a commitment to life-long learning as a leader of health and fitness programs in college, clinical, corporate and/or commercial settings in which clients participate in health promoting and fitness-related activities,
  4. develop knowledge, skills, and abilities requisite for post-baccalaureate education in health and exercise science, other medical/allied health fields, and/or professional certification/career placement, and
  5. complete minimally 400 hours of practical experience in supervised clinical exercise program settings.

Program Philosophy

The educational philosophy of the HES program is based on the concepts of learner-centered teaching, experiential learning and academic excellence. The HES program features a complementary relationship between general education and professional studies, between academic and personal development, between service and individual growth, and between the JCHS campus and the larger community.

The overarching vision of HES is to help people establish and maintain physically active, healthy lifestyles. This includes helping people develop the essential beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and skills associated with maintaining lifelong physical activity habits that promote individual responsibility toward optimal health and fitness. Additionally, and equally important, is helping people to develop collective efficacy, communities of learned citizens that value active living, are confidence in their ability to live actively, and are committed to our transformation to a physically active society. Physically active citizens behave in ways that recognize and support societal changes and policies aimed at building healthy, supportive environments that are conducive to the practice of safe, effective, and inclusive physical activity and health behaviors that are available to all people.

Admission Requirements: 
  • Click here for the general information on admissions requirements.

Minimum Performance Standards

Client safety and provision of quality services is paramount. Students in the Health and Exercise Science Program are expected to demonstrate:

Observation Skills:

  • Ability to observe a client's response to programming, changes in client’s physical condition, body alignment, exercise technique, gait, posture and functional abilities, interpret instrument panels/displays, assess the environment, and gather information from data sources and professional literature.

Communication Skills:

  • Ability to communicate clearly, effectively and efficiently in English, both orally and in writing, with patients and their families, other health care providers, peers, faculty, community or other professional groups.
  • Ability to use nonverbal behavior to effectively and appropriately communicate messages.
  • Ability to recognize, interpret and respond to the nonverbal behavior of others.
  • Ability to read at a competency level necessary to safely and efficiently carry out the essential functions of a task.
  • Ability to document clearly, legibly and using appropriate scholarly and professional terminology.

Motor Skills:

  • Demonstrate satisfactory movement skills necessary to model and instruct appropriate exercise technique.
  • Demonstrate satisfactory physical conditioning and motor ability necessary to assure safety when working with clients.
  • Demonstrate motor control necessary to manipulate/operate equipment controls and use assessment tools.

Intellectual Conceptual Skills:

  • Ability to collect, interpret and assess data about clients.
  • Ability to prioritize multiple tasks, integrate information and make decisions.
  • Ability to problem-solve.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills sufficient for safe and sound clinical judgment and discretion.
  • Ability to apply knowledge of health and exercise interventions in a variety of settings and situations.
  • Ability to recognize and respond appropriately to emergency and potentially hazardous situations.


  • Ability to interact appropriately with individuals of all ages, genders, races, socio-economic, religious, lifestyle and cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to cope effectively with the stresses of academic demands and clinical situations.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with HES students, faculty, and clinical staff.
  • Demonstrate emotional health and stability required to fully utilize intellectual capabilities, demonstrate good judgment and render services required in diverse health and exercise settings.

The HES Program faculty will assist a student’s accomplishment of these technical standards, but the responsibility for meeting KSAs rests with the student.

If a student cannot demonstrate the ability to meet the technical standards, it is the responsibility of the student to request appropriate accommodations. The College will determine whether it agrees that the student can meet the technical standards with reasonable accommodation. This includes a review as to whether the accommodations requested are reasonable, taking into account whether accommodations would jeopardize clinician or client safety, the institution, or the educational process of the student, including all coursework, and clinical experiences deemed essential for graduation.

Other Information: 
Academic Policies

In addition to those policies published in the Jefferson College Catalog and Student Handbook, students are expected to follow the program policies as published in the Health and Exercise Science Program student handbook. This handbook is available electronically on the program blackboard site and may be requested from the department secretary.

Program Progression

HES courses (with a HES prefix) should be taken in the year sequence listed.  Students must successfully complete lower (200) level courses before advancing to the next (300) level. The student must achieve a minimum grade of “C” in all professional courses and BIO 211 and 212, as well as meeting prerequisite or co-requisite requirements in order to advance to the next semester.  Please refer to the catalog course descriptions for prerequisite and co-requisite requirements.

Licensing Information

Health and Exercise Science program graduates will be eligible to pursue certifications with the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association and other organizations requiring a Bachelor’s degree and clinical experience.

Exercise Science Minor

Students who are majoring in disciplines other than Health and Exercise Science (HES) may choose to minor in Exercise Science. The following are the requirements for an Exercise Science minor.


  • Minimum 15 credit hours, of which 9 must be earned at JCHS
  • HES 201 Foundations of Health and Exercise Science (1)
  • HES 221 Group Exercise Activities (1) and HPE 221 Aerobic Exercise Skills (1)
  • HES 222 Muscle Fitness Activities (1) and HPE 222L Resistance Training
    Skills   (1)
  • HES 302 Exercise Physiology (4)
  • HES 334/334L Kinesiology (3)
  • 3 hours HES courses at the 300/400 level (3)
Health Promotion Minor

Students who are majoring in disciplines other than Health and Exercise Science (HES) may choose to minor in Health Promotion. The following are the requirements for a Health Promotion minor.


  • Minimum 16 credit hours, of which 9 must be earned at JCHS
  • IDS 355 Introduction to Public Health (4)
  • HLT 301 Nutrition (3)
  • PSY 230 Positive Psychology (3)
  • HES 365 Psychosocial Aspects of Exercise (3)
  • HES 452 Community Health and Physical Activity Promotion (3)
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