EXERCISE SCIENCE | Factual Fitness

Baker University’s exercise science program combines in-depth classroom work with practical, hands-on experience—and the small class sizes ensure our students are fully prepared when it’s time for them to enter graduate school or a professional field. Baker’s exercise science program is primarily designed for client-facing practitioners, although the department routinely sends students on to complete graduate research. Whether assisting in faculty research and conducting independent studies or working within community wellness programs, our exercise science students have more opportunities to apply what they learn than their peers at larger universities.


A full-semester of clinical experience at a local hospital, physical therapy or occupational therapy clinic, fitness center, or university research laboratory promises students an immersive educational experience.


Exercise science students from Baker go on to thrive in graduate programs related to allied health such as exercise science, biomechanics, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. They also thrive in occupations related to sports performance, health education, and fitness and wellness.


All students have the opportunity to do original research with a faculty member and present their research at regional and national conferences. Some have even traveled internationally.


Students preparing for a career in allied health care participate in shadowing experiences with health care professionals.

institutions worldwide have an Anatomage table, the most technologically advanced anatomy visualization system available for education. Baker is proud to be the only university in Kansas offering students hands-on training with this state-of-the-art technology.

MATT | Exercise Science Major, Class of 2017

“My favorite part of this program is how diverse the classes are and how well rounded the students become. With a degree in this field I hope to eventually work at a university and conduct research. I’ll be able to research specific aspects of the human physiology and present original research. The Baker faculty are special because they are genuinely invested in the student and their futures. They allow us the opportunity to get involved in a lot of experiences that will allow us to be more prepared for our future.”

KHADIJAH | Exercise Science Major, Class of 2016

Khadijah is attending Creighton University’s School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. “I will be obtaining my clinical doctoral degree in occupational therapy! I am so, so fortunate for my heavy medical sciences and exercise science background from Baker—it has made me excel and now I am in such a great, well-known program. I couldn’t be happier with my future because it is exactly what I want to be doing right now and forever.”

HILLARY | Exercise Science Major, Class of 2015

Hillary is pursuing a Master of Science in Kinesiology and Health with a concentration in exercise science. “I selected exercise science because the human body fascinates me. Within the field of exercise science there are numerous opportunities to help others, whether it is being a personal trainer, physical therapist, or researcher. I was able to find a field of study I am passionate about, while also being able to have a positive impact working with others.”

MEGAN | Exercise Science Major, Class of 2014

Megan is a student at the University of Arkansas pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in kinesiology with an exercise science concentration. “In high school I was a cross country athlete and became interested in anything that could help improve my performance, so I read a lot of internet articles on running and nutrition. Once I entered college, I started as a chemistry major, but soon realized that exercise science was essentially applied chemistry and biology. I became mildly obsessed with the molecular physiology of exercise and metabolism and then decided studying exercise physiology for a job seemed like a good way to spend the next ~40 years of my career. Long story short, I really liked science and running, and exercise science was a great field to release my inner nerd.”

KASIDEE | Exercise Science Major, Class of 2017

KasiDee transferred from Independence Community College as an exercise science major because of Baker’s immense educational and experiential opportunities. “I do not have a doubt in my mind that this is the place for me. I think people underestimate everything a small school has to offer. We really get to visualize what we are learning and practice hands-on in the classroom. We also receive that one-on-one teaching experience from a professional who really knows their stuff.”

Student wins international contest to promote physical activity

Last spring Sammie Schroeder produced a video that won the grand prize of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Get Moving! student contest to promote activity. Her video promoting physical activity highlighted events organized by Baker University’s exercise science program and the Exercise Science Student Alliance.

“An important part of Baker’s exercise science program is taking what students learn in the classroom into hands-on work in a variety of settings. Sammie’s video features students interacting with a variety of populations in physical activity and health settings,” said Dr. Chris Todden, assistant professor of exercise science. Read More


Our exercise science majors go on to graduate school or directly into fields such as these:

  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • Fitness and wellness
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Athletic training
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Dietetics
  • Chiropractic and physicians assistant
  • Physical activity in public health


of graduates are employed full time or enrolled in graduate school within six months of receiving their diploma.

Course Descriptions

R: course can be repeated for credit; P/NC: course graded on a pass/no credit basis

Courses required for these programs are listed in the current catalog.

EX 170 – Sports and Fitness Assistant

Every Semester
Students may enroll in this course each semester they are working under the supervision of the Director of Sports Medicine. Students will serve as athletic team assistants, rehabilitation aides, or student fitness instructors. R; P/NC (1 credit hour)

EX 180 – First Aid and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer

Every semester
The purpose of the course is to train and certify undergraduate students in the proper techniques of first aid, CPR, and AED as determined by the American Red Cross. Students must meet classroom and laboratory requirements to receive Red Cross certification. A blended classroom model of instruction is used. Emphasis will be on practiced application, use of technology, and necessity of safety. Course fee required. (1 credit hour)

EX 181 – Introduction to Human Performance

Every semester
Students will be introduced to the basic physiological, metabolic, and psychological responses and adaptations related to physical activity, exercise, sport, and athletic performance. Basic principles of physical fitness as they relate to the various anatomical systems will be examined. The course will also discuss the various disciplines and specialty areas within and related to exercise science. (3 credit hours)

EX 184 – Lifetime of Fitness

Every semester
This course examines factors which affect a person’s overall fitness. Students will conduct a variety of assessments intended to determine their current level of fitness and will examine ways to incorporate fitness into their daily lives. (3 credit hours)

EX 244 – Essentials of Sports Medicine

Every semester
The course will cover the basic science of sports medicine, medical problems of athletes, sport-specific injuries, and anatomical skeletal problems. Students learn the fundamentals in the prevention and care of injuries related to athletic participation necessary for teaching and coaching assignments. Laboratory experience provides situations for simulation and practice. (3 credit hours)

EX 245 – Human Nutrition

Every semester
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of human nutrition as related to growth, development, and the maintenance of good health. In addition to nutritional theory, students learn to analyze and plan nutritional regimes. This course is required for admission to most nursing schools and majors in several allied health science fields. This course is required for Exercise Science and Health/Physical Education majors and teacher licensure. (3 credit hours)

EX 246 – Medical Terminology

Spring term, yearly
This course is a comprehensive study of the professional language of medicine. Medical terms will be analyzed by learning word roots and combining forms. Students will learn over 500 terms and will be able to recognize hundreds more with familiarity of Latin and Greek root prefixes and suffixes. An integrated study of disease processes and diagnostic and operative procedures will be studied as the student applies each system of the body. Selected medical specialties will also be presented. (3 credit hours)

EX 247 – Public Health Aspects

Spring term, yearly
Students will be introduced to the multi-disciplinary strategies and methods used for measuring, assessing, and promoting physical activity in public health. Furthermore, students will examine current technical issues and practical obstacles facing public health practitioners and policymakers alike. Current best practices in the field and the social and ethical challenges of devising public policy will be discussed. (3 credit hours)

EX 325 – Advanced Nutrition

Fall term, yearly
Students will become familiar with the interdisciplinary nature of food science, including the chemical and physical properties of foods. They will explore key food commodities and food composition. Students will also become familiar with processing methods included in all major food commodities as well as a background in microbiology and fermentation, food handling and safety, food contamination, and toxicology. Course fee required. Prerequisites: EX 245 and junior status or permission of the instructor. (3 credit hours)

EX 328 – Health Promotions

Fall term, yearly
Health Promotion is an interdisciplinary field focused on preventing negative health outcomes and promoting optimal health through individual, organizational, and community change. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theory, processes, activities, and settings for health promotion practice. The course will explore various topics that directly impact health promotion as it applies to public health. Prerequisite: EX 247 and junior status. (3 credit hours)

EX 342 – Motor Learning

Fall term, yearly
This course is specifically designed to bridge the gap between research and practice in the science of human movement learning. Students will be introduced to concepts that will build a solid foundation for assessing performance, providing effective instruction, and designing productive practice environments. Laboratory investigations will relate learning theory to feedback, retention, motivation, and optimum skill acquisition. (3 credit hours)

EX 343 – Physiology of Exercise

Spring term, yearly
This course is the study of the human system and how it reacts to exercise and athletic performance. The following areas will be addressed: nutrition, energy for physical activity, gas exchange and transportation, neural activity, stress, anaerobic and aerobic movement, strength, and performance enhancements. Prerequisites: EX 347 and Exercise Science Program Acceptance. (3 credit hours)

EX 345 – Therapeutic Exercise

Fall term, yearly
This course examines the foundation and theory associated with improving body function following injury. Principles of assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation will be taught by both lecture and laboratory sessions. Prerequisites: EX 343, EX 346, and EX 347. (3 credit hours)

EX 346 – Special Populations and Conditions

Spring term, yearly
Students will examine the scientific, theoretical, and practical approaches to adapted exercise throughout the lifespan. Students will consider appropriate exercise considerations, protocols, and modifications for a variety of disabilities, diseases, and conditions affecting the anatomical body systems. Prerequisites: EX 347 and Exercise Science Program Acceptance. (3 credit hours)

EX 347 – Applied Kinesiology

Fall term, yearly
Kinesiology is the study of the anatomical and mechanical aspects of human movement. This course explores the biological properties of the skeletal and muscular systems. Laboratory experiences will involve movement analysis, projectile-related activities, and aerodynamics. Prerequisite: Exercise Science Program Acceptance. Prerequisites: BI 246 and BI 247. Co-requisite: EX 347L Applied Kinesiology Lab. (3 credit hours)

EX 490 – Learning Assistantship in Exercise Science

Every semester
Qualified Exercise Science majors who serve as learning assistants help the primary instructor with the design and implementation of a given exercise science course. The students’ responsibilities may include the development of testing materials, research design, the preparation of demonstrations and laboratory sessions and small group lectures, tutoring, and student evaluation. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor R (1-3 credit hours)

EX 494 – Exercise Programming: Assessment and Prescription

Fall term, yearly
This course prepares students to learn skills associated with screening clients for exercise participation, conducting basic fitness assessments, interpreting assessment test results, and fashioning exercise prescriptions to meet clients’ needs. In addition, the course is designed to instruct the students on the basic physiological and methodological aspects of programming application through practical experience. Prerequisites: EX 343, EX 346, EX 347, and Exercise Science Program Acceptance. (3 credit hours)

EX 497 – Clinical Experience in Exercise Science

Fall and Summer, yearly
This course is an in-depth clinical experience in a professional setting appropriate to the student’s major and is monitored closely by site supervisor as well as the Clinical Experience Supervisor. This course is designed as a capstone experience to be completed once all other required coursework for the major has been completed. The course involves approximately 40 clock hours of clinical experience for each hour of credit. The student and University supervisor establish a specific set of goals and assess the outcomes at the end of the experience. The course will include a project that will be meaningful to the clinical site. For further information on the responsibilities of the student and the requirements for the clinical experience, student should contact the Clinical Experience Supervisor or Department Chair to obtain a copy of the Clinical Experience Manual. Prerequisites: Exercise Science Program Acceptance, senior status in Exercise Science program, completion of all other major coursework, and Clinical Experience Supervisor approval. Student Liability Insurance required. (12 credit hours)


The Department of Behavioral and Health Sciences gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Psychology
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Exercise Science
  • Benjamin A. Gessner Award
  • Thomas G. Manson and Frances B. Manson Scholarship
  • Robert L. Miller Scholarship


Chris ToddenDr. Chris Todden

Director of Exercise Science, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science | chris.todden@bakerU.edu
“Our exercise science majors gain a very good understanding of physical stress, both negative and positive, on the body. Seeing the pride in the students as they explain what they’ve learned and present their work is without a doubt one of the best parts of my job.”

B.A. Buena Vista University, M.S. Western Illinois University, Ed.D. University of South Dakota
Office: Mabee Hall 405 | 785.594.8440

Erin HoltDr. Erin Holt

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science | erin.holt@bakerU.edu
“A lot of my focus is getting students active during curricular lessons, plus research shows that if you’re up and active while you’re learning, you’re going to retain more and learn it easier. I want students to feel comfortable enough outside of class to come and talk to me, as well. I think that’s important because they are here for an education and I’m here to teach, so we should teach the whole person.”

B.A. Park University, M.A. Southeast Missouri State, Ed.D. Delta State University
Office: Mabee Hall 404 | 785.594.4542

Lynn BottLynn Bott

Associate Professor of Exercise Science | lynn.bott@bakerU.edu
With over 40 years of experience as a certified athletic trainer, Lynn Bott has worked at the state, regional, and national levels. He has dozens of professional honors and has held numerous leadership roles including president of the Kansas Athletic Trainers’ Society and the Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Association. This all means one thing: Lynn Bott is an expert. That expertise goes a long way when it comes to teaching students everything they need to know about exercising, training, and caring for the human body.

B.S. Emporia State University, M.S. University of Arizona
Office: Mabee Hall 106 & 223 | 785.594.8424

Lynsey PayneLynsey Payne

Athletic Trainer, Head Dance Coach, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science | lynsey.payne@bakerU.edu
Lynsey Payne works with over 400 student-athletes in 21 sports each year. To say that she’s an expert on the human body and how to care for it during rigorous training would be an understatement. Payne is a licensed athletic trainer through the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, a certified athletic trainer through the Board of Certification, a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Association, and the Kansas Athletic Trainers’ Society. Students have a lot to learn, and Payne has a lot she can teach them.

B.S., M.S. University of Kansas
Office: Mabee Hall 106 | 785.594.8499


Jill Franklin
Department Assistant Behavioral & Health Sciences
Mabee Memorial Hall