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New Exercise Science Program to Launch this Fall at Northland


New Exercise Science Program to Launch this Fall at Northland

Program offers multiple career paths and transfer opportunities for future graduates

June 10, 2021 – Starting in fall of 2021, students can study for an Associate of Science degree in Exercise Science at Northland Community & Technical College. The new degree offers graduates the opportunity to launch careers into multiple areas of the health and fitness science field, including athletic training, community health, personal training, exercise physiologist, fitness trainer, aerobics instructor, and health educator. In addition, earning an Exercise Science A.S. degree at Northland can be an affordable first step for students looking to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue various advanced degrees in exercise science, occupational therapy, physical therapy, chiropractor, and other health careers.

“More and more Americans are prioritizing health, wellness, and performance and are staying active longer. According to Forbes, exercise science is a $30 billion industry, and people are turning to exercise professionals for expert guidance,” states Shamani Shikwambi, Northland Dean of Liberal Arts, Business, and Technical Programs. “Northland is at the forefront and responding to that demand to prepare future professionals. The Exercise Science A.S. is a versatile degree that can provide a strong academic background with various possibilities.”

Students will examine the effects of exercise and physical activity on people to optimize their physical and mental health. In addition, students will focus on the anatomy of physiology, biology, psychology, physical and social sciences, even including health and nutrition.

The program will create a pool of skilled professionals who can fill vacancies locally and regionally, but it is also part of a trend nationally as Americans begin to focus on healthier lifestyles and an aging population looking for greater quality of life. A recent LinkedIn Workforce Report stated that Wellness & Fitness is one of the top three industries with hiring rates above pre-COVID levels.

“Northland’s exercise science program offers numerous career opportunities for individuals interested in fitness, coaching, education, and even promoting health and management programs,” Shikwambi reports. “Exercise science professionals are in demand across the state as well as the nation with a growth rate well above 10 percent.”

Northland has penned an agreement with Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), Bemidji State University, MSU Mankato, Southwest MN State University, and Winona State University to seamlessly transfer Northland Exercise Science graduates to a B.S. program. Graduates will also be prepared to transfer to other Minnesota State, University of Minnesota, or other four-year institutions to pursue a variety of degrees.

The agreement marks the second time Northland has paired with MSUM to create an articulation opportunity for its students. In January last year, Northland and MSUM announced a partnership designed to allow students seeking degrees in multiple heath programs at Northland to seamlessly transfer to MSUM to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration.

The new addition brings Northland’s total liberal arts transfer pathway program offerings to eight. Other programs offered include Economics A.A., History A.A., Liberal Arts & Sciences A.A., Sociology A.A., Accounting A.S., Business A.S., and Health Sciences Broad Field A.S. Taking the community college route to a bachelor’s or another advanced degree has a distinct financial advantage for students–one that can save students thousands in tuition costs over two years.

Application for the Exercise Science program is now open. For more information about the program or other transfer pathway programs available at Northland, visit or call 1-800-959-6282.