The exercise and sports science industries are projected to grow significantly as people continue to move toward healthier and more active lifestyles, according to the Kinesiology Department at Point Loma Nazarene University. Many programs in this field are specific options within kinesiology majors, while others come via university schools or independent degree programs. That said, colleges and universities in southern California provide numerous opportunities for you to claim an education in this field.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University's School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences offers a major in kinesiology, which you can take with one of two emphases: pre-physical therapy or fitness specialist. The pre-physical therapy emphasis will prepare you for entry-level work in healthcare facilities and is designed for students who plan to pursue a graduate degree in physical therapy. The fitness specialist option will prepare you for a career as a fitness expert who can work in a broad range of settings in both the public and private sector, such as health and fitness clubs and research facilities.

California State University, Los Angeles

The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at California State University, Los Angeles, prides itself on being interdisciplinary and offers two separate degree options: exercise and nutrition and exercise and biosciences. The exercise and nutrition option will prepare you for occupations that focus on nutrition and performance. The second option, exercise and biosciences, will prepare you specifically for graduate education in fields such as kinesiotherapy, physical or occupational therapy, optometry, public health and other related fields. With some additional courses, this degree can qualify you for admission to professional programs, such as medical or dental school.

California State Polythechnic University

California State Polytechnic University in Pomona offers an exercise science option in its Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology program. This 180 credit unit program includes 55 credit units specific to exercise science course requirements and stresses the importance of balancing strong academic foundations and life-long learning with clinical skills and practice. This program prepares graduates for entry-level positions in the field of exercise science or for graduate studies. Graduates can even continue their studies with Cal Poly's master's degree program in exercise physiology.

Point Loma Nazarene University

Exercise and sports science is the newest major at San Diego-based Point Loma Nazarene University, and the school's Kinesiology department is excited about it. This Bachelor of Arts degree program will teach you how to explain the metabolic and physiological relationships between physical activity and good health, and it will prepare you to integrate new information routinely into your ever-growing field of knowledge. Point Loma Nazarene is also affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene and will encourage you to infuse Christian faith and compassion into your practice.

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About the Author

Christopher Cascio is a memoirist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literature from Southampton Arts at Stony Brook Southampton, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in the rhetoric of fiction from Pennsylvania State University. His literary work has appeared in "The Southampton Review," "Feathertale," "Kalliope" and "The Rose and Thorn Journal."