Sport and Exercise Science

  • Bachelor of Science Major
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

Students work hands-on with the athletes in Gannon’s 20 varsity sports to help maximize performance and learn in four state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, including the new Human Performance Laboratory.

  • Students Monitoring Blood Pressure
  • GU Possibilities
    • Students will learn in four state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, including the new Human Performance Laboratory, which includes a Bod-Pod body composition testing system; a ParvoMedics metabolic measurement system that measures the cardiovascular performance of test subjects on a variety of different modalities, including the Computrainer bicycle trainer, two high-speed treadmills and two Monarch cycle ergometers; and a Speed Dash speed testing system. 
    • A new Movement Analysis Laboratory houses sophisticated motion-capture equipment and its associated telemetry components that use a series of cameras to record the movements of test subjects from a variety of angles that can then be analyzed to determine movement efficiency and coordination, the presence of medical abnormalities and the biomechanics of movement.
    • Students will have the opportunity to work hands-on with the athletes in Gannon’s 20 varsity sports to help maximize performance.

    You Will Learn

    The department of sport and exercise science instills in its students the knowledge, skills and abilities that make them leaders in the promotion of safe, active and healthy lifestyle behaviors, both on and off the playing field. This is achieved through active engagement in novel and applied research activities, assisting students in making connections between theoretical concepts and real-life applications, fostering a positive and interactive learning environment, the active promotion of advanced-level educational opportunities and participation in local and regional community health initiatives.  

    You Will Experience

    Internships are an integral part of the curriculum at the undergraduate level. Students have the opportunity to complete a 100+ hour practicum experience in a setting reflective of their career interests. These opportunities, both on and off campus, provide hands-on learning experiences and allow students to apply their knowledge in real-world settings, preparing them for their future careers. Internship opportunities include: 

    • athletic training  
    • cardiac rehabilitation facilities  
    • coaching positions  
    • fitness facilities  
    • physical therapy centers  
    • sports dentistry   

    You Will Achieve

    A degree from the sport and exercise science program prepares the student for a variety of career opportunities, some at the entry level and others that require advanced education. Graduates of the program have sought employment and graduate education in a wide array of fields. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • athletic training  
    • biomechanics  
    • cardiopulmonary rehabilitation  
    • coaching  
    • corporate wellness  
    • exercise physiology  
    • group exercise instruction and personal training  
    • medicine  
    • physical and occupational therapy  
    • physician assistant  
    • sport and exercise science  
    • sports nutrition  
    • strength and conditioning  

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Starting salary: $32,600
    • Mid-career salary: $51,000

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (  

    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    Students are exposed to a vast array of topics in sport and exercise science and gain a wide breadth of knowledge of the physical, psychological, biomechanical and ethical principles that influence human performance, both elite and recreational. Courses in the curriculum include:

    SPRT 240: Sport Psychology: Theory and Application

    This course covers a comprehensive introduction to the psychological factors that relate to sports involvement and performance. Issues studied throughout the course include psychological aspects of elite athletes’ motivation and performance, intervention and performance enhancement, and anxiety and skill performance.

    SPRT 416: Human Motor Control

    This course is directed at studying the nature of movement and how that movement is controlled. Sample topics include such issues as the role of the central nervous system in the organization of movement, the role of sensory information and how the body uses this information to select and control movement, the best ways to study movement and the identification and measurement of those with movement disorders.

    SPRT 420: Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries

    General foundations and specific concepts related to injury prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of athletic injuries are presented in this course. The course is designed to introduce the student to the basic knowledge and skills necessary to recognize, evaluate and treat athletic injuries of the head and face, spine, torso and extremities.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.