Exercise Science student and teacher examining skeletal model at Central Oregon Community College


Why study Exercise Science?

Providing foundational training for the fast-growing fields of physical therapy, occupational therapy, wellness coaching, kinesiology, personal training, fitness instruction, and related health and sports careers, the Exercise Science program at COCC offers students an engaging and active education. Resources include an advanced Physiology Lab, where students gain experience with VO2 max and lactate threshold testing, metabolic evaluation, multiple methods of body composition analysis, and other physical fitness assessments. Exercise Science courses at COCC teach skills that are career relevant and which can become practices that students assimilate into their personal lives.

"Our facilities are unique, even compared to a four-year school." — John Liccardo, COCC Associate Professor, Health and Human Performance

Students can pursue an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree with either an exercise science/kinesiology or a pre-physical therapy focus, both of which can connect to degree programs at other institutions. At the same time, students can utilize the programs’ industry relationships to make career connections. Exercise Science is a professional path ideal for athletic-, health-, and wellness-minded individuals who want to make a difference in the lives of others.

Woman running on treadmill in COCC physiology lab



Exercise science is the study of human body movements that contribute to fitness, holistic wellness, and longevity. Exercise science courses provide an in-depth view of topics within the exercise science fields, such as exercise physiology, the care and prevention of athletic injuries, anatomical kinesiology, nutrition for health, exercise testing and prescription, sport and exercise psychology, and wellness coaching.

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Group fitness class at Central Oregon Community College

Explore career paths in exercise science.

Career Paths in Exercise Science


Successful Exercise Science student portrait

Hear from Exercise Science students and graduates.

Student and Alumni Stories


Exercise science faculty teaching in classroom

Learn about faculty backgrounds and expertise.

Faculty Profiles


Health and Human Performance Department
Department Directory

Jessie Russell
Exercise Science Department Chair
Associate Professor, Outdoor Leadership

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