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Exercise Science, Human Performance Emphasis

The Exercise Science: Human Performance program explores how different exercise, healthy activity, nutrition and lifestyle choices affect the human body and quality of life. You will take a closer look at the elements of human movement and coordination through the study of health and exercise physiology.

As you progress, you will focus on effective exercise prescriptions for individuals and groups to enhance their optimal condition and performance towards healthy living and sport performance.

Quinton Browder

Class of 2023

“The ESSR professors make it their mission to know you personally. Through the research projects, labs and hands-on learning I received, I am prepared for what I do now. I am currently training youth athletes in strength, speed and agility.”

Benefits of OBU Exercise Science, Human Performance Program

Internship Opportunities

As an Exercise Science: Human Performance student, you will have the opportunity for internship experiences to strengthen your knowledge and abilities in exercise science and human performance. Opportunities for these practical partnerships reinforce your technical knowledge and skills and allow you to enhance leadership skills and personal service as you work with various clients who have differing needs and goals. Internship experiences include sport clinics and camps, gyms/fitness centers, and hospital/clinical settings.

Articulation Agreements with Graduate Level Programs

The Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation program continually seeks partnerships with universities offering admission for advanced degrees. The agreements are designed to align with programs of interest to our students. Currently, OBU has a guaranteed admissions program with Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences (CHS).

The program guarantees two top graduates from OBU’s ESSR program, who apply and meet specified criteria, will be guaranteed admission to the OSU-CHS Master of Athletic Training program pending an interview and selection.

Articulation Agreement Information

Incredible Education, Affordable Cost.

OBU provides a minimum $10,000 per year scholarship to every incoming first-time freshman and $8,000 to every incoming transfer student. And you could qualify for even more financial aid! Many of our students also receive money through federal Pell grants and OBU Bison Grants.

To get an estimate of what your cost to attend OBU might be, please check out our Net Price Calculator. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how affordable an OBU education really is. Especially considering the incredible academic quality, personal mentor relationships with faculty and staff, and strong Christian commitment you will experience at OBU. You won’t find an experience like this anywhere else!

Program Information

Exceptional Lab and Facilities

OBU’s Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation program features state-of-the-art equipment including a BOD POD®, electrocardiogram machine, spirometer, and a ParvoMed metabolic cart with a clinical treadmill and cycle ergometer. You will be taught to utilize functional movement screens, strength and conditioning equipment, and reaction training software to enhance performance with a variety of client types.

As an upper division student, you will utilize an aging simulator to assist in exercise testing and prescription for older populations. Our hands-on approach to learning with industry-standard equipment further enriches your experience.

Faculty with Industry Experience

OBU’s Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation professors are highly trained in their field of study. They have enjoyed successful careers as practicing clinicians, working particularly as physical therapists and sports and recreation professionals, before teaching in higher education. Together, they offer you a robust combination of knowledge in key elements of science, exercise, movement, human performance and overall personal wellness.

Integration of Faith

All Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation courses are taught from a Christian worldview with professors who serve as personal mentors, supporting both your intellectual and spiritual development. Through a small class setting of 15-25 students, our faculty instill a solid foundation of faith and biblical perspective through their instruction and personal lives. Our mission is to invest in you as a future health professional who will exemplify Christian principles, and practices with utmost respect for those you serve.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Scholarship and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) emphasis

Our university hosts an OBU STEM Day, annually showcasing the many majors on campus that incorporate STEM skills. Students and faculty provide live demonstrations and instruction in various labs and classrooms using diverse equipment for the benefit of all who attend.

As a supporter of STEM careers, OBU has entered an agreement with Project Lead the Way to begin the fall semester of 2024. Through this agreement, OBU will offer an annual $1,000 scholarship to students who have completed at least two PLTW courses during their high school years. This applies to PLTW students who enroll in any area of study at OBU.

Job Opportunities and Outcomes

Graduates of the Human Performance emphasis may continue to graduate school to receive more specialized training. However, job opportunities are plentiful in the roles of certified personal training, sports performance coach, strength and conditioning coach, wellness coach, fitness specialist, clinical exercise specialist and other related roles.

Recent graduates are now working at:

  • OU Children’s Hospital
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Physical Therapy
  • Oklahoma Heart Hospital
    • Exercise Physiologist
  • Integris Baptist Hospital
    • Exercise Physiologist
  • University of Texas, Arlington
    • Athletic Trainer
  • 360 Physical Therapy
    • Physical Therapy

 ESSR Graduates are attending these Graduate Programs

  • University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
    • Doctor of Physical Therapy
    • Doctor of Occupational Therapy
    • S. Speech-Language Pathology
    • S. Physician Assistant
    • S. Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Baylor University
    • Doctor of Physical Therapy
    • Doctor of Occupational Therapy
  • Oklahoma State University
    • S. Applied Exercise Physiology
  • Logan University
    • Doctor of Chiropractic
  • Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College
    • Doctor of Chiropractic
  • Oklahoma City University
    • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • University of St. Augustine (Florida)
    • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • University of St. Augustine (Texas)
    • Doctor of Physical Therapy
    • Doctor of Occupational Therapy
  • University of Kansas
    • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • University of Florida, Tampa
    • Prosthetics and Orthotics

Program Options

Bachelor of Science (BS)

World-Class Faculty

OBU faculty are experts in their fields and will be with you every step of the way.

Dr. Chad Payn

Dr. Chad Payn

Chair, Division of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation
Associate Professor of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation
Faculty Athletics Representative

Dr. Meredith Bailey

Dr. Meredith Bailey

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation

Dr. Jeffrey Hogan

Dr. Jeffrey Hogan

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation