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Exercise Science Minor Unveiled

New this fall, the UMKC Schools of Education and Nursing and Health Studies are collaborating to offer a minor in Exercise Science.

Students will learn how exercise and the human body intersect and how to implement and evaluate evidence-based health assessments for specific populations. Students will identify specific anatomical considerations, physical conditioning requirements, diet and exercise regimens, and injury prevention strategies needed to improve physical health outcomes.

The minor requires 23 hours of courses in personal wellness, anatomy and physiology, human movement, fitness assessment and more with additional courses in weight training and first aid strongly recommended but not required.

According to Mary Phyl Dwight, M.S., associate teaching professor in the School of Education and Physical Education Program coordinator, “this minor will appeal to a number of students across campus; those studying secondary education, for instance, who also are interested in coaching opportunities as well as students in the health sciences who wish to pursue fitness, coaching and pre-physical therapy careers for example.

The minor is a true collaborative effort, with initial discussions held between Dwight and Janis Ellis-Claypool, M.S., program director for the Bachelor of Health Sciences degree and assistant teaching professor, to develop desired outcomes and classes. Half of the courses required for the minor are from the health sciences and half are in physical education. Once the program was developed, full faculty in both the SOE and Health Sciences approved it, after which it went to and was approved by the UMKC Undergraduate Curriculum and Assessments Committees.

“Getting this minor off the ground was a process,” contends Dwight, but “in the cooperative spirit in which it was created, I believe it will attract many students who have expressed interest in such a program and those who otherwise are committed to a healthy lifestyle and helping others achieve their fitness goals.”

For more information, contact Mary Phyl Dwight at or 816-235-2753.