A study referencing the Department of Education’s data has named Ripon College as one of the top schools for Heath and Wellness majors in Wisconsin. A student majoring in exercise science-athletic training will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of prevention, recognition, care, evaluation and rehabilitation of common athletic injuries. Students completing this pre-professional major are prepared to enter graduate school in any of a number of therapeutic healthcare fields such as physical therapy, athletic training, occupational therapy, cardiac rehab, physician assistant and nurse practitioner.

Completion of this major will prepare students as integral parts of the healthcare and wellness team. Students will develop a professional philosophy of healthcare that is patient-centered and consistent with current professional standards. Graduates will be proficient at critically evaluating contemporary research relative to physical activity to ensure safe, valid, reliable assessment, evaluation, treatment and program design, while also considering social, cultural, economic and political factors that influence sport, physical activity, rehabilitation and health/wellness programs.

Department Mission Statement

The mission of the Exercise Science Department is to prepare, educate, and empower students in their individual journeys toward becoming critical practitioners skilled at evaluating, deconstructing, and addressing the problems and issues central to the narrower topic of sport, as well as the broader issue of physical activity across the lifespan. By blending scholarly study and professional practice, department faculty create learning opportunities and experiences that nurture students’ exploration of the physical, psychological, social-humanistic, and professional aspects of physical activity, and their associated impact on health, society, and quality of life.

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Katie Astrauskas

Astrauskas, Catherine "Katie"

Associate Professor of Exercise Science, Athletic Administrator, Head Coach of Volleyball

Brian Azinger

Azinger, Brian

Head Athletic Trainer

Coles, Rick

Professor of Exercise Science, Associate Head Coach of Football

Brittany Followay

Followay, Brittany

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers. Our collaboration with Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Likewise, Mentors in the Franzen Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon


Forty-five credits including: EXS 211, 333, 352, 361, 362, 399, 426, 432, 450, 499, 500, and BIO 312. In addition, a student majoring in exercise science-athletic training should consider completing clinical work under the direct supervision of a certified trainer. For more information, students should contact the chair of the department.

Career Tracks

Exercise science-athletic training can lead to a range of careers in education, healthcare, fitness/wellness, and coaching. Graduates also may work as a physician's assistant, occupational therapist or chiropractor. Training often provides a background for graduate work in a range of fields, including government, business, law, medicine, marketing and other fields.

Unique Opportunities

  • Exercise science-athletic training students have completed internships at various University of Wisconsin campuses, Alliance Laundry Corporate Wellness, and professional sport teams in Green Bay, Milwaukee, Appleton, Fond du Lac and Rockford, Illinois.
  • Valuable healthcare experience can be acquired by working in the athletic training room at Willmore Center at Ripon College or the Ripon Medical Center Rehabilitation Department.
  • Exercise science-athletic training students have gone on to pursue degrees in medicine, occupational therapy, physical therapy, athletic training, cardiac rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning.

Graduate Success

While earning his degree in sports management, Jake Marshall ’10 was Ripon’s record-setting quarterback. “The faculty in the exercise science department prepared me for basically any career I wanted," Jake says. "My major requires two internships. My experience interning for a minor league baseball team and the inspiration of Coach (Rick) Coles and Coach (Ron) Ernst, made me realize I wanted to become a coach. I am now a graduate assistant and wide receivers coach at Coe College. I am thankful every day for the experiences Ripon offered me. Go Red Hawks!”