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. Employment opportunities in exercise science are expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 8-21 percent in the coming decades (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Demand for individuals trained in the exercise sciences is fueled by recognition in businesses, government and insurance that health and fitness programs benefit employees, their families and the bottom line. Organizations concerned about rising health care costs have begun hiring those trained in the exercise sciences who are skilled at creating and prescribing attractive programs aimed at keeping fitness/wellness up and health care costs down.

Exercise Science-Human Performance graduates will become proficient in several key areas: identifying the role, function and responsibility of an exercise science-trained individual as part of the healthcare system and wellness team; developing a participant-centered professional philosophy of human performance; applying learned practices of exercise science to enhance physical and psychological performance in different populations; critically selecting, administering and evaluating performance tests and testing procedures to ensure safe, valid, reliable assessment, evaluation and program design; incorporating participants’ goals to establish physical activity programs; analyzing and articulating the social, cultural, economic and political factors that influence participation and adherence to physical activity and health/wellness programs; and critically evaluate commercial exercise programs, equipment and resources.

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"

Professor of Exercise Science, Head Coach of Volleyball, Senior Women Administrator and Assistant Athletic Director - Compliance

Brian Azinger

Azinger, Brian

Head Athletic Trainer

Lauren Busalacchi

Busalacchi, Lauren

Adjunct Instructor of Exercise Science, Head Coach of Women's Basketball

Coles, Rick

Professor of Exercise Science, Associate Head Coach of Football

Brittany Followay

Followay, Brittany

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Chair of Exercise Science, Graduate Program Director

Steve Wammer

Wammer, Steve

Adjunct Instructor of Exercise Science, Associate Athletic Director, Head Softball Coach


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.

Advising at Ripon


Requirements for a Major in Exercise Science — Human Performance
Total Credits 45 credits in Exercise Science — Human Performance toward Major
Core Courses EXS 211 Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries, 220 Foundations of Exercise Science , 282 Functional Testing , 286 Nutrition for the Health Sciences, 333 Physiology of Exercise, 352 Psychological Aspects of Physical Activity, 353 Sociological Aspects of Physical Activity , 426 Motor Learning , 431 Research Methods, 432 Biomechanics, 499* , 500 Senior Seminar in Exercise Science, BIO 211 Human Anatomy and Physiology I.

Career Tracks

Exercise Science-Human Performance can lead to a range of careers in education, healthcare, fitness/wellness, and coaching. Graduates also may work as a strength and conditioning professionals (CSCS-NSCA), exercise physiologists (EP-ACSM), or personal trainers (CPT-ACSM, CPT-NSCA). Training often provides a background for graduate work in a range of fields, including government, business, law, medicine, marketing and other fields.

Unique Opportunities

  • Students pursuing the Exercise Science-Human Performance major have held internships as group exercise leaders and 1:1 personal trainers at Willmore Center and in the community.
  • This major naturally prepares students for continuing their education in strength and conditioning, occupational therapy, physical therapy and entrepreneurial endeavors such as opening a fitness gym and providing personal training.