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. Aligning with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Guidelines, students completing the Exercise Science-Physical Education major will demonstrate proficiency in several areas: basic physical education knowledge, concepts and pedagogical practices; a professional philosophy consistent with current National Association for Sport and Physical Education and state physical education standards; creating developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional design; analyzing and articulating factors that affect physical education engagement, home-school relations, and classroom strategies; evaluating commercial physical education programs and resources; developing instructional approaches to meet diverse needs; and reflexively evaluating the impact of his or her instructional capacity on others and seek opportunities to grow professionally.

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.

Latest News

Eric Doll '20 in football uniform

We’re still here: Eric Doll ’20

After graduation, Eric Doll ’20 of West Bend, Wisconsin, will secure summer employment and then student teach in the fall. He is majoring in exercise […]

Cameron Gruenwald '20

We’re still here: Cameron Gruenwald ’20

Cameron Gruenwald ’20 of Iola, Wisconsin, is majoring in physical education with minors in health and educational studies. He hopes to work in elementary or […]

We’re still here: Austin Bunders ’20

For the fall semester of 2020, Austin Bunders ’20 of Almond, Wisconsin, will be completing student teaching and finishing his last season of football for […]


Coles, Rick

Professor of Exercise Science, Assistant Coach of Football

[email protected]

Ron Ernst

Ernst, Ronald

Professor of Exercise Science, Head Coach of Football, Assistant Athletic Director

[email protected]

Brittany Followay

Followay, Brittany

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science

[email protected]

Vaughan, Jeremiah

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science

[email protected]


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

Off-Campus Study

Studying off-campus, whether internationally or domestically in the United States, is an experience bound to change your view of the world. In general, full-time students in good academic standing are eligible to apply for admission to off-campus programs.

Learn more about Off-Campus Study


Forty-one or 45 credits, including EXS 211, 220, 251, 252, 253, 333, 352, 426, 432, 450, 399, 499 (and EXS 500 if not student teaching). BIO 211 is a prerequisite for EXS 333 and 432.

Career Tracks

Students pursuing a major in exercise science-physical education desire to become certified to teach physical education in the PK-12 schools. Students in this field may find careers as a physical education teacher, fitness specialist, athletic coach and health educator.

Unique Opportunities

  • Through the Department of Educational Studies, certification in adapted physical education and health are available in early childhood/adolescence (birth-grade 12).
  • Exercise science-physical education students have completed student teaching at all school districts within 50 miles of campus. Those from further away can and have done their student teaching at their home district.
  • Valuable teaching experience can be acquired through multiple campus organizations such as Exercise Student Club, in cooperation with regular coursework such as Adapted Physical Education and special events such as Journey Charter Physical Activity Days.