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. Students pursuing a major in Exercise Science-Sports Management focus on the planning, organizing, managing and budgeting aspects of a department or organization whose main purpose is related to sports or physical activities. Students also will be introduced to law and its relationship to sport, physical activity and sport business. In addition to a core of exercise science coursework, students will take a variety of economic and business courses that focus on topics such as the economics of professional sports and strategic management of human resources, entrepreneurship, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Students will demonstrate proficiency in several key areas: applying knowledge of the historical, sociological and psychological aspects of sport in integrative experiences; planning, organizing, leading, evaluating, controlling, strategic planning and decision-making for activities and programs; administrating sports and recreation programs in schools and communities, both nationally and internationally; using a global perspective to understand sport; promoting sport through various means; forecasting and managing budgets, revenue streams and economic impact for public and private organizations; applying principles of risk management to all aspects of sport; critically analyzing ethical issues related to sports organizations; and addressing diversity.

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

[email protected]

Brian Azinger

Azinger, Brian

Head Athletic Trainer

[email protected]

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]

Woolson, Sami

Assistant Athletic Trainer


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 credits including: EXS 220, 353, 399, 421, 450, 499, 500; BSA 131; ECO 212; plus, two courses from the following at least one of which must be from the 300 level or higher: BSA 208, 222, 225, 310, 315, 325, 413; ECO 211, 321, MTH 120, EXS 352.

Career Tracks

Students completing an Exercise Science-Sports Management degree are employed in sport and recreation organizations at all levels. Employment is available in public or private organizations, social organizations, government, intercollegiate/interscholastic athletics activities, or professional sports. Accounting/Finance, law, marketing/promotions, facilities management, and human resources are a few of the administrative sides of sport, physical fitness, wellness, and recreation available to these graduates.

Unique Opportunities

  • Exercise Science-Sports Management students have completed practicums at local radio stations, multiple University of Wisconsin campuses, the Ripon College Department of Athletics, the Midwest Athletic Conference and professional sport organizations in Green Bay, Appleton, Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Rockford, Illinois.
  • Annual highlights include a sponsored trip to a regional sport organization where students meet with front office executives, tour facilities and gain exposure to entry-level requirements of these organizations.