Exercise Science

Northwest Christian University is a great place for you to prepare for a career or graduate studies in fields like dietetics, biomechanics, exercise physiology, and physical therapy. Students can intern with local physical therapists, physicians, and medical groups such as the Oregon Heart and Vascular Institute.

At NCU, you’ll not only experience rigorous practical training and learn about the human body and its optimal performance, you’ll grow in your faith and learn how to become a clear thinker as you study the liberal arts. Whether you end up as a coach, PE teacher, research assistant, fitness consultant, recreation director, or physical therapist, the exercise science major prepares you to lead others in a Christ-like, ethical manner.

career opportunities

Potential careers related to exercise science include:

  • Athletic Training
  • Physical Therapy
  • Corrective Exercise
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Chiropractic
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Motor Development
  • Motor Learning and Control
  • Fundamental Research
  • Sports Medicine
  • Sports Physician
  • Biomechanics
  • Kinesiology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Personal Training
  • Coaching
  • Physical Education
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Performance Specialist
  • Movement Coach
  • Movement Analyst
  • Fitness Director
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Pedagogy
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Wellness Coach
  • Health Promotion
  • Wellness Coordinator

Campus Activities

NCU offers athletic co-curricular activities through intercollegiate sports (NCU is a member of the NAIA), an intramurals program, and club sports. Our intercollegiate sports include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s track & field, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, women’s softball, and women’s volleyball. NCU is also home to the Morse Event Center, a 13,000 sq. foot physical activity center, complete with a gym, an aerobics facility, a 2,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art weight room, and a 700 sq. foot training room.

NCU Graduates

Recent NCU graduates of the Exercise Science program have been admitted to physical therapy school, graduate schools in dietetics and exercise physiology, physician’s assistant school, medical school, occupational therapy school and they have launched careers as personal trainers, coaches, nutrition & health coaches, and sports marketing. There is a wide variety of opportunities open to the successful graduate of the Exercise Science program.


Program Director: Heike McNeil, Ph.D.

Ph.D., University of Oregon
B.S., Linfield College
American College of Sport Medicine Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Heike McNeil arrived at NCU in 2003. She primarily teaches general chemistry and exercise physiology.

Heike’s graduate work produced over 15 publications in the field of materials science; and she has since shifted her focus to human performance to support the exercise …

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