Dr. Ron Mendel

Teaching Area(s): Exercise Science

I could list the typical clichés about what makes Mount Union unique, but I truly believe that what makes it unique cannot be put into words. It is just a unique feeling one has when they are part of Mount Union. 

Exercise Science Degree Frequently Asked Questions

Looking to pursue an exercise science degree? Here are some frequently asked questions from interested students.

  1. Why should I pursue an exercise science degree from Mount Union?
  2. What exercise science tracks are available at Mount Union?
  3. What types of hands-on learning opportunities can I expect as an exercise science major?
  4. What is the Exercise Science Seminar Series?
  5. What are the benefits of joining the Exercise Science Club?
  6. What types of facilities and equipment will be available to exercise science majors?
  7. What types of jobs can I expect with an exercise science degree?
  8. Is exercise science an adequate major for individuals looking for a pre-physical therapy program?
  9. What graduate programs would I be prepared to pursue after earning my exercise science degree?
  10. Is an exercise science degree the same as a kinesiology degree?
  11. Will I be prepared to sit for additional certifications?
  12. Who do I contact if I have questions about Mount Union's exercise science degree?

Schedule a campus visit today to learn more.

Why should I pursue an exercise science degree from Mount Union?
There are many reasons to major in exercise science at Mount Union including an opportunity to choose the track (graduate school or clinical) you want to pursue depending on your intended career choice, ample opportunities to get real-world experience outside of the classroom, state-of-the-art exercise science laboratories and equipment and independent and collaborative research studies with faculty.

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What exercise science tracks are available at Mount Union?
Students pursuing an exercise science degree at Mount Union have the opportunity to choose one of two exercise science tracks – graduate school and clinical. The Graduate School Track is designed for students who need to attend a graduate program to obtain the necessary qualifications to pursue their intended career choice. Within the exercise science degree curriculum, these students will be required (in some cases) or recommended (in other cases) to take courses that will be beneficial to their graduate studies or required as a pre-requisite for graduate admissions. The Clinical Track is designed for students who wish to directly enter the health-related fitness field after earning their bachelor’s degree in exercise science from the University of Mount Union. It is our belief that traditional coursework is essential for a solid foundation of exercise physiology, but students must be able to put into practice what they learn. Students ultimately determine which track they want to pursue depending on their intended career. However, students are quite often unsure of what they want to do so the exercise science program focuses on mentoring and advising the students from the very beginning. The curriculum is also designed so that students can change tracks, up through the second year, without inhibiting their graduation in a timely manner.

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What types of hands-on learning opportunities can I expect as an exercise science major?
Students pursuing an exercise science degree at the University of Mount Union have ample opportunities to get real-world experience outside of the classroom. In fact, our Clinical Track was designed to provide students with as much hands-on experience as possible. Some of the practical experiences we offer include, but are not limited to: internships; fitness programs in a variety of settings including YMCA’s GIFT and BIFT Programs, local elementary schools, Alliance Community Hospital, Alliance Fire Department, Copeland Oaks Retirement Community and Mount Union; and independent and collaborative research. By getting involved in these experiential and clinical field opportunities, you can strengthen your skills in prevention, diagnosis, immediate care and rehabilitation of athletic-related injuries and illnesses.

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What is the Exercise Science Seminar Series?
The Exercise Science Seminar Series is a sequence of three courses offered during the sophomore, junior and senior years of the exercise science curriculum. Each seminar has a unique focus, relevant to the student and where they stand in the curriculum. The series provides standardization on important topics and allows for students to receive the information in a timely and effective manner. Students earn one credit hour per seminar. While there is some work required outside of the classroom, the intent of the series is not to be overly rigorous, but practical and applicable to the student’s academic career and overall life skills.

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What are the benefits of joining the Exercise Science Club?
From guest speakers to job interview and professional school application preparation, Mount Union’s Exercise Science Club offers future exercise science and allied-health professionals with tips and hands-on experiences, allowing them to explore what their future may hold first hand.The purpose of the Exercise Science Club is to provide its members with practical experiences in the field of exercise science. Membership is open to students majoring, minoring or with an interest in exercise science.

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What types of facilities and equipment will be available to exercise science majors?
Mount Union’s Exercise Science Program is housed in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex (MAAC), which is well equipped with modern laboratory equipment. Students will be exposed to the state-of-the-art equipment in both classroom and laboratory settings in addition to when they are conducting research independently or alongside Mount Union faculty. Exercise science majors will benefit from an electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate monitors, sphygmomanometers, laboratory treadmills, cycle ergometers, metabolic carts, Ballistic Measurement System, electromyography (EMG), clinical analyzers and body composition devices.

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What types of jobs can I expect with an exercise science degree?
An exercise science degree opens the door to a wide range of career opportunities including, but not limited to: exercise technologist, exercise specialist, program director, exercise leader, health/fitness instructor, health/fitness director, advanced personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. In addition, courses at Mount Union will prepare you for certification exams in a variety of areas.

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Is exercise science an adequate major for individuals looking for a pre-physical therapy program?
Exercise science is definitely an adequate major for those students intending to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. In fact, our Graduate Track incorporates many courses that specifically prepare students who are interested in continuing their education. However, please keep in mind that Mount Union’s exercise science major is not a pre-physical therapy program or degree. We recognize the similarities between the two programs and capitalize on that, but exercise science is much more than just a physical therapy feeder program.

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What graduate programs would I be prepared to pursue after earning my exercise science degree?
Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science will prepare you to apply for a variety of graduate programs including, but not limited to: physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), physician assistant (PA), chiropractic, nutrition, exercise physiology, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist and biomechanics.

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Is an exercise science degree the same as a kinesiology degree?
No. Exercise science is not considered a kinesiology degree. Kinesiology is the study of human movement. Certainly human movement is a component of our exercise science degree because we understand its importance. In fact, we offer a Foundation of Human Movement course.

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Will I be prepared to sit for additional certifications?
Mount Union’s exercise science curriculum is designed to provide students the laboratory and personal hands-on, real-world experiences needed to complete certification examinations offered by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) including Certified Special Population Specialist (CSPS), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA-Certified Personal Trainers (NSCA-CPT), Tactical Strength and Conditioning-Facilitator (TSAC-F), Certified Personal Trainer® (CPT), Certified Health Fitness SpecialistSM (HFS), Certified Group Exercise InstructorSM (GEI), Certified Clinical Exercise SpecialistSM (CES), Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist® (RCEP), Exercise is Medicine® Credential, ACSM/ACS Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer (CET), ACSM/NCPAD Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer (CIFT) and ACSM/NSPAPPH Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist (PAPHS).

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Who do I contact if I have questions about Mount Union's exercise science degree?
For more information, contact Dr. Ron Mendel, associate professor of human performance and sport business, at (330) 823-4765 or mendelrw@mountunion.edu.

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