Encourage health and physical activity.

Use your passion for health, wellness and fitness to prepare for a career that can positively impact those of all ages in non-school settings. Teach healthy lifestyle best practices including exercise and nutrition to people of all ages in a variety of situations. Graduates can enter some careers directly, while seeking graduate programs for other careers.

The Bachelor of Educational Studies is designed to provide specialized knowledge, skills and training in a flexible format. You’ll learn from highly qualified educators and researchers who hold terminal degrees from some of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions.


Program type:

Major, BES



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Bachelor of Educational Studies -

Exercise Science & Wellness Emphasis

The BES, with an emphasis in Exercise Science and Wellness, builds on science and mathematics courses in the general education requirements with courses on anatomy & physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, safety and emergency care, physical activity program design, nutrition and adult exercise leadership. You’ll be prepared to sit for certification examinations, such as those offered by the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of American and the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers.

Outcomes and Career Outlook

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able apply a unique understanding of social justice by addressing institutional and social barriers that limit access, equity and achievement; conduct themselves in a respectful and professional manner that views failure as an opportunity to learn; apply reasoning and critical thinking while making connections among information, data and arguments to synthesize and interpret information; apply unique leadership, management and communication skills using oral, written, nonverbal and visual communication skills in a variety of formats and contexts; apply knowledge and skills to effectively manage programs; and demonstrate a unique application of best practices when teaching outside a traditional classroom setting.

Employment of personal or fitness trainers is projected to grow up to 15% to 2029, with a median annual salary of $40,700 according to wage and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2032

Career Opportunities

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Dietitian
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Health Club Manager
  • Health Club Owner
  • Nutritionist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach


Plan of study

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Student organizations

Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations. Here are several opportunities you may be interested in as an education major:

  • EduCATE: Collegiate Association of Teachers and Educators
  • OSI Leadership Education Programs / Advanced Leaders
  • Student Government Association
  • Students of the University of Missouri

Internship opportunities

The College of Education hosts many centers and initiatives that enhance student experiences in our programs and work with more than 36 different public, private and charter schools throughout the region. We also sponsor eight charter schools.

Honors College

The UMSL Honors College is a certificate program that can be paired with any major without adding extra classes or extending time to graduate. Classes in the Honors College are seminar-style, meaning that they are based in reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking. This unique class format fosters an intellectual climate centered around democracy, diversity, civility and academic excellence.

Undergraduate research

We encourage and support students as they engage in exciting activities in and outside of the classroom that enrich their academic and professional understanding of their chosen area of study. All majors are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to produce discipline-specific intellectual or creative innovations to their field.