Health and Sport Sciences | Capital University, Columbus Ohio


Health and Sport Sciences

  • 720x380-Audience-Health-And-Sport-Sciences
  • In this section..

    • Majors: Exercise Science • Exercise Science: Pre-Athletic Training • Exercise Science: Pre-Chiropractic • Exercise Science: Pre-Occupational Therapy • Exercise Science: Pre-Physical Therapy • Exercise Science: Pre-Physician's Assistant •  Athletic Training • Athletic Training: Pre-Physical Therapy

      You're passionate about sports, health, exercise and the science of optimizing the body’s performance. 

      At Capital, turn your passion into knowledge and a profession. The coursework in Health and Sport Sciences at Capital is diverse, which will give you a solid foundation in the fundamentals and the flexibility to work with your advisor to tailor the program to your specific interests and goals.

      What You’ll Learn

      We offer multiple routes to a degree in physical therapy, including majors in biology, athletic training or exercise science. If you plan to pursue a graduate degree in health sciences or exercise physiology, Capital’s exercise science program will give you the foundation you need in science-based curriculum, including advanced work in biology, chemistry and mathematics.  

      High-Impact Practices: LEARNING beyond the classroom


      First-rate facilities

      The Capital Center is a 126,000-square-foot health, education, recreation and athletics complex that houses a 2,200-seat performance area, indoor track, multipurpose forum, classrooms, exercise science lab and fitness center. Technology-equipped classrooms and labs for health, physical education, fitness and science round out the indoor facilities. Outdoor facilities include tennis courts and a variety of athletic fields.

      Our small class sizes set the stage for an optimal learning experience, but you won't be sitting behind a desk for long. We embrace high-impact practice proven to improve learning, like internships, clinical experiences, undergraduate research and capstone projects. Leveraging Capital’s location in the thriving capital city of Columbus, we connect our students to practical learning experiences in world class hospitals, research and technology companies, educational institutions, sports teams and more.

      Each Health and Sport Sciences major has a strong internship or practicum component, ranging from six clinical rotations for athletic training majors to numerous volunteer hours for students seeking admission to physical therapy programs. Education and health and fitness majors also are required to gain professional experience by participating in a practicum. You'll have lots of choices, but past experiences have included everything from establishing nutrition programs at the National Dairy Council to developing exercise programs for students with disabilities in local school districts.

      Where you’ll go

      From the beginning, your Capital education will be infused with critical thinking and problem solving — first through broad-based learning in our liberal arts core that will make you a well-rounded, educated citizen — and then through focused study in your Health and Sport Sciences major. Wherever your path takes you, you’ll graduate prepared for the next step in your career or your education, and you'll have the skills to adapt to a changing world — professional or otherwise. 

      Our graduates go on to motivate and inspire student-athletes as coaches, athletic trainers and teachers. They bring healing and restore mobility as physical therapists. They champion healthy lifestyles as recreation program directors, health and fitness club directors, strength coaches and personal trainers. They shape leaders who have integrity on the field and off as athletic directors. They positively impact their discipline by pursue advanced degrees in exercise physiology, education, physical therapy, sports administration, and community and/or health education.

      Find out more today by exploring our online course bulletin, scheduling a visit and requesting more information. 


      Members of the Health and Sport Sciences faculty have expertise as exercise physiologists and certified athletic trainers with numerous years of experience. The faculty also includes adjunct faculty members with experiences and educational training in the field to enhance program offerings.

      Benjy Pester, MS, AT 

      Assistant Professor of Health & Sport Sciences

      Benjy Pester wears many hats at Capital. He is department chair of Health and Sport Sciences, program director of the athletic training program, assistant professor and student advisor. He teaches several courses within the athletic training curriculum, including therapeutic exercise, senior seminar in athletic training, administrative aspects of athletic training and clinical instruction.

      Pester joined the faculty at Capital 15 years ago. Prior to that, he spent two years as a graduate assistant at Ohio State University where he worked with the football and tennis teams while receiving a Master’s degree in Allied Health Education. A 2003 Capital alum, Benjy then returned to Capital where he has been a faculty member for the past fifteen years.

      As department chair, Pester spends much of his time advising students, and his “door is always open." He's proud of the department's hands-on approach to learning, and its ability to match clinical placements with a student's personality and learning style.


      The Path to a Dream job: From Columbus to Pittsburgh to Ann Arbor

      Christie-Lee Miller may be from Pittsburgh, but she's a big fan of the city of Columbus. Ohio's capital city is one of the many things that attracted her to Capital University in 2004. 

      "Columbus is pretty awesome, and you're only five minutes from downtown," she said. Other big draws were the ability to study athletic training while participating as a track and field student-athlete and the large number of internship opportunities in the area. Not to be overlooked, the small class sizes were a big plus as well.

      Today, Miller is work at her dream job as an athletic trainer at the University of Michigan, where she has worked with the women's lacrosse, track and field and cross country teams. Prior to accepting the position at a major university, Miller interned with the Columbus Crew and the Columbus Destroyers, and at summer camps at The Ohio State University. After earning her undergraduate degree in athletic training from Capital, she went on to obtain a master's degree in sports medicine and nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh.

      Even though Miller is living her dream at a Big Ten school, don't be fooled. She is a strong advocate for the individual attention and small classes Capital provided. "You get as much or more experience at Capital," she said. "Because it's a smaller school, you have more access and opportunity to work closely with the head athletic trainer."  

      The Best Decision of My Life

      Kelly Leonard will graduate from Capital University this spring, which makes this a time to plan for tomorrow, but also a time to reflect on today. 

      "Coming here was the best decision of my life," Leonard said about choosing the athletic training program at Capital. "I would do it all over again. I'm sad that I only have one semester left."

      For the past four years, Leonard has been pursuing a degree in athletic training while also playing on the women's volleyball team. Both are commitments that require a hefty dose of time management. This past summer she took advantage of another opportunity — interning in the Sports Metrics Program at Cincinnati Sports Medicine, where she worked closely with high school athletes. "It gave me a better look at the different groups of people you can serve and the variety of settings you can work in," she said. "I worked with specific sports teams, so I was doing conditioning and working with the high school athletes."

      With graduation just a few months away, Leonard is focused on the next step she need to take to achieve her educational and professional goals: a master's degree. She's currently applying to graduate schools, and hopes to land a graduate assistantship in athletic training while earning her master's. Both will move her father along the path toward her long-term goal of working at a college. As the process unfolds, Leonard can't help but express her gratitude for the many people who helped her through the undergraduate years. "I really enjoyed the professors here at Capital," she says. "Bonnie (Goodwin) is always willing to help any student."