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Physical Therapy & Kinesiology

Exercise Science General Policies

The undergraduate Exercise Science curriculum (Degree Pathway) at UMass Lowell has a strong foundation in the sciences and meets all core curriculum requirements of the university.

General Program Requirements

  • Students must meet with their advisor each semester for pre-registration advising.
  • Students must provide evidence of current CPR Certification (infant through adult) prior to entry into their senior year.
  • Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions and/or Technical Standards and adhere to those standards in the laboratory and practice setting when necessary.
  • All Exercise Science students must adhere to the College of Health Sciences Student Policies regarding National Criminal Background Checks, Clinical Affiliate Random Drug Screening, and Social Media Policy.
  • Once accepted all Exercise Science students are expected to take all remaining science courses at UMass Lowell. Per UMass Lowell policy, taking a course required of the degree at another college/university requires chairperson permission prior to taking the course. Such permission will only be given for extenuating circumstances.

Requirements to Maintain Matriculation in Exercise Science

All of the requirements listed below are required to remain enrolled in the ES program. Students who do not meet these conditions, will be dismissed from the program:

  • Must maintain a minimum 2.500 cumulative/overall GPA.
  • Must maintain a minimum 2.500 cumulative average in required science courses.
  • Maintain a minimum 2.500 average in ES major courses (all EXER Courses).
  • May not get less than a C in any professional major course (major courses begin with EXER).
  • May not withdraw from any professional major course (major courses begin with EXER).
  • Must successfully complete any course in the ES program following the degree pathway in the appropriate time sequence. Successful completion of major courses with a grade of C or higher is required to continue progression in the ES program. In addition successful completion of major courses following withdrawal is required to continue progression in the ES program.
  • Must meet all conditions of probation for the remainder of the time in the ES program.
  • Must meet all College of Health Sciences and ES program criteria.

Technical Standards

The following guidelines have been developed to specify the essential functions students must demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of the Exercise Science curricula, both the Clinical and Exercise and Fitness Management options. Functions listed are required for the learning and practice of critical thinking, communication, and technical skills taught in the curricula. These functions may be required in clinical, classroom, and laboratory environments.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell and Department of Physical Therapy & Kinesiology will consider for admission to its programs any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform or learn to perform the functions listed in this document with or without reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments consistent with ADA. Applicants with disabilities are not required to disclose the existence or nature of their disability during the admissions process; however, any applicant with questions about these technical requirements is strongly encouraged to discuss the issue with a departmental representative. If appropriate, and upon the request of the applicant/student, academic adjustments and/or reasonable accommodations may be provided by Disability Services. However, if the requested accommodations fundamentally alter requirements of a program then those modifications/accommodations may not be granted as they would change the nature of the educational program being offered.

Expected Abilities

Critical Thinking

The student will be able to:

  • Thoroughly, efficiently, and reliably:
    • Recall, interpret, synthesize, evaluate and then apply information from written, verbal and illustrated materials.
    • Implement the exercise prescription and programming process across a diverse client population through recall, application of measurement, interpretation, calculation, reassessment, analysis, judgment and synthesis.
  • Identify and communicate the limits of their knowledge to others when appropriate.
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills necessary for identifying/prioritizing problems, and developing appropriate solutions for client problems, as well as well evaluating solutions for efficacy.
  • Incorporate new information from clients, peers, teachers and relevant literature.


The student will be able to:

Behavioral and Social

  • Communicate in English effectively and sensitively with faculty, staff, allied health personnel, peers and clients.
  • Be aware of and appropriately react to one's own immediate emotional response.
  • Accept appropriate feedback and if, necessary, respond by modification of behavior.
  • Develop professional relationships, providing comfort and reassurance when appropriate, while protecting confidentiality.
  • Communicating with honesty, integrity, compassion, and empathy for all people.
  • Possess ability to function effectively under stress.
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude (motivation) toward personal and professional learning.
  • Demonstrate appropriate time management, dependability, and punctuality.
  • Display cultural competency for individual, social, gender, and cultural differences.
  • Demonstrate ability to critique own performance including accepting constructive feedback, accept responsibility for one’s own actions, and follow through on commitments.
  • Maintain appropriate personal hygiene and adhere to appropriate professional attire mandated by the department, program, and practicum setting.

Receptive and Expressive Abilities

  • Recognize and interpret verbal and non-verbal cues.
  • Complete reading assignments and search and evaluate the literature.
  • Complete written records and documentation where appropriate.
  • Demonstrate the use of therapeutic communication, such as attending, clarifying, coaching, facilitating and touching.

Technical Abilities

The student will be able to:

Sensory Observation

  • Observe demonstrations and participate in laboratory experiences.
  • Obtain appropriate health/fitness/medical history directly from the client.
  • Accurately assess cardiovascular fitness, including vital signs, blood pressure, breathing patterns, and exercise tolerance and capacity.

Motor Skills

  • Have sufficient sensory and motor function to perform a physical testing and assessment.
  • Reliably read and interpret all equipment monitors and dials and use stethoscopes, sphygmomanometers, and tape measures.
  • Accomplish required physical tasks for assessments, demonstration, leadership, and assistance in academic, laboratory, and practicum settings.
  • Perform emergency procedures including but not limited to first aid, CPR, or bloodborne pathogen management in laboratory and practicum settings.
  • Safely and effectively administer and adjust exercise and training techniques which require demonstration, facilitation, spotting, or resistance.
  • Use palpation and touch to accurately assess pulse, locate and prep sites for electrode placement, and skinfold measurement.