Experiential Learning

Practicums, internships, study abroad and co-curricular experiences help students develop relevant transferable skills and qualities that employers are looking for beyond the classroom, such as teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, commitment, organization and social skills.

These experiences can also help students build their resumes or graduate school applications as well as promote self-esteem, stress relief and developing new interests.

Internships and Practicums

The professional experience, or internship, is completed in the junior or senior year, and is one of the most meaningful and valuable components of the Exercise Science curriculum. An internship allows students to apply classroom knowledge to real-world professional activities in his or her intended career path. Common settings include:

  • Medical-based fitness and wellness centers
  • Cardiac/pulmonary rehab facilities
  • Clinics offering athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy and chiropractic care
  • Medical clinics for physician assistant or medicine
  • Athletic facilities for strength and conditioning

A minimum of 3 credit hours (i.e., 150 contact hours) is required. The Exercise Science program currently has established affiliation agreements with various regional and national internship sites located in California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin. In addition, the program offers many local opportunities. Some of the locations that students are commonly placed include:

  • Murray Calloway County Hospital
  • Baptist Health Paducah
  • Physical Medicine Services
  • CORE Physical Therapy
  • MSU’s Strength and Conditioning
  • MSU’s Athletic Training
  • Atlas Physical Therapy

Students who are interested in exploring a specific placement site for their internship can work directly with the Internship Coordinator. New agreements may take 6-12 months to establish.


The Exercise Science program also offers opportunities for on-campus practicum experiences for up to 6 credit hours. Students can get involved with faculty research or service learning opportunities as well as serve as teaching assistants. In addition, students can work with the instructor to develop their own practicum experience.

Study Abroad

There are many exciting opportunities to study abroad at MSU. Participating in education abroad experiences allows individuals to gain a greater appreciation for diverse cultures and increases global awareness. Some programs are specific to health-related experiences and careers, while many more experiences are available to meet other interests. Students have enjoyed learning in Greece, Italy, Ireland, Germany and many more. For more information, visit Education Abroad.

Related Organizations

Murray State Organizations

  • Exercise Science Club: Faculty Advisor: Dr. Amelia Dodd
  • American Medical Women’s Association: Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brenda Reeves

Related Professional Organizations

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