How I chose my major: Health and Exercise Science

A health and exercise science student works with someone in the gym.

In the “How I chose my major” series, we showcase the academic paths CSU students have taken, and students tell their stories in their own words. Read on to meet Caroline, a CSU Health and Exercise Science major, and learn how she decided it was the perfect path for her college career and far beyond.

I’ve always been interested in science classes and, in high school, I would look forward to many of the science classes I had to take, and I did well. I came to Colorado State with the intent of majoring in Biological Science, and at orientation I got to meet with an advisor to learn more about the major. However, during those initial discussions, I realized it did not seem to be a good fit for me. I knew I still wanted something science related, so I did some research and came across the Health and Exercise Science major, and I have loved it ever since. Simply put, it was the perfect major for me because I love science and I love exercise! I have to admit that, at first, I just picked the major because of that. I didn’t know anything about it other than it involved science and exercise. However, the HES department and my advisor were so good at explaining the major and what it had to offer. I was sold on it. Along with this, I love the department, all the resources available, and all of the professors I’ve had so far.

Within the major, there are two distinct concentrations you can choose from: Sports Medicine and Health Promotion. I initially chose Health Promotion because it has less math and physics, subjects that intimidated me at the time. But after really looking into the concentration, I loved the health-focused learning, along with a some classes I didn’t expect, like business and marketing classes and an economics class. I thought the variety could really help me if I wanted to go into different career fields after college. Plus, in each major you get electives (a number of classes you can take that interest you outside your major requirements) so I knew if I wanted to explore further science classes I could. This worked out really well for me because I am thinking about going to occupational therapy school after college, and I want to be prepared. My health and exercise science classes actually helped me learn about occupational therapy, and it’s become so much more than an interest. This summer I have an internship to shadow an occupational therapist, read to kids, and help out with a camp. I am so excited for this opportunity because occupational therapy could be the career path I choose after college – I would have never gotten here without the help of my major!


Caroline Perry came to CSU from Cumming, Georgia. She is majoring in Health and Exercise Science with a concentration in Health Promotion. She is on the swim and dive team at CSU and has been swimming since she was 10. Caroline loves movie days, being outside, and spending time with friends and family.

See the Health and Exercise Science major in action

Watch this in-depth look at the major and meet some of the students who have studied it.


Prairie Smallwood

Prairie Smallwood is a writer and content creator for the Office of Admissions at Colorado State University. She is passionate about education and exploration, and knows that going to college can be both an adventure and an overwhelming experience. She aims to create content that helps students through that journey — the wonderful, the scary, and everything in between.