T Nation

Help settle a debate

I’ll be a senior in college this fall. Last year, I declared a double major in Exercise Science and Sports Management. Just recently, the chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Performance informed that Exercise Science will now be known as Exercise and Health Promotion (at least at my school). His argument is that EHP is the term used in “Healthy People 2010” (which, as many of us know, was an absolute joke initiative, at least in terms of dietary advice). Personally, I’m not very happy about it; EHP has more of a marketing, cheerleader-type connotation (at least in my opinion). More importantly, though, I don’t feel it conveys adequate scientific preparation as well as the title Exercise Science. Either way, I’ll be fighting this one to the death to make sure my degree reads Exercise Science next May. Nonetheless, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. I welcome comments from those involved in the fitness and nutrition industries or those who just pursue healthy lifestyles. My feeling is that clients/patients/potential employers would much rather someone with an EXS degree than someone with an EHP degree. So which do you think sounds better? Thanks.

Hands down Exercise Science. “Science” just sounds way more serious than “promotion”.

Eric -

I don't really see a huge advantage to either name. Based on what you want to pursue, the Exercise and Sports Performance name is probably better, but the EHP name could be a benefit to others that want to pursue: public health, preventive medicine or cardiac/pulmonary rehab.

Either way, you should be able to choose the name that you want. When I first started at Davis, my major was PE. The name was changed to Exercise Science (EXS) my first quarter and I had the option to either stick with PE or switch to EXS. I chose to switch to EXS because I think it carries a little more respect. Then last year, EXS moved into the College of Biological Sciences and was changed to Exercise Biology(EXB) and I'm pretty sure that the students who were EXS from the start could either stick with that or chose to switch to EXB.

Bottomline, you should be able to choose either title. Only incoming freshman should not have the choice.

I know the wrong name is tough. I studied Pre-Physical Therapy at Montana State (not bad the name said what is was). After two years I transferred to the University of Utah, were I continued my studies in Sports Medicine, Athletic Training, and Sports Psychology. Guess what my degree says? BS from the of Physical Education.
To assist your Dean in seeing error of his ways, deveploe a form letter and send it to as many of the companies/organizations that you would apply to for a job. AS them their take on the situation. You have just done three things: You have gotten you name out in a good way and you have added a marketing research project to your studies and maybe you have changed the Dean’s mind. Best of Luck.

My university pulled the same stunt…I was fed up with them for 483 other reasons, so I left and am finishing up at another college with a Human Performance and Sport degree, sounds much better than the one they were going to use. Either way, probably wont make a big difference but I agree, you should have the choice what your degree says. Oh, and excellent point…that Healthy People 2010 garbage makes me want to strangle myself.

Just as a supplement to OL’s advice: You can ask those companies (or take a separate survey) how much of a salary difference there would be for hiring someone with an EXS versus an EHP. If there is much of a difference, you can then argue that the University is curtailing your future earning power - and hint around that you might have to go to court to recover it. That’ll get the Dean’s attention, and quick.

I think you have a very valid point. In many endeavors here in the U.S., things are done while influenced by PC, PR and KISS or ‘dumbing down’. I too think science better exemplifies what your degree represents.

Well, if that’s a hoop you’ve got to jump through to get that piece of paper, that’s what you’ve got to do. Once you’ve got it you can get rid of your texts & use Tmag & real training/nutrition books to get your info.

Put Exercise and Sports Science on your resume. What they call it does not matter as academia changes these names every 5 years or so. On a job application form, put down their name. If your potential employer actually checks your degree, the name will match. He will be happy and you will be happy. Those with whom you actually interview will have only your resume with the more impressive name.