Recreation: Exercise Studies

Physical fitness is a fast-growing, popular and necessary field in America and around the world. The Recreation: Exercise Studies degree program is designed to prepare students for careers in public or private fitness centers, YMCA’s, hospitals, and other wellness centers. Students will develop a foundation for fitness assessments, exercise program, aerobics, personal training, recreation leadership skills and knowledge required to be an effective and competent fitness leader, to apply for certification from several different national accredited fitness agencies. Students will graduate with a background in the liberal arts and sciences; they will also be prepared for transfer to a Fitness or Recreation related baccalaureate degree program and to work effectively and safely in the field. Students considering this program should note the intensity of coursework and with all exercise programs, a complete physical exam by a licensed health professional is strongly recommended prior to starting this program.

Careers on Career Coach

Recreation: Exercise Studies graduates are employed at a variety of settings including Curves For Women, the YMCA (Cortland), the YWCA (Cortland), Finger Lakes Fitness (Ithaca), Cortland Fitness Center (Cortland), Littlefield’s Personal Training(Ithaca), Anytime Fitness Center (Cortland), , Nautilus Fitness Center (Binghamton), and the YMCA (Johnson City). Local and national opportunities also include Gold’s Gym, and Bally’s Total Fitness.

Explore more careers related to all of the Recreation programs.

Select a career below to connect to Career Coach and find information about that career including median salary and job postings.

Explore more career options: A.S.

Program Chair

faculty-patmercer

Patrick Mercer

Associate Professor, Recreation Leadership/Outdoor Recreation

When I was completing my undergraduate degrees in Recreation, Outdoor Management, and Leisure Commercial Management at Lock Haven University, I stumbled across a sign while rock climbing during spring break at Seneca Rocks in WV. It read, “Here ends the Realm of the Hiker...” As an Outdoor Educator and Associate Professor, I heed the message from this sign as I help people overcome their own challenges to experience something greater or more intense in the field of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

Read more

Transfer Options

The program provides a strong foundation for transfer as a junior to a four-year college.

For specific transfer information, contact the Counseling, Career, and Transfer Services office. Potential graduate transfer options include

  • SUNY College at Brockport
  • SUNY College at Cortland
  • CUNY Brooklyn College
  • Ithaca College
  • Lock Haven University
  • SUNY Morrisville State College

Degree Requirements

A.S.
Minimum Credits for Graduation: 63 credits

Fall Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 16
ENGL100, Academic Writing I, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ENGL 100. A student exempted from ENGL 100 must substitute a 3-credit Liberal Arts Elective. This course should be selected in consultation with the student's advisor.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
FITN215, Aerobic Conditioning, 1 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR110, Introduction to Recreation, 3 cr.
RECR 110 is only offered in the Fall semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
PSYC103, Introduction to Psychology Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
SOCI101, Introduction to Sociology Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
BIOL101, Principles of Biology I Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
BIOL104, General Biology I Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
MATH109, Statistical Literacy, 3 cr.
MATH110, Topics in Mathematics, 3 cr.
MATH120, College Algebra, 4 cr.
MATH122, Technical Mathematics, 3 cr.
MATH138, Precalculus Mathematics, 4 cr.
MATH200, Statistics, 3 cr.
MATH201, Calculus I, 4 cr.
MATH202, Calculus II, 4 cr.
MATH203, Calculus III, 4 cr.
MATH206, Differential Equations, 4 cr.
MATH216, Discrete Mathematics, 4 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives

Spring Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15
BIOL114, Essentials of Nutrition, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
ENGL101, Academic Writing II, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR112, Introduction to Kinesiology, 3 cr.
RECR 112 is only offered in the Spring semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR120, Leadership in Recreation, 3 cr.
RECR 120 is only offered in the Spring semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
BIOL102, Principles of Biology II Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
HLTH205, First Aid and Safety Education Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi

Fall Term 2

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 16
BIOL201, Human Anatomy and Physiology I, 4 cr.
BIOL 201 is only offered in the Fall semester. Students must complete both BIOL 101 and BIOL 102 with C or higher grades, or BIOL 104 with a C or higher grade as a pre-requisite for BIOL 201.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR230, Personal Training & Aerobic Leadership, 3 cr.
RECR 230 is only offered in the Fall semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
ENGL102, Approaches to Literature Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ENVS105, Environmental Ethics Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
For the two SUNY GEN ED Restricted Electives, students need to choose coursework from two of the following categories: 4-American History, 5-Western Civilizations, 6-Other World Civilizations, 8-The Arts, and 9-Foreign Language.
American History
HSTY201, American History to 1877, 3 cr.
HSTY202, American History Since 1877, 3 cr.
HSTY225, African American History, 3 cr.
HSTY233, Women in U.S. History, 3 cr.
HSTY255, Labor History, 3 cr.
WGST233, Women in U.S. History, 3 cr.

Western Civilization
ART101, History and Appreciation of Art I, 3 cr.
HSTY101, Development of the Western Tradition I, 3 cr.
HSTY102, Development of the Western Tradition II, 3 cr.

Other World Civilizations
ANTH202, Cultural Anthropology, 3 cr.
ANTH220, Dev Anthropology in a Globalizing World, 3 cr.
ANTH260, Culture Survey for Study Abroad, 3 cr.
HSTY110, World History to 1500, 3 cr.
HSTY111, World History Since 1500, 3 cr.
HSTY245, Topics in Modern Asia, 3 cr.
HSTY252, Native American History: Colonial Policies, 3 cr.
HSTY260, Topics in Modern Latin America, 3 cr.
HUMN232, Introduction to World Religions, 3 cr.
IED260, Culture Survey for Study Abroad, 3 cr.
POSC245, Topics in Modern Asia, 3 cr.
POSC260, Topics in Modern Latin America, 3 cr.
RECR150, Play Across Cultures, 3 cr.
SOCE150, Play Across Cultures, 3 cr.
SOCI220, Dev Anthropology in a Globalizing World, 3 cr.
SOCI225, Globalization & the Contemporary World, 3 cr.

The Arts
ART101, History and Appreciation of Art I, 3 cr.
ART102, History and Appreciation of Art II, 3 cr.
ART109, Graphic Design, 3 cr.
ART110, Design I, 3 cr.
ART111, Photography I, 3 cr.
ART112, Photography II, 3 cr.
ART114, Design II, 3 cr.
ART115, Painting I, 3 cr.
ART120, Drawing I, 3 cr.
ART122, Drawing II, 3 cr.
ART130, Ceramics, 3 cr.
ART180, Typography, 3 cr.
ART200, Illustration, 3 cr.
ART270, Computer Graphics I, 3 cr.
ART271, Computer Graphics II, 3 cr.
ENGL105, Beginning Acting, 3 cr.
ENGL200, Screenwriting, 3 cr.
ENGL212, Fiction Writing, 3 cr.
ENGL255, Writing the Dramatic Television Series, 3 cr.
ENGL256, Playwriting, 3 cr.
ENGL258, Creative Nonfiction Writing, 3 cr.
ENGL262, Poetry Writing, 3 cr.
MUSI101, Music Appreciation, 3 cr.
RECR215, Recreation and the Expressive Arts, 3 cr.
SOCE258, Creative Nonfiction Writing, 3 cr.

Foreign Language
ARAB101, Arabic I, 3 cr.
ARAB102, Arabic II, 3 cr.
CHIN101, Mandarin Chinese I, 3 cr.
CHIN102, Mandarin Chinese II, 3 cr.
FREN101, French I, 3 cr.
FREN102, French II, 3 cr.
FREN201, Intermediate French I, 3 cr.
FREN202, Intermediate French II, 3 cr.
GERM101, Beginning German I, 3 cr.
GERM102, Beginning German II, 3 cr.
ITAL101, Italian I, 3 cr.
ITAL102, Italian II, 3 cr.
RUSN101, Russian I, 3 cr.
RUSN102, Russian II, 3 cr.
SPAN101, Beginning Spanish I, 4 cr.
SPAN102, Beginning Spanish II, 3 cr.
SPAN201, Intermediate Spanish I, 3 cr.
SPAN202, Intermediate Spanish II, 3 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
For the two SUNY GEN ED Restricted Electives, students need to choose coursework from two of the following categories: 4-American History, 5-Western Civilizations, 6-Other World Civilizations, 8-The Arts, and 9-Foreign Language.
American History
HSTY201, American History to 1877, 3 cr.
HSTY202, American History Since 1877, 3 cr.
HSTY225, African American History, 3 cr.
HSTY233, Women in U.S. History, 3 cr.
HSTY255, Labor History, 3 cr.
WGST233, Women in U.S. History, 3 cr.

Western Civilization
ART101, History and Appreciation of Art I, 3 cr.
HSTY101, Development of the Western Tradition I, 3 cr.
HSTY102, Development of the Western Tradition II, 3 cr.

Other World Civilizations
ANTH202, Cultural Anthropology, 3 cr.
ANTH220, Dev Anthropology in a Globalizing World, 3 cr.
ANTH260, Culture Survey for Study Abroad, 3 cr.
HSTY110, World History to 1500, 3 cr.
HSTY111, World History Since 1500, 3 cr.
HSTY245, Topics in Modern Asia, 3 cr.
HSTY252, Native American History: Colonial Policies, 3 cr.
HSTY260, Topics in Modern Latin America, 3 cr.
HUMN232, Introduction to World Religions, 3 cr.
IED260, Culture Survey for Study Abroad, 3 cr.
POSC245, Topics in Modern Asia, 3 cr.
POSC260, Topics in Modern Latin America, 3 cr.
RECR150, Play Across Cultures, 3 cr.
SOCE150, Play Across Cultures, 3 cr.
SOCI220, Dev Anthropology in a Globalizing World, 3 cr.
SOCI225, Globalization & the Contemporary World, 3 cr.

The Arts
ART101, History and Appreciation of Art I, 3 cr.
ART102, History and Appreciation of Art II, 3 cr.
ART109, Graphic Design, 3 cr.
ART110, Design I, 3 cr.
ART111, Photography I, 3 cr.
ART112, Photography II, 3 cr.
ART114, Design II, 3 cr.
ART115, Painting I, 3 cr.
ART120, Drawing I, 3 cr.
ART122, Drawing II, 3 cr.
ART130, Ceramics, 3 cr.
ART180, Typography, 3 cr.
ART200, Illustration, 3 cr.
ART270, Computer Graphics I, 3 cr.
ART271, Computer Graphics II, 3 cr.
ENGL105, Beginning Acting, 3 cr.
ENGL200, Screenwriting, 3 cr.
ENGL212, Fiction Writing, 3 cr.
ENGL255, Writing the Dramatic Television Series, 3 cr.
ENGL256, Playwriting, 3 cr.
ENGL258, Creative Nonfiction Writing, 3 cr.
ENGL262, Poetry Writing, 3 cr.
MUSI101, Music Appreciation, 3 cr.
RECR215, Recreation and the Expressive Arts, 3 cr.
SOCE258, Creative Nonfiction Writing, 3 cr.

Foreign Language
ARAB101, Arabic I, 3 cr.
ARAB102, Arabic II, 3 cr.
CHIN101, Mandarin Chinese I, 3 cr.
CHIN102, Mandarin Chinese II, 3 cr.
FREN101, French I, 3 cr.
FREN102, French II, 3 cr.
FREN201, Intermediate French I, 3 cr.
FREN202, Intermediate French II, 3 cr.
GERM101, Beginning German I, 3 cr.
GERM102, Beginning German II, 3 cr.
ITAL101, Italian I, 3 cr.
ITAL102, Italian II, 3 cr.
RUSN101, Russian I, 3 cr.
RUSN102, Russian II, 3 cr.
SPAN101, Beginning Spanish I, 4 cr.
SPAN102, Beginning Spanish II, 3 cr.
SPAN201, Intermediate Spanish I, 3 cr.
SPAN202, Intermediate Spanish II, 3 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives

Spring Term 2

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 16
BIOL202, Human Anatomy and Physiology II, 4 cr.
BIOL 202 is only offered in the Spring semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR220, Programming in Recreation and Leisure, 3 cr.
RECR 220 is only offered in the Spring semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR232, Exercise Physiology, 3 cr.
RECR 232 is only offered in the Spring semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR285, Recreation Field Work, 3 cr.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
ENGL201, Fundamentals of Speech Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ENGL204, Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi


SUNY General Education & Tompkins Cortland Liberal Arts courses

Note: The @ symbol represents any course number or discipline. For example, BIOL @ means any course with a Biology course prefix. An @ alone means one course in any course discipline with any course number.