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Practicum and Internship

Practicum and Internship

    Experiential Learning

Experiential learning opportunities are designed to expose students to career possibilities as well as apply academic learning in the real world. Students obtain field-based experiences in selected exercise science related settings such as cardiac rehabilitation facilities, hospital wellness centers, physical therapy clinics, corporate wellness centers, fitness centers, research laboratories, university/professional athletic programs, etc. The experience is designed to permit the student to expand their level of knowledge of the field of exercise science as it applies to the specific setting.


EXS 296 - Practicum in Exercise Science 

(3 credit hours: pre/co-requisite EXS 223)

All Pre-Exercise Science majors will take EXS 296 either immediately before or immediately after acceptance into the Exercise Science program. This is a 3 credit-hour course, which requires you to complete 150 observation hours in field of interest. You need to complete EXS 296 before your junior year.

296 Enrollment Process


EXS 496 - Internship in Exercise Science

(6 credit hours: pre-requisites- EXS 325, EXS 412, min 2.5 GPA)

The term, "Internship," refers to a supervised short-term full-time educational work experience with an approved agency, organization, or institution. An Internship allows a student to develop professionally through a work experience under the guidance of leaders in a field. This is a 6 credit-hour course that requires you to complete 300 contact hours at a site selected after consultation with your advisor. Ideally, this is taken in your last semester of study.


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Before Enrollment
The semester before you enroll

Read the EXS 296 Practicum Handbook or the EXS 496 Internship Handbook. This tells you everything you need to know! 

Western Kentucky University
How to Enroll

You will speak with your advisor to ensure you can enroll in EXS 296 in the upcoming semester. After confirmation, you will enroll in the course as you do all other courses!

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Securing Your Site
Google Form - DUE Friday BEFORE Finals

Before the end of the semester before EXS 296, you MUST obtain a

  1. Certificate of HPSO liability insurance,
  2. Have a current and valid CPR/AED certification and
  3. Practicum site. 



EXS 296-496 Handbook

Pre-Approved Sites

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How Do I Find a Site?
Where to start?

You are in full control of where you do your practicum, so long as it relates to the field of kinesiology! You can view pre-approved sites here. Have a site that is not pre-approved? No problem! Simply communicate with the WKU faculty supervisor (the instructor for the course) and seek approval.

Where do I get the HPSO Insurance?

To obtain this insurance, go to hpso.com and click "Get a Quote" at the top of the page. The click "Student or Recent Graduate." For question #1 enter the appropriate information and identify as a student; for Professional Area of Study "Exercise Physiologist".  Click continue, and on the next page click “Online Application.” (Applying on-line in much quicker than applying through the regular mail.)

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I need help with my CPR certification
We got you covered!

If you need to obtain or renew your CPR/AED certification you can contact Dr. Whitley Stone for more information (whitley.stone@wku.edu).

Sign up here!

Please note that obtaining this certification does not take the place of SFTY 171. 


Once you have registered on TopNet, secured a site, HPSO insurance and CPR/AED certification, it is time to submit the Form application! 


Click the dropdown to select the class you wish to enroll in.

Click the dropdown to select the semester you plan to complete your experience.

Enter your first name (or the name you go by)

Enter your last name

Enter your wku email address

What is the physical location of your site?

You will be required to submit a valid CPR/AED certification, HPSO insurance, and resume to the Blackboard site your instructor sets up for you. 

Once you complete this form, go to your classes Blackboard site and upload your HPSO liability insurance, CPR/AED certification and site information. This portion is due by Finals the semester before you start your experience.



View  Internship and Practicum sites


Frequently Asked Questions

Start planning early! You must communicate with the site's supervisor to get approval to observe at their location before you submit the Google Form. 

Great question! We have a frequently updated list of preapproved sites

Can't find a site on the list? No problem! Identify a site (e.g., in Bowling Green, Louisville, in your home town) and tell your WKU faculty member about it: Name, location, site supervisor, and general duties you will perform. 

You can start collecting hours on the first day of the term you are enrolled in. For the specific date, visit WKU's Academic Calendar to identify the first day of the term.

Want to be listed as a pre-approved internship site? Contact Dr. Mark Schafer (mark.schafer@wku.edu) with:

  • Site supervisor name and credentials
  • Facility name and location
  • How the site relates to the field of kinesiology or exercise science
  • How students would learn at the facility

Before the semester

  • Students will likely approach your designated site supervisor and request to earn their hours at your facility. You are welcome to have a formal interview process if you desire. 
  • If you agree to host a student, be prepared to complete paperwork in a timely fashion (within 3-5 days of presentation) and honor your agreement to the student hours (e.g., 150 or 300 hours). 

During the semester

  • The student should be able to observe a professional supervisor or mentor on site during their hours. It is certainly understandable that the student may work with peers from time to time, but their observation hours should be mostly under the supervision of a professional.
  • Discuss the expectations you have with your student (what should they expect in terms of hours, work expectations, dress code, etc.)
  • Help verify that the student is attending throughout the week according to the schedule you established. If the student is arriving late, on their cell phone without permission, or is acting outside your professional expectations, speak directly with the student and communicate these concerns with the WKU faculty mentor. 
    • You are not responsible for tracking their hours, simply verifying their report each week.
  • You will complete two evaluations: one is completed after half of the hours are complete and the other at the end of the term. Both will be emailed to you to complete on a digital platform. Keep in mind that the student is graded based on the completion of these assessments and their performance reflected on the surveys. 

End of the semester

  • Debrief with the student on their experience at your site. Ensure you complete the final evaluation form.


CPR/AED Certification

  • If you need to obtain or renew your CPR/AED certification you can contact Dr. Whitley Stone for more information. 
  • Please note that obtaining this certification does not take the place of SFTY 171. 

CPR Contact information:
Whitley Stone
Smith Stadium 1021
E-mail: whitley.stone@wku.edu

To see more information and sign up for the next CPR course, visit this Google Sheet.



The WKU Exercise Science Polo shirt should serve as your dress code UNLESS your Agency Supervisor requires another uniform.


  1. Address and Phone number can be located via the web address below. Contact Blue Cotton
  2. You will purchase a Black Polo with the UNDERGRADUATE EXERCISE SCIENCE logo for around $18.00 + tax.
  3. You are representing WKU, the EXS program, and yourself. Your professional conduct and dress should meet the highest of standards.  Comfortable shoes are fine---no flip flops or sandals!




KRS logo


EXS logo


CASHA logo


EIM logo

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 3/26/24