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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The crew of Egg Drop Soup poses with director Yang (bottom, center).
SMU student film highlights the Chinese-American experience
Lexi Hodson, Contributor • May 16, 2024

Applied Physiology and Sport Management degree declared official major

With the help of Dr. Lynn Romejko Jacobs and Dr. Peter Gifford, the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness in conjunction with the Annette Caldwell School of Education now offers students the opportunity to graduate with a degree in Applied Physiology and Sport Management.

According to Jacobs, SMU used to offer a physical education major back in the 1930s and 40s, but was cancelled in the mid 90’s.

The goal of the program was to provide students with coaching and teaching experience in preparation for becoming physical education teachers and coaches.

SMU in turn began to offer Wellness classes in place of the absent physical education major.

“Peter started designing a curriculum for people who wanted to go out and teach or go into physical therapy, exercise and allied health fields,” Jacobs said.

Students wishing to declare an APSM major or minor must follow a five-step application process as well as be at least a sophomore. Requirements include attending an information session, completing the introduction class Contemporary Issues in Applied Physiology and Sport Management, complete a timed essay and participate in an interview with staff members of the Wellness department.

As of now, the program has room for roughly 100 students. To accommodate incoming classes, approximately 30 students will be accepted to the program each year. With two major tracks available, 15 students will be given the opportunity to complete each degree.

Students can choose one of two paths to follow within the APSM major. The Applied Physiology and Enterprise track focuses more on the biological part of the sport industry, while the sport management track is geared more towards the business aspect. Despite the differences, students will learn the importance of not only how athletes’ bodies work, but also how businesses market to athletes and fans.

“You need to have some sense of what your real product is, and that’s the athlete working their body,” Jacobs said. “That’s out rationale for the core science classes, like biomechanics.”

Regardless of a student’s major, all participants are required to take a six-class core curriculum made up of exercise physiology, biomechanics, survey of fitness and sport organizations, legal and ethical aspects of fitness and sport, contemporary issues in applied physiology and sport management, and senior research project.

All classes within the major are held in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

Open to all students, the Wellness department stresses the major is not geared just towards student athletes.

For some students, getting involved in the major gives them the opportunity to pursue their goal of opening their own fitness facility, as junior transfer student Jessica Heidari hopes to do.

A personal trainer, athlete and fitness competitor, Heidari, 22, believes the degree will help her pursue a career in the fitness industry.

“My passion and love for sports drew me to this major,” Heidari said. “I hope to take away a new perspective on the industry and what certain aspect I want to pursue more. I want to find what I am good at and what I love at the same time.”

“We wanted sport management with more of a business aspect,” Jacobs said. “We thought to have a combined science and sport management and fitness approach.”

Students wishing to start pursuing the degree can enroll in APSM 2310 for the spring 2010 at either 9 or 11 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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