Course Overview

What are the limits to human athletic performance? Can exercise be used to slow the advancement of chronic diseases? These are important questions of great interest to exercise physiologists that we will seek to answer in this course. Exercise physiology is the scientific study of the functioning of the human body during exercise. This course will provide an introduction to the major systems of the human body (example: cardiovascular and respiratory systems), how those systems contribute to exercise performance, and how exercise training may be used to improve those systems to better exercise performance.

Through lectures, laboratory exercises, and homework assignments, students will gain an understanding of basic human physiological functioning and its relation to exercise performance. Throughout the course, students will explore human physiology during exercise, learn about basic exercise testing protocols and how they measure human performance, and practice interpreting and discussing academic literature in the exercise science field. Each class will be divided into two sections: lecture and lab. In lecture, students will learn about the major systems of the human body and its relation to exercise. Students will the, engage in lab, where they will apply concepts learned during lecture to basic exercise testing protocols.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript. 

Learning Objectives

  • Describe basic human physiological function.
  • Explain how the major systems of the human body, such as the cardiovascular, skeletomuscular, and respiratory systems, contribute to exercise and human performance.
  • Compare and contrast different exercise training protocols and how they may affect human physiological functioning.
  • Understand basic exercise testing protocols and how they measure human performance in a laboratory setting.
  • Be able to find, interpret, and discuss academic literature in exercise science and related fields.

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 170

Format: On Campus (at Syracuse University)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail


  • Residential: $4,095
  • Commuter: $3,166

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Campus: Experience what college is really like: take a college-level course, live in a residence hall, have meals with friends in a dining hall, and participate in activities and events on campus.

“My Syracuse University Summer College experience absolutely changed my life. Syracuse became a second home to me.”

– Marissa C., Summer College – On Campus Student, 2022

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesClass Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Campus2-Week Session II: Monday, July 22 – Friday, Aug. 2, 2024MTWThF;
10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Students will break for roughly one hour for lunch.

Course Requirements

Required Supplies

Computer or laptop with internet accessibility is required. Additionally, students should dress appropriately to partake in exercise (i.e., athletic clothes, close-toed shoes).

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

A typical day will run from 10:00 AM through 02:30 PM. Each day will be split into three parts:

  • 1) Lecture: 10 AM to 12 PM,
  • 2) Lunch: 12 PM to 12:30 PM
  • 3) Lab: 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM.

During the lecture portion of the class, students will learn about basic human physiology as it relates to exercise (examples lecture topics include the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and metabolic systems). Students will then go to lunch before returning to the class for the laboratory portion. In the laboratory portion, students will conduct and partake in exercise experiments/tests concerning the lecture of the day and learn how to relate each test back to the physiology learned in lecture.

Faculty Bios

Andrew Heckel

Andrew Heckel is a PhD student in the Exercise Science Department in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics studying cardiovascular physiology. He completed his undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology at Florida State University prior to graduating with his Master’s degree in Exercise Science at Syracuse University. Andrew has been a teaching assistant for EXE 195 – Introduction to Exercise Science since arriving at Syracuse University in Fall 2019. As part of his teaching assistant role, he has taught recitation sections and been involved with the main lecture portion of the class each semester. Andrew’s area of research stems from exploring how lifestyle and behavioral factors affect cardiovascular disease risk, especially in underrepresented populations. His Master’s thesis, completed in 2021, explored cardiovascular disease risk in young adults following COVID-19. Outside of school, Andrew enjoys playing soccer, photography, and hiking around Syracuse and the local area.