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Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Exploring the science of how physical activity and nutrition impact human health, prevent disease and promote wellness

New in EXNS: Addressing Development Through Sport

Melissa Otterbein, a second-year graduate student in the Physical Activity in Public Health program, spent the summer completing her practicum as a monitoring and evaluation intern with Girls Gotta Run Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls and their communities through running and education.

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What is Exercise and Nutrition Science?

Exercise and nutrition sciences is the scientific study of how lifestyle-related factors like physical activity and nutrition affect the individual as well as the health and function of communities at-large. Our students can develop their skills in a variety of areas from training elite athletes to developing public health policies aimed at nutrition and physical activity to nutrition-related interventions that reduce chronic disease and associated complications from poor diet. We not only train our students in the field of exercise and nutrition sciences, but through our research we develop new projects and programs, and influence public policy to create a lasting change on the health of the world.

Program Offerings

Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

One of only a few schools of public health with a Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences.

Our Bachelor of Science (BS) programs deliver a versatile background in topics such as physiology, psychology, nutrition and exercise science. Our master's degree students learn the more advanced science behind exercise performance, physical activity promotion, and nutrition science, as well as how to design programs that promote health and wellness at the individual, as well as at the population level.

Undergraduate Programs

Graduate Programs



Exercise is Prevention: our research focuses on disease prevention. We believe physical activity has great impact on public health.


Practice Experience

Our extensive partner network enables students to work with top Washington, D.C. health organizations as practice settings.


Careers and Alumni

Earning one of our degrees can lead to a wide range of professional opportunities. Click for a sampling and alumni profiles.



Kim Robien, PhD, RD, CSO, FAND

Associate Professor

Kim Robien discusses her love of travel, why DC is the best place for public health and how food systems have impacts at the community level.

Watch Faculty Spotlight

Our Department's Faculty

Student Resources

Our Lab Facilities


The Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences (EXNS) operates six academic laboratories that also offer fee-based research and public testing services.


Metabolism & Exercise Testing Laboratory
phone: 202-994-5356

Academic Labs

Exercise & Nutrition Sciences Academic Laboratories
phone: 202-994-5356

Academic Labs

Lifestyle & Wellness Class Offerings

Department News

Renowned Expert on Food Access and Diet-Related Health Issues Joins the George Washington University

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 26, 2020) – Michele (Shelly) Ver Ploeg, PhD, MS, has been named the Director of the Food Policy and Health Institute.

LSPA Program Offers Guided Meditation Classes

LSPA is hosting two guided meditation sessions.

New Study Dispels Myths about What Makes Youth Sports Fun for Kids

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 14, 2019) – A new study looks at what makes organized sports fun for kids, and some of the findings might surprise you.