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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.

Degree Requirements


Graduates are employed in 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 and learn more about related jobs: 

 Program Chairs




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.

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Patty Tvaroha








Associate Professor, Human Services

Patty Tvaroha is a proud alumnus of Tompkins Cortland’s Human Services program. After graduating from Tompkins Cortland in 1998, Patty transferred to SUNY Cortland to become the first student to complete the two plus two articulation agreement and earn a BS in Human Services.

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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


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