Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Jody Langdon


In this mixed method research study, motivational factors that undergraduate students have for going into different allied health programs after obtaining a degree from Georgia Southern University were examined. The main focus is on occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant master’s and doctoral programs. One-hundred eleven undergraduate students in exercise science completed the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) in addition to answering five open-ended questions to gain a deeper understanding of the factors leading exercise science students into the career of their choice. The findings indicated that the desire to know the required material and experience self fulfillment of succeeding in the profession were the participants’ biggest motivators. Although intrinsic motivation is greatly emphasized in the findings, external motivation such as financial stability and not wanting to disappoint family members are indicators of motivation as well. This research study can further be utilized to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of academic learning in undergraduate students.