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Exercise Science

Student working in a lab.

Members of the graduate faculty are nationally known for their research, teaching, and service within the profession. Faculty devote time to student-centered learning in classrooms, laboratories, and community settings. Facilities include neuromuscular, exercise physiology, biomechanics and sport medicine, motor ability, and sport pedagogy laboratories.

Students learn and apply scientific principles, techniques, and strategies that enhance physical activity and sport performance.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you contact the following:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Ting Liu
Jowers Center (JOW), Room A114

“My time in the exercise science graduate program helped me accomplish more than I ever expected at this point in my life. The faculty supported me entirely while also challenging me to try new things along the way. Without them I would not have found my passion for research. Overall, the graduate program has given me the tools to be successful in my career while exploring different ways to use my knowledge.ˮ

– Morgan Tongish, M.S. ’18

Course Work

Graduate studies in exercise science and physical education will equip students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to address health issues related to physical inactivity and obesity and to enhance human performance using evidence-based principles. Graduates will gain critical thinking, research, and technical skills to understand research-based literature and use innovative approaches to problem-solving and gain the competencies to successfully work with children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. Students can choose from the thesis or non-thesis options in both exercise science and its concentrations.

Degree Concentration Hours Thesis Option Minor Option
M.S. No concentration 36 Non-Thesis No minor
M.S. No concentration 36 Thesis No minor
M.S. Health and Rehabilitation Sciences 36 Non-Thesis No minor
M.S. Health and Rehabilitation Sciences 36 Thesis No minor
M.S. Physical Activity Literacy 36 Non-Thesis No minor
M.S. Strength & Conditioning and Sport Coaching 36 Non-Thesis No minor
M.S. Strength & Conditioning and Sport Coaching 36 Thesis No minor
Jowers Center

Graduates are successful in obtaining employment in clinical, educational, fitness and sport settings. Many graduates sit for advanced professional certifications, and some choose to pursue doctoral studies.

Program Mission

The mission of the Department of Health and Human Performance is to create and disseminate knowledge promoting evidence-based practice in health promotion, public health, exercise science, and recreation professions. The department aims to be a national leader in promoting human performance and health-related quality of life for all.

The mission of the exercise and sports science program is to nurture students into lifelong learners through effective and innovative teaching, research, and service. The program also aims to cultivate graduates into models of healthy behaviors that advance the profession.

Visit program website ›

Program Faculty

The exercise and sports science faculty specialize in several academic disciplines within kinesiology, the scientific study of human movement. Faculty conduct research in state-of-the-art laboratories for neuromuscular and exercise physiology, biomechanics, and sport medicine, as well as in community and school settings. Collectively the faculty examine critical issues related to both the physiological, psychological, and cognitive components and variables that influence participation in physical activity and sports, and they apply behavior therapy for individuals with disabilities.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

Graduates with an M.S. in exercise science or an M.Ed. in physical education will be in demand and able to work in all sectors of the workforce, including federal, state, and local government health agencies, public schools, and universities. Positions include rehabilitation specialists, clinical exercise physiologists, strength, conditioning, and sport coaches, directors of fitness and wellness programs, and physical education teachers.

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority February 1 February 1
Fall - Standard May 15 May 15
Spring November 1 October 1
Summer I January 15 January 15
Summer II No Admission No Admission

*The deadline for Fall 2022 entry has been re-opened until June 15 for all applicants.

Application Deadline
This program has a firm deadline.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 2.75 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • background course work:
    • at least 9 hours of exercise science undergraduate credit hours. Students who do not have these hours may be required to complete leveling courses.

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

GRE Scores

  • GRE not required


  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose (approximately 500 words, typed and double-spaced) addressing the following:
    • professional goals
    • reasons for pursuing education and training in exercise science
    • summary of major strengths and weaknesses with respect to being admitted into the program
    • experiences and/or research interests that may contribute to the program
  • three letters of recommendation (including at least two academic references from current or former professors) regarding professional and academic competence and character

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

  This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.