• Exercise Science, MS
    Program graduates credit their training at MTSU with opening doors
  • Exercise Science, MS
    Opportunities for study can be tailored to individual interests
  • Exercise Science, MS
    Exercise Science students conduct research with state-of-the-art equipment
  • Exercise Science, MS
    Talented professors help students work toward the goal of graduation

Exercise Science M.S.

The master’s program in Exercise Science offers preparation for career opportunities in corporate, community, and private fitness sectors, as well as clinical exercise physiology, strength and conditioning, and doctoral programs. Thesis and non-thesis tracks are available for students. The Exercise Science Lab contains state-of-the-art equipment to facilitate both student and faculty research, including a DEXA, metabolic carts, an EKG system, land and underwater treadmills, leg and arm ergometers, a hydrostatic weighing tank, bioelectrical impedance, a lactate and cholesterol analyzer, and a telemetry EMG system.

Strengthening the Nets

Strengthening the Nets

Jeremy Bettle, who earned his M.S. in Exercise Science and his Ph.D. in Human Performance in 2009 at MTSU, is one of only 30 strength and conditioning specialists in the National Basketball Association. He was named to the Brooklyn Nets staff in 2011 and traveled to the summer 2012 London Olympic Games to work with Nets guard Deron Williams. Dr. Bettle credits his training at MTSU as “one of the key elements in achieving my current position. The exercise science program created a unique and highly productive learning environment, which exposes students to a very broad spectrum of topics within the field as well as allowing students to perform a great deal of independent study. There’s a lot of opportunity to gain practical experience to compliment your academic study.”

Improving the health of Tennesseans

Improving the health of Tennesseans

Russell Cliche (M.S. in Exercise Science, 2002) is state director of the Healthier Tennessee Initiative in schools for the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness. His career has focused on changing environments, policies, and programs to improve health behaviors and outcomes. “Exercise science isn't just about putting someone on a treadmill,” Cliche says. “Sometimes it’s about helping people identify physical activities they truly enjoy, learn proper techniques, and develop strategies to make their chosen activities sustainable. By far, the best part of being in this field is having a positive impact on someone’s life.” His time at MTSU was “life-changing” and convinced him to work in prevention, especially after a cardiac rehabilitation internship at Vanderbilt’s Dayani Center. Cliche was the first director of Hamilton County’s Coordinated School Health and Step ONE (Optimize with Nutrition and Exercise) programs before beginning his current position.

Graduates gain expertise to advance in positions in fitness and wellness, cardiac rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, corporate fitness, and research. The degree also helps prepare candidates to gain certifications through the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association and to enter a doctoral degree program in Exercise Science. Graduates can also continue their education in other health care professions. Potential occupations include, but are not limited to:

  • Bariatric exercise specialist
  • Cardiac rehabilitation specialist
  • Diabetes educator
  • Educator/professor
  • Employee fitness director
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Fitness center/gym owner or manager
  • Health coach
  • Occupational therapist
  • Oncology exercise rehabilitation specialist
  • Personal trainer
  • Physical therapist
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation specialist
  • Researcher
  • Strength and conditioning specialist
  • Wellness coach 

Employers of MTSU Exercise Science M.S. alumni include

  • Acuff & Associates, Inc.
  • Bowling Green University
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Cross-fit Rampage
  • Cumberland University
  • DaVita Renal Dialysis
  • Journeys In Community Living
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • National Federation of the Blind
  • North Carolina State University
  • OnLife Health
  • Orthotics Manufacturing Co., Chicago, Ill.
  • Physiotherapy Associates
  • Southern Tennessee Medical Center
  • Steadman Orthopedic Group
  • Tennessee State Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness
  • Tri-Fit Athletics
  • University of California-Santa Clara
  • University of Tennessee-Martin
  • U.S. Army
  • Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute
  • Vanderbilt Orthopedic Institute Fitness Center
  • Well Fit Medicine and Nutrition
  • Williamson Medical Center/Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • YMCA

Graduate

A Master of Science (M.S.) in Exercise Science is one of three master’s degrees available from MTSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance. Applicants must have

  • a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college;
  • coursework in human anatomy and physiology;
  • an acceptable grade point average (GPA) in all college work taken; and
  • acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

The department also offers an M.S. in Health and Human Performance with concentrations in Health and in Physical Education and an M.S. in Leisure and Sport Management with concentrations in Sport Industry and in Recreation and Leisure Services.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS  tab above.

Other degree programs offered by HHP

A doctoral program leads to the Ph.D. in Human Performance degree, with specializations in Exercise Science, Health, Kinesmetrics, Leisure Studies, or Physical Education.

Undergraduate majors in the department can attain a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Athletic TrainingExercise ScienceHealth Education (concentrations in Community and Public Health or Health Education and Lifetime Wellness); Leisure, Sport, and Tourism Studies; or Physical Education. Both a B.S. and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree are available in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

The department offers undergraduate minors in Athletic Coaching and Officiating, Driver and Traffic Safety Education, Communication Disorders, Health, Health and Physical Education, Health and Human Performance, Recreation, and Somatic Movement Education.

Apply Now!

Exercise Science, M.S.

Don Morgan, Program Director
(615) 898-5549
Don.Morgan@mtsu.edu

The Department of Health and Human Performance offers three Master of Science degrees: one with a major in Exercise Science; one with a major in Health and Human Performance with concentrations in Health and Physical Education; and one with a major in Leisure and Sport Management with concentrations in Sport Industry and in Recreation and Leisure Services.

The department also offers the Ph.D. in Human Performance with specializations in five areas: Exercise Science, Health, Kinesmetrics, Leisure and Sport Management, and Physical Education.

Additionally, the department offers courses in Communication Disorders (CDIS).

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission decisions will be made after reviewing all materials and determining the applicant’s capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study. Admission decisions are based upon consideration of a number of criteria which are believed to indicate a high potential in the graduate program.

Admission to the Master of Science (M.S.) program in Exercise Science requires

  1. an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, including successful completion of a course in human anatomy and physiology;
  2. an acceptable grade point average (GPA) in all college work taken;
  3. completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with acceptable scores. Successful applicants to the M.S. in Exercise Science program typically have scores on the GRE Verbal and Quantitative measures that exceed 150 and 141 respectively (current scale) or 450 (former scale) with a combined score that exceeds 291 (current scale) or 900 (former scale). The Analytical Writing Assessment score is also considered.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application deadline: Applications for Summer/Fall admission must be complete by March 1, and applications for Spring admission must be complete by October 1. Late applicants who meet the admission criteria may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants must

  1. submit application with appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit official scores on the GRE;
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  4. provide three letters of recommendation from persons who can address their academic qualifications and potential for success in graduate study.

Degree Requirements

Candidate must

  1. complete either the thesis or non-thesis curriculum as detailed below in the Curriculum section;
  2. if choosing the thesis option, select a thesis committee composed of two members (at least one of whom must be from the Department of Health and Human Performance) and successfully complete an oral examination relating to the thesis;
  3. if choosing the non-thesis option, successfully complete a written comprehensive examination during the last semester of coursework (may be taken no more than twice).

Curriculum: Exercise Science

 Candidate must complete 30 hours (thesis option) or 36 hours (non-thesis option) in the following course of study:

Thesis Option (30 hours)

Required courses - preferred sequence (21 hours)

  • HHP 6700 - Data Analysis and Organization for Human Performance

    3 credit hours

    Pertinent skills needed to analyze and organize research data through introduction of concepts, principles, techniques, and activities that lead to the appropriate organization and analysis of research data collected for health and human performance.

  • EXSC 6650 - Exercise Physiology

    3 credit hours

    Principles of exercise physiology. Acute responses and chronic adaptations of the body to physical activity, exercise, and sports participation and their impact on homeostasis examined. Physiological systems examined in detail.

  • HHP 6610 - Research Methods in Health and Human Performance

    3 credit hours

    Location of information, methods of research, methods of collecting data, application of the computer in analyzing data, and preparation and presentation of a research paper.

  • EXSC 6830 - Laboratory Techniques in Exercise Science

    3 credit hours

    Laboratory experiences in testing, evaluating, and reporting in exercise science. Measurement theory related to validity and reliability of assessments addressed.

  • EXSC 6840 - Advanced Principles of Exercise Prescription and Assessment

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: EXSC 4240 or equivalent. Provides theoretical and laboratory learning experiences for health risk appraisal, cardiovascular evaluation, and exercise prescription for healthy people and special populations.

  • EXSC 6880 - Internship and Special Projects

    3 to 6 credit hours

    (Same as HLTH 6880/PHED 6880/LSM 6880.) On-site practical experience in an exercise science, health promotion, or sport management program. Those with extensive work experience will develop, implement, and conclude a project (research or applied) in consultation with the major professor.

  • EXSC 6640 - Thesis Research  1 to 6 credit hours  

    EXSC 6640 - Thesis Research

    1 to 6 credit hours

    (Same as HLTH 6640/PHED 6640/LSM 6640.) Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of thesis. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of master's research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Approved electives (9 hours)

Nine hours of electives selected in consultation with advisor. Six hours must have an EXSC prefix.

Non-thesis Option (36 semester hours)

Required courses (24 hours)

  • HHP 6610 - Research Methods in Health and Human Performance

    3 credit hours

    Location of information, methods of research, methods of collecting data, application of the computer in analyzing data, and preparation and presentation of a research paper.

  • HHP 6700 - Data Analysis and Organization for Human Performance

    3 credit hours

    Pertinent skills needed to analyze and organize research data through introduction of concepts, principles, techniques, and activities that lead to the appropriate organization and analysis of research data collected for health and human performance.

  • EXSC 6650 - Exercise Physiology

    3 credit hours

    Principles of exercise physiology. Acute responses and chronic adaptations of the body to physical activity, exercise, and sports participation and their impact on homeostasis examined. Physiological systems examined in detail.

  • EXSC 6830 - Laboratory Techniques in Exercise Science

    3 credit hours

    Laboratory experiences in testing, evaluating, and reporting in exercise science. Measurement theory related to validity and reliability of assessments addressed.

  • EXSC 6840 - Advanced Principles of Exercise Prescription and Assessment

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: EXSC 4240 or equivalent. Provides theoretical and laboratory learning experiences for health risk appraisal, cardiovascular evaluation, and exercise prescription for healthy people and special populations.

  • EXSC 6870 - Cardiovascular Assessment and Rehabilitation

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: EXSC 6650 or equivalent. Overview of the cardiopulmonary system and clinical rehabilitation. Laboratory experiences include cardiopulmonary function assessments, cardiac rhythm interpretation, and standard rehabilitation practices.

  • EXSC 6880 - Internship and Special Projects

    3 to 6 credit hours

    (Same as HLTH 6880/PHED 6880/LSM 6880.) On-site practical experience in an exercise science, health promotion, or sport management program. Those with extensive work experience will develop, implement, and conclude a project (research or applied) in consultation with the major professor.

Approved electives (12 hours)

Twelve hours of electives selected in consultation with advisor. Six hours must have an EXSC prefix.

Program Notes

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to the completion of 21 credit hours;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which candidate intends to graduate.

Dr. Vaughn W. Barry
Assistant Professor
vaughn.barry@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Jennifer L. Caputo
Co-Director of Exercise Science | Professor
jenn.caputo@mtsu.edu

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Mr. Ryan T. Conners
Lecturer
ryan.conners@mtsu.edu

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Dr. John M. Coons
Assistant Professor
john.coons@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Richard S. Farley
Co-Director of Exercise Science | Professor
richard.farley@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Don W. Morgan
Professor
don.morgan@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Sandra L. Stevens
Assistant Professor
sandra.stevens@mtsu.edu

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