• 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

 

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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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.

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 Training; Exercise 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 Communication Disorders.

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

Exercise Science

EXSC 5000 - Strength, Conditioning, and Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: Anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and weight training or permission of instructor. Theories and principles of strength training and conditioning and techniques used to become a certified strength and conditioning specialist or personal trainer.

EXSC 5240 - Principles of Exercise Prescription and Assessment
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: EXSC 4810 and 4830; PHED 4910. Application of knowledge gained to practical situations; develop proficiency in using equipment and skills to evaluate an individual's health risks and fitness.

EXSC 5965 - Aquatic Exercise and Therapeutic Techniques
3 Credit Hours
(Same as ATHT 5965/REC 5965.) Examines the various uses of the aquatic environment to develop, maintain, and improve physical performance with practical development of skills and techniques and aquatic exercise programming. Combines both didactic and laboratory activities in an experiential learning environment.

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.

EXSC 6650 - Physiological Bases of Human Performance
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 6750 - Exercise Physiology for the Child and Adolescent
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 4830 or EXSC 6650. Review, analysis, and synthesis of current knowledge and literature about the exercise responses of children. Emphasis on understanding the influence of physical growth and measurement on the mechanisms which underlie the developing functional capacities of the exercising child and adolescent.

EXSC 6800 - Environmental Exercise Physiology
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 6650. Examines how the human body responds and adapts to diverse forms of environmental stress during exercise. Emphasis on delineating the mechanisms which underlie immediate responses and long-term adaptations that humans make while exercising under various environmental conditions.

EXSC 6810 - Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 6650. Overview of the physiological and biophysical mechanisms underlying cardiac function. Neurochemical properties of the myocardial cell, the physiological basis of cardiac muscle function, and the overall performance of the intact heart during exercise.

EXSC 6830 - Measurement 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 Assess
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 6850 - Physical Activity, Exercise, and Disease
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 6650 or equivalent. In-depth survey and synthesis of the research literature examining historical and recent trends in physical activity participation and the health-related aspects of exercise, physical activity, and physical fitness. Physiological mechanisms underlying the positive effects of physical activity and exercise on risk reduction for disease identified and explored. Behavioral and environmental determinants of physical activity and regular participation in exercise reviewed.

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 6890 - Seminar in Exercise Science
3 Credit Hours
Current issues and research in exercise science and health promotion. Written and oral presentation of a research project required. Can be repeated for maximum 6 hours credit.

EXSC 6910 - Special Problems
1 to 3 Credit Hours
(Same as HLTH 6910/PHED 6910/LSM 6910.) Individual study of current problems or areas of interest. S/U grading.

EXSC 7100 - Mechanical Analysis of Sports Skills
3 Credit Hours
A synthesis of scientific principles as they relate to teaching simple and complex motor patterns.

EXSC 7200 - Applied Human Exercise Physiology
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 6650. Investigation of how the physiological response to exercise is impacted by intensity, duration, type of muscular contraction, limbs involved, and body position.

EXSC 7750 - Exercise Physiology for the Child and Adolescent
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 4830 or EXSC 6650. Review, analysis, and synthesis of current knowledge and literature about the exercise responses of children. Emphasis on understanding the influence of physical growth and measurement on the mechanisms which underlie the developing functional capacities of the exercising child and adolescent.

EXSC 7800 - Environmental Exercise Physiology
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 6650. Examines how the human body responds and adapts to diverse forms of environmental stress during exercise. Emphasis on delineating the mechanisms which underlie immediate responses and long-term adaptations that humans make while exercising under various environmental conditions.

EXSC 7850 - Physical Activity, Exercise, and Disease
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisite: EXSC 6650 or equivalent. In-depth survey and synthesis of the research literature examining historical and recent trends in physical activity participation and the health-related aspects of exercise, physical activity, and physical fitness. Physiological mechanisms underlying the positive effects of physical activity and exercise on risk reduction for disease identified and explored. Behavioral and environmental determinants of physical activity and regular participation in exercise reviewed.

Health and Human Performance

HHP 6100 - Qualitative Writing Workshop in Health and Human Perfor
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: HHP 6620/HHP 7620, SOC 6720, SPSE 7100, or permission of department. Explores the theoretical, ethical, and practical issues involved in transforming qualitative data into a written research report. Student will write representations of data they have already collected.

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 6620 - Foundations of Qualitative Inquiry in Health and Human
3 Credit Hours
Exposes students to the disciplinary and conceptual origins of qualitative inquiry in the social sciences while exploring various methods of data generation and analysis in the field of health and human performance. Students will be exposed to conventional methods of data generation and analysis as well as more recent, unconventional qualitative methods. Provides preparation to consume, critique, and design research projects using some of the tools offered by qualitative inquiry.

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.

HHP 6999 - Comprehensive Examination and Preparation
1 Credit Hours
Open only to students who are not enrolled in any other graduate course and who will take the master's comprehensive examination during the term. The student must contact the graduate advisor during the first two weeks of the term for specifics regarding the details of this comprehensive examination preparatory course. Credit may not be applied to degree requirements.

HHP 7020 - University Leadership in Health and Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Provides administrators and professional students with a broad base of workable leadership principles and guides.

HHP 7030 - Research Seminar in Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Current problems, issues, trends, and research in human performance; selected lectures, reports, and class discussion.

HHP 7060 - Research Practicum in Human Performance
1 to 6 Credit Hours
Research experience under the direct supervision of a graduate faculty member resulting in the submission of a manuscript to a refereed journal or a grant to a funding agency.

HHP 7080 - Professional Preparation in Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Review of the current trends within the academic scope of teaching research and service.

HHP 7100 - Qualitative Writing Workshop in Health and Human Perfor
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: HHP 6620/HHP 7620, SOC 6720, SPSE 7180, or permission of department. Explores the theoretical, ethical, and practical issues involved in transforming qualitative data into a written research report. Students will write representations of data they have already collected.

HHP 7300 - Current Measurement Issues in Health and Human Performa
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: HHP 6610 and HHP 6700 or equivalent. Advanced applications of measurement theories (i.e., item response theory), test construction, statistical techniques, and computer software for measurement research in the area of health and human performance.

HHP 7600 - Teaching Practicum in Human Performance
3-6 Credit Hours
Teaching experience under the direct supervision of graduate faculty member in a 3-credit undergraduate course within the student's area of specialization.

HHP 7620 - Foundations of Qualitative Inquiry in Health and Human
3 Credit Hours
Exposes students to the disciplinary and conceptual origins of qualitative inquiry in the social sciences while exploring various methods of data generation and analysis in the field of health and human performance. Students will be exposed to conventional methods of data generation and analysis as well as more recent, unconventional qualitative methods. Provides preparation to consume, critique, and design research projects using some of the tools offered by qualitative inquiry.

HHP 7640 - Dissertation Research
1 to 6 Credit Hours
Assignment by department or chair of candidate's committee. Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading

HHP 7700 - Advanced Data Analysis and Organization for Human Perfo
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: HHP 6610 and HHP 6700 or equivalent. Skills and understanding necessary to read, conduct, report, and interpret advanced data analytical techniques using data from HHP. Practical and written assignments, presentations, examinations, and projects will furnish doctoral student with tools necessary for data analysis associated with dissertation requirement.

HHP 7710 - Experimental Design in Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: HHP 6610 and HHP 7700 or equivalent. Skills and understanding necessary to evaluate designs used in HHP research literature. Practical and written assignments, evaluation of current research, examinations, and projects; knowledge and skills for planning appropriately the design for future research projects.

HHP 7720 - Advanced Research Methods in Health and Human Performan
3 Credit Hours
Examines the types of research methods, designs, and procedures that are required to conduct scholarly research in health and human performance. Students will read, interpret, and critique scientific research articles that are published in scholarly journals, and improve their skills in conducting and reporting their research in written and oral form.

HHP 7740 - Meta-Analysis
3 Credit Hours
Designed to provide students with the theory and application of meta-analysis for quantitative analysis and review of scientific literature. the conceptual and statistical bases of meta-analysis are reviewed, selected meta-analysis articles are critiqued, and basic skills of meta-analysis are applied. Students will be required to conduct and report a meta-analysis in areas of interest to students.

HHP 7999 - Comprehensive Examination and Preparation
1 Credit Hours
Open only to students who are not enrolled in any other graduate course and who will take the master's comprehensive examination during the term. The student must contact the graduate advisor during the first two weeks of the term for specifics regarding the details of this comprehensive examination preparatory course. Credit may not be applied to degree requirements.