Exercise Science Program

Graduate Programs

The School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences offers two graduate degrees: Master of Science in Exercise Science (MSES) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Exercise Science. Both degrees involve a combination of coursework, clinical experience and original research intended to prepare students for a wide range of careers related to exercise science.

Students interested in the graduate program must contact the faculty member with whom they intend to pursue their degree before applying to the program. For information on the research interests of the faculty members, please refer to Faculty or Research Laboratories.  

Master of Science in Exercise Science
The MSES degree is designed to provide students with a specialization in one of two areas: Athletic Training or Exercise Physiology. Both programs require a total minimum number of 36 credit hours (9 credit hours/semester) of coursework and/or research. Full-time students are typically able to complete these programs in two years.

Admission procedures

Admission into the graduate program is based on the student’s previous academic training, academic record, letters of recommendation, intended area of study and available positions within the graduate program. 

A complete application includes:

  • Application form: All applicants must submit the application for Graduate Admission through the Graduate School. It is particularly important that the applicant clearly indicates their purpose in applying to the Exercise Science program. Their statement should include a description of the area of research that they are interested in pursuing as well as a statement of their long-term academic and professional goals. All students must contact the member of the faculty in their intended research area before submitting their application.   

  • Letters of recommendation: Three letters of recommendation must be submitted by individuals who are qualified to assess the applicant’s potential for graduate studies. At least one of these letters should be from a former professor familiar with the applicant’s work. All letters should be from individuals who are experienced in exercise science or related areas. 

  • Academic record: Applicants to the MSES degree must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 over the final 2 years (approximately 60 credit hours) of their undergraduate program. Applicants to the PhD degree must have a minimum GPA of 3.25 during the completion of their master’s degree.  All applicants to the PhD degree must have completed a master’s degree in a field related to their intended area of study.  Applicants must provide official transcripts from their undergraduate and graduate degrees (if applicable).

Both MSES and PhD degrees are selective admission programs.  Only a limited number of students are accepted each year. Meeting all requirements does not guarantee admission into the program. Applicants must contact a faculty member in their area of interest before applying to the program. 

Admission deadline: Applicants who wish to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship should submit their application by March 1st. Applicants are still considered for admission beyond that date, but opportunities for assistantships are significantly reduced. 

Graduate Assistantships: The School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences offers different type of Graduate Assistantships: teaching assistantships (TAs), research assistantships (RAs) and external clinical/practitioner assistantships. TAs are funded by the Graduate School and involve teaching and assisting faculty. The external assistantships are funded by external agencies and organizations. The majority of these external assistantships is specifically for MSES students in Athletic Training and involves an assignment to a clinic or school where the student serves as an athletic trainer. RAs are funded by research grants and are awarded by the Graduate Faculty member who is the principal investigator in the grant. All assistantships are awarded for two academic semesters per year and represent a workload of approximately 20 hours/week. In return, the student is provided with a stipend (salary) and a full tuition waiver. Assistantships are generally awarded to MSES students for two years and PhD students for four years. Decisions on the awarding of assistantships by the department’s admission committee are made in mid-March.           

Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards
Information about Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for prospective and current students can be found at:


Last Updated: 3/9/23