Master of Science – Exercise Science

The Master of Science degree in Exercise Science is a broad based program designed to prepare individuals for careers as exercise specialists in the following areas:

  • Hospital based preventive and rehabilitative programs for cardiac, pulmonary and diabetic patients
  • Sport performance and enhancement programs for athletes of all sports at all levels
  • Weight loss centers/programs
  • General and corporate wellness programs
  • Strength coaching
  • University/industry research laboratories

Also, many graduates continue studies in professional programs in medicine, physical/occupational therapy and physician assistants programs.

At Marshall University, graduate students have the opportunity to be involved in applied and basic research using the most sophisticated equipment available for laboratory investigations in the field of exercise physiology.

Thesis/Non-Thesis Option

Non-Thesis Option: The non-thesis option for the Master of Science in Kinesiology degree in Exercise Physiology is for students who are not interested in pursuing a doctorate. Through classroom learning, laboratory experience, and true hands-on experience in the exceptionally equipped Marshall University Exercise Laboratory, the Non-Thesis Exercise Physiology Program produces exceptional graduates who are well prepared for the professional work environment. This option provides course work and laboratory experience that prepares students for careers in adult fitness, hospital or corporate-based wellness programs, cardiac rehabilitation, strength and conditioning specialists, or professional careers (e.g., medicine, physical therapy, occupation therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, etc.). The capstone experience for the non-thesis option is a one semester internship.  Students are encouraged to select internship experiences that correspond to their career goals.

Thesis Option: The thesis option for the Master of Science in Kinesiology degree in Exercise Physiology is intended to give exceptional knowledge in basic medical and scientific areas while engaging in the scientific process of completing a master’s thesis. It is pursued only by students who have a serious commitment to the science of exercise physiology. Students focus on the study of the human body’s responses and adaptations to exercise stress. Students in the thesis option are mentored through a systematic process of research inquiry beginning prior to the completion of their first year in the graduate program. The student and faculty advisor will match thesis and coursework with the goals of the student to provide an exceptional learning experience.

Admission Requirements

  • An undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all previously completed undergraduate university work;
  • An appropriate undergraduate/graduate background;
  • Successful completion of an undergraduate course in either exercise physiology or human physiology and anatomy;
  • Graduate Record Exam scores or MCAT scores;
  • Three letters of reference.

Program Requirements


  • ESS 578 Exercise Metabolism
  • ESS 601 Advanced Exercise Testing
  • ESS 621 Exercise Physiology 1
  • ESS 623 Advanced Exercise Physiology 2
  • ESS 642 Devising and Implementing Training and Conditioning Programs
  • ESS 683 Cardiovascular Assessment

Research: ESS 670 Research in Kinesiology

Statistics:  EDF 517 Statistical Methods or equivalent

Restricted Electives: Must be approved by advisor

Choose one: (6 hours) Clinical Internship: ESS 660 or (6 hours) Thesis ESS 681


Dr. Robert Powell
Graduate Program Coordinator and Marshall Clinical Exercise Physiology Lab Director
Office: Henderson Center 2011A
Lab: Henderson Center 2011/Clinical Exercise Physiology Lab
Phone Number: 304-696-2513

Marshall University is recognized by the American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise is Medicine (EIM) Gold Campus.