Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in exercise science are required to first earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field and be able to show evidence of experience in the field or completed research projects. CSP’s Master of Science in Exercise Science degree will prepare students for leadership positions within the exercise science industry. The degree is offered fully online, and students are required to complete 33-36 credit hours over the course of seven weeks.
With a focus on the effects of exercise on human health, research projects are major components of the M.S. in Exercise Science degree. The curriculum typically includes the following (or similar) courses:
• Research and statistical methods
• Clinical exercise testing
• Exercise physiology
• Biomechanics in exercise
• Psychology of sport and exercise
• Nutrition and metabolism
• Ethics and policy
During the program, students will learn how to administer safe and effective exercise testing, and based on that testing create exercise prescriptions focused on health, disease prevention or mitigation and chronic disease management for people of all populations and ages. They will learn how to teach preventive and rehabilitative exercises, with a focus on how to determine the factors that affect a person’s physical activity level. Through written work and research methods, they will develop the skills necessary to analyze scientific information and communicate their findings concisely and thoughtfully.
Upon completion of the program, graduates will have gained leadership skills necessary for more senior-level positions within the exercise science industry. They will have advanced knowledge of exercise principles, strength and conditioning concepts, and nutritional effects on the body’s physiological adjustment to exercise. They will have a deep understanding of various research methodologies and will be able to tell which is appropriate for use on a case-by-case basis within their day-to-day jobs.
Students will apply their skills in real-world settings, and will know how to integrate ethical standards in a wide array of populations. Graduates of the Master of Science in Exercise Science degree program can pursue positions in private, public and corporate settings. For those who have interest and perhaps experience in fields such as strength and conditioning, coaching, health and wellness and clinical practice (including rehabilitation), graduates will be well prepared to enter any of the following occupations:
• Athletic trainer
• Exercise physiologist
• Occupational therapist
• Personal trainer
• Physical therapist
• Sports nutritionist
• Wellness director
A popular career path graduates of the M.S. in Exercise Science program commonly choose is that of an athletic trainer. While salaries for this career will vary base on experience, location, size of the company and other factors, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in May 2012, the median annual wage for exercise physiologists and athletic trainers was $42,960. The best opportunities for athletic trainers exist in fitness centers, healthcare facilities, sports complexes and high schools. The BLS also reports that professionals in these occupations should expect to see a 19 percent increase in job growth by 2022, which is a very bright outlook.
Those who are passionate about health and wellness, and who have strong compassion for people in general, will do well to pursue a Master of Science in Exercise Science. Sound decision-making and interpersonal skills coupled with the ability to motivate others will give students in this program an advantage when seeking employment after graduation.