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Master of Science in Exercise Science

College of Education


Program Description

The overall mission of the M.S. in Exercise Science program is to promote fitness and optimal health through teaching, research, and service. The program provides students with the knowledge and skills for advanced study or careers in exercise and health-related fields. Our graduates understand and can explain the integrative roles of anatomy, biomechanics, biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, metabolic biochemistry, motor learning, and biopsychology of behavior, that underlie effective lifestyle programming for improved health, fitness, and performance.


Admission Requirements

NOTE: Applications for this program are accepted for FALL SEMESTER admission only.

  1. Students must fulfill requirements for admission to the Graduate College at Northeastern Illinois University. Application packets can be obtained from the Graduate College.
  2. Submission of scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) from the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) general test.
  3. Satisfactory completion of at least the following or equivalent, undergraduate coursework is required (NEIU equivalent courses are noted parenthetically):

    Fitness and Wellness Concentration (21 credit hours)
    1. general biology (BIOL-102)
    2. general chemistry (CHEM-211)
    3. general psychology (PSYC-200)
    4. human anatomy (PEMT-305)
    5. exercise physiology
    6. fitness concepts (PEMT-205)
    7. health/wellness concepts (HLED-107)
    Human Performance Concentration (21 credit hours)
    1. general biology (BIOL-102)
    2. general chemistry (CHEM-211)
    3. general psychology (PSYC-200)
    4. human anatomy (PEMT-305)
    5. exercise physiology
    6. biomechanics (PEMT-302)
    7. motor learning (PEMA-293)
  4. Two letters of recommendation.
  5. An educational background and/or employment experience in fitness, wellness, human performance, or the exercise sciences is preferred.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

Fitness and Wellness Concentration (FW)

Core Coursework (9 courses = 27 credit hours):
EXSC-401: Exercise Physiology I
EXSC-402: Exercise Physiology II
EXSC-403: Research Methods and Statistical Analyses
EXSC-404: Exercise Testing and Prescription
EXSC-405: Applied Nutrition for Health and Performance
EXSC-411: Behavioral Aspects of Health and Wellness
EXSC-412: Current Topics in Fitness and Wellness

Plus one of the following two courses:
EXSC-413: Program Development/Management in the Fitness Industry
EXSC-414: Program Development/Management in Health Promotion

Plus one of the following two courses:
EXSC-415: Exercise Management Chronic Diseases and Disabilities
EXSC-416: Practices in Cardiac Rehabilitation

Elective Coursework (2-3 courses = 9 credit hours):
EXSC-413: Program Development/Management in the Fitness Industry*
EXSC-414: Program Development/Management in Health Promotion*
EXSC-415: Exercise Management Chronic Diseases and Disabilities*
EXSC-416: Practices in Cardiac Rehabilitation*
EXSC-417: Human Sexuality
EXSC-430: Internship†
EXSC-431: Independent Study/Research
EXSC-432: Thesis Research (6 credit hours)‡
EXSC-433: Performance-Related Injury Management
EXSC-434: Physiology of Aging and Physical Activity
COUN-424: Stress Management or other courses as approved by the EXSC advisor.

*Course is an approved elective only if it was not taken in the student’s core coursework.

†As determined by the EXSC advisor, some students might be required to take this course in their elective coursework (i.e., some students may be required to perform an internship).

‡Course is reserved for THESIS OPTION students only. Thesis option students are required to take this course in their elective coursework. This course is a six credit hour course (i.e., twice the credit hours of the other courses).

Human Performance Concentration (HP)

Core Coursework (9 courses = 27 credit hours):
EXSC-401: Exercise Physiology I
EXSC-402: Exercise Physiology II
EXSC-403: Research Methods and Statistical Analyses
EXSC-404: Exercise Testing and Prescription
EXSC-405: Applied Nutrition for Health & Performance
EXSC-421: Motor Control and Learning
EXSC-422: Biomechanics
EXSC-423: Psychology of Human Performance
EXSC-424: Current Topics in Human Performance

Elective Coursework (2-3 courses = 9 credit hours):
EXSC 413: Program Development and Management in the Fitness Industry
EXSC 414: Program Development and Management in Health Promotion
EXSC 415: Exercise Management in Chronic Diseases and Disabilities
EXSC 416: Practices in Cardiac Rehabilitation
EXSC-425 : Exercise and Environmental Physiology
EXSC-426: Growth, Maturation & Performance
EXSC-430: Internship†
EXSC-431: Independent Study/Research
EXSC-432: Thesis Research (6 credit hours)‡
EXSC-433: Performance-Related Injury Management
EXSC-434: Physiology of Aging and Physical Activity or other courses as approved by the EXSC advisor.

†As determined by the EXSC advisor, some students might be required to take this course in their elective coursework (i.e., some students may be required to perform an internship).

‡Course is reserved for THESIS OPTION students only. Thesis option students are required to take this course in their elective coursework. This course is a six  credit hour course (i.e., twice the credit hours of the other courses).

Culminating Requirements for the Degree

Thesis Option Students
In addition to satisfactorily completing the required concentration-specific coursework, thesis option students will be required to satisfactorily prepare a written presentation of their thesis research, and orally present and defend their thesis research prior to earning the degree.

Non-Thesis Option Students
In addition to satisfactorily completing the required concentration-specific coursework, non-thesis option students are required to satisfactorily complete written comprehensive examinations over critical areas of their coursework prior to earning the degree.