Exercise and Sport Sciences

Jeff Ives, Chair of the Graduate Program in Exercise & Sport Sciences

The School of Health Sciences and Human Performance offers a master of science degree program in exercise and sport sciences with concentrations in exercise physiology, sport psychology, and human performance. Thesis and non-thesis plans within these areas allow students to match their learning experiences to individual academic strengths and career plans. A small student body and knowledgeable, involved faculty enhance program individualization, as does the opportunity to take courses at nearby Cornell University and to pursue independent study.

Program Time Frame

The time it takes to complete the program is dependent on whether the student chooses the thesis or non-thesis plan, whether they opt for an internship, and the student's individual plans. A full complement of required and elective courses offered during the summer enables many non-thesis students complete the M.S. degree in a 12-month period. Other non-thesis students not on an internship generally finish within 1.5 years. Thesis students should plan on two years to complete their coursework and thesis.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the exercise and sport sciences program is granted on the basis of cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA), Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and letters of recommendation. To be considered for admission, applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.

Consideration is given to those applicants whose academic preparation most closely aligns with their intended area of concentration (i.e., exercise physiology, sport psychology, or human performance). Applicants for concentrations in exercise physiology usually have undergraduate degrees in areas such as exercise science, health science, athletic training, nursing, or biology. For the sport psychology concentration, students usually have undergraduate degrees in conceptually related content areas that emphasize psychology or physical education and coaching. For the human performance concentration, students usually have undergraduate degrees that relate to the combined content areas for both exercise physiology and sport psychology. Regardless of area of background, prerequisite courses must be taken.

Applications are reviewed on an individual basis, taking into account such factors as previous academic achievements, successful professional experience, and special personal circumstances. Applicants who have questions regarding their eligibility for admission are encouraged to contact the chair of the program at jives@ithaca.edu or 607-274-1751.

Tuition Expenses

Please visit the graduate admission webpage for information regarding current tuition expenses.

Academic Warning and Dismissal

The graduate program in exercise and sport sciences follows the Ithaca College Graduate policies regarding academic warning and academic dismissal. Students on academic warning are not permitted to enroll in thesis, independent research, or independent reading courses.

Academic Advising

Jeff Ives, chair of the graduate program in exercise and sport sciences, serves as the academic adviser for all students enrolled in the program. Other faculty may serve as advisors for students with special interests. Students writing a thesis select a thesis adviser and a second reader from among the graduate faculty in Exercise and Sport Sciences.

Pass/Fail Option

All graduate courses, other than Thesis II and Seminar, must be taken for a letter grade. There is no pass/fail option for other graduate courses in exercise and sport sciences.

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of assistantships are available for full- and part-time matriculated graduate students. The assistantships include a scholarship, which is applied to the tuition bill in the form of a tuition waiver, and a taxable salary for carrying out assigned duties. The Graduate Program in Exercise and Sport Sciences requires an application for a graduate assistantship separate from the admissions application. See the ESS Graduate webpages for more details.

Students must have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher in order to be considered for assistantships. Assistantships are typically awarded on a two-semester basis and involve 12-15 hours per week of duties and responsibilities arranged and supervised by a faculty member.

Assistantships are offered in the wellness clinic as fitness and research specialists; in the anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, and neuromuscular control laboratories; for some recreational sports; and for coaching varsity athletic teams. Additional assistantships are offered in athletic training and for research supervision. In any given year about 75 percent of the full-time matriculated graduate students in exercise and sport sciences hold assistantships.

ESSG 51200 Psychological Perspectives of Sport

Focuses on personal factors and theoretical perspectives important to the understanding and subsequent improvement of sport performance. Topics include anxiety, arousal, attention, team building, motivation, leadership, communication, and peak performance training. (F,Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 51300 Psychological Applications to Sport Performance

Emphasizes a variety of psychological concepts related to the enhancement of sport performance. The course is conducted as a seminar emphasizing participant interaction. Small group and cooperative learning formats are used in developing performance workshops and a mental training program for application when working with and consulting student-athletes. (S, Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 51400 Counseling Student-Athletes

Introduces the student to the many areas of study within the sport consulting and counseling fields. Concepts of an applied nature focus on skills currently used in counseling student-athletes. The basics for applying appropriate counseling strategies to various student-athlete populations are developed through lecture, role playing, and modeling formats. (F, Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 51500 Effective Team Building

Focuses on an understanding of people and the interpersonal communication and leadership skills necessary for effective and cohesive team development. Stages of group development, barriers to change, and conflict resolution are discussed. (SU)
1 Credit

ESSG 51600 Motivation for Superior Performance

Focuses on an understanding of motivation and its importance to performance. Various motivational approaches are discussed, with emphasis on influencing others toward goal adherence and attainment. (SU)
2 Credits

ESSG 51800 Exercise and Rehabilitation Psychology (NLA)

Focuses on personal factors and theoretical perspectives important to understanding exercise behavior. Topics include the mental health aspects of exercise, the biopsychology of stress and disease, the factors that influence exercise participation and adherence, theories of behavior change, interventions to change physical activity behavior, and the psychological factors related to perceived exertion. Students may not get credit for both ESSG 51800 and EXSS 46500. Graduate students have additional workload and responsibilities. (F, Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 52000 Advanced Biomechanics of Human Movement

An in-depth exploration of the biomechanics of human motion focusing on the concepts and skills needed to perform and interpret biomechanical analyses of a variety of human movements. Topics include anthropometry, kinematics, kinetics, and mechanical work, energy, and power. Selected human movement skills from sport, clinical, and occupational settings will be examined in lecture and during hands on laboratory experiences. Students may not get credit for both ESSG 52000 and EXSS 42000. Graduate students have additional workload and responsibilities. Prerequisites: Undergraduate physics and biomechanics. (S,Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 52100 Advanced Study in Exercise Physiology (NLA)

The physiological mechanisms that regulate the body's responses and adaptations to exercise. Special physiological considerations of gender, development and aging, obesity, pregnancy, and environmental stress (e.g., altitude, pollution, extreme temperature) are emphasized. Popular pharmaceutical and dietary manipulations used to enhance exercise performance are discussed. Experimental research in exercise physiology is introduced, and limited laboratory experiences are scheduled during class time. Students may not get credit for both ESSG 52100 and EXSS 42100. Graduate students have additional workload and responsibilities. Prerequisites: One course in exercise physiology. (S,F,Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 54000 Physiological Mechanisms of Exercise: Cellular Aspects

Focuses on metabolic and muscular aspects of exercise, primarily addressing cellular mechanisms that explain physiological responses and adaptations occurring with exercise. Discussion of related endocrinological issues and performance-enhancing agents augments presentation of basic cellular material. Data collection using key pieces of laboratory equipment is selectively integrated. Prerequisites: Undergraduate exercise physiology course.
3 Credits

ESSG 54200 Physiological Mechanisms of Exercise: Systemic Aspects

Focuses on cardiovascular, pulmonary, thermoregulatory, immunological, and renal aspects of exercise, primarily addressing the physiological responses and adaptations these systems undergo with exercise. Data collection using key pieces of laboratory equipment is integrated into the course. Prerequisites: Undergraduate exercise physiology course. (S, Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 54400 Multidimensional Assessment of Physical Function

Team-taught survey of the physical functions that affect performance, physical abilities, and activities of daily living (ADL) in various populations. Musculoskeletal function, coordination and motor skills behavior, and body composition are examined as they influence performance decrements, physical dysfunction, pain, and the ability to perform ADLs. Also examined are evaluations of physical function and alternative approaches to movement training so as to enable appropriate recommendation or referral. Prerequisites: Undergraduate exercise physiology and biomechanics or kinesiology. (F, Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 54500 Instrumentation of Biomechanics (NLA)

An introduction to the tools and techniques used in biomechanical analyses of human movement. Emphasis is placed on video analysis, including video equipment, videographic principles, qualitative analysis, and 2-D and 3-D quantitative analysis. Hands-on experiences with different types of video equipment and analysis systems are provided. Students complete human movement analysis projects using different video systems. Familiarity with other biomechanics instrumentation such as force plates will be provided based on student interest. Prerequisite: Advanced undergraduate biomechanics, graduate biomechanics, or permission of instructor. (IRR)
3 Credits

ESSG 54600 Cardiopulmonary Assessment for Exercise

Techniques for assessment of cardiovascular and pulmonary disease as well as functional capacity in these conditions. Emphasis is placed on electrocardiography and maximal grades exercise testing. Other diagnostic techniques (e.g., echocardiography, nuclear imaging) are also presented. Discussion of the impact of assessment information and medications on appropriate exercise prescriptions. Material will help in meeting requirements for certification by outside agencies (e.g., ACSM). Credit may not be received for both this course and EXSS 46400. Graduate students have additional workload and responsibilities. (F,Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 54800 Pathophysiology, Limited Capacity, and Exercise

Study of the pathophysiology of disease and disabling states, the assessment of exercise potential, and the special considerations for the prescription of exercise in these cases. Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation and diabetic and special considerations for aging are discussed. Renal disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, brain disorders (e.g., Parkinson's), low back pain, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, and depression are also addressed. Material will help in meeting requirements for certification by outside agencies (e.g., ACSM). Credit may not be received for both this course and EXSS 44800. Graduate students have additional workload and responsibilities. (S, Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 61000 Survey of Statistical Methods

Survey of modern statistical techniques. Descriptive statistics: use of scales, measures of central tendency and dispersion, organization of data, and correlations. Inferential statistics: parametric and nonparametric methods. May include a laboratory component. Required. (S, Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 61100 Research Methods

Introduction to the research process. Consideration and analysis of each type of research (e.g., philosophical-historical, descriptive, and experimental). Development of library and writing skills, use of research tools for data collection and analysis, and interpretation of data. Required. (F, Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 61200 Leadership in Exercise and Sport (NLA)

Examines the importance of developing effective individual, team, and corporate sport leadership. Emphasis is placed on assessing and enhancing leadership qualities, developing strategies for building influential and effective leadership personnel, mentoring (identifying, nurturing, and equipping) leaders, and understanding situational, transformational, charismatic, and servant leadership. Material is presented via small group, seminar, lecture, and student-taught workshop and student-based (cooperative learning) discussion formats. (SU, Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 61400 Professional Practice Issues in Sport Psychology (NLA)

Examines various issues pertinent to professional practice in sport psychology. Topics include clarification of a sport psychology consultant's role, ethical guidelines, supervision, AAASP certification, working with diverse populations and youth athletes, and the use of psychological tests and interventions. Developing a consulting business and marketing as a sport psychology consultant are also covered. Students have the opportunity to develop their own consulting philosophy, a professional portfolio, and a resume/vita. (S,Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 61600 Applied Counseling in Sport Psychology

Provides students the opportunity to develop their own personal counseling style. Students learn to combine various mental training and counseling techniques. Students are given the opportunity to practice through various role plays and class discussions of case studies. Several methods of counseling and consulting are introduced that can be used with athletes. Prerequisite: ESSG 51300. (S, Y)
3 Credits

ESSG 62000 Thesis I

Open only to qualified and preapproved students who are preparing a proposal for an original scholarly thesis. Conducted on a conference basis with the thesis adviser, the course culminates in a thesis proposal. The thesis proposal must gain approval of the thesis adviser, thesis committee, and the graduate chair. Guidelines are available from the office of the graduate chair. The completed thesis must gain departmental and graduate office approval. Required for thesis plan.
3 Credits

ESSG 62100 Thesis II

Open only to qualified and preapproved students who are continuing to work on a scholarly thesis. Conducted on a conference basis with the thesis adviser. Guidelines are available from the office of the graduate chair. The completed thesis must gain approval of the thesis adviser, graduate chair, and the graduate dean. Pass/fail only. Required for thesis plan. Prerequisites: ESSG 62000 and approval of thesis adviser and graduate chair. This includes repeated for a required total of of ESSG 62100.
1-3 Credits

ESSG 63000 Independent Research

Student works in close cooperation with a graduate faculty member in a self-directed study, problem solving, or research investigation. Topic, proposal, and a design statement must be approved in advance by the sponsoring professor and graduate chair. This includes per course that may be repeated for a total of no more than of independent study courses (ESSG 63000 and ESSG 63100). (W,SU)
1-3 Credits

ESSG 63100 Independent Reading

Reading in the field, arranged between the student and a sponsoring graduate faculty member. Topic, proposal, and a design statement must be approved in advance by the sponsoring professor and graduate chair. This includes per course that may be repeated for a total of no more than of independent study courses (ESSG 63000 and ESSG 63100). (W,SU)
1-3 Credits

ESSG 63200-63201 Group Research (NLA)

Group participation in a research project. Small groups of students, under the direction of a faculty adviser, engage in the research process, from literature review, proposal development, submission of human subjects' review documents, data collection, data analysis, and presentation of the data. (IRR)
1-3 Credits

ESSG 64000 Seminar

In-depth seminar on particular topics associated with academic concentrations offered in exercise and sport sciences. Students explore and critically examine current readings, philosophies, theories, and/or practices associated with a given topic and discuss potential applications of these concepts to actual or simulated situations. Students may present research findings, thesis proposals, or thesis defenses. Students must pass two semesters of seminar. Pass/fail only. (F, S)
0 Credit

ESSG 64500 Psychophysiology of Exercise and Sport (NLA)

Examines the interaction between psychological states and physiological function, particularly within the realm of exercise and sport. Specific topics include neurohormonal and physiological correlates of disordered eating behaviors, body image, perceived exertion, aggression, stress responses, overtraining, and other behaviors. The way exercise works as a mind-body medicine modality, including mental health and maintenance of cognitive function, is examined. Cognitive states, including arousal and intentionality, are examined as they influence physiological adaptations made during training. (W)
3 Credits

ESSG 64800 Strength and Conditioning: Theories, Mechanisms, and Applications (NLA)

Evidence-based presentation and discussion of methods practiced for improvement of strength and conditioning. Enhancement of athletic performance through new or accepted strength and conditioning techniques will be emphasized, though rehabilitative issues may also be addressed. Prerequisite: One course in exercise physiology. (Sum)
3 Credits

ESSG 66000 Internship

Supervised work experience in an agency related to the student's concentration in the master's degree program. Approval and support of a graduate faculty sponsor and the graduate chair are required, and prerequisite coursework may be needed. for a total of May be repeated for a total of no more than (F, S, SU)
1-3 Credits

ESSG 69900 Selected Seminars

Advanced courses on particular topics associated with academic concentrations offered in the exercise and sport sciences programs. Courses are offered at irregular intervals on topics chosen by faculty members or resulting from student requests. Course may be repeated for credit for selected topics on different subjects. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. (IRR)
1-3 Credits

ESSG 74200 Advanced Techniques of Athletic Training

Consideration of the prevention, management, and rehabilitation of sports injuries. Essential concepts include anatomical basis of common injuries, injury assessment, and principles of therapeutic exercise for areas often injured. Laboratory time is included. Prerequisite: EXSS 24700 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. (SU)
3 Credits