Academic Catalog

Exercise and Sport Sciences, Human Performance - M.S.

Exercise and Sport Sciences – Master of Science Degree, concentration in Human Performance

The Master of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences with a concentration in Human Performance provides a multidisciplinary approach to the study of exercise and sport science. Foundational classes in biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor behavior, and sport psychology are integrated with experiences designed to develop students’ ability to work with data and use evidence to make decisions and inform practice. Coursework in strength and conditioning and special populations allow students to enhance their applied knowledge across varied populations such as collegiate athletes and people with disabilities.  The human performance concentration aims to develop a well-rounded exercise and sport scientist with knowledge, skills, and abilities to work in applied fields such as strength and conditioning, exercise prescription, and clinical research, or to pursue advanced study. The human performance concentration can be completed with a thesis or without a thesis. 

Thesis Option. The thesis option is 30 credits which includes a 6-credit thesis—an independent research project under supervision of Exercise and Sport Science faculty.  A thesis allows students to work closely with a faculty member to advance their knowledge in a specialized area. Both theoretical and applied research are encouraged. Completing a thesis is also an important first step towards advanced study in exercise and sport sciences such as in a Ph.D. program. The completed thesis must receive the approval of the thesis committee, the graduate program chair, and the dean of Health Sciences and Human Performance.

Non-Thesis Option.  The non-thesis option is 36 credits which includes a 3-credit capstone experience for which students provide scientific support services to a client / athlete working under the supervision of Exercise and Sport Science faculty. Students conduct a comprehensive needs analysis and create an evidence-based intervention that addresses the holistic needs of their client / athlete. The capstone experience requires an oral defense which serves as the comprehensive exam for the non-thesis option. The non-thesis option is designed to be completed in 16 months and is ideal for students aiming to enhance their applied experiences in exercise and sport sciences services and careers.


The prerequisites for the human performance concentration are a course each in anatomy and physiology, biomechanics or kinesiology with a laboratory experience, exercise physiology with a laboratory experience, a course in psychology, and statistics or tests and measurements.


Human Performance Major Requirements18
Thesis or Non Thesis12 or 18
Total Credits30 or 36

Major Requirements 

Required Courses
ESSG 51200Theoretical Perspectives of Mental Performance in Sport and Exercise3
ESSG 52000Human Movement Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise3
ESSG 54300Tests and Measurement and Analytics in Sport and Exercise3
ESSG 54000Physiological Mechanisms of Exercise3
ESSG 60500The Development of Expertise in Sport and Exercise3
ESSG 61000Research and Statistics in Exercise and Sport Sciences I3
ESSG 64000Seminar 10
Total Credits18

Thesis Option Requirements 

Thesis Option
ESSG 61100Research and Statistics in Exercise and Sport Sciences II3
ESSG 62000Thesis I3
ESSG 62100Thesis II3
ESSG XXXXX Electives3
Total Credits12

 Non-Thesis Option Requirements

Non-Thesis Option
ESSG 53500Special Populations & Exercise3
ESSG 53800Strength and Conditioning: Current Concepts and Applications3
ESSG 61200Leadership in Exercise and Sport3
ESSG 62500Applied Capstone in Exercise and Sport Science3
ESSG XXXXX Electives6
Total Credits18