Exercise and Sport Sciences – Master of Science Degree with Thesis

Exercise and Sport Sciences – Master of Science Degree with Thesis (30 credits)

The master of science program with thesis serves a twofold purpose. First, it can be viewed as the initial step toward advanced study. Second, the program challenges those individuals who desire to advance their knowledge in exercise physiology, sport psychology, or human performance. Both theoretical and applied research are encouraged. The thesis is based on the student’s independent research, but the work is guided, from selection of a topic through final revision, by a thesis committee. The completed thesis must receive the approval of the thesis committee, the graduate program chair, and the dean of Health Sciences and Human Performance.

Graduation Requirements

For the sport psychology concentration, students need 31 credits of coursework and 6 credits of thesis to complete this program.

For the human performance and exercise physiology concentrations, the student must complete 24 credits, and 6 credits of thesis to complete the program.

All students must complete an oral defense of the thesis. The thesis must be completed within the area of concentration.

Oral Examination

In order to be eligible for the oral defense of the thesis, the student must have completed the required courses and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher for all graduate courses completed as part of the program. This includes graduate courses taken at Ithaca College, exchange courses at Cornell University, and approved transfer courses taken at other institutions.

Thesis Plan Credits

Required Courses 2
ESSG 61000Survey of Statistical Methods3
ESSG 61100Research Methods3
ESSG 61200Leadership in Exercise and Sport3
ESSG 62000Thesis I3
ESSG 62100Thesis II1-3
ESSG 64000Seminar 10
Area of concentration: 12-15
Selected Electives3-6
Other Electives0-9
Total Credits30

(The total may include up to 6 credits approved for transfer from other schools.)

Exercise and Sports Sciences Areas of Concentration

One of the distinctive characteristics of Ithaca College’s plan of study is the opportunity to pursue an area of concentration, an experience usually reserved for doctoral study at many institutions. For the master’s degree with thesis, the student must complete 9-15 credits of courses approved by the adviser in one area of concentration -- exercise physiology, sport psychology, or human performance. (For the master’s degree without thesis, 18 credits of courses in one area of concentration are necessary.) The concentration approach to graduate study is designed to provide depth to the program and also to provide more focused educational experiences for specific future employment opportunities. Included in each of the concentrations is the possibility of independent study and internship to increase relevant and practical learning opportunities.

Exercise Physiology Concentration

Exercise physiology is the study of physiological responses and adaptations consequent to exercise. Through specific coursework, this concentration focuses on both the theoretical and applied/clinical aspects of exercise physiology. Students who want to emphasize theoretical learning are advised to pursue the thesis option, while those with a clinical orientation should consider the non-thesis option with an internship. If desired, a student can have a more comprehensive experience by completing all prescribed coursework, the thesis, and an internship.

An objective of the exercise physiology concentration is to assist in preparation for registration as a clinical exercise physiologist and for external certification as a health/fitness instructor or exercise specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Students are actively encouraged to seek additional credentials according to their interests.

Prerequisites for applicants to the exercise physiology concentration include completion of undergraduate coursework in anatomy and physiology, biomechanics or kinesiology, statistics or tests and measurements, and exercise physiology.

Thesis plan students must complete 12 credits and their thesis (6 credits) in this area of concentration. Students in the non-thesis plan must complete 18 credits in this area of concentration. All exercise physiology students are eligible for related internships. An internship is strongly encouraged for those following the non-thesis plan. Exercise physiology students may study special topics through ESSG 62000, ESSG 63000, and ESSG 63100.

Exercise Physiology Concentration Courses

Required
ESSG 54000Physiological Mechanisms of Exercise: Cellular Aspects3
ESSG 54200Physiological Mechanisms of Exercise: Systemic Aspects3
ESSG 54400Multidimensional Assessment of Physical Function3
ESSG 54600Cardiopulmonary Assessment for Exercise3
Selected Electives3
Pathophysiology, Limited Capacity, and Exercise 1
Strength and Conditioning: Theories, Mechanisms, and Applications 1
Exercise and Rehabilitation Psychology
Advanced Biomechanics of Human Movement
Advanced Study in Exercise Physiology
Psychophysiology of Exercise and Sport
Internship
Advanced Techniques of Athletic Training
Total Credits15

Sport Psychology Concentration

The primary focus of this concentration is on the psychological factors that influence sport participation and performance. Topics are derived from clinical, developmental, educational, experimental, cognitive, perceptual, and social psychology, and also from the basic understanding of sport and its varied task demands. Emphasis is on application, description, explanation, and prediction of sport participation and performance. Applicants for the sport psychology concentration must have at least three prerequisite courses in conceptually relevant (e.g., psychology, sport psychology, counseling, sport sociology) content areas. A statistics or tests and measurements class is also a prerequisite. Sport psychology applicants must also demonstrate some familiarity with sport, such as high level playing experience, occupational experiences, or undergraduate coursework.

Thesis plan students must complete 12 credits and their thesis (6 credits) in this area of concentration. Students in the non-thesis plan must complete 18 credits in this area of concentration. Sport psychology students may study special topics through ESSG 62000, ESSG 63000, and ESSG 63100.

Sport Psychology Concentration Courses

Required
ESSG 51200Psychological Perspectives of Sport3
ESSG 51300Psychological Applications to Sport Performance3
ESSG 51400Counseling Student-Athletes3
Selected Electives6
Motivation for Superior Performance
Effective Team Building
Exercise and Rehabilitation Psychology 1
Evidence Based Sport and Exercise Psychology
Ethics & Professional Practice Issues in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Applied Counseling in Sport Psychology
Sport and Exercise Psychology Practicum II 2
Total Credits15

Human Performance Concentration

The human performance concentration is designed for those students who want to study a custom blend of exercise physiology and sport psychology. Students must complete the human performance core that includes courses in exercise physiology and sport psychology, and then select a number of theory-based and applied courses to focus their studies. Core human performance topics include motivation and exercise adherence, team development and communication, stress and anxiety management, psychophysiology of exercise, psychological skills training, exercise physiology, biomechanics, and strength and conditioning.

This concentration is designed specifically for those wanting to work with clients in a holistic manner or do research in the area of psychophysiology. Prerequisites for applicants to the human performance concentration include completion of coursework in anatomy and physiology, biomechanics or kinesiology, exercise physiology, content relevant areas in psychology, and statistics or tests and measurements.

Thesis plan students must complete 12 credits and their thesis (6 credits) in this area of concentration. Students in the non-thesis plan must complete 18 credits in this area of concentration. All human performance students are eligible for related internships. An internship is strongly encouraged for those following the non-thesis plan. Human performance students may study special topics through ESSG 62000, ESSG 63000, and ESSG 63100.

Human Performance Concentration Courses

Required
ESSG 51400Counseling Student-Athletes3
ESSG 52000Advanced Biomechanics of Human Movement 13
ESSG 52100Advanced Study in Exercise Physiology 13
ESSG 64800Strength and Conditioning: Theories, Mechanisms, and Applications 13
Selected Electives3
Effective Team Building
Motivation for Superior Performance
Exercise and Rehabilitation Psychology
Multidimensional Assessment of Physical Function
Cardiopulmonary Assessment for Exercise
Pathophysiology, Limited Capacity, and Exercise
Ethics & Professional Practice Issues in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Psychophysiology of Exercise and Sport
Internship
Advanced Techniques of Athletic Training
Total Credits15