The exercise science graduate program is a 33-credit Master of Science degree designed for professionals who are certified in specialized allied health-related fields, or those with bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology, sports medicine, physical education, healthcare, wellness or athletic training. It provides knowledge and certification in the use of exercise programming for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of diseases.
The program's primary goal is to train exercise science clinicians. Many graduate programs focus primarily on the academic aspects of exercise science; in addition to a focus on academics, Mercyhurst faculty also heavily emphasize the clinical skills necessary for our graduate students to best serve their patients and athletes. The clinical emphasis is well suited for students with bachelor’s degrees in content areas such as exercise science, physical education, wellness or athletic training.
Coursework and fieldwork focus on the theory, foundations, research and practice of evidenced-based assessment and instruction with multiple populations. Due to the clinical focus of our program, the degree is completed during one calendar year and runs during five consecutive terms of classes. Students begin in summer session (in June), complete the traditional academic year with three trimesters (Fall, Winter and Spring), and then complete a second summer term.
To successfully complete the program, students will sit for the highest level certification currently offered by the American College of Sports Medicine in exercise physiology, the Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM- RCEP). Graduates of the program are qualified to work in athletics at many levels, including at the collegiate and professional levels, adult fitness, corporate fitness, multiple hospital settings (including cardiac rehabilitation), wellness, strength and conditioning coaching, and with working special needs populations.
As a result of coursework, field experiences and applied research requirements, students completing the master’s degree in exercise science will be highly qualified to enter/reenter the field of exercise science or to pursue additional higher education. Graduates will possess a strong connection between theory and practice, with multiple opportunities for carrying out applied research prior to their degree completion.
Christine Lo Bue-Estes, Ph.D.
Program Director, Masters of Science in Exercise Science
Our mission is to develop Exercise Scientists as clinicians and practitioners to work as health care providers, educators, and agents of change within their communities. Highly qualified health professionals need expertise in both core knowledge and evidence based medical practices. We provide both foundational and advanced coursework in scientifically based content and the clinical skills of Exercise Science. Students will acquire and expand upon clinical skill sets, work on patient interaction and assessment, and implement exercise testing and protocols to progress patient outcomes. The curriculum focuses on preparation for American College of Sports Medicine's certification exams.
Vision: We aspire to gain prominence within the region as the leading clinically focused Exercise Science graduate program. The American College of Sports Medicine is a world leader in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science and is dedicated to helping people worldwide live longer, healthier lives. They drive innovation and progress across the dimensions of science, practice, education and policy. The ACSM has designated Domains, each including related content and core knowledge that practitioners must attain proficiency in to pass certification exams.
The Exercise Science Department currently maintains two laboratories — more than 1,200 square feet of dedicated departmental space — used during course instruction, as well as for student and faculty research projects.
Our clinical emphasis is well suited for students with bachelor’s degrees who studied exercise science, athletic training and kinesiology; but our program is open to anyone meeting the entrance requirements.
If you want to educate and motivate patients and clients to use exercise to attain health and fitness, this is the discipline and program for you. There are so many ways to use exercise to promote and attain health and fitness that career opportunities are limited only by your drive and imagination.
We not only focus on the theory and academics of exercise science, but we also emphasize the clinical skills necessary for YOU to best serve your patients, clients and athletes.
We give YOU the theory, foundations and research skills to become a successful clinician. You will learn the importance of an evidence-based approach to expand your clinical skills.
Because of our clinical focus, the program is FULL-TIME, comprehensive and completed in approximately 14 months (5 terms). All students begin in Summer Session (June), then complete a single traditional academic year with two semesters and one intersession in January, and then it wraps up with a complete second summer term.
We train you to be an effective critical thinker and problem solver, who helps people make the most of their health and fitness. Our program gives you the knowledge and skills to work with patients and clients ranging from those with chronic diseases such as: diabetes and cardiovascular disease to elite athletes.
We strive to create professionals who want to make a difference in the health and well being of those that they go on to serve — in whatever clinical setting they choose! In spite of all that we know about how exercise positively impacts the lives of people all across the lifespan, we as a nation and globally continue to get heavier and more sickly. Become part of the solution for a healthier future, and enter into the M.S. in Exercise Science here at Mercyhurst University.