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