Kinesiology

The Master of Science in health sciences provides students with research and practical opportunities in various settings in and outside of the classroom. Depending upon their interest, students wanting to pursue a graduate degree in health sciences may select from different options in which to emphasize their learning and direction. Those interested in the physiological dynamics of exercise, including its role in the training and conditioning of active individuals, its benefits in the rehabilitation of disease, and its use for risk reduction and improved quality of life may choose the sport science and performance specialization. Those seeking more of a generalized approach including recreational directed health and wellness or private or corporate fitness settings may select the fitness and wellness specialization. For those professionals interested in a position in a clinical or healthcare setting, they would benefit from the extended core of the healthcare administration program which includes specific coursework in organizational culture, process, and human resource management. All three areas of specialization prepare students with a strong foundation in relevant areas specific to the specialization and effectively integrate theoretical, research, practical knowledge, and experiences to prepare students to be better leaders in the industry. The Master of Science in Health Sciences graduate curriculum is recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as both an applied and research curricula, one of less than five university programs in the United States holding this recognition and the only program in Missouri or any state contiguous to Missouri.

Fitness and Wellness Specialization

The fitness and wellness specialization requires completion of a 12-credit hour core curriculum. Students then choose between a thesis or non-thesis option with elective courses consisting of the remaining credit hours. Both thesis and non-thesis options within each specialization require the completion of a comprehensive examination. A written comprehensive examination is required for the non-thesis option, while a successful oral defense of the thesis is required for the thesis option. Depending on the courses selected, the fitness and wellness specialization can be completed entirely online. A number of different focus options have been outlined in the Fitness and Wellness specialization to help provide a course program that best meets the needs of all students interested in completing this specialization. Like other specializations, coursework can be selected in the Fitness and Wellness specialization to allow for adequate preparation to sit for and pass a number of different health, exercise, fitness, and strength and conditioning professional certifications.

Health Sciences Program Admission

Applications for acceptance into the Fitness and Wellness specialization must include the following documents:

  • Online application.
  • Official transcripts from all attended institutions verifying completion of bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Letter of intent that includes a personal statement discussing your area of interest in our graduate program along with your career goals.
  • Current résumé including all related professional and extracurricular experience, education, and certifications.
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s academic qualifications and abilities to be successful in a graduate program.
  • An interview with departmental faculty (via phone or in person).
  • The prerequisites for admission into the fitness and wellness specialization include a fitness and nutrition course, anatomy & physiology, and an exercise physiology/kinesiology course or other courses with program chair approval.

Healthcare Administration Specialization

The healthcare administration specialization requires completion of a 18-credit hour core curriculum. Students then choose between a thesis or non-thesis option with elective courses consisting of the remaining credit hours. Both thesis and non-thesis options within each specialization require the completion of a comprehensive examination. A written comprehensive examination is required for the non-thesis option, while a successful oral defense of the thesis is required for the thesis option. Depending on the courses selected, the healthcare administration specialization can be completed entirely online. Like other specializations, coursework can be selected in the Healthcare Administration specialization to allow for adequate preparation to sit for and pass a number of different health related professional certifications.

Health Sciences Program Admission

Applications for acceptance into the Healthcare Administration specialization must include the following documents:

  • Online application.
  • Official transcripts from all attended institutions verifying completion of bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Letter of intent that includes a personal statement discussing your area of interest in our graduate program along with your career goals.
  • Current résumé including all related professional and extracurricular experience, education, and certifications.
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s academic qualifications and abilities to be successful in a graduate program.
  • An interview with departmental faculty (via phone or in person).
  • The prerequisites for admission into the healthcare administration specialization include a fitness and nutrition course, anatomy & physiology, and an exercise physiology/kinesiology course or other courses with program chair approval.

Sports Science and Performance Specialization

Sports science and performance specialization requires completion of a 15-credit hour core curriculum. Students then choose between a thesis or non-thesis options and elective courses to complete the remaining credit hours. Both thesis and non-thesis options within each specialization require the completion of a comprehensive examination. A written comprehensive examination is required for the non-thesis option, while a successful oral defense of the thesis is required for the thesis option.

The Master of Science in health sciences is consistent and aligns with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) professional standards. Several instructors and faculty members are certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) and Certified Personal Trainers (NSCA-CPT) who teach in the sport science and performance specialization. Practical experiences offered on campus and throughout the program gives students robust experiences in strength and conditioning, athletic training, fitness assessment, and research as well as preparation for additional graduate coursework beyond the master's degree. Graduates of this program will be exposed to a variety of content that will offer a broad foundation of knowledge that can be applied towards certification exams in areas related to:

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC)

Aerobic Fitness Association of American (AFAA)

  • Various Certifications

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

  • Various Certifications

Additionally, students who express a desire to sit for more advanced certifications offered by the American College of Sports Medicine (e.g., Certified Exercise Physiologist and Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist) can outline a plan of electives to ensure all course content is covered upon completion of the program.

Health Sciences Program Admission

Applications for acceptance into the sports science and performance specialization must include the following documents:

  • Online application.
  • Official transcripts from all attended institutions verifying completion of bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Letter of intent that includes a personal statement discussing your area of interest in our graduate program along with your career goals.
  • Current résumé including all related professional and extracurricular experience, education, and certifications.
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s academic qualifications and abilities to be successful in a graduate program.
  • An interview with departmental faculty (via phone or in person).
  • Current CPR certification including AED certification.
  • The prerequisites for admission into the sport science and performance specialization include Anatomy and Physiology I and II with labs, Exercise Physiology with lab, Nutrition, and Statistics. Strongly suggested courses include Exercise Testing, and Exercise Prescription.