Health Sciences and Human Performance Department

Exercise Science Master's Degree | Cleveland State University

The M.Ed in exercise science program, with online and evening classes, helps students advance their career in education, rehabilitation and beyond. Learn more!

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Master of Education in Exercise Science

Exercise science and sports science is a dynamic field involving biology, psychology and nutrition, among other areas of study. In CSU’s M.Ed in Exercise Science program, make connections between these disciplines as you explore the human body and its performance through movement and physical activity. How are nutrition, physiology and behavior balanced to help others reach their goals? How can individuals achieve optimum performance in their health and well-being?

At Cleveland State University, we designed our exercise science master’s degree to build hands-on skills and practical knowledge for students to answer questions like these in their career as exercise and health trainers, coaches, educators or researchers. With a keen awareness of the cultural, social and environmental factors that influence physical activity and human performance, our graduates can develop tailored interventions that resonate with diverse populations.

Why Choose CSU's Exercise Science Master's Program?

In our master’s in exercise science program, students experience contextual learning, find support from dedicated instructors and advance their understanding of topics from stress management to food policy to training and conditioning. Our program offers the following benefits:

  • Flexible learning format: All courses in the exercise science master’s program are online or on-campus in the evenings to accommodate students with work or other commitments.
  • Experiential learning: We offer a laboratory-based hands-on approach to learning and applying the principles of exercise science in a real-world setting, better preparing students for advancement in their career.
  • Diverse course offerings: Our graduate degree in exercise science provides a comprehensive curriculum covering a broad range of topics, including sports science, nutrition and more, ensuring students are well-versed in every area.
  • Internships in sports or medicine: The program offers practicum and internship experiences with local sports teams, such as the Cleveland Browns, as well as with local hospitals.
  • Funding opportunities: Graduate assistantships not only provide valuable experience in teaching and working in the field, but they also fund students’ education by covering the cost of tuition.
  • Faculty experts: Cleveland State University connects students with a team of faculty who bring expertise in a range of disciplines, each enlivening classroom discussion and laboratory experiences with their unique perspectives.



The primary focus of study is exercise physiology and its applications in physical activity programs. Core courses in the program deepen students’ understanding of foundational topics, such as research methods in health and human performance and human development.

Specialization and elective courses allow students to pursue study in an area of interest. Classes include:

  • Nutrition and physical activity
  • Exercise testing and prescription
  • Worksite health promotion
  • Physiology of aging
  • Sport nutrition
  • Training and conditioning
  • Biomechanics

Degree Completion Requirements

Students must complete 33 credit hours to finish the program.

HPR 601 - Research Methods in Health & Human Performance
PED 565 - Law & Policy Studies In Sport & Physical Education OR 
HED 588 - Ethics and Health Behavior
PED 572 - Physiology of Aging OR
HPR 606 - Human Development
HED 575 - Nutrition & Physical Activity
PED 570 - Exercise Testing and Prescription
PED 675 - Physiology of Human Performance I
PED 676 - Physiology of Human Performance II
HPR 680 - Practicum OR
HPR 681 - Practicum (register for 4 credits if elective totals three)
HED 570 - Pathophysiology of Disease
HED 574 - Stress Management
HED 577 - Social Issues & Needs in Nutrition
HED 584 - Food Politics and Obesity
HED 585 - Worksite Health Promotion
HED 588 - Ethics and Health Behavior 
PED 572 - Physiology of Aging
PED 593 - Sport Nutrition
PED 593 - Pathophysiology of Obesity
PED 594 - Biomechanics
PED 595 - Training & Conditioning
PED 672 - Lab Techniques in Exercise Science
PED 677 - Prevention & Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Disease
HPR 698
 Project (1-4 credits)
HPR 699
 Thesis (1-4 credits)

Exercise and Sports Science Careers

With an exercise science master’s degree, individuals possess a versatile skill set that opens up a multitude of career opportunities in various domains related to health, fitness and human performance. Students graduate prepared to embark on careers in:

  • Clinical/cardiac rehabilitation
  • Sports performance
  • Health and fitness and/or strength training and conditioning
  • Research
  • Corporate wellness

Expect to see significant job growth in both fitness training and coaching careers over the next decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects fitness training roles to increase by 19 percent and careers in coaching to increase by 20 percent — much faster than the 5 percent national average for all occupations.

Admission Requirements

For admission to Cleveland State’s Master of Education - Exercise Science program, students must submit the following:

  • A completed application to the College of Graduate Studies. Applicants must note an area of specialization on the admission application form.
  • One official transcript from each college and/or university where the student completed their existing degree(s). CSU only accepts official transcripts in a sealed envelope.

Prior to submitting your application, review the minimum GPA and standardized test requirements and waiver procedures

Have questions about applying? Browse the Graduate Student Fact Sheet or contact the Office of Admissions for assistance.

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