Master of Sport & Exercise Science | Cumberland University

Master of Sport and Exercise Science

Masters of Exercise & Sport Science

Cumberland University’s Master’s in Exercise & Sport Science is a 36-hour program, offering thesis and non-thesis options, and can be completed in as little as one year. Average length of time to complete the program is two years.

General Information
Regulations & Requirements
Tuition & Financial Aid
Program History

Mission Statement

Mission Statement: The mission of the Master's in Exercise & Sport Science is to provide students with up to date knowledge, skills, and abilities to pursue careers whereby they demonstrate best-practices, sound ethical decision making, and advocacy skills for helping individuals improve performance and pursue healthy lifestyle behaviors across the lifespan.

Program Requirements

  • The Master’s in Exercise & Sport Science is a 12-course, 36-credit-hour program, and offers a blend of online and on-ground courses. Seven courses are delivered online and five courses are offered on-ground in the evenings during the fall and spring semesters.
  • All students must purchase a single person use for the program SPSS during enrollment in EXSS5990: Quantitative Methods.
  • Most courses in the Master's in Exercise & Sport Science program utilize CANVAS as the online learning platform and therefore students are required to have regular access to a computer throughout the duration of each course.
  • Due to the course sequence students must enroll in courses during at least one summer semester. However, those courses can be completed via distance given they are not offered on-ground.
  • All Master's in Exercise & Sport Science students must complete a capstone experience (EXSS5997, EXSS5998, or EXSS5999) prior to graduation. Students should determine the most appropriate capstone option with his/her advisor at least two semesters prior to graduation.
  • Students must be admitted to a graduate program before being considered for a CU Graduate Assistantship position.
  • All degree-seeking candidates must complete an Intent to Graduate Form at least one full year prior to graduation


Job Opportunities in Sport & Exercise Science

Other Diverse Career Opportunities

More About Exercise & Sport Science

Become an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist

According to the ACSM website, Certified Exercise Physiologists are fitness professionals with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in exercise science qualified to pursue a career in university, corporate, commercial, hospital, and community settings. ACSM-EPs not only conduct complete physical assessments – they also interpret the results in order to prescribe appropriate, personalized exercise programs.

Become a NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) according to the National Strength and Conditioning Assocition (

According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA;, CSCS “are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. Recognizing that their area of expertise is separate and distinct, CSCSs consult with and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.” Bullet points below should read, “CSCS’s are proficient in:

  • Conduct need analysis for the evaluation of human movement and sport performance.
  • Designing, teach and evaluate strength, power, and other conditioning programs.
  • Determine the design, layout, and organization of strength and conditioning facilities.

Regulations & Requirements

 Admissions requirements

  • Completed Admissions Application
  • Non-refundable $50 application fee
  • Official Academic Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university
  • A combined GRE score of 290 (new scale) or better with a 3.7 on the writing assessment or MAT score of 380
  • Immunization Records

Research - 9 hours


EXSS 5980 Research Methods


EXSS 5990 Quantitative Methods


EXSS 5997 Internship


EXSS 5998 Graduate Project


EXSS 5999 Thesis


Pedagogy - 15 hours

PE 5016 Motor Learning & Development


SM 5613 Administration of Physical/Health Education, Intramurals and Athletics


PE 5634 Pedagogy of Physical Education and Sport


EXSS 5678 Psycho-Socio Aspects of Sport & Exercise


SM 5899 Leadership Seminar


Exercise & Sport Science - 12 hours

EXSS 5080 Clinical Exercise Physiology


EXSS 5625 Advanced Exercise Testing & Prescription


EXSS 5650 Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Strength & Power Conditioning


EXSS 5679 Applied Psychology in Human Performance


Tuition & Financial Aid


  • $585 per credit hour.
  • Graduate Program Service Fee $30 per course.
  • Financial aid is available.
  • Employer tuition assistance accepted.

Program History

In Fall 2012, the Master’s of Sport & Exercise Pedagogy (MSEP) program was established as a pathway for students to further their education across Physical Education, Sport & Exercise Science, or Sport Management. Graduate candidates were provided a unique learning experience whereby a pedagogical foundation across the disciplines was established and candidates were also presented with the opportunity to specialize in one of the three concentrations.

As each program has grown the University identified a need to establish stand-alone programs and further affords Master’s candidates the opportunity to specialize and move their careers forward. Thus, in 2017 the Master’s of Sport & Exercise Science (MSES) was launched. Program faculty believe there are three (3) unique strengths of the MSES program.

#1 - Multidisciplinary Curricula: True to the historical roots of the program, candidates engage in a multidisciplinary curriculum that provides training and experience in the following:

  • exercise physiology,
  • exercise programming & testing,
  • sport & exercise psychology,
  • research methods,
  • statistics,
  • motor learning, and
  • sports administration.

#2 – Diversity of Students Enrolled: Applicants from diverse academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply to the MSES program. Applicants with backgrounds in sport and exercise science, along with other disciplines (humanities, sciences, etc.), are welcome to apply given program faculty believe candidates from various academic disciplines provide breadth and depth to the learning experience.

#3 – Program Flexibility: To allow candidates flexibility in applying and entering the program students can apply year-round with start dates every fall, spring and summer. There is further flexibility in programming given students can develop an individualized graduation plan to complete the program in 1 or 2 years; or longer if necessary though 2 years is average for completion. Finally, the MSES program delivers courses through on-ground (evening) and online to balance the learning experience and provides the graduate learner the opportunity to work and gain applied experience while attending class.

As the MSES continues to move forward program faculty regularly align our course curriculum with the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) and National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA)to ensure graduate candidates are receiving up-to-date information and content that aligns with evidence-based practices in the industry.