Master of Sport & Exercise Science | Cumberland University

Master of Exercise & Sport 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 Clinical Exercise Specialist

Students can become a clinical professional with ACSM Exercise Specialist Certification, pursuing a career helping clients with (or at high risk for) cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic diseases. An ACSM Exercise Specialist is a health care professional with a bachelor’s degree who typically works in cardiovascular/pulmonary rehabilitation programs, physicians’ offices, or medical fitness centers. The ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist may also provide exercise-related consulting for research, public health, and other clinical and non-clinical services and programs.

Become an National Certified  Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCS) or NSCA - Personal Trainer (NSCA - CPT) according to the National Strength and Conditioning Assocition (

Students who become NSCS or NSCA - CPT pursue careers in various Exercise and Fitness Centers and as Strength and Conditioning Coaches from the high school to professional setting. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) 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. Personal trainers are health/fitness professionals who, using an individualized approach, assess, motivate, educate and train clients regarding their health and fitness needs. They design safe and effective exercise programs, provide the guidance to help clients achieve their personal health/fitness goals and respond appropriately in emergency situations. Recognizing their own area of expertise, personal trainers refer clients to other health care professionals when appropriate.

The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) and NSCA - Personal Trainer (NSCA - CPT) are proficient in:

  • designing strength, conditioning, and exercise programs
  • work with athletes in a team setting or work with both active, sendentary or special population clients in one-on-one situations

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


  • $550 per credit hour.
  • Graduate Program Service Fee $30 per course.
  • Financial aid is available.
  • Employer tuition assistance accepted.