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Exercise Science Program Overview

Our MS in Applied Exercise Science program is designed to equip students with the specialized knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the field of strength and conditioning. Through a comprehensive curriculum, students will gain a deep understanding of exercise physiology, biomechanics and sports nutrition, empowering them to optimize athletic performance and promote overall health and well-being. Graduates will be prepared to pursue rewarding careers as strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers or sports performance specialists.

exercise science
Delivery Format

In Person

Credit Hours


Time to Complete

1 year


National Recognition

Ashland University’s M.S. in Applied Exercise Science is the only graduate program of its kind in Ohio and one of seven in the nation that have attained the Education Recognition Program status by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. In the fall of 2019, the program was ranked by as first overall in the Private Institution category and second in all categories. More recently, Applied Exercise Science was ranked 21st in the United States by and seventh by Online Masters in the category of online sports medicine programs. has named Ashland University as one of the nation's best schools for online degrees and certificates in the healthcare field going into 2024. Just six percent of regionally accredited colleges and universities earned a ranking position.

Exercise Science students testing reflexes

We’ll Work Around Your Schedule

We understand the needs of working adults, which is why our master’s degree in Exercise Science can be completed online, with only one day of in-person meetings. You can also complete your degree in as few as three semesters (12 months).

exercise science


View the Academic Catalog for complete program requirements.

Course Credit Hours   Course Credit Hours
Core Courses:     Potential Electives:
(3-6 credits depending on capstone option)
NUHS 509: Quantitative Data Analysis 3   AEXS 598: Independent Study (3)
NUHS 510: Ethics & Professional Responsibility 3   AEXS 670: Sport Medicine Principles for Sport Professionals (3)
NUHS 558: Research Foundations & Methods in Health Sciences 3   AEXS 673 Analysis of Sport Instruction (3)
AEXS 671: Scientific Basis of Sport 3   SMG 572: Sport Management (3)
AEXS 675: Scientific Foundation of Nutrition in Sport 3   ED Master’s-level courses (3)
AEXS 677: Physiological Basis for Exercise & Sport 3   Discipline-specific elective (3)
AEXS 678: Fitness Assessment & Exercise Prescription 3   Capstone Experience: (Choose one)  
AEXS 679: Principles of Strength & Conditioning 3   NUHS 747: Internship or
NUHS 778: Practicum
Elective (if non thesis capstone is used) 3   NUHS 781: Thesis (6)
Total       33

Internships and Career Opportunities

Internships can become full-time employment, leading to positions such as:

  • Fitness directors
  • Corporate health and wellness directors
  • Strength and conditioning coaches
Athletic Training student practices working with a patient

Contact Information

Randall F. Gearhart, Ph.D.
Chair, Health Sciences Department; Exercise Science Program Coordinator; Applied Exercise Science Program Coordinator; Professor of Health Sciences
245 Rybolt Sport Sciences Center