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Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Science

  • Master of Science
  • Ruskin, Florida
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  • Program Overview

    Gannon University has elected to discontinue the Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Science (Ruskin) program. We are not admitting new students into the program at this time. We encourage you to consider an application to our Erie program

    Students in our Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Science program receive advanced training in human performance consisting of knowledge, skills and abilities in biochemistry, nutrition, psychology, physiology, and sport and clinical exercise physiology. Additionally, students have the opportunity to choose either a thesis or a non-thesis option. For the thesis option, students complete 30 credits of coursework and 6 credits of research-based scientific study that will prepare them for mid-level employment in the field and/or entrance into doctoral programs should they choose to continue their education beyond the master level. In the non-thesis option, students complete 30 credits of coursework followed by 6 credits of an academic-year-long internship.  The MSES program will offer internship opportunities in community and corporate wellness, in strength and conditioning, and with local hospitals and rehabilitation facilities to provide students with a variety of clinical, performance, and wellness-related experiences. 



    The Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Science is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES) and CAAHEP’s Board of Directors.
    Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
    25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158
    Clearwater, FL 33763
    727- 210-2350

    Lead the Way

    Students entering the program will gain knowledge and experience needed to improve performance and health in people in all walks of life, including elite athletes, active and sedentary individuals, as well as aging populations and those with chronic conditions. The goal of the Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Science degree is to prepare experts and professionals in sport, physical activity, research, education, and health-related professions.

    Career Options

    Exercise Physiologist

    Unlike fitness or personal trainers, exercise physiologists do not work in gyms or fitness centers. Exercise physiologists work closely with physicians, therapists, and other health professionals to examine cardiovascular, pulmonary, strength and flexibility fitness levels, which are used to prescribe exercise plans to improve functionality and quality of life clinical populations. Many exercise physiologists work in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, or research facilities at universities, corporations, or military bases. Exercise physiologists may also find employment with nonprofit organizations that offer fitness alternatives for general wellness populations and those recovering after an illness. An aging population and a greater interest in fitness as preventative medicine suggests a stable labor market, if not a marked increase in employment opportunities for exercise physiologists in the next ten years.

    Strength and Conditioning Coach

    A strength and conditioning coach uses knowledge of exercise physiology and prescription to improve the performance of athletes. Coaches work with coaches and athletes to improve physical fitness of the athletes through conditioning exercises and help to reduce athletic injuries through strength training programs. Strength and conditioning coaches may work for professional sport teams, at universities and high schools, at fitness and rehabilitation centers, and for privately owned clinics. A Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification is required.

    Rehabilitation Specialist

    A Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Science may also open doors to careers in rehabilitation, specifically cardiac, pulmonary, or cancer rehabilitation. Specialists may work with individuals with heart or lung disease (including coronary artery disease, heart failure, COPD, and asthma) and members of a medical team to create exercise interventions, identify further risk factors, and educate patients on healthy lifestyle changes after his or her cardiac event or pulmonary diagnosis. Specialists working in cancer rehabilitation may help patients and survivors maintain and restore their cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength, and help to reduce fatigue and increase overall functionality. A Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP) or other certification may be required.

    Community and Corporate Wellness Coordinator

    Careers in community or corporate wellness involve creating an experience and engaging individuals in the community or at a company to take charge of his or her own health through educational and health services. Wellness coordinators may be employed at senior centers, local YMCAs, or for a city or county (community wellness) or for large corporations (corporate wellness). A wellness coordinator is in charge of designing, planning, and implementing a variety of programs, including fitness classes, weight management courses, nutrition education, and smoking cessation to improve health or to increase work productivity (for corporations). Group fitness, personal training, or other specialized certifications may be required.

    Research and Development Scientist

    A Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Science can also prepare students to pursue careers in research and development in exercise physiology, human performance, or other related discipline. A research and development scientist is responsible for designing and executing basic and applied research to advance our understanding of exercise as a benefit for athletes, for active aging, as preventative care, and for treatment of clinical populations. Research scientists may also be involved in product development for sport performance or rehabilitation devices. Individuals may be employed at universities, in military settings, in research hospitals, or for major corporations across the country.


    • All faculty teaching in the program possess doctoral degrees and are experts in their respective fields
    • Interprofessional learning opportunities
    • Diverse clinical experiences

    Features of the Program

    • Academic year-long internship for non-thesis students many serving in a clinical or wellness setting or as a strength and conditioning coach.
    • All students will be expected to sit for certification exams offered through nationally recognized organizations at the conclusion of the summer session.
    • In the Fall and Spring semesters, courses will be offered primarily in the late afternoons and evenings to accommodate interested students who are currently completing internships or wish to attain employment while completing their graduate degree.
    • Number of Credits: 36
    • Length of Program: 1-2 years
    • Modality: On-campus and online
    • Plan of Study: Full-time or Part-time


    Upon graduating with a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Sport & Exercise Science from Gannon University, the student will:

    • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the neurophysiology of human performance and clinical populations.
    • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the physiology of human function and performance.
    • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the psychology of human performance.
    • Apply and demonstrate advanced knowledge of the relationship between nutrition and human performance.
    • Utilize and demonstrate advanced knowledge on testing the physical capabilities of the body and prescribing activity to improve those parameters.
    • Demonstrate leadership and expertise in the field of advanced human performance.

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  • Graduate Admissions

    Phone: 813-658-4900
    Toll Free: 1-800-GANNON-U

    Office Location:
    105 Commercial Center Drive
    Ruskin, FL 33573