DEGREE COMPLETION OPTION: THESIS Students choosing the thesis option will complete 30 credits of coursework as well as 6 credits of research-based, faculty supervised, scientific study that will culminate in the preparation and defense of the masters thesis, a requirement for graduation. This option prepares the student not only for mid-level employment in the field but also entrance into doctoral programs should they choose to continue their education beyond the masters level. Students will use the first summer session to review current research in the field and to develop a research question of their own. The fall and spring will consist of development, preparation and defense of the master's thesis. While this is certainly an aggressive time frame, provisions are in place that will allow students to extend their graduate program until the thesis project is completed. DEGREE COMPLETION OPTION: INTERNSHIP In the non-thesis option, students will complete 30 credit hours of coursework as well as 6 credits of an academic-year-long internship, many with one of the University's athletic teams. Under the supervision of both members of the faculty as well as the coaching staff of their respective team, the student intern will serve in the capacity of strength and conditioning coach on their respective teams. Students will assist in the design, implementation, maintenance and assessment of the team's conditioning activities. Note: It is required that students have at least attempted, and preferably successfully completed certification requirements through either the National Strength and Conditioning Association (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) or the American College of Sports Medicine (Health and Fitness Specialist) prior to starting their internship experience. Both of these certification exams are available in a computer-based format that allows for immediate results. Both also require a fee that will be the responsibility of the student upon registration.