No. All graduate programs on campus use the same application, some more flexible than others. Our curriculums are relatively sequential and we like our students to begin in the fall. Additionally, assistantships are only handed out for a year term beginning in the fall. We may enroll graduate transfer students, or those already with graduate credits, in the spring or summer. To be eligible, students must have all undergraduate prerequisites and obtain permission from the Graduate Program Chair.

Acceptance into the program is not dependent on thesis vs. non-thesis. While there are differences in curriculum in the two tracts, you do not have to make that decision right now. Unless you are absolutely sure you want to do a thesis, select the “non-thesis” tract as this will facilitate curriculum planning. It is relatively easy to switch to a thesis tract at a later time.

Yes. It is strongly encouraged for admission and required for assistantship applications. Please send it to the address listed on the Admissions Office webpages if including it as part of your admissions application. If applying for an assistantship, you must send a separate copy of your resume to the ESS Graduate Program as part of the assistantship application. See below for more details on the assistantship application.

The graduate assistantship application is to apply for funding to offset the cost of your graduate studies by working in as a "GA" in one of GA positions. Graduate assistants receive a stipend (taxable salary) for their work and a partial tuition waiver.  to apply, answer "yes" to the question "Do you want to apply for a graduate Assistantship" when you fill out your admissions application.  Complete any required forms, upload your resume and cover letter describing you qualifications and have a 3rd letter of recommendation that specifically addresses you qualifications as an graduate student employee in the graduate assistantship position(s) for which you are applying.

Yes. Some assistantships require very specific job skills, like athletic training (must be NATA certified) and coaching (generally have high level playing experience). For most others, if you have the listed undergraduate coursework, you likely have the required experience and will receive further specific training as needed.

You will have to make it up either before coming to Ithaca College or while here. Some courses already taken may not fall neatly into our prerequisite list but still fulfill requirements. Please contact the graduate chair if you have any concerns in this regard.

It is stated that some prerequisites are encouraged, but not required. This means that your knowledge and level of commitment to the discipline can be reflected in the "encouraged" courses you have taken, helping with admissions and assistantship opportunities.

Possibly. Oftentimes online courses (and schools) do not meet the same standards as courses from traditional programs, most in part due to the lack of hands-on experience able to be gained.

Criteria for admission, and especially assistantships, become far more stringent following the February 15th deadline. Students with strong qualifications still have a chance of being admitted to the program, however paid assistantship positions are less likely to be earned.

Our programs are not designed to be finished in one year.  The non thesis track as required coursework or practical experiences in the 2nd fall.  The thesis track takes 2 years.

The average GPA of Ithaca College graduate students is around 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. The pattern of grades also factors in. Very high grades in major courses with average grades in other courses does not reflect well. We desire that students embrace learning across the board, and are willing to put in effort even in those classes of less interest to them. A poor freshman year is acceptable so long as efforts following reflect the performance expected by graduate admissions. Applicants with GPAs under 3.5 should still consider applying. Students should honestly address blips in their transcripts in their application essay. Remember, we look for other signs of achievement and motivation.

We have no minimum score for the GRE. If you are above the 50th percentile you should consider that your scores are solid. If you are below the 40th percentile your scores are looked at with more scrutiny. Consider taking the GRE a second time if you feel you can improve off of your current score.


Deborah King
Graduate Program Chair
Department of Exercise Science and Athletic Training
Ithaca College
324 Center for Health Sciences
Ithaca, NY 14850