Ithaca College

Health Promotion and Physical Education

Major Adviser: Deborah Wuest, Chair of Graduate Program and Professor,

The Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education offers graduate programs leading to the master of science degree in physical education and the master of science degree in health education. Students can choose either the thesis or non-thesis option, allowing them to match their program of study to their professional interests and career aspirations.

Both programs are geared toward a professional teaching certificate in education. Students with initial certification in physical education or health education are eligible for admission into the respective program leading to professional certification.

For individuals with a teaching certificate in physical education or health education, the master’s programs require just 30 credit hours of graduate coursework. The entire graduate program can be completed in as little as two semesters and one summer.

The master of science program with thesis serves a two-fold purpose: it can be a step toward advanced study in the field, and it challenges those individuals who wish to contribute to the knowledge base of their field. The thesis is based on the student’s independent research -- both theoretical and applied -- and is guided by a thesis committee. The thesis option requires the student to successfully pass an oral examination in defense of the thesis. To be eligible for that exam, the student must have completed all required courses and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher for all graduate courses completed as part of the program. The completed thesis must receive the approval of both the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education graduate chair and the dean of graduate studies.

The non-thesis option is designed for students whose major objective in graduate study is to enhance their professional background in physical education or health education. Upon completion of all required courses, students must complete a written comprehensive examination covering knowledge within the field and research and statistical methods. To be eligible for that exam, the student must have completed all the required courses and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the graduate program is granted based on the candidate’s cumulative undergraduate grade point average, Graduate Record Examination scores, and recommendations. Preference for admission and assistantship awards is given to applications received by March 1 for the fall semester.

To expedite the admissions and assistantship award process, it is recommended that applicants ask those who write letters of recommendation for them to enclose the recommendation in a sealed, signed envelope and return it to the applicant. When the applicant has received all the required letters of recommendation, the applicant should place the letters in an envelope and submit it to the Office of Graduate Studies at Ithaca College. Applicants may also submit their letters of recommendation as a packet from the career services office of their respective institution.

Applications are reviewed on an individual basis, taking into account such factors as previous academic accomplishments, record of professional experience, and special personal circumstances. Students with questions regarding their eligibility for admission are encouraged to contact the chair of the program, Deborah A. Wuest, at 607-274-3108 or