Exercise and Sport Sciences (M.S.)

Ithaca College's graduate program in exercise and sport sciences has a proud heritage that is built on great facilities, small classes, easy faculty access, practical experiences, and flexible curricula. But for graduate students considering advanced study in the field, this is just the beginning.

With three areas of concentration and a number of individualized study options, we’ve created a remarkable and adaptable master’s degree program. For any concentration, if you are inclined toward theory and research, we recommend our thesis plan. If your orientation is more applied, consider our non-thesis plan, which may include an internship. To get a more comprehensive experience, you can complete all the prescribed courses, a thesis, and an applied internship.

Concentration in Exercise Physiology

Exercise physiology is the study of the body's responses and long-term adaptations to exercise. Through specific coursework you will focus on both the theoretical and applied aspects of exercise physiology. Depending on your interests, your study will include muscle and heart function, exercise and performance testing, the enhancement of peak performance and/or functional recovery, and techniques in research -- all while gaining related practical experiences.

This concentration prepares you for obtaining external certification by the American College of Sports Medicine. Once you've completed the requirements for certification, you will be prepared for careers such as

  • registered clinical exercise physiologist
  • strength and conditioning coach
  • personal trainer or wellness coach
  • health/fitness instructor
  • exercise specialist
  • advanced doctoral study
  • college teaching
  • managerial, sales, or technical work within allied health professions

Concentration in Sport Psychology

The focus of the sport psychology concentration ranges from theoretical research to applied practice, with an emphasis on description, explanation, and prediction of factors affecting sport participation and performance. In this context you will study the psychosocial factors that influence sport participation and performance. The curriculum is derived from cognitive, developmental, educational, experimental, and social psychology, as well as from the basic understanding of sport and its varied demands. Topics include

  • sport personality
  • motivation
  • exercise adherence
  • group/team development
  • stress management
  • attention and concentration
  • imagery and visualization
  • psychological skills training
  • leadership development
  • communication skills training

This concentration prepares you for future certification by the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology. Upon completion of your master’s degree with a concentration in sport psychology the following career opportunities can be available to you:

  • college or university coach
  • college or university teaching position with a sport psychology emphasis (depending on the position, further graduate study may be required)
  • performance/sport psychology consultant

Concentration in Human Performance

Our new concentration in human performance is designed for those students who want a custom blend of exercise physiology and sport psychology. After completing a human performance core that includes courses in both those areas, you will then select a number of theory-based and applied courses to focus your studies. The core human performance topics include

  • motivation and exercise adherence
  • team development and communication
  • stress management and psychophysiology
  • imagery, visualization, and psychological skills
  • exercise physiology
  • biomechanics
  • strength and conditioning

This concentration will prepare you to work with clients in a holistic manner.