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Graduate Program  

Masters of Science in Health                      Exercise Science & Chronic Disease  

The Department of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences offers an Exercise Science and Chronic Disease (ESCD) concentration. This concentration culminates in a Master of Science in Health (MSH) degree. 


The Master of Science in Health (MSH) in Exercise Science and Chronic Disease (ESCD) is a life sciences degree that integrates an evidenced-based curriculum in an applied research environment. Students pursuing the MSH in ESCD are required to take nine core exercise science, epidemiology, and biostatistics courses for a total of 30 credit hours. The remaining credits will be will be satisfied with nine credits of elective coursework and either a six credit internship, project, or thesis option. Elective coursework is available in the areas of strength and conditioning, epidemiology, pharmacology, and nutrition. Students must declare a thesis or non-thesis option upon acceptance in to the program. The MSH in ESCD requires the completion of 45 graduate credit hours and should be completed in two years.


The MSH in ESCD curriculum will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work and provide leadership in the areas of health and fitness, preventive medicine, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, diabetes education, strength and conditioning, lifestyle coaching, and clinical research. Thesis option students will begin preparation towards becoming independent investigators by developing the skills necessary to conduct original research. Thesis option students may be exposed to both primary data collection (human subjects) and secondary data analysis (existing data sets). Students planning on pursuing a thesis and terminal degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D.) are strongly encouraged to pursue elective coursework in chronic disease and nutrition epidemiology. Thesis option students will be accepted each fall on a competitive basis and contingent upon graduate assistantship funding. Students are encouraged to sit for the national certifications offered by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). The internship option culminates in a 300-hour experiential internship working under the direct supervision of a graduate degreed professional in the field of Exercise Science, Epidemiology, Public Health, or Medicine.


UNF admits 15-20 students into the program each fall semester. To be considered for admission, students must apply to the program by July 15th (postmark) of the year for which they wish to be admitted


The MSH in ESCD courses are scheduled in late afternoons and early evenings with distance education integral to many of the courses. This framework provides our students the opportunity to gain practical experience while pursuing their graduate degree.




Master of Science in Health, Exercise Science and Chronic Disease concentration may include an internship component, so it is important to determine State Authorization of Distance Education and if you will be able to do an internship in other states, if desired. Please see the   UNF State Authorization Status website for more information and updates. State Authorization of Distance Education is a complex and dynamic environment. Prospective students should check this site often for updates:

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the University of North Florida Exercise Science and Chronic Disease Program:

  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in exercise science and epidemiology.
  2. Understand epidemiological methods and demonstrate the ability to recognize and employ various study designs.
  3. Translate research into practice in developing evidence-based exercise prescriptions for individuals with chronic diseases.
  4. Employ clinical judgment in exercise/fitness, rehabilitation and educational settings.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to appropriately utilize statistics and interpret results.
  6. Engage in best-practice behaviors that are client/patient, subject, field and society focused.
  7. Value integrity and ethics in life and in their profession.