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Master of Science in Health: Exercise Science and Chronic Disease

Graduate Program Director & Advising Coordinator

Dr. James Churilla

(904) 620-1735


Application Information
UNF admits 15-20 students into the MSH in ESCD program each fall semester. To be considered for admission, students must apply to the program by July 15 (postmark) of theyear for which they wish to be admitted. Prior to enrolling in MSH courses, students must have the following credentials.
Application Deadlines

Fall Term . . . . . . . . July 15

Applications are accepted for fall term only. The review process for admissions each fall term will begin June 1st. 

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications and required documents before the July 15th  deadline to ensure full consideration for admittance pending application review by the Program Director.   


Admission Requirements

University requirements:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or its equivalent from a foreign institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work attempted in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study.

Additional program requirements:

  • Official transcripts from all attended institutions

  • The GRE taken within the past five years:
    • If a GPA from the last two years of undergraduate study (60 semester hours) is above a 3.0, a minimum combined score of 290 on the new GRE (146 or higher on the verbal and 144 or higher on the quantitative) or a minimum combined score of 900 on the previous GRE (400 or higher on the verbal and 500 or higher on the quantitative is required)
    • If a GPA from the last two years of undergraduate study (60 semester hours) is under a 3.0, a minimum score of a 295 on the new GRE (148 or higher on the verbal and 147 or higher on the quantitative) or a minimum combined score of 990 on the previous GRE (420 or higher on the verbal and 570 or higher on the quantitative) is required

  • Interview with the MSH Program Director. Telephone or Skype interviews are options for applicants who are not able to come to UNF. However, visiting the campus for an in-person interview is encouraged

Students applying for the MSH must complete the following 15 hours of prerequisite coursework.


Prerequisites  (15 credit hours)
BSC 2085C

Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab


BSC 2086C

Anatomy AND Physiology II with Lab


CHM 2045/2045L      General Chemistry I with Lab


STA 2014

Elementary Statistics 


HSC 4612

Exercise Physiology (recommended)


Contact Brooks College of Health advising office at (904) 620-2812 regarding the post-baccalaureate application process. Applicants who completed the prerequisites under different course numbers must contact the Program Director to get the courses approved.


Application and required documentation for the MSH admission are to be submitted to the Graduate School at the University of North Florida. Questions about the admission process can be directed to the Graduate School at the University of North Florida at 904-620-5340 or via e-mail.

    Students should be aware that admission into any graduate program is granted on a competitive basis. Students meeting minimum requirements may be denied admission based on such factors as program capacity or academic discretion. Likewise, students may be considered for admission as an exception if stated admissions criteria are not met.


    For more information on how to apply click here.

    Additional requirements for International applicants can be found here.


    Program Overview

    The Master of Science in Health (MSH) in Exercise Science and Chronic Disease (ESCD) 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 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 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). 

    Special Notes about the Program
    The MSH program does not require a specific undergraduate major. Applicants who apply while still enrolled in an undergraduate degree program may be admitted contingent upon successful completion of the bachelor's degree prior to enrolling in graduate courses.


    Curriculum and Requirements
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