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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.

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.

Program of Study

Major: Health Science

Degree: Master of Science in Health

Concentration: Exercise Science & Chronic Disease

The requirements listed below are prerequisites for the Master of Science in Health (MSH) - Health Science major with Exercise Science and Chronic Disease (ESCD). The course numbers listed below are ones offered at the University of North Florida. Any substitutions to these requirements are made at the time of evaluation for admission into the MSH.

  • BSC2085C - Human Anatomy & Physiology I with lab
  • BSC2086C - Human Anatomy & Physiology II with lab
  • CHM2045/2045L - General Chemistry I with lab
  • STA2014 - Elementary Statistics
Core Requirements (30 Credits)
  • APK6336 PA Epidemiology & Evid Review (3 Credits)
  • APK6116C Exercise Phys & Lab Techniques (4 Credits)
  • PHC6050 Public Health Biostats I (3 Credits)
  • APK6111C Medical Exercise Physiology (4 Credits)
  • APK6107C Cardiovas Ex Phys and ECG (4 Credits)
  • APK6057 Research Methods in PA (3 Credits)
  • APK6176 Adv Concepts Strength Training (3 Credits)
  • HLP5001 Health Fitness Management (3 Credits)
  • APK6127C Human Physiological Assessment (3 Credits)
Internships (6 Credits)

Either a six-credit internship, project, or thesis is required. Students must declare a thesis or non-thesis option upon acceptance into the program.

  • Internship/Project option
    • APK6942 - Internship or Project in ESCD
  • Thesis option
    • APK6972 - Thesis in ESCD
Major Electives (9 Credits)

Students may select to take any combination of the major electives to meet the 45 credit hour program requirement. Other graduate level courses may be taken towards the major electives with approval of the MSH program director.


Select 3 Major Electives

  • APK5332 Pharmacology for Chronic Diseases (3 credits)
  • APK6900 Independent Study in Exercise Science and Chronic Disease (3 credits)
  • APK6135 Periodization (3 credits)
  • APK6056 Special Topics in Physical Activity Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • EDA6930 Grant Development and Project Design (3 credits)
  • HSC6509 Nutrition Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • PHC6003 Chronic Disease Epidemiology (3 credits)
  • HUN6123 Sociocultural Influences on Nutrition (3 credits)
  • HUN6522 Adv. Public Health Nutrition (3 credits)
  • NGR7154 Advanced Bioscience (3 credits)
  • PHI5605 Ethics (3 credits)