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Master of Science in Exercise Science and Chronic Disease


Program Overview

The Master of Science in Health (MSH) in Exercise Science and Chronic Disease integrates an evidenced-based curriculum in an applied research environment. Students pursuing the program 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 program requires the completion of 45 graduate credit hours and should be completed in two years.


The MSH in Exercise Science and Chronic Disease 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., PhD, MD) 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 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.

UNF admits 15-20 students into the  MSH in Exercise Science and Chronic Disease   program each fall semester. To be considered for admission, students must apply to the program by the posted deadline of the year for which they wish to be admitted. Prior to enrolling in MSH courses, students must have completed the prerequisites.

Special Notes about the Program

Course numbers listed below are for courses in the Florida State University System. 
  • 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)
Please contact the 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 graduate program director to have those courses approved.


Application Information

How to:  

Application Requirement Information

International Applicant Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Deadlines

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

Admits for the fall term only. The review process for admissions begins June 1st. 

The following must be submitted by the posted deadline. Incomplete applications with outstanding requirements, or those post-marked after the posted deadline, are subject to cancellation. Once an application has been cancelled, the applicant will be required to apply for the next available term, or as a graduate non-degree seeking applicant (limitations apply).

  • UNF admission application
  • Application fee
  • If applicable, collection holds and judicial holds must be cleared 
  • All of the below university and program requirements 

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. 

  • Official transcripts, and foreign evaluations if applicable, from all post-secondary institutions attended.

Program requirements:

  • GRE test scores 
    • Taken within the last 5 years
    • GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work attempted in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study, a minimum combined score of 290 is required 
      • 146 verbal and 144 quantitative
    • GPA of below 3.0 in all work attempted in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study, a minimum combined score of 295 is required
      • 148 verbal and 147 quantitative 
  • An interview with the graduate 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


Approximate Enrollment

Graduate Program Director & Advising Coordinator

Dr. James Churilla


(904) 620-1735