2019-20 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 13, 2024  
2019-20 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Exercise Science [EXSC] M.S.

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Kinesiology Department
Philip Buckenmeyer, chair
Peter McGinnis, graduate coordinator
Professional Studies Building, Room 1164
Fax: 607-753-5596


Running. Jumping. Throwing. Explore what's behind amazing movements like these and discover the capacities of the human body when you pursue the M.S. in exercise science at SUNY Cortland. Enter this two-year, 30-credit-hour program at the beginning of the fall or spring semester.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Gather and synthesize relevant information, evaluate it critically, and communicate it effectively in both oral and written forms
  2. Articulate content knowledge within exercise science
  3. Use technological skills needed to collect, analyze, and interpret data related to human movement
  4. Develop professionally and ethically, and show evidence of diversity within exercise science

Program Highlights

Select core courses in sport or exercise psychology, motor learning or motor behavior, exercise physiology, and biomechanics. Enhance these courses with study of research methods and statistics. Choose additional topics ranging from neuromuscular and cardio-respiratory fitness assessment and programming to conditioning, perceptual motor development, nutritional aspects of physical fitness and athletic performance, and behavior in sport. Take advantage of the well-equipped laboratories and full-time department faculty in each of the four exercise science sub-disciplines — biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor behavior, sport and exercise psychology — and ask about research opportunities.

Career Potential

With the strong preparation you receive at SUNY Cortland, you will be well prepared to investigate career options in exercise and sport research or in fitness, wellness and related fields. You may choose to go on to further graduate study in biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor behavior/control or allied health professions such as medicine, nursing, physical therapy or physician assistant, among others.

Graduate Admissions

Evaluation Policy

At the State University of New York College at Cortland we seek a diverse and academically strong student body. Our admission policy and practice will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or marital status.

Required Materials

  1. Completed online Graduate School Application - Apply Now
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended to be forwarded directly to the SUNY Cortland Graduate Admissions Office
    Note: Candidates for admission must present evidence of bachelor's degree conferral prior to the start of their academic program.
  3. Two letters of recommendation (submitted online with application)
  4. Official score report for the GRE general test
  5. A statement describing your professional and educational goals in 250 words or less (submitted online with application)

Once the SUNY Cortland Graduate Admissions Office receives all of the required documents, your application will be forwarded to the Kinesiology Department Graduate Advisory Committee for review.

Admissions Criteria

Preference will be given to candidates with the following:

  1. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and above on a 4.0 scale
  2. A score of 300 (1,000 in the old scoring system) or greater on the combined verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning parts of the GRE general test with a minimum score of 143 (400 in the old scoring system) on each part
  3. A satisfactory rating of the supporting documents as determined by the Kinesiology Department Graduate Advisory Committee

Exceptional applicants who do not meet all of the above requirements will be considered on an individual basis. Qualified applicants without strong preparation in the basic sciences and human movement science may be required to complete specific undergraduate course work within one year of their matriculation.


Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible since applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Application review begins in January for fall term entry and in August for spring term entry. The deadlines for application submission are shown below.

Fall semester applications: July 1
Spring semester applications: Dec. 1

Applications submitted after the deadline may be considered on a space availability basis.
Please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 607-753-4800 to check on availability.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours of approved graduate work as described below is required for the M.S. in Exercise Science. The program is designed to be completed in two years. If a student lacks substantial academic background in the basic sciences and human movement science, certain undergraduate courses may be required in addition to the degree requirements described herein. The culminating activity for the degree is a six-credit-hour master's thesis or a one-credit-hour comprehensive exam.

A. Exercise Science Core: 12 credit hours

1. Motor Behavior/Learning: 3 credit hours

Select one of the following courses:

2. Exercise Physiology: 3 credit hours

3. Biomechanics: 3 credit hours

4. Sport/Exercise Psychology: 3 credit hours

Select one of the following courses:

B. Research Core: 8 credit hours

1. Research Methods: 3 credit hours

2. Statistics: 3 credit hours

Select one of the following courses:

3. Seminar: 2 credit hours

C. Electives: 4 or 9 credit hours

Students choosing EXS 650: Master's Thesis as the culminating activity must complete four credit hours of electives. Students choosing EXS 690: Comprehensive Exam in Exercise Science must complete nine credit hours of electives.

Choose from the following list:

D. Culminating Activity: 1 or 6 credit hours

Total Credit Hours Required: 30

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