Aug 16, 2022  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Exercise Science

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments


Exercise Science Program
3110 Human Health Building  (map)
(248) 370-3562 • Fax (248) 364-8657

► Apply Online

► Class Schedule Search


Brian R. Goslin
3160 Human Health Building
(248) 364-8688


Program description

This interdisciplinary program emphasizes the role of exercise in health improvement and in the primary and secondary prevention of chronic degenerative disease. The curriculum addresses the inter-relationships among lifestyle, health and physical activity and optimization of human performance. Clinical experience is gained through cooperating internship sites. Graduates of the program are prepared for professional positions such as cardiac stress testing specialists; exercise specialists in medical settings; sport scientists; and directors of adult fitness programs, human performance enhancement programs, cardiac rehabilitation programs and health maintenance/health improvement programs in corporate, industrial and educational settings.

Full-time students complete the degree in 18 to 24 months. Part-time students usually require three to four years, depending on the number of credits taken per year. All courses are available in the evening, and several are offered in a concentrated weekend “executive style” format.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Applicants should have a background in basic and applied health sciences and a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0.
  • Exercise Science Supplemental Application which includes a goal statement
  • Requirements for recommendations
    The two Recommendation for Graduate Admission forms listed above must be from academics familiar with the student’s abilities (preferred) or from employment supervisors.
  • International applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and arrange for their official GRE scores to be submitted to Oakland University. The institution code for Oakland University is 1497.

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 with the appropriate academic background and strong letters of recommendation may be considered for admission with limited standing. Applicants who qualify for this admission status must complete a minimum of 12 credits of graduate-level work, with a GPA of 3.0 or above, to be advanced to full admission.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department. 

Related links

Program prerequisites

Completion of the following prerequisite courses is required. Students should have completed the required prerequisite coursework at the appropriate undergraduate or graduate level, prior to beginning coursework for the master’s degree.

  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Kinesiology (human motion analysis)
  • Statistics
  • First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Four credits of health enhancement (or physical education activity/theory).

While not required, additional coursework in biochemistry, organic chemistry, and mathematics through precalculus is recommended.

Oakland University equivalents for prerequisite coursework
  • BIO 205 - Human Anatomy (4 credits)
  • BIO 207 - Human Physiology (4 credits)
  • BIO 325* - Biochemistry I (4 credits)
    CHM 201* - Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (4 credits)
  • EXS 103 - Exercise (Strength Training) and Health Enhancement (2 credits)
  • EXS 105 - Cardiovascular Fitness Training (2 credits)
  • EXS 207 - Safety and First Aid in Exercise Settings (2 credits)
  • EXS 304 - Exercise Physiology (3 credits)
  • EXS 306 - Exercise Physiology Laboratory (1 credit)
  • EXS 350 - Human Motion Analysis (4 credits)
  • MTH 141* - Precalculus (4 credits)
  • STA 225  - Introduction to Statistical Concepts and Reasoning (4 credits)
    PSY 251  - Statistics and Research Design (4 credits)

* Not a prerequisite; however, it is recommended that applicants have some background in these areas.

Degree requirements

The Master of Science in exercise science degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 36 credits in an approved program of study.

Course requirements

The average candidate entering the fall or winter semester will spend two full-time academic years to successfully complete this graduate program, which requires:

Additional electives

In addition to the elective courses listed above, students may select other adviser-approved university courses, either from department offerings (400-level or above) or from advanced coursework (300-level or above) in such areas as biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, health science, or psychology. Examples include:

  • PSY 333 - Motivation (4 credits)

  • PSY 338 - Health Psychology (4 credits)

  • PSY 344 - Behavior Analysis (4 credits)

  • BIO 409 - Endocrinology (4 credits)

c. Research requirement (minimum of 6 credits)

Completion of a research requirement involving a master’s thesis or comprehensive examinations must be achieved. The research requirement involves the completion of a minimum of 6 credits in EXS 670.

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Department requirements: Students must maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Credit toward the degree will not be given for courses with grades under 2.5.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

Thesis research or comprehensive examination option

Candidates for the Master of Science degree must choose either to carry out an independent research project culminating with the completion of a master’s thesis or to conduct in-depth study in a number of approved areas, followed by a comprehensive examination covering these areas.

Students who choose the thesis option select an adviser who serves as the thesis committee chair and two committee members agreed upon by the student and chair. A thesis proposal is presented orally and in writing to the committee for approval. Research topics usually consist of experimental studies in the areas of biomechanics, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise physiology, measurement and evaluation, performance assessment, physical rehabilitation, and studies of lifestyle behavior. The thesis is presented and defended by the candidate at a meeting open to all interested faculty members. All thesis requirements must adhere to university format standards and deadlines (see Thesis and Dissertation ).

The comprehensive examination option is designed to provide those students who do not wish to conduct thesis research an opportunity for in-depth study in several areas. Under this option, students select a minimum of three topics, with their adviser’s approval. Extensive reading lists for each topic are compiled from recommendations submitted by three or more faculty members who have expertise in the area. A thorough paper detailing the review of literature is written for each topic or a comprehensive examination consisting of selected questions for each topic area is given in order to determine if the candidate has the in-depth knowledge expected of a master’s degree candidate. The comprehensive examination can be arranged to be given in three parts, covering each of the topics studied.

Exercise Science internship

The internship component of this program provides an opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience in the practice of exercise science. Internship placements will be the responsibility of the program and will include public and private health care settings and corporate and community wellness settings.

At least one internship shall be taken at a health promotion/disease prevention facility. All students are required to demonstrate specific clinical and non-clinical competencies spelled out in the Master of Science in Exercise Science Student Handbook. Students entering the program with significant previous clinical experience, comparable to the internship experiences offered through this program, may request one or both internship course requirements (EXS 601 and EXS 602) be waived and another Oakland University course substituted. Students should follow the Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution process.

Code of Ethics

Along with scholarly preparation in the appropriate academic disciplines, high levels of ethical conduct are considered essential for those who are involved in health care. Students are expected to comply with the principles of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct of the American College of Sports Medicine. Violations will be brought before the faculty and could result in dismissal from the program.



Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments