Jun 14, 2024  
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Exercise Science

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Department of Human Movement Science
433 Meadow Brook Rd  (map)
(248) 370-4041 • Fax (248) 364-8660


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Dr. Daniel Goble, Associate Professor


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.

Admission terms and application deadline

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

  • February 15 (early) April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester
  • International applicants  

Application requirements

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

  1. Graduate Application Requirements  
  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.
  • The two recommendations for Graduate Admission forms listed above must be from academics familiar with the student’s abilities (preferred) or from employment supervisors.
  • Goal statement

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 school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, 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. 

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Academic advising

Students who are considering applying to the Master of Science in Exercise Science program may contact the academic adviser for the School of Health Sciences to review prerequisite courses and application requirements. Upon acceptance to the program, students are assigned a faculty adviser.

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
  • Biomechanics (human motion analysis)

Oakland University equivalents for prerequisite coursework

  • BIO 2100 - Human Anatomy 
  • BIO 2600 - Human Physiology
  • EXS 3010 - Exercise Physiology
  • EXS 3020 - Human Motion Analysis

Degree requirements

The Master of Science in exercise science degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 32 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

Electives outside of EXS may be selected if the electives are 5000 or above and are approved by the Program Director.

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 6995.

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 SAP 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.  Department requirements: An overall GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher for all coursework taken in the professional program is required for graduation, and no grade below 2.7 (B-) may be applied toward this degree. For courses graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U), no coursework graded Unsatisfactory (U) may be applied to this degree.

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 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  adviser and submitted by the student to Oakland University Graduate School.

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 an approved area, followed by a comprehensive examination covering this area.

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 adviser 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. The student selects an adviser who serves as the comprehensive examination committee chair and two committee members agreed upon by the student and chair. Under this option, students select a topic, with their adviser’s approval. An extensive reading list for the topic is compiled from recommendations submitted by their adviser who has expertise in the area. A thorough paper detailing the review of literature is written for this topic or a comprehensive examination consisting of selected questions for the topic area is given in order to determine if the candidate has the in-depth knowledge expected of a master’s degree candidate. The student presents a seminar on this topic, open to all interested faculty members. Following this, the student undergoes an oral comprehensive examination on the topic by their committee.

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. 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 must meet the requirements established by internship site including proof of the following:

1) Proof of current health insurance;  

2) Proof of current CPR certification (minimum BLS-CPR);

3) Proof of recent (last 6 months) physical examination by medical practitioner.  A written statement indicating the student has been medically examined and is cleared to start the internship is required.

4) Evidence of Hepatitis B vaccination OR a signed, dated statement of declination of vaccination.

5) Students may also be required to provide proof of immunity to rubella (German measles), rubeola (measles), and varicella zoster (chicken pox), and provide proof that they are free of active pulmonary tuberculosis which shall require a negative PPD (Tb) test given within one year of the start date of their clinical experience. 

6) Students may also be required to successfully pass a drug screen, a criminal background check, and a check of the sexual offenders’ database.

7) Students may also be required to provide proof of a flu immunization.

Requirements are subject to change based on current practice in the field. Students are responsible for any costs associated with the requirements described above. Internships sites are not required to provide free treatment for students and will bill students for use of their emergency or employee health services.

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.

Time limits

All graduate students are expected to complete their degree within the time limit established by the University.


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