Benefiting human health through the research, analysis, and promotion of fitness, wellness and exercise.

This program in the Department of Exercise Science provides students with an understanding of how physical activity affects physiological systems. Students choose a program focus on either a research project or internship experience to prepare you for future career goals. This program provides the theoretical background and practical experience needed for students pursuing national certifications offered by the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Why Choose Syracuse?

  • Our graduate faculty are composed of leading scholars in a variety of specialties, and we have earned a reputation for excellence in every facet of academic enterprise: teaching, grant-funded research, publication, and active involvement in professional and community service projects.
  • Students and faculty are involved in nationally-recognized, cutting-edge research with projects and facilities such as the Clinical Research Laboratory, Neuromuscular Physiology Laboratory and the Systems Motor Control and Biomechanics Laboratory.
  • Small, selective cohorts means small class sizes and close relationships and personal attention from our faculty.

Immersion Travel

Syracuse University students have access to one of the highest-quality international study programs in the country. The “Mount Everest Base Camp Trek: The Human Response to High Altitude” is a three-week, three-credit course and full-fledged research expedition designed for students interested in human environmental physiology, mountaineering, and adventure. The course brings together the Syracuse contingent with high-altitude experts and research teams from Mount Royal University in Canada, Mid Sweden University, and the University of Michigan. Abroad programs are subject to scheduling changes. For a precise schedule of when these programs offered, please contact the department directly. For more information, visit


Our graduates are in demand wherever exercise physiology is practiced, including:

  • Government, hospital-based, and non-profit health programs (including cardiac rehabilitation units)
  • Corporate fitness and personal training
  • Physician’s assistant, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or nursing
  • Research and instructor roles in higher education or healthcare.
  • Further doctoral studies in Exercise Science, a national fitness certification, medical school, or another area of interest.

Program Requirements

The Exercise Science master’s program requires 36 graduate credits. Most students complete the program full-time in 2 years, although careful planning with an advisor can allow for part-time study while working. All students will take a set of required courses covering introductory exercise science, research, and statistical thinking. You’ll then choose electives in physiologies and advanced topics in exercise and sport science, chosen in collaboration with your advisor to align with your personal and professional interests. Coursework areas may include:

  • Skeletal Muscle Physiology
  • Current Literature in Exercise and Sport Science
  • Statistical Thinking and Applications
  • Exercise and Aging
  • Energy Metabolism & Exercise

Students will complete their degree program with 6 credits of either a mentored research thesis or intensive internship experience. More information on academic requirements available in the Syracuse University Course Catalog.

Financial Support

Please indicate your interest and need/desire for funding in your personal statement. Other financial aid and scholarship resources can be found at Syracuse University’s Cost and Aid page.

Getting Admitted

The following is required for admissions:

  • Bachelor’s degree and a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
  • Official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate study
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume or CV
  • 3 letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty)
  • Completed or expected to be completed academic prerequisites (can often be completed during the first year of the master’s program at department discretion):
    • 8 credit hours General Biology
    • 8 credit hours Human Anatomy and Physiology
    • 6 credit hours of Exercise Science (including Physiology of Exercise and General Science)

Applications are considered on a rolling basis for all semester starts. However, we have a priority deadline of February 15 for the fall semester of the same year. Applications are reviewed on a space-available basis beyond the priority deadline. Applicants should ensure that all of the required materials are submitted by that date.

Apply Today!

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