About the Graduate Program

The graduate program in Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences provides for scholarly study in Health and Exercise Science, Exercise Physiology and Human Performance.  Each area of emphasis contains a blend of core and elective courses, enabling graduate students to design their program of study to meet their personal research and educational goals. These elective courses may be selected from other departments, including but not limited to Biology, Chemistry, Communications, Education and Psychology.  Each graduate student is provided with the choice between comprehensive exams or a thesis project as their capstone experience.  All graduate students are encouraged to include experiential learning, collaborative research, and internships in their program of study. 

Flexible Curriculum

Academic programs are individually designed to meet the objectives and needs of students within a variety of emphasis areas. A typical program includes core classes in health and exercise sciences with the option to take supplemental classes in biology, chemistry, education, or psychology. 

Research and Experiential Learning

Graduate students are also given opportunities for experiential learning and collaborative research. 

Career Success

Graduates of the Health and Exercise Sciences master's program have obtained employment at local, regional and national organizations or obtain admission to top doctoral programs across the country.

Financial Assistance

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available to applicants who qualify for admission to the graduate program. 

Assistantships are available in the following areas:

  • Exercise Physiology Lab
  • Cardiovascular Physiology Lab
  • Assisting professors in academic courses/discussion leader
  • Functional Anatomy Lab
  • Muscle Physiology Lab

A full-time graduate assistant will receive full tuition remission (8 units per semester) and a stipend and is expected to put in 20 hours per week of service to the department.

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Department of Recreation also offer graduate assistantships for students pursuing graduate studies in Health and Exercise Sciences.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in a health and exercise science related field from an accredited institution. (Students holding a bachelor's degree in another subject area will be considered, but may be required to complete selected undergraduate courses prior to receiving full admission.)
  • Minimum 2.65 GPA (cumulative and Major)
  • Completion of a course in statistics or an introduction to research course that involves statistical analysis of data, with a B- or better
  • 3 letters of recommendation

Degree Requirements

Two program options lead to an M.A. in Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences:

Plan A (Thesis Option)

Satisfactorily complete seven courses and a thesis (32 units), with a minimum of five courses plus the thesis being at the graduate level.

The student must also present an open colloquium (an oral presentation of a proposed research project) and must demonstrate their breadth of professional knowledge and successfully defend their completed thesis with an oral examination.

Plan B (No Thesis Option)

Satisfactorily complete eight courses (32 units), with a minimum of five courses being at the graduate level.

The student must also successfully demonstrate a breadth of professional knowledge in the form of a written comprehensive examination.

Graduate Courses

HLTH 233. Advanced Kinesiology (4)

A graduate seminar which considers the musculoskeletal analysis of human movement, posture, exercise prescription, and rehabilitation. Prerequisite: HLTH 133, graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

HLTH 235. Grad. Nutrition/Exercise Metabolism (4)

A thorough study of the principles of nutrition as they relate to health and participation in sport or physical activity. The course includes calculation of energy needs and expenditures, and the role of carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water in sport and physical activity.

HLTH 247. Advanced Exercise Physiology (4)

Advanced study of physiological responses to exercise with emphasis on laboratory methods and procedure for testing and demonstrating these responses for research application. Prerequisites: HLTH 147 or equivalent, and permission of the instructor. Lab fee required.

HLTH 248. Applied & Clinical Physiology (4)

This course is designed to study the fundamental principles of exercise testing and interpretation for high risk, healthy, and athletic populations. The course is structured to focus on the cardiovascular, metabolic, and pulmonary responses to aerobic exercise and implications for designing training programs for enhancing health, fitness, and performance. This course will serve as a foundation for clinical exercise science and the use of exercise testing in the study of cardiac, metabolic and respiratory pathology. Prerequisite: HLTH 147.

HLTH 255. Advanced Motor Learning (4)

This graduate course examines both the information processing and dynamical systems approaches to the study of human motor behavior and skill acquisition. Content is theoretically and research based with a behavioral emphasis. Topics covered will include: variability and motor control; visual control of action; the role of reflexes; task interference; limitations in information processing, effects of stress on performance, and the Schema theory. It is intended to provide students with an advanced understanding of the conceptual, functional properties of the motor system and human motor performance and their application to teaching, coaching, industrial and therapeutic settings.

HLTH 257. Advanced Clinician in Sports Medicine (4)

This course integrates theory and practice and requires students to develop a research topic, consistent with an explicitly and narrowly defined area of interest. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

HLTH 259. Professional Prep. In Sport Sciences (4)

Course is designed for the future professional practitioner who wishes to deliver an effective, meaningful clinical or educational experience to a diverse population and help them sustain it through the knowledge to conceive and plan meaningful programs, the administrative skill to produce an organizational structure within school and/or practicum that optimizes the impact of the program, and the creative energy to link the program to opportunities for children and adults. Students will engage in an in-depth study of the research on teaching and the application of research-based knowledge to the teaching and clinical professions.

HLTH 261. Advanced Biomechanics of Sport (4)

Advanced study of mechanical principles which influence human movement; both non-cinematographic and cinematographic/videographic techniques are used to analyze and evaluate motor skills and errors in performance; critical evaluation of current research findings in biomechanics. Prerequisite: undergraduate course in kinesiology or biomechanics or permission of the instructor. Lab fee required.

HLTH 265. Advanced Sports Law (4)

This course addresses legal issues and responsibilities relevant to professionals in the areas of sports medicine, sport management, sport pedagogy and athletics. General legal principles supported by case law in such areas as negligence, contract law, constitutional law, antitrust laws and unlawful discrimination are offered.

HLTH 272. Advanced Case Analysis in Sport and Fitness Management (4)

A graduate seminar designed to provide breadth and depth of topical knowledge beyond that covered in the introductory course.

HLTH 279. Research Methods in Sport Sciences (4)

An in-depth evaluation of the various methods used in the disciplines of the sport sciences, including experimental, descriptive, qualitative and historical; means of selecting a research problem and planning its solution; important considerations regarding review of the literature; overview of proper form and style in research writing. Student must complete a fully developed Research Proposal as part of this course. Prerequisites: graduate standing and completion of a course in statistics.

HLTH 291. Independent Study (2-4)
HLTH 293. Special Topics (3, 4)

Prerequisite: graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

HLTH 297. Independent Research (1-4)
HLTH 299. Thesis (4)


Graduate Program Director

Sharon West-Sell, PhD, ATC
Email: swest@pacific.edu
Phone: 209.932.3287
Office: Main Gym, Second Floor
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Ave.
Stockton, CA 95211