Master of Education (M.Ed.) - Exercise Science

Program Coordinator :

Dr. Julia dos Santos
Assistant Professor of Exercise Science
308 Colebank Hall
(304) 333-3649


The program is a 33-credit hour program designed to prepare professionals to have the knowledge, skills, and leadership to address both healthy and unhealthy populations through exercise prescription and educational programming.  Graduates are prepared: a) to address chronic health problems (e.g., obesity, diabetes, heart disease) through education, exercise, and lifestyle change; b) to use physiological and pedagogical skills to improve athletic and non-athletic performance. In the fourth semester (last semester), there are options of doing an internship or a thesis. Students in the program examine the scientific (anatomical, biomechanical, and physiological) and theoretical basis that underlie effective programs for improved fitness, performance, disease prevention, and improved quality of life outcomes.  

Program Outcomes

Program graduates are well-prepared to

  • Administer appropriate exercise tests and interpret results for both healthy and unhealthy populations;
  • Design safe and effective exercise programs for healthy and unhealthy populations;
  • Create exercise prescriptions and educational programming focused on health, disease prevention, and chronic disease management across ages and populations;
  • Explain the physiological response and adaptations to acute and chronic exercise across the lifespan;
  • Read, interpret and apply scientific research information within the field of fitness, wellness, and exercise science;
  • Engage in research that advances the field of and improves practice in Exercise Science, Fitness and Wellness applications, and;
  • Gain the knowledge and leadership skills necessary for further education in Health and Human Performance or senior level positions within the exercise science industry.

Professional Opportunities

Graduates of the M.Ed. in Exercise Science, Fitness, and Wellness program can pursue positions in athletic programs, fitness centers, hospital and corporate-based wellness programs, rehabilitation centers, and other settings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers related to the field of exercise science are growing. Some examples of jobs from the Occupational Handbook Outlook include:

  • Fitness Trainers and Instructors: Employment is projected to grow 10% through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects are best for workers with professional certification or advanced levels of formal education in health or fitness
  • Exercise Physiologist: Employment in this field is expected to grow 13% through 2026, faster than most careers in the United States. The job involves developing fitness plans that help patients recover from chronic disease.
  • Coaches and Scouts: Employment is expected to grow 13% through 2026, faster than average for all occupations. An increasing emphasis in high school and college sports will require more knowledgeable coaches in areas of fitness, strength, performance and nutrition. Scouts for college or professional sports teams will need to have basic understanding of fitness and agility.
  • Recreational Therapist: Employment in this field is expected to grow 7% through 2026, which is as fast as the average job growth. Recreational therapists help plan exercise and movement-based therapy programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illness.

Other Career Pathways

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Exercise Specialist