Master of Science (M.S.), Major in Exercise Science

Major Program

Students seeking a master of science (M.S.) with a major in exercise science will appreciate the value and importance of research-based literature and have the critical thinking, research, and technical skills to:

  1. understand research-based literature;
  2. use innovative approaches to problem solving;
  3. successfully pursue a doctoral degree in exercise science or related discipline;
  4. work in athletic, clinical (e.g., cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and diagnostic testing), educational, and fitness settings; and
  5. sit for advanced professional certifications (e.g., the American College of Sports Medicine Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, Certified Health Fitness Specialist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, or Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist).

Admission Policy

For information regarding admission application requirements and deadlines, please visit The Graduate College website at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/exsc.html.

Course Work Requirements 

Thesis Option

Exercise Science Course Work
ESS 5304Motor Learning and Performance3
ESS 5309Biomechanics for Exercise & Sports Science3
ESS 5346Research Methods in Health and Human Performance3
ESS 5356Applied Statistics in Health and Human Performance3
Choose 3 hours from the following:3
Advanced Exercise Physiology
Cardiopulmonary Exercise Physiology
Applied Neuromuscular and Skeletal Muscle Physiology
Exercise Science Electives
Choose 12 hours from the following:12
Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription
Advanced Exercise Physiology
Advanced Resistance Training and Conditioning
Physical Activity, Exercise, and Epidemiology
Cardiopulmonary Exercise Physiology
Applied Neuromuscular and Skeletal Muscle Physiology
Inclusion and Diversity in Physical Activity and Sport
Internship in Exercise and Sports Science
Improving Instruction and Assessment in Physical Activity and Sport
Curriculum and Instruction in Physical Activity and Sport
Developmental Sports Education I
Developmental Sports Education II
Internship in Exercise and Sports Science
Prescribed Electives
Choose 3 hours from the following:3
Proprioception and Neuromuscular Control in Rehabilitation
Biomechanics of Musculoskeletal Injury
Cellular Physiology
Theoretical Foundations of Health Education
Topics in Health Education
Pediatric Obesity
The Science of Nutrition and Exercise
Nutrient Metabolism I
Professional Ethics
Philosophy and Sport
Medical Ethics and Bio-ethics
Foundations of Health Psychology
Thesis Course Work
Choose a minimum 6 hours:6
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Thesis
Total Hours36

Non-thesis Option

Exercise Science Course Work
ESS 5304Motor Learning and Performance3
ESS 5309Biomechanics for Exercise & Sports Science3
ESS 5346Research Methods in Health and Human Performance3
ESS 5356Applied Statistics in Health and Human Performance3
Choose 3 hours from the following:3
Advanced Exercise Physiology
Cardiopulmonary Exercise Physiology
Applied Neuromuscular and Skeletal Muscle Physiology
Exercise Science Electives15
Choose 15 hours from the following:
Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription
Advanced Exercise Physiology
Advanced Resistance Training and Conditioning
Physical Activity, Exercise, and Epidemiology
Cardiopulmonary Exercise Physiology
Applied Neuromuscular and Skeletal Muscle Physiology
Inclusion and Diversity in Physical Activity and Sport
Internship in Exercise and Sports Science
Improving Instruction and Assessment in Physical Activity and Sport
Curriculum and Instruction in Physical Activity and Sport
Developmental Sports Education I
Developmental Sports Education II
Internship in Exercise and Sports Science
Prescribed Electives
Choose 6 hours from the following:6
Proprioception and Neuromuscular Control in Rehabilitation
Biomechanics of Musculoskeletal Injury
Cellular Physiology
Theoretical Foundations of Health Education
Topics in Health Education
Pediatric Obesity
The Science of Nutrition and Exercise
Nutrient Metabolism I
Professional Ethics
Philosophy and Sport
Medical Ethics and Bio-ethics
Foundations of Health Psychology
Total Hours36

If a student elects to follow the thesis option for the degree, a committee to direct the written thesis will be established. The thesis must demonstrate the student’s capability for research and independent thought. Preparation of the thesis must be in conformity with the Graduate College Guide to Preparing and Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation. The thesis handbook may be accessed at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/docs/Thesis_Diss_Guide.pdf.

Thesis Proposal

The student must submit an official Master's Thesis Proposal form and proposal to his or her thesis committee. Thesis proposals vary by department and discipline. Please see your department for proposal guidelines and requirements. The required thesis proposal form may be obtained from The Graduate College at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/gcforms.html. After signing the form and obtaining committee members’ signatures, graduate advisor’s signature (if required by the program), and the department chair’s signature, the student must submit the thesis proposal form with one copy of the proposal attached to the dean of The Graduate College for approval before proceeding with research on the thesis. If the thesis research involves human subjects, the student must obtain exemption or approval from the Texas State Institutional Review Board prior to submitting the proposal form to The Graduate College. If the thesis research involves vertebrate animals, the proposal form must include the Texas State IACUC approval code. It is recommended the thesis proposal form be submitted to the dean of The Graduate College by the end of the student’s enrollment in 5399A.

Thesis Committee

The thesis committee must be composed of a minimum of three approved graduate faculty members.

Thesis Enrollment and Credit

The completion of a minimum of six hours of thesis enrollment is required. Enrollment for the thesis will be in course number 5399A for a student’s initial thesis enrollment and a thesis B course for each subsequent thesis enrollment in the field in which the subject matter of the thesis falls, e.g., PS 5399A and PS 5399B. Preliminary discussions regarding the selection of a topic and assignment to a research supervisor will not require enrollment for the thesis course.

A student will be required to enroll in and pay the fee for at least one hour of the thesis course during any term in which the student will receive thesis supervision or guidance and/or in which the student is using university resources. Failure to register for the thesis course during a term in which supervision is received may result in postponement of graduation. After initial enrollment in 5399A, the student will continue to enroll in a thesis B course as long as it takes to complete the thesis. In the rare case when a student has not previously enrolled in thesis and plans to work on and complete the thesis in one term, the student will enroll in both 5399A and 5399B. The only grades assigned for thesis courses are PR (progress), CR (credit), W (withdrew), and F (failing). If acceptable progress is not being made in a thesis course, the instructor may issue a grade of F. If the student is making acceptable progress, a grade of PR is assigned until the thesis is completed. The minimum number of hours of thesis credit (“CR”) will be awarded only after the thesis is filed in the Alkek Library and the librarian has electronically returned the thesis card to the office of The Graduate College.

A student who has selected the thesis option must be registered for the thesis course during the term or Summer I (during summer the thesis course runs ten weeks for both sessions) in which the degree will be conferred.

Fee Reduction

A master’s degree candidate for graduation may be eligible for a one-time fee reduction under V.T.C.A. Education Code, Section 54.054. Please refer to the section titled Fee Reduction in the Additional Fees and Expenses chapter of this catalog for more information.

Thesis Deadlines and Approval Process

Thesis deadlines are posted at the following web page: http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/Thes-Diss_Info/T-D_Deadlines.html. The completed thesis must be submitted to the chair of the thesis committee no later than 41 days before the date of the commencement at which the degree is to be conferred.

The following must be submitted to the office of The Graduate College no later than 24 days, not counting weekends or holidays, before the date of commencement at which the degree is to be conferred (see The Graduate College webpage for specific deadlines):

  1. The Thesis/Dissertation Committee Approval form bearing original signatures of the student and all committee members.
  2. One (1) copy of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, on standard paper (Hard-copy Submission Option) or PDF of the thesis in final form, approved by all committee members, uploaded in the on-line Vireo submission system (Vireo On-line Submission Option).

After the dean of The Graduate College approves the thesis, the process is as follows:

  1. For the Vireo On-line Submission Option:
    1. No copies are required to be submitted to the Alkek Library. However, Alkek will bind copies submitted that the student wants bound for personal use. Personal copies are not required to be printed on archival quality paper. The student will take the personal copies to the Alkek Library and pay the binding fee for personal copies.

Master's level courses in Health and Human Performance: ESS

Courses Offered

Exercise Science Specialization (ESS)

ESS 5101. Graduate Assistant Development.

This course is required of all graduate teaching and instructional assistants in the department. This course provides regular in-service and planned periodic evaluations of instructional and professional responsibilities. This course does not earn graduate credit. Graded on a credit (CR), no-credit (F) basis.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Graduate Assistantship|Exclude from Graduate GPA
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

Read Less [-] about Graduate Assistant Development

ESS 5117. Laboratory in Exercise Physiology.

Students in this leveling laboratory course perform experiments that highlight the physiological responses to exercise. The course introduces students to basis techniques in the assessment of health and human performance, including the assessment of maximal oxygen consumption, body composition, anaerobic power and capacity, muscular fitness, movement economy, and dietary intake. Prerequisite: BIO 2430 or equivalent. Co-requisite: ESS 5317.
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1 Credit Hour. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from Graduate GPA|Leveling
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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ESS 5199B. Thesis.

This course represents a student's continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the completed thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), in progress (PR), or no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: ESS 5399A.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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ESS 5201. Graduate Assistant Development.

This course is required of all graduate teaching and instructional assistants in the department. This course provides regular in-service and planned periodic evaluations of instructional and professional responsibilities. This course does not earn graduate credit. Graded on a credit (CR), no-credit (F) basis.
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2 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Graduate Assistantship|Exclude from Graduate GPA
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

Read Less [-] about Graduate Assistant Development

ESS 5299B. Thesis.

This course represents a student's continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the completed thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), in progress (PR), or no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: ESS 5399A.
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2 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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ESS 5303. Adapted Physical Education.

A leveling course designed to provide content knowledge on legal mandates, evidence-based practices, and the characteristics of selected disabilities and their consideration when designing meaningful individualized physical activity experiences to meet the needs of students with disabilities in school settings.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5304. Motor Learning and Performance.

This course is designed to provide students the foundation for understanding the principles involved in enhancing motor skill acquisition, and physiological, neurological, and psychological factors affecting motor learning and performance. Inquiry is made into the various motor learning theories and concepts.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5305. Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription.

This course provides an intensive study of current scientifically based exercise testing and prescription procedures. Students will learn how to evaluate fitness and prescribe exercise through laboratory experiences.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 1 Lab Contact Hour.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5306. Advanced Exercise Physiology.

This advanced course will provide students with a thorough understanding of the acute responses to exercise and the physiological adaptations that occur in response to exercise training. Additional topics to be covered include environmental influences, aging, and sex differences.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5307. Advanced Resistance Training and Conditioning.

This course will include the development, instruction, and evaluation of resistance training exercises and programs for diverse populations and settings. Physiological and mechanical principles related to resistance training will be applied to study human performance, injury prevention, and rehabilitation.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5308. Physical Activity, Exercise, and Epidemiology.

This course will provide students with opportunities to examine the role of physical inactivity in the development of chronic diseases and the benefits of activity in prevention efforts. A special emphasis will be placed on activity assessment and intervention research.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5309. Biomechanics for Exercise & Sports Science.

Review of current research and research techniques in the biomechanics of exercise and sport science. Students will developskills in reviewing, planning, and conducting biomechanical research.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5310. Cardiopulmonary Exercise Physiology.

The course will provide studetns with a thorough understanding of the structure, function, neural mechanisms, and integrated responses of the human cardiopulmonary system to acute and chronic exercise. In addition, basic cardiopulmonary pathology, pharmacology, and electrocardiography will be introduced.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5311. Applied Neuromuscular and Skeletal Muscle Physiology.

The course will provide students with a thorough understanding of the structure and function of neuromuscular and skeletal muscle physiology. This course will examine mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle force production and human performance in response to acute and chronic exercise. In addition, advanced laboratory techniques will be introduced.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5317. Exercise Physiology.

This leveling course provides an overview of the acute and chronic physiological responses to exercise. Emphasis is on muscle bioenergetics, muscle contractile properties, optimizing human performance through training and supplementation, as well as cardiopulmonary and endocrine responses to exercise. Prerequisite: BIO 2430 or equivalent. Corequisite: ESS 5117.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from Graduate GPA|Lab Required|Leveling
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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ESS 5320. Biomechanics.

This leveling course provides an introduction to the mechanical foundations of anatomical function and human movement. Qualitative and quantitative biomechanical analyses of human movement are introducted to inform the prescription of technique, equipment, and training interventions. Prerequisite: BIO 2430 or equivalent.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from Graduate GPA|Leveling
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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ESS 5322. Inclusion and Diversity in Physical Activity and Sport.

This course is designed to prepare physical activity and sport educators with knowledge, skills, and strategies to create inclusive learning environments. Culturally responsive teaching strategies that best accommodate the individual needs of children, adolescents, and adults, with diverse ethnic, racial, cultural, socio-economic, physical, and cognitive needs will be emphasized.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5323. Physical and Motor Assessment of Children with Disabilities.

This survey course addresses the selection, administration, and interpretation of commonly used assessment tools and practices for collecting physical and motor performance data on children with disabilities.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5329. Motor Learning.

This leveling course provides students with an understanding of the physiological, neurological, and psychological factors affecting performance and acquisition of motor skills. Students will examine the structural components underlying the learning of motor skills and draw upon examples from sport, physical activities, and rehabilitation. This course does not earn graduate degree credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from Graduate GPA|Leveling
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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ESS 5344. Improving Instruction and Assessment in Physical Activity and Sport.

This course is a comprehensive study of pedagogical research examining effective teaching and assessment strategies in physical activity and sport. The use of assessment to improve instruction, learning outcomes, and programming will be emphasized. The course is designed to promote reflective physical activity and sport educators.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5346. Research Methods in Health and Human Performance.

A study of research methods related to techniques for searching the professional research literature, understanding, planning, and conducting professional research projects, as well as development of skills for writing research proposals related to human performance.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5347. Independent Study in Exercise Science.

The course allows students to receive individualized instruction while working on a professional project with a supervising faculty member. This course will require students to enhance their writing, research, teaching, and/or presentation skills. Repeatable once for credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5351. Measurement & Evaluation in Exercise Science.

This leveling course examines fundamental principles and techniques of measuring human performance related to Exercise and Sports Science, as well as evaluating and interpreting the results of exercise science and human performance tests in children and adults. This course does not earn graduate degree credit. Graded on a credit (CR), no-credit (F) basis.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from Graduate GPA|Leveling
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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ESS 5353. Curriculum and Instruction in Physical Activity and Sport.

This course examines contemporary evidenced-based curriculum models. It is designed to enable students to develop and implement developmentally appropriate and theoretically based physical activity and sport programs in schools, communities, and athletic venues.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5354. Developmental Sports Education I.

This course is designed to provide sport educators with theory, research, and application strategies to implement developmentally appropriate sports programs. Pedagogical, philosophical, psychosocial, and physiological variables impacting youth participation in sport are examined. Emphasis is placed on promoting positive youth development by applying evidenced-based practices in sports education.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5355. Developmental Sports Education II.

The purpose of this course is to provide sports education professionals with the theoretical and practical information necessary to design and implement a quality sports experience for adolescents and/or adults. This course will focus on a theory to practice approach and will include a bio-psychosocial perspective.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5356. Applied Statistics in Health and Human Performance.

A study of quantitative statistical methods for planning and conducting experimental and correlational research, as well as techniques for statistical data analysis and interpretation applicable to health and human performance.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5391. Administrative Problems in Competitive Sports.

This course investigates problems of organization and administration of the various programs in competitive sports for men and women in junior high, secondary, and collegiate levels.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5398. Internship in Exercise and Sports Science.

This 240-hour internship provides students with work-related experience with children, adults, older individuals, or athletes in exercise settings. Students are provided an opportunity to prescribe and supervise age- and fitness-appropriate exercise programs and perform exercise tests. Prerequisite: ESS 5306.
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3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5399A. Thesis.

This course represents a student's initial thesis enrollment. No thesis course credit is awarded until the student has completed the entire thesis required in ESS 5399B. Graded on a credit (CR), in progress (PR), or no credit (F) basis. Prerequisites: ESS 5346 and ESS 5356.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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ESS 5399B. Thesis.

This course represents a student's continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the completed thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), in progress (PR), or no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: ESS 5399A.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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ESS 5599B. Thesis.

This course represents a student's continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the completed thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), in progress (PR), or no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: ESS 5399A.
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5 Credit Hours. 5 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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ESS 5624. Principles and Practices for Teaching Physical Education.

This is a leveling class for graduate students pursuing teaching certification in physical education. Particular emphasis is placed on methods of teaching physical education. This course does not earn graduate credit. Departmental Approval required.
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6 Credit Hours. 6 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from Graduate GPA|Leveling
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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ESS 5698. Internship in Exercise and Sports Science.

This full-time internship provides students with a minimum of 480 hours of field experience. Students will work with children, adults, older individuals, or athletes in exercise or health care settings, and prescribe and supervise age and fitness appropriate exercise programs and perform comprehensive health-related assessments.
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6 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 40 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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ESS 5999B. Thesis.

This course represents a student's continuing thesis enrollment. The student continues to enroll in this course until the completed thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), in progress (PR), or no credit (F) basis. Prerequisite: ESS 5399A.
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9 Credit Hours. 9 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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