What is a Master’s in Health and Exercise Science?
Our master’s program is a balanced curriculum of health-focused, science-based coursework and rigorous research experience. Our graduate students are an integral part of the research we do in HES. Our faculty research labs focus on several issues related to:
- maximizing healthspan
- prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders
- neuromuscular disease and disability
- cancer recurrence
- the physical/mental dimension of work performance in firefighters and the military
In our master’s program, there is also the potential for a continuous-enrollment admit to the Ph.D. program.
For a comprehensive description of the HES Master’s program, feel free to view or download the Master’s Handbook.
Get Involved Graduate Student Research
Our department matches you with a faculty mentor and you become part of the lab’s ongoing research. Your faculty mentor advises you on your academic journey and is a great source for professional development. Most of our graduate students are supported by Graduate Teaching Assistantships or Graduate Research Assistant positions in the lab.
Master’s Degree Courses
Take a moment to browse the CSU Course Catalog for a deeper look at the courses you will take. We also offer a focus area in collaboration with the School of Public Health.
Your Graduate School Experience Application to Graduation
Entry Requirements and Prerequisites – MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO ACCEPTANCE INTO PROGRAM.
- Undergraduate GPA > 3.0
- Personal Statement/letter of application
- Contact and provisional acceptance into a specific laboratory with a faculty mentor within HES
- Completion of the following prerequisite classes:
- Physiology (300 level or equivalent)
- Physiology of Exercise (300 level or equivalent)
- At least two of the following four classes
- Nutrition (300 level or equivalent)
- Neuromuscular or Movement Science (300 level or equivalent)
- Biomechanics of Kinesiology (300 level or equivalent)
- Biochemistry (300 level or equivalent)
Contact the Department if there are any questions regarding entry or prerequisite requirements or see the list of Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.
The DEPARTMENTAL deadlines for receipt of completed applications for the M.S. program are:
- Dec. 31 for Fall admission.
- Aug. 31 for Spring admission. Please note that there are generally very few funded positions for spring admission. In addition, note that the curriculum is designed for a fall semester start. Questions about spring admissions on any given year can be directed to the graduate program coordinator.
- Applications received, or remaining incomplete after these dates will not be considered.
Completed Application Requirements
A completed application will include ALL of the following:
- A completed On-Line Application form (all fees paid) from http://graduateschool.colostate.edu/ .
- TRANSCRIPTS FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS –submit ONE official transcript of all collegiate work completed. Colorado State University transcripts are not required.
- INTERNATIONAL applicants are referred to the Graduate School website to follow those requirements.
- MILITARY: Training course transcripts from branches of the U.S. military that show credit received with neither grades nor degrees awarded are exempt from the transcript requirement.
- Three letters of recommendation. You will provide an email contact for your letter writers; they will be contacted by the online admissions system and can directly upload their letter.
- A letter of support from the prospective mentor with whom you have been corresponding. The letter will simply confirm their agreement to take you on as a trainee in their lab.
- NOTE: incomplete applications will NOT be considered, contact the Department if you are having problems completing your application.
- Review departmental website for information on graduate program & application process
- Review faculty bios and research lab descriptions; reach out to prospective mentors to discuss the possibility of training in their lab
- Contact the Graduate Program Director with any questions
- Submit all application materials by application deadline dates
Review and Admission
- The departmental review of applications generally takes several weeks. Not all applicants will be invited to interview, and not all interviewees are offered funded (assistantship) positions.
- Questions during this period can be directed to the Graduate Program Director.
- Formal offer letters will follow the interview for all applicants who will receive assistantship offers.
- The formal graduate school admissions process can take several weeks (even after a formal offer letter has been accepted).
- For admitted students, discussions on course registration, expected arrival date, and the expectations of the assistantship will be shared in writing.
- Work with your mentor on your thesis proposal and to form a graduate committee (two members from HES and one member from outside HES as a minimum requirement).
- Work with your mentor and the Graduate Program Director to complete and submit the Program of Study (GS6) by the end of the second semester, if possible. It must be completed no later than October of the third semester, or a hold will be placed on your registration.
- Year one tends to be a bit more course-intensive than year two; you should expect more regular courses to be taken this year.
- Remaining required courses, electives, and thesis credits will be the primary curricular aims of year two.
- Your work on data collection, data analysis, and writing your thesis will be ongoing.
- You will schedule your thesis with your mentor and committee, secure a room for the public presentation, and the date, time, and location of your thesis will be shared with HES faculty, staff, and students.
- You should have the final draft of your thesis to all committee members 1-2 weeks prior to the date of your defense to allow them time to review and comment.
- The Graduate School publishes a calendar of Academic Deadline dates each semester (these are typically early April & early November in each academic year; the summer deadline is in early July). In order to meet the deadline for graduation in the semester in question, you must successfully defend your thesis and submit your final thesis and all forms by the deadline date.
- The form to report the outcome of your thesis defense (GS24-Report of Final Exam) must be submitted within two business days of the date of your defense. The thesis submission form (GS30) is submitted only when the edits/revisions are approved by your committee and is often submitted several days to weeks after the date of your defense. To meet graduate school deadline dates in any semester, BOTH the GS24 and GS30 must be submitted to the graduate school (with all required original signatures) by the posted deadline date.
All Graduate School forms, policies, and procedures can be found here. You will find fillable PDF versions of each form via this hyperlink. The most commonly used forms are described on the Graduate School Forms webpage.
- In the semester in which you plan to defend and graduate, you will submit an application for graduation by the Academic Deadline date (typically mid-September and mid-February in each academic year, with the summer deadline the third week of May).
- The application for graduation will trigger a review of your Program of Study (GS6) by the Graduate School. If there are any discrepancies (taking a different course(s) than originally planned, etc.), both you and the department will be notified and given an opportunity to respond (GS52) and explain the discrepancy. These discrepancies are NOT unusual; plans often do change and they can be readily handled by the department in most cases.
- The HES department requires an exit interview with the Department Head. Completion of this exit interview is the final step (and final form-GS25B-Departmental Requirements Clearance) submitted to the Graduate School.
- Come to the end of semester luncheon in which we celebrate graduating students and their mentors. Then enjoy the commencement exercises with your family and friends!