As the obesity epidemic maintains its hold on American society, health professionals continue to emphasize the importance of daily physical activity and its preventative health benefits. As a result, the demand for professionals in exercise physiology is growing much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Plymouth State University (PSU) is helping train the next generation of master’s educated professionals with its new 3+2 Master’s of Science (MS) in Applied Exercise Physiology and Human Performance, as well as its two-year MS option for students from other undergraduate institutions.
The program, which will launch starting with the Fall 2021 semester, will prepare students to work in strength and conditioning, clinical and community-based settings, or to pursue future doctoral degrees in related fields.
The 3+2 Applied Exercise Physiology and Human Performance program, the only such program with this structure offered in New Hampshire, allows students to complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years. Nationwide, many accelerated master’s degree programs in this field require four years of undergraduate coursework and one year of graduate work. At PSU, however, fourth-year students will take part in the new full-time, on-campus cohort MS program, allowing students to do graduate-level coursework and to gain significant practical, hands-on experience earlier than students at other institutions. In addition to the practicum graduate level work, students will engage in applied labs during their undergraduate years.
“The field of exercise and sport physiology is seeking individuals with master’s degrees but also practical experience, so we incorporated lots of applied practicum work into the program to prepare students for these jobs,” said Ryanne Carmichael, Ph.D., CSCS, Associate Professor of Exercise and Sport Physiology and Exercise and Sport Physiology Program Coordinator.
Students who have obtained an undergraduate degree in a related field at another institution may pursue a master’s in exercise and sport physiology by following PSU’s new, traditional, two-year MS option, which follows the same curriculum and in-person cohort as the 3+2 track.
To learn more about the 3+2 and two-year Master’s of Science in Applied Exercise Physiology and Human Performance programs, visit tinyurl.com/MS-exercise-physiology-PSU.