M.S. in Exercise Science

The Master’s Program in Exercise Science provides an expansive study of the physiology, biomechanics, and motor control of exercise and physical activity. Students can study the mechanics, responses, and adaptations to training that relate to promoting health, preventing disease, and enhancing performance. Graduates will understand how exercise and conditioning optimize human function and capacity through current research-based curriculum, practical experiences, and original research. Fully equipped laboratories include the Physiology of Exercise and Sport (PEXS) Lab and the Movement Science Lab (MSL), both of which specialize in a wide range of tasks. The Masters in Exercise Science prepares graduates for competitive fields in exercise & fitness, strength & conditioning, health & wellness, and clinical settings. This program also equips students for advanced graduate work including doctoral degrees and clinical/medical training.

For questions about the Exercise Science program, please email Dr. Scott Ducharme.


  • Joshua A. Cotter, PhD, FACSM, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, EIM2— Research interests include understanding how the regulation of skeletal muscle mass affects outcomes on health and sport performance, optimization of training programs and nutritional support for strength and hypertrophy, exercise countermeasures for spaceflight, the biology of the myogenic satellite cell, biomechanics of the knee joint, and ergogenic aids for sports performance.
  • Scott Ducharme, PhD, CSCS— Research interests include: traditional and nonlinear assessments of posture and gait stability and adaptability, the impact of physical activity volume and modality on gait abilities and physical function, physical activity and/or exercise interventions to improve gait abilities and reduce fall risk.
  • Kurt Escobar, PhD, CISSN— The evolutionary aspects of the effects of exercise and nutrition on human health, aging, and performance including applied physiology and the underlying cellular mechanisms. Areas include autophagy, BDNF, resistance training, interval training, fasting and caloric restriction, and nutritional supplementation.
  • Evan Schick, PhD, CSCS— Central research interest surrounds the medicinal aspects of exercise and nutrition as well as how skeletal muscle health influences total body health and sport performance. Current research scope includes: central vs. local hormonal control of muscle growth and nutrient metabolism, acute nutritional state and its impact on exercise-induced glycemic control, understanding how nutritional aids classically used to improve sport performance can also help treat metabolic syndrome. 
  • Kevin Valenzuela, PhD, CSCS— Research interests include the lower extremity biomechanics of strength training practices, sport biomechanics, running biomechanics, field-based research, and the biomechanics of wingsuit flying
  • Will Wu, PhD— Research interests include applied Motor Control and Learning studies in sport performance and injury, theoretical research and development in basic Motor Control and Learning, transdisciplinary Motor Control and Learning research in Biomedical Engineering.
  • Sam ZeffPhD— Research interests encompass studying motor alterations associated with elite athletic performance, the consequences of sport-related musculoskeletal injuries and sport-induced neurotrauma (including concussion and repetitive sub-concussive head impacts), motor adaptations to visual task constraints, and cortical neurophysiology during cognitive-motor activities both in lab-based settings as well as in-the-wild.

Required courses (12 units):

  • KIN 530 (Neuromotor Control)
  • KIN 541 (Applied Biomechanics)
  • KIN 551 (Advanced Exercise Physiology)
  • KIN 696 (Research Methods and Statistical Analysis).

Elective Courses (18 units: choose 6 of the following 3-unit courses):

  • KIN 540
  • KIN 552
  • KIN 553
  • KIN 562
  • KIN 563 
  • KIN 565
  • KIN 566
  • KIN 568
  • KIN 594
  • KIN 630
  • KIN 697

Select option 1 or 2 (6 units):

  1. Pass written and oral portions of Comprehensive Exam and complete 6 units of electives from within or outside of the department offerings selected from appropriate areas of interest in consultation with advisor.
  2. Thesis/Project: Complete KIN 698 (6 units)

Prerequisite Coursework:

  • Chemistry 111A (General Chemistry – 5 units including laboratory)
  • Biology 207 (Human Physiology – 4 units including laboratory)
  • Biology 208 (Human Anatomy – 4 units including laboratory)
  • Kinesiology 300 (Biomechanics of Human Movement – 3 units including laboratory)
  • Kinesiology 301 (Exercise Physiology – 3 units including laboratory)
  • Kinesiology 312 (Motor Control and Learning – 3 units including laboratory)

Pre-Requisite Checklist can be downloaded here: 




Potential jobs for Exercise Science majors include:

  • cardiac rehab
  • certified personal trainer
  • clinical exercise physiologist
  • corporate wellness
  • ergonomist
  • exercise physiologist
  • higher education teaching
  • sports coach
  • strength and conditioning coach

This degree also successfully prepares students for applying to graduate programs in the fields of:

  • biomechanics
  • exercise physiology
  • integrative physiology
  • medical school
  • motor control/learning
  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy
  • physician’s assistant

What are the general procedures for applying to the graduate program in Exercise Science?

You will need to apply online at Cal State Apply:


You will need to submit the following items via Cal State Apply:

  • CSULB Graduate Application (online via the website)
  • Letter of Intent / Statement of Purpose (document upload)
  • Pre-requisite checklist (document upload)
  • Professional Resume or CV (document upload)
  • Name and email addresses of 3 individuals who will write a letter of recommendation. They will upload their letters to Cal State Apply after they receive an email notification from the Cal State Apply Website.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  • Application fees
  • The GRE is currently NOT required but if you have already taken the test, you are encouraged to include your scores

You will need to submit the following documents directly to the university:

  • Official transcripts from the undergraduate institution where you have completed or are currently completing your undergraduate degree. They can be either sent electronically to
    (es-idptrans@csulb.edu), or mailed to: 

Office of Enrollment Services
California State University
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA  90840

  • I strongly recommend submitting transcripts electronically directly to Enrollment Services using the email above. Sending transcripts by mail will result in slower processing times
  • Note that if transcripts are emailed to the Kinesiology Department or to the Graduate Coordinator, they will not be received by Enrollment Services. Please be sure to submit official transcripts only to the email or mailing address above in order for your application to be complete

I do not have an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology, what courses must I complete in order to take graduate courses in Exercise Science?

You will need to take the following CSULB courses or their equivalents:

  • Chemistry 111A (General Chemistry – 5 units including laboratory)
  • Biology 207 (Human Physiology – 4 units including laboratory)
  • Biology 208 (Human Anatomy – 4 units including laboratory)
  • Kinesiology 300 (Biomechanics of Human Movement – 3 units including laboratory)
  • Kinesiology 301 (Exercise Physiology – 3 units including laboratory)
  • Kinesiology 312 (Motor Control and Learning – 3 units including laboratory)

These courses serve as prerequisites for many of the graduate courses. However it is not necessary to complete all of these before starting to take the graduate level courses and some advanced level courses outside of the department may require additional prerequisite coursework.


What are the due dates for submission of an application for admission into the graduate program?

The due date for submission of all application materials is April 1 for Fall Semester admission.  We do not accept applications for Spring admissions.


Is this a STEM-designated program?

No, this is a non-STEM program.


I am an international student. Are the requirements the same for me?

Yes, the requirements for admission in to the graduate program are the same for everyone. However before you apply, you must contact the Office of International Admissions for additional information.


What types of career opportunities are available with a degree in Exercise Science?

Career opportunities can typically be found in clinical and research settings as well as in commercial and corporate fitness settings. For more information, check the following sites: