M.S. in Kinesiology, Option in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Option area is being discontinued starting Fall of the 2023-2024 academic year. Applications are no longer being accepted for this program. If you have questions or comments regarding this change, please contact the Department Chair, Dr. Em Williams (emyr.williams@csulb.edu).

Nutrition is a potent modulator of the acute responses and chronic adaptations to exercise and training. The Master’s Program in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition allows students to study the interaction between nutrition and the physiology of exercise. Graduates will understand how to meet the nutritional needs of exercise, training, and conditioning to enhance human health, function, and performance as well as the underlying mechanisms at the molecular level to the whole body. The Physiology of Exercise and Sport (PEXS) Laboratory is operated by active researchers in the field and is equipped for gene and biochemical analysis as well as whole-body metabolics and athletic performance. From athletic performance to community nutrition, this degree prepares students to work with a wide variety of populations in a number of different settings using research-based curriculum, practical experiences, and original research. The Master’s Program in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition also equips students for advanced graduate work including doctoral degrees and clinical and medical training.


  • Joshua 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.
  • 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. 

1. Required Coursework (12 units):

  • KIN 551 Advanced Exercise Physiology (3)

Prerequisites: KIN 301 or equivalent and BIOL 207 or equivalent.

  • KIN 552 Exercise Testing and Training in Health and Disease (3)

Prerequisites: KIN 301 or equivalent and BIOL 207 or equivalent.

  • KIN 566 Biochemical and Hormonal Adaptations to Physical Activity (3)

Prerequisites: Upper-division undergraduate or Graduate standing; KIN 301 or equivalent; CHEM 111A or its equivalent. Consent of instructor required for upper-division undergraduate students prior to registration.

  • KIN 696 Research Methods and Statistical Analysis (3) or FCS 696 Research Methods (3)

Prerequisites: Undergraduate major in Kinesiology or related field, undergraduate Statistic course or equivalent.

2. Elective courses (9 units)

Select three courses from the following list of courses:

  • KIN 553
  • KIN 562
  • KIN 563
  • KIN 565
  • KIN 568
  • KIN 594

3. Elective courses (9 units)

Select three courses from the following list of courses:

  • KIN 568
  • NUTR 530A
  • NUTR 530B
  • NUTR 531
  • NUTR 539
  • NUTR 570

4. Select either option Aor B (6 units):

A. Thesis and Project Candidates: KIN 698 Thesis (6)

B.  Pass written and oral portions of a Comprehensive Exam and complete a minimum of 6 additional elective units approved by option advisor.

Prerequisite Course Work

In order to meet the prerequisite for graduate coursework in this option, students must have completed the following with a "C" grade or better. Please note that some of the advanced coursework in nutrition may require additional prerequisites not found in this list. Those prerequisite classes will need to be completed if a student plans to take those classes. Students are advised to examine each class and note which prerequisites are required. 

  • Approved Statistics course
  • KIN 301 Exercise Physiology (3 units)
  • CHEM 111A General Chemistry (5 units)
  • CHEM 227 Organic Chemistry (3 units)
  • NUTR 132 Introductory Nutrition (3 units)  

Pre-Requisite Checklist can be downloaded here.

Application Packet can be downloaded here.

The Physiology of EXercise and Sport (PEXS) Lab functions as a truly distinct and novel exercise physiology laboratory within the California State University system. It is capable of conducting both applied and mechanistic research with analysis capabilities ranging from performance-based measures and whole body metabolics to blood analyses and gene expression of multiple tissues. This capacity is rivaled by few labs in the CSU system. Moreover, the PEXS Lab’s capabilities have permitted students to be exposed to and gain mastery of novel laboratory techniques, allowing them to produce high quality research. The lab focuses on understanding the underlying factors regulating skeletal muscle mass and function as well as investigating metabolic adaptations that occur with acute and chronic exercise. The PEXS lab utilizes cutting-edge technologies investigating physiological responses to exercise at the molecular, cellular, whole muscle, and whole-body levels. Our research has wide-ranging implications for improving health and human performance across various populations ranging from athletes, individuals with disease or disability, and from the very young to our aging population. 

An abbreviated list of equipment in the lab includes:

  • Humac Norm isokinetic dynamometer
  • Parvomedics metabolic cart
  • Two Cosmed Quark CPET metabolic carts
  • Mortara ECG system
  • Noraxon EMG system
  • GE iDXA 
  • Quantum 1080 Syncro
  • Quantstudio 6 real-time PCR
  • Molecular Devices m2e microplate reader
  • BIO-RAD gel electrophoresis equipment
  • Protean i12 electrophoresis system
  • Leica inverted microscope
  • Leica optical microscope
  • Transblot turbo western blotting system
  • Various resistance training equipment
  • Monark basket loaded cycles (Wingate)
  • Wattbike cycles
  • Equipment for blood flow restriction
  • Muscle biopsy needles and capabilities for muscle analyses
  • Actiheart system


Human Performance Laboratory

Prospective Students

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This program is being discontinued starting Fall of the 2023-2024 academic year and therefore is no longer accepting applications. 

What are the general procedures for applying to the graduate program in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition?

You will need to do two things:

  1. You must apply for admission to the University. You can obtain an application form and more information from Enrollment Services.
  2. You must also apply separately to the Department of Kinesiology. You will need the following items:
  • Letter of Intent
  • Professional Resume
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Foundational Coursework Checklist
  • The GRE is NOT required however it is encouraged to report GRE scores if taken

Foundational Coursework Checklist

The exercise of filling out this document will give you insight into the following question: Is this Option right for you?  It also gives the department an idea of what foundational coursework you are missing. If you don’t have much of the document filled out, then the Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Option is most likely not right for you at this moment.

Please download and submit the File Foundational Coursework Checklist with your application. 

CSULB Foundational Courses for the Option:​

  • Approved Statistics Course (e.g. BIOL 260 Biostatistics, KIN 483 Statistics in Human Movement; 3 units)
  • KIN 301 Exercise Physiology (3 units)
  • CHEM 111A General Chemistry (5 units)
  • CHEM 227 Organic Chemistry (3 units) or CHEM 448 Biochemistry (3 units) or equivalent 
  • NUTR 132 Introductory Nutrition (3 units)
  • NUTR 331 Fundamentals of Human Nutrition (3 units)*
  • NUTR 436A Advanced Nutrition (Macronutrients) (3 units)*
  • NUTR 436B Advanced Nutrition (Micronutrients) (3 units)*

* These classes are not required for admission but are required to take the advanced coursework in Nutrition. Please check the courses of interest to verify prerequisite coursework needed.

Please check the CSULB catalog for prerequisites to these courses.

These items should be sent to:

Graduate Coordinator
Department of Kinesiology
California State University Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, California, 90840, USA

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

See prerequisite course checklist above.

What are the prerequisites for specific courses in the Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Graduate Option?



KIN 551

KIN 301* or equivalent & BIOL 207 - prerequisite

KIN 566 KIN 301* or equivalent; CHEM 111A or equivalent
KIN 696 Undergraduate Major in Kinesiology or Related Field & Statistics course
KIN 552 KIN 301* & BIOL 207
KIN 553 KIN 301*
KIN 562 KIN 300 & KIN 301*
KIN 565 KIN 301*
KIN 698 KIN 696 & Advancement to Candidacy
NUTR 132 None
NUTR 331 NUTR 132 & BIOL 207; also NUTR 234 for Dietetics
NUTR 436A NUTR 331* or CHEM 227*
NUTR 439 NUTR 132 or BIOL 207 or Instructor Consent
NUTR 530A NUTR 335, NUTR 436A*, NUTR 436B*
NUTR 530B NUTR 436A*, NUTR 436B*; BIOL 260 & NUTR 436L
NUTR 531 NUTR 335, NUTR 436A*, NUTR 436B*, NUTR 461*
NUTR 539 NUTR 132 or BIOL 207 or BIOL 301 or GERN 400
NUTR 570 NUTR 132, KIN 301

*Check CSULB catalog for prerequisites to these courses.

I do not have some of the foundational course work, is there a provisional acceptance that would allow me to fulfill those requirements?

You can apply and be accepted into the option without having completed all of the foundational course work.  However, you are expected to complete all foundational course work within the first two semesters of graduate study.  You can take a maximum of two missing courses from the foundational coursework list during your graduate program.

On the California State University/Long Beach campus, what is the numbering for lower division, upper division, and graduate courses?

The numbering is as follows:  100-200 for lower-division courses, 300-400 for upper-division courses, 500-600 for graduate courses, and 700 for doctoral courses.  A course preceded by an asterisk has been approved for graduate credit. 

Can I take the equivalent of CHEM 227 Organic Chemistry at a community college?


As a first-semester graduate student coming to California State University/Long Beach from another campus, will I be able to enroll in the courses I desire or will they be full by the time I try to register for them? 

That is not typically a problem for the new graduate student trying to enroll in graduate courses.  However, there may be some challenges enrolling in undergraduate prerequisite courses because of class enrollment limits. Additionally, if you are missing any prerequisite coursework for a class, it must be completed before you can enroll in that particular class. 

What is a typical course load for the program?

The typical load is 2-3 courses per semester for the student who is working and taking courses.  The full-time student should be able to take 3-4 courses per semester. 

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

The due dates for submission of all application materials are March 15th for Fall Semester admission.  We do not accept Spring admissions. 

What information do I need to include in my application to the University?

You must include your completed application, official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, and your application fees.

What information do I need to include in my application to the Department?

You must include the following:

  • Letter of Intent
  • Professional Resume/CV
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Foundational Coursework Checklist

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

Yes, the requirements for admission into 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 Physiology and Nutrition?

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:

For more information regarding the program in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition, please contact Dr. Joshua Cotter (joshua.cotter@csulb.edu), Dr. Kurt Escobar (kurt.escobar@csulb.edu), or Dr. Evan Schick (evan.schick@csulb.edu). 

If you have questions or comments regarding the discontinuance of the program, please email the Kinesiology Department Chair, Dr. Emyr Williams (emyr.williams@csulb.edu).