Strength and Conditioning - MS

Program Contacts


The mission of the this program is to provide formal graduate level academic instruction in the science and theory of resistance training, as well as to promote student production of research that directly relates to the neuromuscular adaptations involved with resistance training.


The goals of this program in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences are to:

  • Establish scientific basis for the value of anaerobic exercise, and to provide internal and external programs that promote health behaviors across the lifespan.
  • Meet an increasing demand for well-educated professional capable of delivering a broad range of exercise-based preventive, technical, educational, and rehabilitative services.
  • Gain insight into strategies for the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia, osteoporosis and childhood obesity.
  • Provide advanced training in exercise physiology as it relates specifically to resistance training for the purpose of increasing athletic performance and the prevention or treatment of inactivity-related health disorders.
  • Prepare students with knowledge and skills to take the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam offered through the NSCA, and the Level One Weightlifting Coaching Course offered through United States Weightlifting (USAW)

Program Requirements

Course Requirements

All GW Department of Exercise Science Master Degree students who select the Strength and Conditioning Program enroll in both Core Courses (18 credits) and Program-Specific Courses (18 credits).  The 36 total credit requirement includes a culminating experience consisting of either successful completion of an Oral Research Defense or the Comprehensive Exam.

Master of Science in Exercise Science in Strength and Conditioning 2015-2016

Undergraduate exercise physiology - must be completed prior to beginning coursework at GW  

Core courses (17 credits):

EXNS 6202 Advanced Exercise Physiology I  
EXNS 6203 Advanced Exercise Physiology II  
EXNS 6204 Biostatistical Methods & Research Design  
EXNS 6207 Psychological Aspects of Sport & Exercise  
EXNS 6208 Physical Activity: Physiology & Epidemiology  
EXNS 6209 Advanced Concepts in  Nutrition Science  
Program specific courses (13 credits):  
EXNS 6220 Power Training for Sports Perfermance  
EXNS 6221 Science & Theory of Training  
EXNS 6222 Current Topics in Strength Conditioning  
EXNS 6223 Biomechanical Analysis  
Elective Approved by Program Director  
Culminating experience (6 credits):  
Select one of the following options:  
Option A  
EXNS 6261
  & EXNS 6998
Thesis Seminar
   and Thesis Research
Option B  
EXNS 6233 Graduate Internship  
Comprehensive exam  


Program-Specific Competencies 

Upon completion of the MS Strength and Conditioning program, professionals will possess the following functional competencies:

​To integrate evidence-based knowledge of exercise physiology, psychology and the science of exercise training to improve athletic performance.

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the physiology of exercise. EXNS 6202, 6203, 6208, 6221,6222, 6223
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the role of exercise training as it relates to improved athletic performance and health. EXNS 6202, 6203, 6208, 6220,6221, 6222, 6223
  • Students will demonstrate knowldege and understandin of various programmatic design variables that can be manipulated to preng about specific training outcomes. EXNS 6207, 6209, 6220, 6221, 6222, 6223
  • Students will demonstrate knowlege and understanding of current evidence-based aspects of exercise training as it relates to improved athletic performance and health. EXNS 6220, 6221, 6222

To utilize social and behavioral change as they relate to improved athletic performance and health.

  • Students will apply various theories of social and behavioral change as they relate to  improved athletic performance and health. EXNS 6207, 6208
  • Students will demonstrate skills in the design of exercise training interventions and sport-specific exercise programs that are consistent with these social and behavioral theories. EXNS 6207, 6208, 6220, 6221, 6222
  • Students will evaluate these interventions with regard to their effectiveness in improving athletic performance and health. EXNS 6207, 6208, 6221, 6222

To utilize statistical and epidemiological theories in the development and production of resarch related to improved athletic performance and health.

  • Students will design research studies that are consistent with advancing the field of strength and conditioning. EXNS 6221, 6222
  • Studentes will integrate applicable statistical and epidemiological theories in the development and evaluation of this research. EXNS 6207

To work with other professionals in the field of Strength and Conditioning for the purpse of gaining practical knowledge of the current state of the profession.

  • Students will integrate their knowledge of Strength & Conditioning into existing professinal experiences with other professinals in the field. EXNS 6233, 6221, 6222
  • Students will apprecieate the role of different strength and cpnditioning theorgies and practices among their partners in the field. EXNS 6233, 6221, 6222

Graduation Requirements

  1. Graduate credit requirement: 36 graduate credits are required.
  2. Course requirements: successful completion of the core courses and the program specific courses are required.
  3. Examination requirement: pass the American College of Sports Medicine Clinical Exercise Specialist® certification examination (clinical exercise physiology only)
  4. Grade point requirement: a 3.0 (B average) overall grade point average is required.
  5. Time limit requirement: the degree must be completed within four years.
  6. Transfer credit policy: up to 12 graduate credits that have not been applied to a previous graduate degree may be transferred to the MSES.  Courses need to have been taken within the past three years from an accredited institution with a grade of B or better.

Past Program Guides

This is the current program guide for this program. Students should follow the course requirements from the year in which they entered the program. 

Past Guides:
Guides that are not available online can be accquired from the Academic Affairs Program Coordinator in the Dean's Office.