EXNS Graduate Programs

The Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences' graduate degree programs prepare students for a wide range of professional careers in the fast-growing field of health and wellness.

Our master's degree students learn the more advanced science behind exercise performance, physical activity promotion, and nutrition science, as well as how to design programs that promote health and wellness at the individual, as well as at the population level. Our Master of Science (MS) and Master of Public Health (MPH) graduates go on to work in settings ranging from large government agencies (e.g., USDA, CDC, Pentagon), to hospitals, to school systems, and to professional sports teams (DC United, Redskins, Capitals).

Four graduate degree options are available to students through the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences.


Doctoral (PhD) Program in Exercise Physiology and Applied Nutrition

Applications for Fall 2025 are extended to December 1, 2024.

This multidisciplinary program provides a rigorous educational opportunity with a curriculum grounded in science and includes the use of sound methodological approaches and innovative thinking that leads to the advancement of knowledge that can be translated into real-world health applications of physiology and nutrition. The program further provides scholars with opportunities to focus on health from the molecular to the community setting. Ongoing research includes nutritional and physical activity epidemiology focused on aging and cancer, physiological and metabolic adaptations to dietary factors and exercise, chronic disease prevention and management, physical activity and dietary interventions, and community-based programs and interventions focused on physical activity and nutrition in children and youth. The program takes advantage of the strengths of the GW academic environment, including wet labs, applied nutrition and physiology labs, along with our location in Washington, D.C., where students and faculty have the opportunity to translate knowledge into real-world impact. 


Master of Public Health (MPH) in Physical Activity in Public Health

Students study the latest techniques and tactics to integrate physical activity into the core of public health practice. The curriculum focuses on the public health burden of our sedentary lifestyle in the US; the role of physical activity in the etiology, prevention and treatment of chronic disease; the role of the built environment in promoting an active lifestyle and how increasing daily physical activity and lowering hours per day spent sitting have become a top policy priority on public health agenda at the community, national and global levels.

Graduates of the program are prepared to serve as public health scientists and practitioners. They will assist public and private agencies with surveillance, analysis of large population-based data-sets, and with program development and evaluation regarding physical activity, health promotion and disease prevention.

MPH- Physical Activity in Public Health Program Overview from GW Public Health on Vimeo.


Master of Public Health (MPH) in Public Health Nutrition
Students in this program will become experts on how to best meet the nutritional health needs of populations (including sub-groups such as children or the elderly) through nutrition-related education, community interventions, policy, administration, and research efforts. The program emphasizes “policy, systems, and environmental change” (PSE) approaches towards improving nutrition-related health outcomes. 


Master of Science (MS) with a concentration in Strength & Conditioning

Students in this program study to become experts in improving athletic performance and physical fitness. They are the men and women who will train the next generation of recreational, scholastic and elite athletes. They will inspire people in their communities to reach their fitness goals. The curriculum includes advanced theory in exercise physiology and the science of resistance training, weight training technique and program design.


Graduate Assistantships

EXNS Graduate Assistants have the opportunity to gain valuable professional development experiences teaching laboratory and other courses, in addition to working in the lab conducting exercise testing, and assisting in research and other administrative tasks within the department. Graduate assistants typically work 20 hours per week and receive tuition benefits and salary to help defer the cost of their education.

Application instructions for assistantships are available in the Student Resources section.