Strength and Conditioning - MS


Strength and Conditioning - MS




The mission of the GW Master of Science (MS) Exercise Science in Strength and Conditioning program is to provide formal graduate level academic instruction in the science and theory of resistance training, for the purpose of improving athletic performance and the prevention of inactivity-related health disorders.

We are proud to educate students who are committed to improving public health and engaging in and promoting public service. We emphasize these qualities in the MS Exercise Science- Strength and Conditioning program because they are essential for future health professionals and public health practitioners. In addition, the goals for graduates of this program 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 professionals 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 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.
  • Gain the 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)

Course delivery: The majority of the MS, Exercise Science curriculum is taught via online instruction with synchronous (live) and asynchronous modules, however students are required to be on campus for a 3-day capstone course held in the second year of the program.

Program Prerequisites

Students must complete an Undergraduate Exercise Physiology course with a grade of a “B” or better before enrolling in the program. There are no additional specific prerequisites for entering the Exercise Science- Strength and Conditioning master’s program, other than successful completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher degree. This program is a good fit for anyone with an interest in improving human health through physical activity. Students who are especially interested in working with diverse populations and those who wish to study broad categories of health programs are great candidates for this MS Exercise Science in Strength and Conditioning.

EXNS Core Requirements

EXNS 6202 | Advanced Exercise Physiology I (3 credits)
EXNS 6203 | Advanced Exercise Physiology II (3 credits)
EXNS 6207 | Psychological Aspects of Sport & Exercise (3 credits)
EXNS 6208 | Physical Activity: Physiology & Epidemiology (2 credits)
PUBH 6002 | Biostatistical Applications for Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6080 | Pathways to Public Health (0 credits)*
PUBH 6619 | Fundamentals of Nutrition Science (3 credits)

*PUBH 6080 - Find FAQs on the Advising page here.



Program Specific Courses

EXNS 6220 | Power Training Laboratory (2 credits)
EXNS 6221 | Science & Theory of Resistance Training (3 credits)
EXNS 6222 | Current Topics in Strength & Conditioning (2 credits)
EXNS 6223 | Biomechanical Analysis (3 credits)
EXNS 6261 and | Thesis Seminar (3 credits)
EXNS 6998 |  Thesis Research (3 credits)
EXNS 6233
 | Graduate Internship (6 credits) and Comprehensive Exam (0 credit)



EXNS Strength and Conditioning Electives

3 credits - see program guide for most up to date course listings.


Non-Academic Requirements

Professional Enhancement

Students in degree programs must participate in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, or symposia related to your field of study.

Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the SPH degree programs and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. You can learn more about opportunities for Professional Enhancement via the Milken Institute School of Public Health Listserv, through departmental communications, or by speaking with your advisor.

Students must submit a completed Professional Enhancement Form to the student records department [email protected].

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Training

All students are required to complete the Basic CITI training module in Social and Behavioral Research prior to beginning the practicum.  This online training module for Social and Behavioral Researchers will help new students demonstrate and maintain sufficient knowledge of the ethical principles and regulatory requirements for protecting human subjects - key for any public health research.

Academic Integrity Quiz

All Milken Institute School of Public Health students are required to review the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and complete the GW Academic Integrity Activity.  This activity must be completed within 2 weeks of matriculation. Information on GWSPH Academic Integrity requirements can be found here.

Students must submit a completed Professional Enhancement Form to the Office of Student Records.

Remember to submit your documentation of eight hours of Professional Enhancement before you apply to graduate.

Program Guides

Past Program Guide

Students in the MS in Strength & Conditioning program should refer to the guide from the year in which they matriculated into the program. For the current program guide, click the "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.

Program Guide, 2023-24

Program Guide, 2022-23

Program Guide, 2021-22

Program Guide, 2020-21

Program Guide, 2019-20

Program Guide, 2018-19

Program Guide, 2017-18

Program Guide, 2016-17

Program Guide, 2015-16


There are numerous opportunities for Exercise Science in Strength and Conditioning degree program graduates as new health initiatives are developed and tested. MS Exercise Science- Strength and Conditioning graduates are in high demand at private health agencies and foundations, non-profit research centers, college-level athletics programs, and educational institutions. Graduates with an MS Exercise Science- Strength and Conditioning degree find careers in teaching, research, and coaching.
Students pursuing an MS in Exercise Science- Strength and Conditioning have access to a world-class faculty with relevant expertise and diverse experience in research, governmental, clinical, practical, and educational settings. The many areas of interest and research experience for professors and lecturers in the Exercise and Nutrition Sciences department include pathophysiology, chronic disease prevention, program design and evaluation, research methods, design theory, and policy advocacy.