Exercise Science (M.S.E.) Curriculum & Admission Requirements



The academic coursework is designed to develop the knowledge base necessary for effective research and scholarship development.


Upon completion of 30 graduate credit hours, the student’s culminating activity is either the presentation/defense of a project/portfolio or the completion of a thesis. If the thesis option is chosen, the student must present a formal research proposal and later defend the results in a final oral examination of the thesis. Students also have the option to complete a comprehensive exam in place of a project/thesis.

Comprehensive examination

Upon completion of 36 graduate credit hours of coursework, the student’s culminating activity is the comprehensive examination. The exam consists of both a written and oral part and tests the student's knowledge of the coursework; ability to reason, evaluate and draw supportable conclusions; and knowledge of current issues and trends within the field. Comprehensive exams are graded pass or fail.

Program Curriculum

The master’s degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours for a thesis option or 36 credit hours for a non-thesis option. Regardless of which program track, students are able to select coursework in consultation with a faculty advisor to enhance the learning and fit the professional interests and educational needs.

  • EPSY 710/711: Basic Stats
  • EPSY 715: Understanding Research in Education
  • HSES 805: Lab Experiments & Analysis
  • HSES 810: Advanced Exercise Physiology
  • HSES 825: Skeletal Muscle Physiology
  • HSES 872: Exercise & the Cardiovascular System

Additional Requirements for Thesis Track

  • HSES 910: Biochemistry of Exercise
  • HSES 995: Field Experience in Exercise Science
  • HSES 899: Master's Thesis

Additional Requirements for Non-Thesis Track (Plus Electives)

  • HSES 730: Advanced Concepts in Nutrition
  • HSES 771: Internship in Exercise Science

Application Deadlines

Jan. 13
Spring semester deadline
June 3
Summer semester deadline
Aug. 18
Fall semester deadline

Application Checklist

M.S.E. in Exercise Science

Applicants are required to submit the following materials and meet the following requirements before the application deadline


  • Online application

    Complete through the KU Office of Graduate Admissions

  • Transcripts

    One official copy of academic transcripts from each college or university attended

  • English translation of transcripts

    Official transcripts from an international university must include an English translation

  • GRE exam scores

    Official copy of scores no older than five years

  • Resume or CV

  • Statement of purpose

    1-2 page statement outlining how the program relates to one’s career goals

  • Online letters of recommendation

    Names and email addresses of persons to be asked to complete letters of recommendation who can provide a thorough evaluation of one’s abilities at the graduate level

  • Proof of English proficiency

    Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency

  • Financial document (international students only)

    Required by U.S. government in order to issue the I-20 or DS-2019

  • Application fee

    $65 for U.S. residents; $85 for international applicants

  • Prerequisites

    Applicants are required to have completed credits from the following KU courses, or transfer credit from equivalent non-KU courses: BIOL 240 (Human Anatomy); BIOL 246 (Principles of Human Physiology); HSES 369 (Kinesiology) OR HSES 470 (Biomechanics); HSES 372 (Exercise Physiology).

Program Faculty

Andrew C Fry
Andrew C Fry
Professor, Director, Jayhawk Athletic Performance Laboratory
Ashley Herda
Ashley Ann Herda
Assistant Professor
Trent J Herda
Trent J Herda
Associate Professor
Quincy Johnson
Quincy Johnson
Assistant Professor, HSES, Assistant Director, Jayhawk Athletic Performance Laboratory
Yu Song
Yu Song
Assistant Professor
Joseph Weir
Joseph Weir