Are you someone who loves physical fitness, wellness, athletics, or exercising? Want to make a career out of it?


Studying applied exercise science provides you with the flexibility to explore many different career paths within the field of physical health without getting locked into just one. While most other programs train you for a very specific role, applied exercise science gives you the foundational tools to fit a wide range of jobs and academic paths.

If you’ve ever been interested in pursuing an exercise science degree here at Concordia, you may have encountered some of the following questions. As you consider the future of your education, we hope these FAQs help you make an informed decision on whether or not Concordia is right for you.

What is exercise science?

Exercise science is the study of human movement performed to maintain or improve physical fitness. The main content of our Master of Science in Applied Exercise Science (MAES) program revolves around exercise physiology and applied kinesiology. You’ll also encounter curriculum that delves into neuromuscular, cardiorespiratory, and bioenergetics research while receiving training in critical thinking, research skills, and communication skills.

What is the blended learning environment?

In MAES, students learn in a blended environment where each class offers weeks of face-to-face content and weeks of online content. This gives flexibility throughout the semester so students do not need to be on campus each week of the semester.

When are courses offered?

Core courses (27 credits) are offered in fall and spring semesters.

When can I start in MAES?

Students can apply to start in either fall or spring semesters as our courses alternate every other year.

What elective courses are offered?

Elective courses (6 credits) can be taken at CUW or other universities in most graduate departments including athletic training, physical therapy, counseling, and business just to name a few. Elective courses may meet face-to-face, blended, or solely online depending on the course content.

Are there internship opportunities?

Graduate students are encouraged to consider a practicum (internship) experience for elective credit. These are offered in a variety of settings including clinical exercise physiology (pediatrics, adults, and geriatrics), community centers, YMCAs, private fitness centers, and sports performance facilities.

Can I be employed (part-time or full-time) during the MAES program?

The majority of our students are employed either part-time or full-time while enrolled in the MAES program. Core courses are offered in early morning hours or later evening hours to accommodate work between class times.

What areas of research are offered? Do I need to research topics in a specific area?

Research for the master’s thesis should be completed in an exercise science topic. Our faculty mentors have a variety of interests and areas of expertise. We encourage each prospective student to meet with the faculty to explore current projects within the Exercise Physiology Laboratory and discuss personal research interests. Faculty mentors will guide you to complete a thesis related to your area of interest and career goals. At times, a faculty mentor may have a research project in process and students are able to collaborate with the mentor.

What does it mean to complete a thesis?

Each student will pursue a topic of interest to answer a research question in the field of exercise science. The student will explore current literature to see what is known and unknown in the specific topic to develop a purpose and hypothesis. From this, a research study design will be created and the protocol will be submitted to the Institutional Review Board for approval. Data can be collected and analyzed after approval is received. The final product will be a written thesis including an introduction, literature review in the topic area, methodology, results, conclusions, and discussion. In addition, the student will orally defend the project before a committee and public audience.

Does enrollment in this master’s program ensure passing the ACSM certification exams?

Our core content is meant to increase knowledge in a variety of exercise science topics including kinesiology, cardiorespiratory exercise physiology, neuromuscular exercise physiology, bioenergetics, weight management, and research. These courses will increase your knowledge base for ACSM certification exams but do not guarantee successful completion of a certification exam.  Additional preparation is required specific to the type of certification the student is considering. Please discuss your plans for certifications with faculty to explore additional preparation options.

If you’re interested in pursuing applied exercise science at Concordia, you can explore our program and learn more about our admission steps for the program.

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