Exercise Science (MS)

The Master of Science in Exercise Science Program at Northeastern University offers a unique concentration in Physical Activity and Public Health that integrates key competencies for a degree in exercise science recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

The Exercise Science Program provides its students with a dedicated on-site laboratory that is equipped with state of the art technology that is ideal for applying coursework, honing practical skills, and conducting research.

Hands-on, experiential learning in laboratory setting

Small student cohorts to ensure strong faculty mentorship

Robust curriculum with a public health emphasis

Interdisciplinary collaboration with faculty and community partners


The MS Program in Exercise Science requires students to complete 36 credits of core and elective coursework which includes a thesis option. Full time students typically complete requirements in two years.

The 5 required courses provide the foundation for understanding advanced principles of exercise physiology on acute and chronic responses to endurance and strength exercise in major body systems, including the cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal systems (15 credits total).

  • Cardiopulmonary Physiology
  • Physical Activity and Exercise: Prescription, Measurement, and Testing
  • Advanced Exercise Physiology
  • Physical Activity and Exercise: Effects on Musculoskeletal Health and Disease
  • Electrocardiography

The 3 required courses provide the foundation for understanding the fundamental principles and concepts of conducting scientific research, including study design, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Students apply this knowledge through an experiential learning-based practicum, in which they design a research study and undergo peer evaluation (9 credits total).

  • Biostatistics in Public Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Applied Research Methods

The 2 required courses provide the foundation to plan, develop, and evaluate primary prevention programs. Students will be able to apply this knowledge to implement evidence-based physical activity wellness programs in real-world settings (6 credits).

  • Urban Community Health Assessment
  • Health Education and Program Planning

Students select one of three concentrations, and do two courses within that concentration to deepen their knowledge and competency within that area (6 credits).

1 Public Health Concentration Practicum Urban Community Health Assessment Global Health or Environmental Health Public Health Nutrition
2 Clinical Concentration Clinical Nutrition Applications in Health & Disease Patient-Centered Health Informatics Internship
3 Research Concentration Thesis I & II Directed Study Applied Regression Analysis Advances in Measuring Behavior

Curriculum subject to change. For a sample curriculum, please click here.


The Exercise Science Program accepts applications for Fall entry only.

Applicants accepted: Domestic and International
Delivery: Primarily on campus with one or two classes online
Student status: Full-time or part-time
Term Start: Fall only
Application deadline: Priority 3/1*, Final 8/1

*Recommended for those applicants interested in scholarships and assistantships.

Admissions Checklist

Click each required application item for more information.

Completed application
Degree requirements
Official transcripts
Prerequisite coursework
3 letters of recommendation
Official test scores
Health-related working experience

Other Program Information

Collaborative Opportunities
Faculty Expertise
Real-World Transferability

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the tuition costs for the Exercise Science Program?

The program consists of 36 credits. For up-to-date information regarding Northeastern University tuition per credit, please refer to the University’s tuition page.

What kind of financial assistance is available?

The program offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships and graduate assistantships to qualified students. Nothing more than a completed application is required for consideration.

Federal financial aid and institutional scholarships may be available to qualified students. The Office of Student Financial Services provides the most up-to-date information and recommends that every student consider applying for financial aid, regardless of his/her income and assets. You may also call 617.373.5899 or email [email protected].

Do I have to select an elective concentration right away?

No, once a student is accepted into to the program, he or she will work with a designated faculty advisor to choose one of the following pathways for the elective concentration: clinical, research, or public health.

Can the program be completed in less than two years?

Yes, it is possible to complete the program in less than two years, depending on whether or not certain required classes are available to be taken over the summer.

Can I take my prerequisite coursework online?

Yes, as long as the courses are offered by an accredited institution.

What is your average class size?

Our program offers small class sizes of about 10 to 15 students.

Do your students typically go on to be certified from the ACSM?

Yes, our students graduate from our program are well prepared and may be eligible for this certifications from organizations such as ACSM, NPAS,  NSCA and we encourage them to apply for certifications.

Can I work full time and attend the Master Program on a part-time basis?

Many courses in the Master Program meet in the early evenings, and some meet during the day. Most courses meet once a week or twice a week. With enough work flexibility, it is possible to work full time and attend school part-time.

Contact Information

We welcome any questions you might have about our program. Please feel free to send general program inquiries and admissions-related questions to Dr. Rui Li.

Rui Li, PhD
Program Director
[email protected]