Exercise Science (MS) — Online

The Master of Science in Exercise Science Program at Northeastern University offers two unique concentrations in 1) Physical Activity and Public Health and 2) Applied/Clinical Exercise Physiology that integrate 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 30 credits of coursework that includes one concentration area. The curriculum is offered online with a low-residency component, a 4-day on campus hands-on training to prepare students for experiential education in the field through internship or practicum. Full-time students typically complete requirements in one to 1.5 years.

The four 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 (12 credits total).

  • Physical Activity and Exercise: Prescription, Measurement, and Testing
  • Advanced Exercise Physiology
  • Cardiopulmonary Physiology
  • Electrocardiography

The three 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

Students select one of two concentrations, and take three courses within that concentration to deepen their knowledge and competency within that area (9 credits).


Applied/Clinical Exercise Physiology Concentration:

  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Musculoskeletal Health and Disease
  • Internship or an alternative course

Physical Activity and Public Health Concentration:

  • Health Education and Program Planning
  • Urban Health Assessment
  • Practicum or an alternative course


The Exercise Science Program accepts applications for Fall entry only.

Applicants accepted: Domestic
Delivery: Online
Student status: Full-time or part-time
Program duration: 1 to 1.5 years
Term Start: Fall only
Application deadline: Priority 3/1, Final 8/1

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 30 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?

Yes. Once a student is accepted into to the program, they will work with a designated faculty advisor to choose one of the following concentrations: Applied/Clinical Exercise Physiology or Physical Activity and 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]