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College of Human Sciences

Optimizing Human Performance

Sports Sciences

Master's of Science, Exercise Physiology (Major, Sports Science)

The Sports Sciences major is designed for students who have a passion for working with elite athletes as a strength and conditioning specialist at the high school, university or professional level.

Graduates of the major will be academically prepared to sit for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist examination through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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All admitted master’s students are assigned to the non-thesis track. To apply for the thesis track, students must be in good academic standing and have the support of your temporary advisor after the first semester.

For exemplary master’s students, a bypass to the Ph.D. degree may be possible. The decision is based on academic performance during the first year of study.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us at

  1. An upper-division undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The same scale applies for graduate-level work.
  2. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited university.
  3. Prerequisites must be completed before you enter the program; applicants that have not completed all prerequisites as per transcripts submitted (or cannot prove that he/she will complete the courses prior to the start of the graduate program) will be denied admission. Please see individual program prerequisite courses in the appropriate tab.
  4. Students admitted to this program will be working directly with elite collegiate athletes. To have a competitive application, you should have experience working with athletes in a training or strength and conditioning setting as well as a certification from an accredited organization (NSCA or CSCCa).
  5. A competitive Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) score; recommended score of above the 50th percentile (approximately 150) in both verbal and quantitative sections with a 4.0 or higher on the writing section. Please note that it can take up to ten (10) days after sitting for the GRE for an official score report to be sent to the university.
  6. International students must have an official TOEFL score of at least 80 (TOEFL iBT) or 550 (paper-delivered) to meet university requirements. Our department does not accept other English proficiency examinations (i.e. IELTS).
  7. A visit to the department is encouraged. Please contact us at to schedule your visit. Before you submit your online application and pay the application fee, you should directly contact graduate faculty members in your area of interest to determine availability and recommend experiences and qualifications regarding mentorship in internships, practicum, research and other hands-on experiences.

Attainment of these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission decisions are based on assessments of all aspects of the student’s application materials. The department reserves the right to increase standards if warranted by enrollment limitations and by the number and quality of applicants. Financial aid is a separate process from the admission to a graduate program. Other requirements, outside of the admissions application, must be met to qualify for an assistantship.

Satisfactory grades must be earned in all prerequisite courses; minimums greater than a C are listed by the course. The required prerequisite undergraduate courses for the Sports Nutrition program are:

  • Science of Nutrition (B minus or better)
  • Chemistry I + Lab
  • Anatomy & Physiology I + Lab (C+ or better)
  • Exercise Physiology

Note: Starting Fall 2017, students have the option to take the undergraduate Exercise Physiology leveling course the first semester of their graduate program.

In addition to this, you must have earned a related undergraduate or graduate degree (e.g. Athletic Training, Sports Sciences, Kinesiology, Exercise Science, etc.) in order to be eligible for this program.

Only complete applications will be reviewed. This program only admits in the fall semester (April 1 application deadline). All application materials must be received by the deadlines posted.

In order to be considered for an assistantship, admissions applications should be completed earlier (February 1).

  1. Apply Online, submit the admissions application and pay the application fee.
  2. Once you have submitted your application:
    • o Upload a one-page Statement of Purpose which briefly outlines your research interests and/or career goals. Include how your background and prior training make you a good candidate, as well as why Florida State University is a good fit for you. Please indicate up to three FSU faculty members with whom you would like to work. We strongly encourage applicants to familiarize themselves with the research interests of the faculty.
    • Upload a resume or vita (information should be current).
    • Enter contact information for three recommenders. The system will directly contact your recommender and provide them with a link to upload their letter.  Academic recommendations are preferred, but relevant professional recommendations will be accepted. The recommenders should be professionals you have worked for who are familiar with your academic performance and can speak directly about your qualification for this degree. No personal recommendations or letters from peers will be accepted as satisfying the minimum of three required recommenders.
  3. Submit official GRE test scores to the FSU Office of Admissions. The school reporting code for test scores is 5219; no department code is required.
  4. International Students: Submit official TOEFL test scores to the FSU Office of Admissions. The school reporting code for test scores is 5219; no department code is required.
  5. Submit official transcripts (with translations if not in English) to the FSU Office of Admissions. Even if courses are posted to another institution’s transcripts, we require transcripts from EVERY post-secondary institution you attended.

Please allow a minimum of ten (10) business days for the Office of Admissions to process your incoming materials.

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