Graduate Program

Exercise Science Option


Kinesiology Graduate Program Coordinator
Dr. Lorrie Brilla
(360) 650-3056; Carver 26

Sport Psychology Graduate Program Advisor
Dr. Linda Keeler
(360) 650-3514; Carver 22

Faculty and Contact Information

Brilla, Lorrie, Ph.D., Exercise Physiology / Nutrition

Chalmers, Gordon, Ph.D., Motor Control

Mielke, Michelle, Ph.D., Exercise Physiology / Nutrition

San Juan, Jun, Ph.D., Biomechanics

Suprak, David, Ph.D., Biomechanics / Exercise Programming and Design

For more information on the graduate program, contact the appropriate kinesiology or pedagogy faculty member for individual program questions

The Exercise Science graduate degree is a dynamic combination of theoretical, applied, and experiential training. Theoretical aspects include current concepts in physiology of exercise, biomechanics, functional anatomy, motor control/learning, plus independent thought and research within those areas. Typical activities include involvement in familiarization with laboratory equipment, ongoing research projects, case studies, analysis of real cases, problem solving, and interaction with clients in wellness and fitness assessment/leadership programs. Experiential training includes internships in a variety of settings: corporate fitness programs, hospitals, and the campus fitness program among others.

The Exercise Science program meets the needs of students who are seeking a terminal degree for employment in the fitness assessment and exercise prescription fields. Examples of employment sites include hospital health and fitness laboratories, health and fitness centers, and physical therapy clinics. This degree is also popular for the continuing education of athletic trainers. Additionally, the exercise science specialization can serve as a preparation for further studies at the doctoral level.

The Exercise Science degree can only be completed during the academic year. Students must attend for a minimum of two years, because courses are offered on a two-year alternating basis. The content of the degree contains heavy emphasis in Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics with support courses from Motor Control/Learning, Statistics, and Research Design. Electives can also be taken from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or other areas. Additionally, students are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of ongoing research activities in both the Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology Laboratories. A thesis is required and an eclectic approach is taken whereby students can select topics of interest and explore them within the constraints of finances and sophistication of equipment.

Exercise Science Option plan of study.

Sport Psychology Option

Directed toward educational, behavioral, and applied orientations, the sport psychology specialization is designed to prepare students to serve as performance consultants for athletic teams, and health- and fitness-oriented businesses, as well as community organizations which sponsor organized recreational and youth sport programs. Students can also design this specialization to emphasize the psychology of coaching or to prepare themselves for continuing graduate studies in sport and exercise psychology.

In addition to core courses, students can choose several elective courses in psychology and exercise science to complete their course of study. One of the unique and attractive features of this applied program is the availability of internships in sport and exercise psychology with Western’s intercollegiate athletic teams and Adult Fitness programs. Internships in sport and exercise psychology are designed to serve as culminating experiences, which highlight the applied nature of this specialization. A thesis in sport and exercise psychology is required.

Sport Psychology Option plan of study.

Sport Psychology Option Admission Criteria.

PE Program Graduate Information

Graduate Guidelines

Thesis Projects completed over the last several years

Page Updated 06.30.2015