Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science

Admission to a MS- HNES program is considered ONLY after all required application materials have been received and reviewed. The department admits MS Exercise/Nutrition option students for fall semester only.

MS- option in Exercise/Nutrition Science

Minimum criteria and application information to be considered for admission for all paths (Plan A- thesis, Plan B- paper, Plan C- Internship/Capstone):
Note-meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee acceptance in the program. Workload limitations and capacity limits for the program or faculty mentor apply.

  • The GRE is NOT required for this degree option. 
  • GPA 3.0 or higher
  • Undergraduate major of Dietetics, Exercise Science, or closely related field.
  • Application to the NDSU Graduate School which includes: precise statement of purpose, official transcripts, and two professional letters of recommendation.
  • In the application, please indicate what degree path (Plan A- Thesis, Plan B- Paper, Plan C- Internship/Capstone) you are primarily considering at this time. This path can change once admitted but provides the HNES department with preliminary information on your plan of study. A description of all the paths are described below.
  • Please also note in your application if you are interested in a graduate assistantship position and indicate any previous experience with teaching, research, or other specific skills, abilities, or certifications you possess that would be relevant.

The Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences reserves the right to obtain additional information about the applicant's professional competence from qualified professionals. Admission decisions are based upon the predicted success of the applicant as a student and professional in the chosen field and are made only after considering all available data.

MS- Option in Leadership in Physical Education and Sport

Admission is competitive and limited to 50 students. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and students may be admitted for fall, spring, and summer semesters. Admitted out-of-state and international students are charged in-state tuition rates for this online program.

Admission requirements are as follows:

  1. Cumulative baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  2. Undergraduate degree in physical education, coaching, sport management, education, or related field. Applicants with relevant experience that hold other degrees will also be considered.
  3. The GRE is NOT required for this option.

A 3.0 is needed to be considered for full acceptance into the LPES program. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 will be considered for conditional acceptance and will have to complete 6 graduate credit hours with grades of at least B to be considered for full standing. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee acceptance.

Financial Assistance

Both research and teaching assistantships may be available. Applications are considered on the basis of scholarship, potential to undertake advanced study and research, and financial need. To be considered for an assistantship, a completed Graduate School application, official transcripts, and three letters of reference must be received by the Graduate School by the program deadline. 

Graduate assistants receive a financial stipend for their work. In addition to the stipend, graduate assistants receive a graduate tuition waiver. Tuition waivers cover base tuition for NDSU graduate credits only. Students are responsible for differential tuition, student fees, and tuition for non-graduate level credits taken or Cooperative Education credits. Assistantships are available contingent upon current funding and faculty need.

Exercise/Nutrition Science Option

Plan A- thesis

The thesis typically includes a problem statement, a review of existing literature relevant to that problem, and the creation and presentation of new knowledge in providing a solution to the problem. Each student assembles a supervisory committee and pass a final oral examination in which the supervisory committee serves as the examining committee. Following a successful defense, the candidate will submit an electronic copy of their thesis to the Graduate School for review. This path is recommended for all students but specifically relevant for those interested in going on to further graduate work (PhD, DPT, MD). Total Credits 31.

Plan B- paper

The Plan B master's student will develop a thorough understanding of existing knowledge and the ability to apply that existing knowledge to a problem of interest. Note that under this degree, the new knowledge being created is limited, and this is the primary difference between the Plan A and Plan B degrees. The precise nature of the individual creative component is defined by the program. Examples of possible creative components include a comprehensive paper or an integrated field experience. Each student would assemble a supervisory committee and pass a final oral examination. Following a successful defense, the candidate will compose an executive summary or assemble other appropriate documentation as defined by the program to be submitted to the Graduate School. This submission to the Graduate School is to be approved by the student's supervisory committee. This path is recommended for all students but is specifically relevant for those who wish to obtain employment directly after completing their degree or who may still be interested in further graduate work but the scope of the next step is not yet defined.Total credits 31.

Plan C-Internship/Capstone

The Plan C is designed for programs in which a well-defined culminating experience is more important than is an individual creative component. Each program will define a culminating experience such as a capstone experience or some other approach to measure the candidate's understanding of the relevant material in the area (certification, internship experience/project). The student's supervisory committee would generally consist of faculty solely from within that discipline. The supervisory committee may specify that a certain level of performance (i.e., a minimum GPA) be obtained in specified courses or in the program itself. Upon completion of the appropriate course work and culminating experience, the candidate must submit the  examination documentation (if required by program) and an Application for Graduate Degree to Graduate School. This path is recommended for all students but is specifically relevant for those who are currently employed full-time in the community and are wishing to advance their current employment status (i.e., no further graduate work). Total credits 34.

Plan A - Thesis Option31
HNES 790Graduate Seminar (Introduction to HNES )1
HNES 713Graduate Exercise Physiology3
HNES 710Introduction to Research Design and Methods in HNES3
HNES 726Nutrition in Wellness3
HNES 727Physical Activity Epidemiology3
STAT 725Applied Statistics3
Electives (See below)9
HNES 798Master's Thesis6
Plan B - Master's Paper Option31
HNES 790Graduate Seminar (Seminar Introduction to HNES)1
HNES 710Introduction to Research Design and Methods in HNES3
HNES 713Graduate Exercise Physiology3
STAT 725Applied Statistics3
HNES 726Nutrition in Wellness3
HNES 727Physical Activity Epidemiology3
Electives (see below)12
HNES 797Master's Paper3
Plan C - Internship/Capstone Option34
HNES 790Graduate Seminar (Seminar Introduction to HNES)1
HNES 713Graduate Exercise Physiology3
HNES 726Nutrition in Wellness3
Electives (see below)18 or more
Choose 6 credits from
Individual Study
Field Experience
HNES 668Leadership and Communication in Dietetics1
HNES 703Graduate Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise3
HNES 704Psychological Foundation of Sport & Physical Activity3
HNES 724Nutrition Education3
HNES 735Nutrition and Human Performance
HNES 754Assessment in Nutrition and Exercise Science3
HNES 760Skeletal Muscle Physiology3
HNES 761Physiological and Fitness Assessment in Exercise Science3
HNES 762Exercise Endocrinology3
HNES 770Evidence Based Research and Practice2
HNES 777Scholarly Writing and Presenting in HNES3
HNES 791Temporary/Trial Topics1-5
HNES 792Graduate Teaching Experience1-6

Leadership in Physical Education and Sport Option

The program requires a total of 30 credits. Students must complete the three required courses (offered every year) and may select the remaining courses from the elective list. Students present a final portfolio demonstrating their proficiency of program standards and competencies during the final semester of coursework.

HNES 700Research in Physical Education and Sport3
HNES 701Leadership and Supervision 3
HNES 712Principles of Management3
HNES 704Psychological Foundation of Sport & Physical Activity3
HNES 705Analysis of Sport Skill Instruction and Acquisition3
HNES 707Sport in American Society3
HNES 708Positive Youth Development through Sport 3
HNES 709Leadership Influence in Physical Education and Sport 3
HNES 711Physical Education Curriculum3
HNES 714Legal Liability in HPER3
HNES 715Teaching Concepts -Based Fitness 3
HNES 716Financial Management in Sport3
HNES 731Governance in Sport3
HNES 736Ethical Leadership 3
HNES 737School-wide Physical Activity Promotion3
HNES 738Adapted Physical Education3
HNES 739Sport Revenue Generation3
HNES 790Graduate Seminar1-3
HNES 792Graduate Teaching Experience1-6
HNES 793Individual Study1-3
HNES 795Field Experience1-3

Bryan Christensen, Ph.D.
University of Kansas, 2000
Research Interests: Biomechanics, Sports Psychology, Strength and Conditioning

Shannon David, Ph.D.
Ohio University, 2013
Research Interests: Patient-Clinician Relationship, Patient Oriented Outcomes

Joe Deutsch, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2007
Research Interests: Physical Education Teacher Education, Youth Sport Coaching

Nathan Dicks, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2019
Research Interests: Exercise Testing; Tactical Population Wellness, Fitness, and Performance

Marty Douglas, Ph.D.
Michigan State University, 2009
Research Interests: Adapted Physical Activity

Brandon Foye, Ed.D.
Boston University, 2022
Research Interests: Physical Education, Teacher Education and Online Physical Education

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 1994
Research Interests: Nutrition Education, Chronic Disease Prevention, Food Safety/Science

Kyle Hackney, Ph.D,
Syracuse University, 2013
Research Interests: Skeletal Muscle, Sarcopenia, Muscle Inactivity, Ergogenic Aids, Sports Performance

Elizabeth Hilliard, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2018
Research InterestsBreastfeeding Support and Promotion in the Workplace, and Infant and Child Feeding Practices

Jenny Linker, Ph.D.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2011
Research Interests: Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs, Physical Education Teacher Preparation

Ryan McGrath, Ph.D.
University of Idaho, 2015
Research Interests: Frailty and Health, Epidemiology of Aging, Physical Activity and Health for Aging Adults and Persons with Disabilities, Disability Prevention

Yeong Rhee, Ph.D.
Oklahoma State University, 1999
Research Interests: Chronic Disease Prevention, Functional Foods

Sherri Nordstrom Stastny, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2007
Research Interests: Nutrition for Healthy Aging

Bradford N. Strand, Ph.D.
University of New Mexico, 1988
Research Interests: Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction, Fitness Education, Sport Sociology

Ashley Roseno, Ph.D.
North Carolina State, 2019
Research Interests: Dietetics, Nutrition Education and Curriculum Development

Seungmin Kang, Ph.D.
Louisiana State University, 2021
Research Interests: Sport for Development and Peace (SDP), Shared Leadership in SDP, Nonprofit Partnerships, Leadership and Human Resource Development

Kelsey Slater, Ph.D.
Mississippi State University, 2021
Research Interests: Sport for Development, Sport Diplomacy and Sport Communication

Joel White, Ph.D
University of Northern Colorado, 2009
Research Interests: Sport Marketing and Sport Finance