Exercise Science

Online MS in Exercise Science

Designed for professionals who want to shape the future of healthcare, Northeastern University’s master’s in exercise science is the graduate degree for those who want to promote health and prevent disease. Our program offers a blend of theoretical knowledge and immersive experiences, preparing students to tackle some of the most pressing health challenges faced by individuals and communities.

Offered primarily online, the master’s in exercise science program allows students to balance their obligations as they prepare for diverse opportunities in an expanding field. The program also features a 4-day on-campus experience that provides students with hands-on, experiential learning in a state-of-the-art laboratory.

Fast Facts

  • Two starts per year, in the fall and spring.
  • The upcoming start date is January 8, 2024.
  • Submit your application by December 15, 2023.
  • Tuition: $1,233 per credit hour*; $36,990 total, plus fees.


  • Asynchronous online coursework for flexible learning
  • Full-time and part-time options
  • Prepare to sit for the ACSM and NSCA exams
  • Concentration options and lab experience opportunities
  • Network of 3,300+ global partners
  • Finish in as little as 1.5 years

* Note: Every student admitted and enrolled into our program automatically receives a $15,570 scholarship over the course of the program, bringing the cost of tuition down from $1,752 per credit hour to $1,233 per credit hour.

Request information

To learn more about online Master of Science in Exercise Science and download a free brochure, please fill out the form. You’ll receive details on required courses, along with admission and tuition information. You can also get in touch with an admissions counselor directly by calling +1 877.379.5339 (toll-free).

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Online MS in Exercise Science

Program Overview

The Northeastern online master’s in exercise science program takes a systemic approach to health promotion, integrating both therapy care and public health perspectives into the coursework. The curriculum offers professionals the foundational knowledge and practical skills to lead in research, analysis, healthcare and public service roles. The program also features two unique concentrations in Physical Activity & Public Health and Applied/Clinical Exercise Physiology, enabling students to choose a pathway that best matches their interests and career goals.

All of our courses offer real-life case studies, and we partner with community organizations to offer immersive learning opportunities through internships and practicums. In addition, graduates benefit from becoming members of Northeastern’s global alumni network.

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Professional physiotherapist massaging a patient

U.S. News & World Report rankings (2023)

school #1 for Co-ops/Internships
language #12 for Most Innovative Schools
account_balance #44 for Best National Universities

“There are no boundaries between teaching and learning in our master’s in exercise science program. When our students engage in experiential learning, they are no longer passive recipients of theory and fact, but active participants in a dynamic academic dialogue that extends far beyond the walls of our university.”

Rui Li, PhD
Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Health Sciences
Director, Exercise Science Program

Three students working on a project

Online MS in Exercise Science


The master’s in exercise science consists of 30 credits and can be completed in less than 2 years. This program integrates key competencies into the coursework, as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Students have the option to gain specialized knowledge and skills by selecting a concentration in Physical Activity & Public Health or Applied/Clinical Exercise Physiology. Each of these tracks provides a deep dive into an interdisciplinary field that could shape the careers of the next generation of exercise science professionals.

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Core courses

Students build core research and clinical skills that can be applied to a broad range of positions. The curriculum is centered on rigorous, applied training in scientific research methods, clinical exercise testing and exercise prescription. Core courses include:

Cource Number Course Title Number of Credits
EXSC 5200 Cardiopulmonary Physiology 3 credits
EXSC 5210 Physical Activity and Exercise: Prescription, Measurement and Testing 3 credits
EXSC 5220 Advanced Exercise Physiology 3 credits
EXSC 6202 Electrocardiography, Clinical Assessment and Prescription 3 credits
PHTH 5202 Introduction to Epidemiology 3 credits
PHTH 5210 Biostatistics in Public Health 3 credits
EXSC 6400 Applied Research Methods 3 credits

“I would highly recommend this program at Northeastern to other students. The opportunities and connections I’ve made [while] simultaneously gaining an outstanding education have paved my path for success into my future career.”

Cidney Moscovitch,
Bouvé College of Health Sciences alum

Behrakis Building on campus

Online MS in Exercise Science

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning opportunities are a hallmark of Northeastern’s educational mission. Students acquire hands-on experience through applied projects, lab components and field placements with community organizations — even when they take the master’s in exercise science online. Students finish with practical skills and a broadened professional network.

  • Coursework: Courses incorporate case studies, small group exercises and applied projects.
  • Research: Students collaborate with faculty on groundbreaking research in class and with our research centers.
  • 4-Day On-Campus Lab: The program includes a one-time experience that provides students hands-on, experiential learning in our on-site, state-of-the-art laboratory.
  • Internship/Practicum: Students gain practical experience through part-time work in placements such as hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and community health centers.

Visit our curriculum page for more information, including a full course list with descriptions.

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Female doctor attaching the oxygen mask to the female athlete before taking cardiopulmonary stress test in clinic.

“Northeastern is extensively networked, and the institution places high value on experiential learning. While Northeastern University provides the networks and resources of a large institution, the exercise science program is small and intimate.”

Tricia Povilonis,
MS in Exercise Science alum

Students placing electrodes and mask on a person

Online MS in Exercise Science


Demand for professionals in the health and fitness fields is growing fast in the U.S. due to the rise in lifestyle-related diseases, advances in sports technology and increased interest in overall health. According to a 2021 article published by McKinsey & Company, the global wellness market is estimated at more than 1.5 trillion dollars, with projected growth of up to 10% per year.

The online master’s in exercise science prepares students to excel in a variety of positions in the healthcare, government, research, nonprofit and private sectors, including:

  • Athletic trainer
  • Clinical research coordinator
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Fitness/wellness manager
  • Kinesiotherapist
  • Personal trainer
  • Recreational therapist
  • Sports coach

For more details, see our careers page.

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Athletic trainer timing a client doing rope exercises