SHU to Launch Master's in Exercise Science and Nutrition

News Story: February 1, 2009

SHU students and faculty work together in the Exercise Science program.

Building on its top-ranking programs in the allied health field, Sacred Heart University will inaugurate a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition. The new program, to begin in Fall 2009, will require 37 academic credits over two years, attending full-time, or three years, part-time.

The University’s Department of Human Movement & Sports Science (HMSS) also houses the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which U.S. News & World Report has called the best in Connecticut and one of the top five in New England. This new curriculum, says Dr. Michael J. Emery, chair of the HMSS department, is “unique in its course offerings by including a Nutrition component with advanced study in Exercise Science. In addition, the faculty are actively engaged in research and clinical practice specific to this curriculum.”

The new MS program will equip its graduates for professional careers in hospital settings, long-term rehabilitation centers, health and fitness clubs, and for work with athletic teams and recreation programs.  The United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook reports that employment in fitness careers will climb by 27 percent between 2006-2016.

Candidates for the MS in Exercise Science & Nutrition will have an accredited bachelor’s degree is a related major such as Physiology, Public Health, Psychology or Nutrition and must demonstrate undergraduate success in anatomy, physics, statistics and associated disciplines.

Clinical Assistant Professor Wendy Bjerke, director of the SHU Wellness Program, explains that the Exercise Science & Nutrition program and faculty are affiliated with numerous professionals in the fields of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, corporate fitness, sports performance training and public health: “Our coursework includes applied work within those fields specific to their chosen track. And our facilities include a new human performance lab, a motion analysis lab, and a state-of-the-art health and fitness center.”

For further information, visit the website at