Performance Track

For successfully meeting established criteria, the National Strength and Conditioning Association officially recognize Sacred Heart University’s Graduate Studies Program in Strength and Conditioning. ‌

‎‎The performance track was designed to prepare the graduate student in the following ways:‌

  • ‌Application of advanced knowledge (e.g. exercise physiology, nutrition, biomechanics) in sport specific settings
  • Participation in research activities investigating adaptations to training, testing methodologies, sports nutrition, injury reduction strategies, and biomechanics
  • Leadership and management in the strength and conditioning community/workplace

Required Course Work

EX 401 Advanced Applied Physiology I     4 CR
This course provides an in-depth overview of work physiology, including cellular respiration, ventilation, cardiovascular dynamics, and the anthropometric, histologic, and biochemical adaptive response to physical training. The processes of the gastrointestinal tract will be explored as well.

EX 403 Research Methods     4 CR
This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of research design, measurement, statistical analysis and scientific inquiry as these concepts apply to understanding and evaluating published research. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to make informed decisions about the relevance of published research to their own practice and research.

EX 404 Nutrition and Chronic Disease Prevention     3 CR
This graduate level course will investigate the dietary influences on prominent chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, osteoporosis).  Additional emphases will be placed on understanding disease mechanisms, developing a wide spectrum of food knowledge in order to not provide rigid diets, functional foods, and analyzing various types and fundamental flaws of nutrition research.

EX 411 Professional Seminar I     2 CR
This course addresses professionally oriented activities associated with presentation and publication that is peer reviewed or community oriented such as presenting at conferences and administering health related programming. This course collaborates with the Life and Sports Analysis Clinic/SHU Wellness program.

EX 412 Functional Anatomy     4 CR
This course provides a review of human anatomy and movements. Both computer-based simulations and the Cadaver Lab will be utilized.

EX 414 Exercise Prescription for Endurance Athletes     2 CR
This course covers advanced concepts in exercise prescription for endurance athletes.  Considerations for special case athletes, such as the diabetic athlete, will also be explored.

EX 531 Nutrition and Performance     3 CR
Acute and chronic exercise’s effects on nutrient requirements and fluid needs are presented. Macronutrient metabolism and the ergogenic efficacy of dietary supplements receive substantial attention.

EX 532 Coaching Methods*     3 CR
This course investigates effective coaching methods from a physiologic, psychological and administrative framework. Students will be guided through an analysis of contemporary research and critical evaluation of current practices resulting in the development of an applied personal coaching methodology. In the process this course addresses the promotion of interpersonal skills and the understanding of individual differences as they relate to human performance.
*Completion of this course meets 45 clock hour requirement for a CT Coaching permit for individuals who do not hold a valid CT educator certificate (standard or permanent).

EX 533 Advanced Concepts in Strength and Conditioning     4 CR
This course examines advanced concepts, theory, controversies, and techniques utilized in strength and conditioning program design. Validity and reliability of common performance tests and training techniques will be explored. The laboratory portion of the course will include performance test administration as well as program design and technique instruction.

EX 534 Applied Biomechanics     3 CR
This course provides a thorough evaluation of the mechanical basis of human movement. Fundamental mechanical principles affecting human movement during locomotion and a variety of daily activities are considered. Techniques and methods of mechanics, quantitative video analysis, isometric and isokinetic muscle force, electromyography, and research evaluation are incorporated into laboratory projects.

EX 560 Thesis Preparation     3 CR
Issues in research design and statistical analysis within the context of a proposed thesis are explored. A prospectus including a full review of literature and study design will be the end-product of the course. Receiving a grade in the course will be contingent upon submitting an IRB application.

EX 561 Thesis Completion     3 CR
Data collection and analysis will be performed, culminating in the Results and Discussion sections of the thesis. Students choose either the Thesis option or the Graduate Project option

EX 564 Performance Graduate Project I     3 CR
The graduate project includes initiation or continuation of 500 hours in a performance- oriented setting(s) and preparation for track-specific certification exams. The supporting course focuses on organization and administration issues within the context of an exercise facility. Facility and personnel management, safety issues, and finance will be discussed.

EX 565 Performance Graduate Project II     3 CR
The continuation of the graduate project includes completion of internship hours and continued preparation for track-specific certification exams. The supporting online course will provide continued exploration of periodization and strength/power/ speed training program design. Students will explore current trends in strength and conditioning and gain experience through internships.

*Students choose either the thesis sequence (EX 560 and EX 561) or the graduate project sequence (EX 564 and EX 565).