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Program Overview

Program Overview

There’s never been a better time for exercise professionals in today’s world.  Approaching human performance holistically by studying in a program that combines your areas of interest from the interrelated fields of exercise science, performance nutrition, business and psychology helps you set yourself apart in today's job market.

Gain expertise on how the body moves, functions and is fueled. Explore how to improve quality of life and performance for a variety of populations. Learn from our passionate and experienced faculty, surrounded by our state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

Go on from here to have a lasting impact through a degree that is uniquely designed to accommodate your interests and abilities. Let us empower you— so you can empower your community.

Exercise and Human Performance Program Foundations

The curriculum features three aspects: 

  1. Core courses offering advanced training in exercise physiology, organizational behavior, and research
  2. Focus areas based on your interest and expertise
  3. A culminating capstone (thesis or portfolio)

This framework allows for maximum flexibility, allowing you to forge your own unique path in preparing for your career aspirations. 

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • Application with $50 nonrefundable fee
  • Bachelor's degree, including prerequisites of 12 or more credit hours from Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, and/or Biochemistry
  • Official transcripts from all schools in which a degree was conferred
  • Minimum 2.75 cumulative grade point average on all undergraduate work 
  • Three recommendations, including at least one academic reference and one professional reference.
  • An essay (maximum of 750 words) reflecting on 1) personal philosophy of exercise/human performance, 2) career aspirations, and 3) purpose, passion, faith, etc. 
  • Resume
  • In-person (or virtual as needed) interview for finalists.

If mailed, send transcripts and forms to:
Graduate Studies in EXHP
Lipscomb University
One University Park Drive
Nashville TN 37204-3951




The following core courses are required for this degree (15 hours):

  • KIN 5000: Orientation
  • KIN 5001: Organizational Behavior I: Philosophy & Ethics
  • KIN 5021: Organizational Behavior II: Entrepreneurship
  • KIN 5041: Organizational Behavior III: Financial Considerations
  • KIN 5103: Research Methods I: Biostatistics
  • KIN 5123: Research Methods II: Design & Analysis
  • KIN 5203: Advanced Exercise Physiology I
  • KIN 5223: Advanced Exercise Physiology II: Adaptations to Exercise

The following focus area courses are chosen based on interest and professional goals (15 hours):

  • KIN 6213: Advanced Exercise Physiology III: Laboratory Techniques
  • KIN 6243: Electrocardiography
  • KIN 6263: Exercise Eval. & Pre. for Special Populations
  • KIN 6303: Advanced Exercise & Sport Nutrition I
  • KIN 6313: Advanced Exercise & Sport Nutrition II: Supplementation
  • KIN 6403: Current Trends I: Eating Disorders
  • KIN 6413: Current Trends II: Obesity
  • KIN 6423: Current Trends III: Diabetes 
  • KIN 6503: Behavior Change I: Exercise
  • KIN 6513: Behavior Change II: Sport Performance
  • KIN 6523: Behavior Change III: Sociological Perspectives
  • KIN 6583: Health Coaching I
  • KIN 6593: Health Coaching II
  • KIN 6603: Advanced Strength & Conditioning Methods I
  • KIN 6613: Advanced Strength & Conditioning Methods II
  • KIN 688V: Independent Study
  • KIN 6893: Special Topics

As a capstone project, students choose either Portfolio or Thesis and complete the Comprehensive Exam (6 hours):

  • KIN 6900: Comprehensive Exams
  • KIN 6953: Portfolio I
  • KIN 6963: Portfolio II
  • KIN 6973: Thesis I
  • KIN 6983: Thesis II

Other elective courses outside the EXHP program:

Students who have not previously transferred credit from another graduate school may apply up to six hours from the Lipscomb University graduate business and/or psychology programs toward the EXHP degree.  (Note: Graduate business and/or psychology program tuition applies to students who take these courses.) Courses could include:

  • BU 6303: Health Services Management
  • BU 6323: The U.S. Health Care System
  • BU 6803: Sports Management
  • BU 6813: Marketing, Fundraising and Public Relations in Sports
  • BU 6823: Sports Law and Risk Management
  • PSFT 5903:Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy Skills
Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

Tuition and fees for the EXHP program are as follows:

36-hour program / $1,030 per credit hour*

*Note: The graduate tuition rates may increase annually, effective each summer semester.

Types of Aid


Student to faculty ratio


Both our deeply connected faculty and our experiential learning opportunities offer myriad ways for you to form relationships with leaders in the industry. These connections will serve and support you throughout your career.

Small Class Sizes

You’ll have opportunities to engage in meaningful discussion, receive one-on-one faculty mentorship and ask difficult questions in our small class sizes. Plus, you’ll feel supported in a tight-knit learning community.

Nashville, TN

A big city. An even bigger opportunity. We consider Nashville, Tennessee, an extension of our classroom, and as a leading city in many industries, that means you’ll gain experience and insight you won’t find anywhere else.

Our Faculty

  • Matthew Ruiz headshot

    Matthew Ruiz

    Director of Exercise and Human Performance Program

    Professional expertise in sport, exercise and performance psychology.

    Meet Matthew Ruiz
  • Ruth Henry headshot

    Ruth Henry

    Int. Dean, Col Health Sci

    Long-tenured Lipscomb faculty member in exercise science, she teaches the statistics and research courses.

    Meet Ruth Henry
  • Kent Johnson headshot

    Kent Johnson

    Professor, Exercise Science Program Director

    Cofounder of EXNS program Long-tenured Lipscomb faculty member in exercise physiology, leads the cardiovascular laboratory, and is a fellow in the ACSM.

    Meet Kent Johnson
  • Laurel Littlefield headshot

    Laurel Littlefield

    Associate Professor

    Laurel and her husband Brad are originally from West Texas, and moved to Nashville with their three sons in 2018. Laurel and Brad met while attending Lubbock Christian University (LCU)...

    Meet Laurel Littlefield
  • Autumn Marshall headshot

    Autumn Marshall

    Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition

    Long-tenured Lipscomb faculty member in nutrition, extremely well-connected throughout the region in all things nutrition and dietetics.

    Meet Autumn Marshall

Career Paths

Exercise Physiologists

Exercise physiologists develop fitness and exercise programs that help patients recover from chronic diseases and improve cardiovascular function, body composition and flexibility.

Strength and Conditioning

These specialists conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention based on scientific knowledge.

Wellness and Health Coaching

Wellness and health coaches utilize evidence-based conversation, clinical interventions and strategies to empower clients/patients to make healthy behavioral changes.


Nutritionists are experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease. They advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal.

Additional Schooling

When you graduate, you may also pursue one or more career paths that require additional education, such as becoming a physical therapist or physician’s assistant. You may go on to receive a doctorate in your field of choice. Your master’s degree will afford you a number of opportunities to reach even higher.