Skip to main content
Program Overview

Program Overview

The Exercise and Nutrition Science program is officially becoming the Exercise and Human Performance program beginning in the Fall of 2023!  Stay tuned for exciting updates as this program is refined to meet today's job market.

There’s never been a better time for exercise and health 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. Seven core courses, offering advanced training in exercise physiology, organizational behavior, and research
  2. Electives chosen based on your area of emphasis
  3. A culminating capstone which is either a thesis or portfolio

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

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • Pre-requisites, 12 or more total credit hours in: 
    Anatomy & Physiology

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in Kinesiology/Exercise Science, Nutrition/Dietetics, or other science-related majors are exempted from the pre-requisites specifications. 
  • Official transcripts.
  • 2.75 cumulative grade point average on all undergraduate work (higher science GPA is desirable).
  • Three recommendations, including at least one academic reference and one professional reference.
  • An essay (no more than 750 words) including reflections on 1) personal philosophy of exercise/human performance, 2) career aspirations, and 3) purpose, passion, faith, etc.
  • In-person (or virtual as needed) interview for finalists.

Transcripts and forms should be mailed 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):

  • EXNS 5003 - Advanced Exercise Physiology I
  • EXNS 5013 - Exercise and Nutrition Strategies
  • EXNS 5063 - Research Methods I: Biostatistics
  • EXNS 5103 - Research Methods II: Design & Analysis
  • EXNS 5203 - Advanced Nutritional Biochemistry I

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

  • EXNS 5043 - Advanced Exercise and Sports Nutrition  
  • EXNS 5053 - Electrocardiography
  • EXNS 5073 - Dietary and Nutritional Supplementation 
  • EXNS 5123 - Advanced Exercise Physiology II: Adaptations to Exercise
  • EXNS 5133 - Advanced Exercise Physiology III: Laboratory Techniques
  • EXNS 5143 - Exercise Psychology 
  • EXNS 5233 - Current Trends II: Obesity
  • EXNS 5243 - The Business of Exercise & Nutrition 
  • EXNS 5253 - Nutrition Across the Life Span
  • EXNS 5263 - Advanced Nutritional Biochemistry II: Micronutrients 
  • EXNS 5273 - Advanced Nutritional Biochemistry IIII: Macronutrients
  • EXNS 5403 - Special Topics in Exercise & Nutrition Science
  • EXNS 541V - Independent Study
  • EXNS 5443 - Advanced Strength & Conditioning Methods
  • EXNS 5453 - Exercise Evaluation & Prescription for Special Populations
  • EXNS 5463 - Advanced Medical Nutritional Therapy
  • EXNS 5473 - Current Trends I: Eating Disorders

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

  • EXNS 5900 - Comprehensive Exam
  • EXNS 5953 - Portfolio I
  • EXNS 5963 - Portfolio II
  • EXNS 5973 - Thesis I
  • EXNS 5983 - Thesis II

Other elective courses outside the EXHP program:

Students who have not previously transferred credit from the dietetic internship or another graduate school may apply up to six hours from the Lipscomb 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


Graduate business and/or psychology program tuition applies to students who take these courses.

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 Grad Studies EXNS and Professor

    Professional expertise in sport, exercise and performance psychology.

    Meet Matthew Ruiz
  • Ruth Henry headshot

    Ruth Henry

    Professor and Department Chair, Kinesiology

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

    Meet Ruth Henry
  • Kent Johnson headshot

    Kent Johnson

    Professor and 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.