Sports and Human Performance Nutrition Master of Science (MS)

Push Your Career to New Levels with a Sports and Human Performance Nutrition Degree

Push your mind, body, and career to new levels with a Master's degree in Sports and Human Performance Nutrition. Our 36-credit program can be completed in just two years. With our small class sizes and leading-edge facilities and labs, Marywood provides students with a personalized, hands-on education.

Applicants to the Sports and Human Performance Nutrition program usually have a bachelor's degree in nutrition, dietetics, or an exercise related field. They must have at least one year of anatomy and physiology and one chemistry course from an accredited institution. Other individuals are encouraged to apply with the understanding that they must take various undergraduate courses as prerequisites.

  • Integrate theories, practices, skills of sports nutrition and exercise science
  • Small class sizes, leading-edge facilities and labs
  • 36-credit graduate degree program
  • Evening, summer, and some Saturday classes

Top Employers

  • Universities
  • Professional Sports Organizations
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Private Practices

Top Career Paths

  • Sports Nutritionist
  • Health Fitness Specialist
  • Wellness Coach
  • Sports Recovery Specialist

Dig Deeper Into the Program Details

Graduate Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • “B” average during undergraduate study or demonstrated potential for graduate work
  • Completed application
  • Submit an essay discussing your career objectives and why you want to pursue a career in nutrition or sports nutrition (350-word minimum).
  • Official, sealed transcripts
  • Two or three letters of recommendation


Human Physiology Lab

The Human Physiology Lab includes a biochemistry lab, climate-controlled room, and equipment that measures:

  • Aerobic capacity
  • Anaerobic power
  • Strength
  • Bone density
  • Airway function
  • Body composition

More about the Human Physiology Lab

In addition to traditional food testing tools, our Food Science Lab contains equipment to prepare students for food preparation in real-world commercial settings:

  • Blast chiller and rethermalization unit
  • Metabolic kitchen
  • Sensory evaluation lab
  • Ingredient room
  • Food Science Lab Photo Gallery

Our Healthy Demo Classroom is used for instruction and demonstrations, for both students and the community at large.

Our Sensory Evaluation Lab allows students to test the products they make in the Food Science Lab. The two laboratories are connected for easy evaluation.

The Exercise Science Lab in the Center for Athletics and Wellness

Exercise Science Lab

Map & Directions

Marywood's 2,040-square foot Exercise Science Lab is one of the area's leading sites for student and faculty research. Located in the Center for Athletics and Wellness, the Exercise Science Lab is fully equipped to conduct a wide array of physiological measurements to assess health, fitness, and athletic performance, and to complete various physiological and biological research.

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A view of the multiple-story windows of the Oneill healthy families center

O'Neill Center for Healthy Families

1401 University Avenue
Map & Directions

The O'Neill Center for Healthy Families, located on University Avenue, provides classroom and research space, joining academic programs to innovative research. Students from the Nursing, Nutrition and Dietetics, Exercise Science, Respiratory Therapy, and Physician Assistant programs have classes in this building.

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An affordable education is possible at Marywood. 


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80+ opportunities for you to find the right fit with 50+ undergraduate degrees and 30+ graduate and certificate courses.

Prepare for your Thesis

What's a Thesis?

The culminating project for both the M.S. in Nutrition and M.S. in Sports and Human Performance Nutrition is a master's thesis. A thesis is an original research project developed by you, the student, in collaboration with a 3-person committee, which approves the thesis.

You are encouraged to begin thinking about your thesis as early as possible. Class assignments can be used to explore topics of interest. Before submitting a thesis proposal, you should be knowledgeable about the topic.

You will begin to develop your proposal in ND/SNES 590: Research Methodology.


Some of the issues you should consider include:  

  1. Do you have access to an appropriate population?
  2. Do you have the technical and statistical skills to complete the project?
  3. Are there validated instruments that can be used?
  4. What equipment is needed and is it available?
  5. What costs will be incurred and how will they be paid?

The Process

The final product of ND/SNES 590 is a very rough draft of a potential thesis. You can use this as a starting point to enlist a faculty mentor and two committee members to work with you on the final project. Your mentor must be a Marywood faculty member from the department that houses the program in which you are enrolled. The other two committee members can be other faculty or people outside the University. They must hold at least a master's degree.

Thesis credits are divided into 595A, 595B, and 595C. Each of these courses is 1 credit. 595A must be finished before you register for 595B or 595C. These courses are not formal courses that meet for a set number of hours each week. It is your responsibility to schedule meetings with your mentor and committee members to discuss ideas, submit proposal drafts, complete revisions, and ultimately prepare to defend your completed proposal.  

After a mentor has agreed to work with you on your project, you must sign up for your mentor's section of ND/SNES 595A. This section involves completing a polished version of the first 3 chapters of your thesis, defending it to the committee, and submitting it to the Marywood IRB. This section takes the longest to complete. It is wise to register for ND/SNES 595A during the summer after you complete ND/SNES 590.

Section B involves the collection of data and readying it for analysis. It is wise to take ND/SNES 591: Statistical Analysis during this period.

Section C involves analyzing the data and writing chapters 4 and 5 of your thesis. This should be done in close collaboration with your mentor and committee.

Defending Your Thesis

After you've completed your thesis, you must present it and answer questions from your committee. Your committee then decides if your thesis is a pass, pass with modifications, or not passing. Most theses are pass with modifications. In this case, you have 1 week to make modifications.

If your thesis does not pass, you must correct any problems and defend your thesis again.

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