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Graduate School


Health, Nutrition & Exercise Science

Interim Department Head

Dr. Margaret Fitzgerald

Graduate Coordinator

Bryan Christensen

Program Location

Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse

Telephone Number

(701) 231-5590

Degrees Offered

 M.S., MATrg, Ph.D.

Application Deadline

Screening of applications will begin March 1 for Fall semester for the options of Exercise/Nutrition Science and Leadership in Physical Education and Sport. Applications for Dietetics accepted for fall, spring, and summer.

Test Requirements

GRE-Exercise /Nutrition Science Option and Dietetics

English Proficiency Requirements

TOEFL ibT 100

Program Description

The Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences (HNES) offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in HNES with options in Exercise/Nutrition Science. The HNES department also offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Dietetics (on line), Master of Science (M. S.) in Advanced Athletic Training and a Master of Athletic Training (MATrg) degree.

Exercise/Nutrition Science Option

The Exercise/Nutrition Science option prepares the graduate for advanced positions with an emphasis in the areas of physical activity, exercise science, nutrition, and health promotion. The department is devoted to researching and understanding the long-term effects of physical activity and nutrition, and translating this research into effective exercise science and wellness programs for children, adolescents, and men and women of all ages. This option is appropriate for athletic trainers, nutrition, and exercise science graduates.

Dietetics (On-line)

Dietetics is one of the most dynamic and versatile of the health-related professions, and this program prepares registered dietitians to practice at an advanced level or pursue doctoral study. The GPIDEA ( ) Dietetics provides opportunities for registered dietitians and registration-eligible dietetic program graduates to integrate and apply principles from the biomedical sciences, human behavior, and management to design and lead effective food and nutrition programs in a variety of settings. This program is fully online.

In a multi-institution degree program: 1) You apply and are admitted to one university; 2) Enroll in all your courses at that university; and 3) Graduate or receive a certificate from that university.

Dietetics graduate candidate must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours to earn a Master of Science degree. Students will complete a six-credit research thesis.

Admission Requirements

In addition to requirements described under academic information elsewhere in this bulletin, the following criteria will be considered at the time of application for admission into graduate study. Admission to a master's degree program is considered ONLY after all required application materials have been received and reviewed. In order to be considered a student must have a Bachelor of Science degree in an HNES related field from an accredited institution, and an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and have submitted all required materials as listed. 

In addition to the required application materials, the applicant must submit an exhibit of the applicant's written competency through an essay discussing professional philosophy and professional goals. 

The Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences reserves the right to obtain additional information about the student's professional competence from qualified professionals. Admission decisions are based upon the predicted success of the applicant as a student and professional in the chosen field and are made only after considering all available data. 

Financial Assistance

Both research and teaching assistantships may be available. Applications are considered on the basis of scholarship, potential to undertake advanced study and research, and financial need. To be considered for an assistantship, a completed Graduate School Application, official transcripts, and three letters of reference must be received by the Graduate School not later than Feb 1. The department admits students for fall semester only. Students are also required to submit a letter of interest and complete a department application for teaching assistantships after they have been accepted into the department as a graduate student. Letters of interest should be submitted to the department Graduate Coordinator. Graduate assistants teach approximately six credits each semester, receive a financial stipend for their work, and a full tuition waiver for fall, spring, and summer semesters. Assistantships are available contingent upon current funding. 

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in HNES requires a minimum of 30 semester credits in Thesis, Comprehensive Study or Field Experience options (see program for requirements). 

Click here for course descriptions.



Thomas C. Barnhart, Ph.D.
University of New Mexico, 1978
Research Interests: Recreation Management, Playground Safety 

Ardith Brunt, Ph.D.
Iowa State University, 1999
Research Interests: Nutrition, Gerontology 

Bryan Christensen, Ph.D.
University of Kansas, 2000
Research Interests: Biomechanics, Sports Psychology, Strength and Conditioning 

Joe Deutsch, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2007
Research Interests: Physical Education Teacher Education; Coaching 

Pamela Hansen, Ed.D.
University of South Dakota, 2000
Research Interests: Athletic Training Education, Female ACL injuries, Learning Styles 

Kevin Miller, Ph.D.
Brigham Young University, 2009
Research Interests: Exercise Associated Muscle Cramps: Treatments and Pathogenesis, Heat Illness Prevention, Rehydration Strategies for Athletes, Gastric Emptying, Electrolyte and Hydration Balance 

Yeong Rhee, Ph.D.
Oklahoma State University, 1999
Research Interests: Trace Elements, Chronic Disease, Immune Function, Functional Foods 

Bradford N. Strand, Ph.D.
University of New Mexico, 1988
Research Interests: Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction, Fitness Education, Sport Sociology 

Sherri Nordstrom Stastny, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2007
Research Interests: Nutrition, Gerontology 

Donna J. Terbizan, Ph.D.
The Ohio State University, 1982
Research Interests: Exercise Physiology, Fitness, Wellness, Exercise Science, Chronic Disease Change

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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NDSU Graduate School
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7033
Campus address:  106 Putnam Hall
Physical/delivery address:  NDSU Graduate School/106 Putnam Hall/1349 12th Avenue Northwest/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  NDSU Dept. 2820/PO Box 6050/Fargo, ND 58108
Page manager: NDSU Graduate School

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 1:12:08 PM