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M.S. in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP) 3+2

M.S. in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP) 3+2

Bachelor of Science, Master of Science

Degree Type

Accelerated Degree Programs

Department

Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science (RESS) Department

Exercise physiologists, cardiac rehabilitation therapists, strength coaches and rehabilitation specialists all have the power to positively influence the quality of people’s lives. With the demand in sport science specialists expected to grow 13% through 2024, you’ll be well-prepared to pursue a secure and meaningful career.

Program Overview

Gain the experience, training and confidence to excel.

As an HAEP 3+2 student, you can earn your bachelor’s degree in Exercise & Sport Science or Biology and Master of Science in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology in just five years. Early exposure to cutting-edge research through the High Altitude Performance Laboratory (HAP Lab)—7,717 feet above sea level—will enable you to gain career-ready skills normally found only in graduate school. In fact, you can start building your resume by shadowing practicing clinicians or becoming a research assistant within the Exercise and Sport Science Department. By the graduate portion of the program, you’ll pursue research topics of your choice, publish in scientific journals and work closely with real clients and subjects.

Real-world experience

In the graduate portion of the M.S. in Exercise & Sport Science program, students pursue the research topics of their choice, publish in scientific journals and work closely with real clients and subjects.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

The Clinical Exercise Physiology Emphasis allows students to complete the BS in ESS and the MS in High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP) at Western in five years. Students in this emphasis must fulfill all the HAEP application requirements by the time they complete 97 credits. Admissions requirements for the HAEP program are listed below.

To remain qualified for the Clinical Exercise Physiology Emphasis, upon earning 65 credits by the end of the second year, the student must have:

  • Maintained a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 3.25 GPA within the major.
  • Completed ESS 181 Foundations of Exercise and Sport ScienceESS 185 Lifetime Wellness, all 100 level major science courses, 21 credits of general education (not including AREA II: Natural Sciences), and the Biology Human Anatomy and Physiology sequence (BIOL 372 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory)/BIOL 373 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory)). 
  • Written, submitted and discussed a Letter of Intent with the HAEP program Director and his or her advisor. The Letter of Intent should include preliminary research interests and career goals. This letter will be kept on file with the School of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the application to the HAEP program.

Upon earning 97 credits by the end of the third year, the student must have:

  • Completed all undergraduate course requirements for the Clinical Exercise Physiology track (except for ESS 410 Assessment and Exercise Prescription and ESS 412 Exercise Biochemistry, which will be taken in the fall and spring, respectively, of the fourth year). Please note: a student may elect to take ESS 498 Internship in Exercise and Sport Science during the summer before his or her fourth year. See MAJOR MAP at western.edu/ess.
  • Completed the GRE with a minimum of 150 for Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning and 4.5 for Analytical Writing. GRE scores will be kept on file with the School of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the application to the HAEP program.
  • Requested, and the School of Graduate Studies must have received, two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a Western faculty member. Recommendation letters will be kept on file with the School of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the application to the HAEP program.
  • Submitted a current resume. The resume will be kept on file with the School of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the application to the HAEP program.

Upon satisfying all the requirements listed above, the School of Graduate Studies will consider the student a “HAEP candidate with provisional acceptance.”

Upon earning 121 credits by the end of the fourth year, the student must have:

  • Completed ESS 410 Assessment and Exercise Prescription and ESS 412 Exercise Biochemistry.
  • Maintained a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 3.25 GPA within the major.
  • Completed 18 graduate level ESS credits, with at least a 3.0 GPA.

At this time, the School of Graduate Studies will consider the student a “HAEP M.S. degree seeking student.”

Program Requirements

A minimum of 81 credits is required for the BS. The following is required for the Comprehensive Program with Five-Year MS in High Altitude Exercise Physiology, in addition to First Aid/CPR competency, and the following:

ESS 181Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science3
ESS 185Lifetime Wellness3
ESS 298Fitness Instruction3
ESS 330Exercise Physiology3
ESS 331Exercise Physiology Lab1
ESS 380Biomechanics3
ESS 405Practicum in Exercise and Sport Science1
ESS 410Assessment and Exercise Prescription3
ESS 412Exercise Biochemistry3
ESS 430Topics in Clinical Exercise Physiology3
ESS 498Internship in Exercise and Sport Science3
BIOL 150Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
BIOL 372Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory)4
BIOL 373Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory)4
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3
CHEM 112General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1)1
CHEM 113General Chemistry II3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Laboratory II1
MATH 141Precalculus (GT-MA1)4
MATH 213Probability and Statistics3
PHYS 140Introductory Physics (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
One of the following:3
BIOL 300
Basic Nutrition
ESS 360
Nutrition for Wellness and Performance
Year Four HAEP Requirements (18 credits)
ESS 600Advanced Statistics3
ESS 601Quantitative Research Methods3
ESS 605Exercise and Sport Science Testing and Instrumentation-Lab3
ESS 606Exercise and Sport Science Testing and Instrumentation-Field3
ESS 640Environmental Exercise Physiology I3
ESS XXX ESS 600-level Elective3
Total Credits81

Upon successful completion of the prescribed courses listed above, University defined General Education, and elective requirements totaling 120 credits (with 40 at the 300-level or higher), students are eligible for their B.A. conferral. Students electing to complete the HAEP program must follow the balance of their declared emphasis curriculum.

For a full description of the required Graduate coursework, please see the HAEP program in the Western Graduate Catalog.

Sample Major Map and Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
BIOL 150 Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 1 4
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (GT-SC2) 3
CHEM 112 General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1) 1
ESS 181 Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 141 Precalculus (GT-MA1) 4
 Credits16
Spring
CHEM 113 General Chemistry II 3
CHEM 114 General Chemistry Laboratory II 1
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
ESS 185 Lifetime Wellness 3
Gen Ed General Education course 3
PHYS 140 Introductory Physics (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4
 Credits17
Year Two
Fall
BIOL 372 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory) 4
COM 202 Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2) 3
Elective Elective course 3
Gen EdGeneral Education 6
MATH 213 Probability and Statistics 3
 Credits19
Spring
Gen EdGeneral Education 9
BIOL 373 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory) 4
ESS 298 Fitness Instruction 3
 Credits16
Year Three
Fall
Elective Elective course 3
ESS 330 Exercise Physiology 3
ESS 331 Exercise Physiology Lab 1
ESS 360 Nutrition for Wellness and Performance 3
ESS 405 Practicum in Exercise and Sport Science 1
Gen EdGeneral Education 3
 Credits14
Spring
ESS 380 Biomechanics 3
ESS 430 Topics in Clinical Exercise Physiology 3
ESS 498 Internship in Exercise and Sport Science 3-12
Elective 6
 Credits15-24
Year Four
Fall
ESS 410 Assessment and Exercise Prescription 3
ESS 601 Quantitative Research Methods 3
ESS 605 Exercise and Sport Science Testing and Instrumentation-Lab 3
ESS 640 Environmental Exercise Physiology I 3
 Credits12
Spring
ESS 412 Exercise Biochemistry 3
ESS 600 Advanced Statistics 3
ESS 606 Exercise and Sport Science Testing and Instrumentation-Field 3
ESS 675 Clinical Exercise Programming-Lab 3
 Credits12
 Total Credits121-130
1

BIOL 150 Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1), BIOL 151 Diversity and Patterns of Life (with laboratory); CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (GT-SC2), CHEM 112 General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1), CHEM 113 General Chemistry II, CHEM 114 General Chemistry Laboratory II and PHYS 170 Principles of Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1), PHYS 171 Principles of Physics II (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) satisfy the General Education AREA II: Natural Sciences requirement

2

PSY 100 General Psychology (GT-SS3) is a requirement for PT and other professional health degrees.

3

PHYS 170 Principles of Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) and PHYS 171 Principles of Physics II (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) OR PHYS 200 General Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) and PHYS 201 General Physics II (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) may be taken in lieu of PHYS 140 Introductory Physics (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)

Careers

Take the first steps toward your dream career.

Career preparation is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling role in hundreds of professional fields after graduation.

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The data is automatically collected by Lightcast, a firm that sources job market data. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Access to apply for scholarships through the portal is open through April 1.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Access to apply for scholarships through the portal is open through April 1.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2023. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Description

The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Degree Details

Graduate in just 5 years with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.

  • B.S. in Exercise & Sport Science with an emphasis in Clinical Exercise Physiology: A comprehensive major grounded in the natural sciences with a heightened focus on exercise science and working with clinical populations and athletes.
  • B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Health Sciences: If you’re interested in becoming occupational therapists, physician assistants and cardiac rehab therapists.
  • M.S. in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology: A graduate degree that will prepare you for a career in performance, academia, research or clinical practice, as well as further study in the discipline of exercise science.

Wellness Elevated

Wellness Elevated is a partnership between the Department of Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science (ESS) and the medical community of the Gunnison Valley. It provides an evidence-based, supervised exercise programs for people living with clinical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity, Parkinson’s Disease and many others.

Get Involved

Make your education a life changing experience.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Wellness Elevated: Work with clinical populations and their exercise programming for a semester or more.
  • Assistantships: Gunnison Valley Health collaborates with the HAEP program to set up five full tuition research assistantship positions with the rehabilitation department.
  • Shadowing: Opportunities to shadow practicing clinicians exist both locally and throughout the United States.
  • Research Funding: Apply for research stipends from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) that range in the thousands of dollars. All projects are published in ACE’s ProSource magazine and submitted to various journals.
  • Paid Positions: At the end of their fourth year, students can apply to be a paid trainer in our Wellness Elevated program, where they perform fitness assessments, write exercise prescriptions and train clients.

High Altitude Performance Laboratory

Early exposure to cutting-edge research through the High Altitude Performance Laboratory (HAP Lab)—7,717 feet above sea level—enables students to gain career-ready skills normally found only in graduate school.

News & Research

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Additional Resources

How It Works – HAEP 3+2

How It Works – HAEP 3+2 Students apply to Western as traditional undergraduate students and choose an Exercise & Sport Science major with a Clinical Exercise Physiology emphasis or a Biology …

Learn More

Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid – HAEP 3+2 For the first three years, students in the HAEP 3+2 program pay undergraduate tuition and are eligible for undergraduate financial aid. The fourth year, students …

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Department Chairperson

Lance Dalleck, Ph.D.

Professor of Exercise & Sport Science; Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Administrative Assistant

Terri Stinson

Administrative Assistant

Contact Information

970.943.7129

970.943.7125

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Paul Wright Gym 209
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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