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

Bachelor of Science, Master of Science

Degree Type

Accelerated Degree Programs (3+2)

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 Health Sciences Emphasis allows students to complete the BS in Biology and the MS in High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP) in five years. To remain qualified for the Health Sciences Emphasis, students must meet requirements at certain points in their academic progression. By the end of the second academic year, the student must have earned 63 credits and completed ESS 185 Lifetime Wellness; BIOL 372 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory) and BIOL 373 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory); CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I, CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II, CHEM 334 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I, and CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II; all 100-level required science courses; and 15 credits of Liberal Arts General Education courses in Areas I and III. By the end of the third academic year, the student must have earned 95 credits and fulfill all the HAEP application requirements listed below.

Upon earning 95 credits by the end of the third year, the student must have:

  • Maintained a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 3.25 GPA within the major.
  • Earned a C or better in all major coursework.
  • Completed all General Education requirements.
  • Completed all but 6 credits of the undergraduate course requirements for the Health Sciences Emphasis. See MAJOR MAP at western.edu/biol.
  • Completed the application for the 3+2 HAEP program by satisfying the following:
    • 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.
    • 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 résumé. The resume will be kept on file with the School of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the application to the HAEP program.
    • Paid the $50 School of Graduate Studies application fee.

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

Upon earning 120 credits by the end of the fourth year, the student must have:

  • Completed all undergraduate Health Sciences Emphasis coursework.
  • 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.”

The Health Sciences Emphasis requires a minimum of 83 credits, including the 26-credit Biology Nucleus, 8 additional credits in Biology, 31 credits of supporting courses, and 18 credits of HAEP coursework.

All Biology majors require the 26-credit Biology Nucleus.

Biology Nucleus
BIOL 150Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)4
BIOL 151Diversity and Patterns of Life (with laboratory)4
BIOL 301General Ecology3
BIOL 310Cell Biology3
BIOL 312Genetics (with recitation)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
Total Credits26
Required Biology Courses:
BIOL 372Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory)4
BIOL 373Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory)4
Total Credits8
Minimum supporting courses:
CHEM 331Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 332Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 334Organic Chemistry Laboratory I1
CHEM 335Organic Chemistry Laboratory II1
CHEM 471Biochemistry I3
ESS 185Lifetime Wellness3
ESS 330Exercise Physiology3
ESS 331Exercise Physiology Lab1
ESS 380Biomechanics3
MATH 213Probability and Statistics3
PSY 100General Psychology (GT-SS3)3
One of the following:4-8
PHYS 140
Introductory Physics (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)
PHYS 170
PHYS 171
Principles of Physics I (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)
and Principles of Physics II (with laboratory) (GT-SC1)
Total Credits31-35
Year four HAEP courses:
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 675Clinical Exercise Programming-Lab3
Total Credits18

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.S. conferral. Students electing to complete a MS in HAEP must follow the balance of the HAEP curriculum.

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

Capstone Course Requirement

The following courses in the Biology Major fulfill the capstone course requirement: ESS 601 Quantitative Research Methods.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
BIOL 150 Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (GT-SC2) 3
CHEM 112 General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1) 1
Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ESS 185 Lifetime Wellness 3
CHEM 113 General Chemistry II 3
CHEM 114 General Chemistry Laboratory II 1
COM 202 Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2) 3
PSY 100 General Psychology (GT-SS3) ((Gen Ed)) 3
BIOL 151 Diversity and Patterns of Life (with laboratory) 4
 Credits17
Year Two
Fall
General Education courses 6
BIOL 372 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (with laboratory) 4
CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 334 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 1
Elective 3
 Credits17
Spring
General Education courses 6
BIOL 373 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (with laboratory) 4
CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 1
 Credits14
Year Three
Fall
General Education courses 3
ESS 330 Exercise Physiology 3
ESS 331 Exercise Physiology Lab 1
CHEM 471 Biochemistry I 3
BIOL 301 General Ecology 3
Elective 3
 Credits16
Spring
PHYS 140 Introductory Physics (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4
ESS 380 Biomechanics 3
BIOL 310 Cell Biology 3
Elective 6
 Credits10
Year Four
Fall
MATH 213 Probability and Statistics 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
BIOL 312 Genetics (with recitation) 4
ESS 600 Advanced Statistics 3
ESS 606 Exercise and Sport Science Testing and Instrumentation-Field 3
ESS 675 Clinical Exercise Programming-Lab 3
 Credits13
Year Five
Fall
ESS 641 Environmental Exercise Physiology II 3
ESS 650 3
ESS 698 1-6
 Credits7-12
Spring
ESS 612 Exercise Biochemistry 3
ESS 695 Thesis 6
 Credits9
 Total Credits130-135

Careers

Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

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

Scholarships

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship

This scholarship is available to Exercise & Sport Science (ESS) majors with demonstrated excellence in academics and outstanding achievement in personal fields.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • ESS Major
  • Junior or senior class standing
  • 3.0 Minimum GPA
  • Demonstrated excellence in academics
  • Show outstanding achievement in four of the following:
    • Special talents
    • Leadership
    • Obstacles overcome
    • Community service
    • Unique endeavors
Application Procedures:
  • A written letter of application – please include local address
  • Unofficial transcript (may use DegreeWorks)
  • Two letters of recommendation from Western faculty or staff
    • Letters must NOT be from ESS department members
    • At least one letter must be from a faculty member
  • Essay addressing at least four of the five areas listed above

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship is Provided by:

Ernest Degutis

Amount depends on fund availability.

Scholarship Recipients Selected by:

Western Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science (RESS) Faculty.

Completed applications must be turned in to Terri in the RESS Department office in Wright Gym no later than the second Friday of April for the upcoming academic calendar year.

Eligibility

  • Woman Physical Education or Recreation major at Western
  • Must have completed a minimum of one year in residence at Western
  • Must be a Junior or Senior (ie., will have completed at least 64 semester hours at the completion of the spring semester in which the award is to be granted, but will not be graduated at the completion of that same semester).
  • Must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 at time of selection.
  • Must have exhibited leadership in intramurals, the intercollegiate program or other departmental activities.
  • Must have demonstrated professional promise in the field of Physical Education or Recreation.

Description

This award has been established in honor of Miss Hannah E. Praxl, in recognition of her long and illustrious service as a member of the Division of HPER at Western. The contributions made by Miss Praxl during her tenure at Western were many. In addi­tion to her everyday duties as professor of Physical Education and Counselor and advisor to many students, Miss Praxl contributed much time and effort in working with the Women’s Recreation Association, the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, and numerous local, state, regional and national organizations associated with the development and promotion of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Following retirement, a number of friends, faculty, and alumni have endeavored to establish a suitable award in honor of Miss Praxl, and to be known as the “Hannah E. Praxl Award.” Award for Outstanding Woman Athlete.

Application

A list of all women students majoring in Physical Education and Recreation and whose grade point averages meet the 3.2 criteria, or are close enough that they could meet the criteria at the completion of the spring semester, will be submitted to the selection committee for consideration. This list will be given to the committee as soon after April 15 as possible, with instructions that the recipient be determined by May 1.

The selection committee shall be composed of the women Physical Education staff members, the Division Chairman, and any other Division HPER staff members, as determined by the committee.

DEADLINE DATE: April 15 of each academic year; selection by May 1

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 2022. 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 freshman 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 freshmen.

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.

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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 …

Learn More

Department Chairperson

Lance Dalleck, Ph.D.

Professor of Exercise & Sport Science

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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