Whether you want to pursue a career in academia, research or therapy, an advanced degree in exercise and sport science will open doors to a variety of in demand career opportunities.
Apply your expertise to improve the health of your community and beyond.
The High Altitude Exercise Physiology program examines how the human body functions physiologically in extreme environments. In the program, you’ll conduct original research and hone your ability to share your research as presentations and publications. You’ll also learn how to critically evaluate scientific literature and apply the scientific method to exercise science, by actively engaging in the research process. To ensure that you’re proficient with exercise testing equipment and relevant computer skills, you’ll use state-of-the-art technology to complete research and assessments as you would in exercise science professions. Overall, you’ll complete at least 36 total credits, including six thesis credits. The thesis will be a culminating research project, to be completed during the last semester of the two-year program.
Students work closely with real clients and subjects to develop an acute understanding of human physiology – at rest and during exercise, in healthy and diseased populations – in extreme environments, including hyper- and hypobarometric conditions, heat and cold.
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.
|ESS 600||Advanced Statistics||3||View|
|ESS 601||Quantitative Research Methods||3||View|
|ESS 605||Exercise and Sport Science Testing and Instrumentation-Lab||3||View|
|ESS 640||Environmental Exercise Physiology I||3||View|
|ESS 641||Environmental Physiology II||3||View|
|ESS 660||Health Promotion||3||View|
|ESS 675||Clinical Exercise Programming-Lab||3||View|
|ESS 685||Cardiopulmonary Physiology||3||View|
|ESS 692||Independent Study||1-3||View|
|ESS 698||Practicum/ Intership||1-6||View|
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.
Preparing students for rewarding careers in exercise & sport science.
Research — HAEP Graduates will understand Exercise Science research methods and demonstrate the ability to recognize and employ various study designs. They will:
- Be adept at retrieving and analyzing information relevant to Exercise Science.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the background and principle research in their specialization.
- Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate scientific literature and apply the scientific method to exercise science, by actively engaging in the research process with critical analysis and research.
- Demonstrate the ability to situate their own research within the broader context of the Exercise Science field.
- Communication and Writing — HAEP graduates will master oral and written skills to present and publish their research in peer-reviewed venues.
Application/Outreach — HAEP graduates will be able to translate research into practice, developing evidence-based exercise prescriptions for individuals with performance goals – particularly those at risk, including special populations – who seek to perform in extreme environments, such as altitude, cold and stressful heat.
Critical Thinking — HAEP Graduates will effectively use information obtained through traditional and non-traditional sources to solve problems related to academic or professional practice.
Technology — HAEP Graduates will use technology to complete research and assessments within the Exercise Science profession. This includes proficiency with exercise testing equipment and relevant computer skills.
High Altitude Performance Laboratory (HAP Lab)
Early exposure to cutting-edge research through Western’s High Altitude Performance Laboratory (HAP Lab)—7,717 feet above sea level—enables students to gain career-ready skills.
Make your education a life-changing experience.
A college education is so much more than attending classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field with these exciting opportunities.
- 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 offer five full tuition research assistantship positions with the rehabilitation department.
- Shadowing: Shadow practicing clinicians both locally and throughout the United States.
- Research Funding: Apply for research stipends from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) worth 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.