Master of Science (MS)

The Master of Science (MS) program in Health and Physical Activity with a Concentration in Health and Wellness Management is a collaborative degree offering through the Department of Health and Physical Activity and the Katz Graduate School of Business. This academic graduate program is designed for students with academic training and experience in health-fitness and wellness with a desire to advance to a management level position.

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: 18-24 months
  • Time Commitment: Full-time or Part-time
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall
  • Application Deadline: Rolling admissions with priority given to applications received by January 15 for all applicable graduate assistantships.
  • Course Requirements: 30 credits
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE exam required


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Program Details

Courses focus on applying evidence-based behavioral strategies to interactions with health-fitness participants and patient populations in order to enhance engagement, adherence, and the sustainability of lifestyle behaviors related to health. The program will include the development of strategic management skills for interacting with patients, enhancing organizational compliance, working with patients, and improving the listening skills of health coaches. The skills are applicable specifically to the health-fitness and healthcare settings.

As health and wellness employment opportunities are increasing, this dual-degree option expands the level of training of students and will build on their experience and knowledge in both the health-fitness and the business management fields. As a result, students will be prepared to transition to leadership positions (i.e. cardiac rehabilitation directors, health and wellness directors, YMCA directors, etc.).  

Some courses will be offered online or in a hybrid manner to accommodate student needs.

View Program Curriculum >>

Degree Requirements

  • Comprehensive Examination is required based on key courses within the program. A minimum of 80% is required on this comprehensive examination.

Prerequisites 

Applicants need to meet admission requirements for both the Department of Health and Physical Activity and the Katz Graduate School of Business. These include:

Department of Health and Physical Activity Admission Requirements:

  • Demonstrate undergraduate coursework in human anatomy, human physiology, and exercise physiology. Applicants without this training can be admitted provisionally and will be required to take these undergraduate courses prior to full admission.

The Katz Graduate School of Business Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. university, as determined by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation, or the non-U.S. equivalent.
  • Official and satisfactory GMAT or GRE scores. For International Students, a minimal TOEFL score of 100 or a minimal IELTS score of 7.​

Career Pathways

  • Management and business careers in health and wellness settings (e.g., cardiac rehabilitation directors, health and wellness directors, YMCA directors, etc.).   

The MS in Applied Developmental Psychology (ADP) builds the skills you’ll need to address the diverse needs of children, youth, and families across multiple settings, including community-based organizations, schools, hospitals, advocacy organizations, residential treatment programs, out-of-school programs and service agencies. This rigorous four-semester program blends challenging coursework with community-based practice making graduates stand out in the job field.

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: 2 academic years (4 semesters)
  • Time Commitment: Full-time or Part-time 
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall 
  • Course Requirements: 36 credits 
  • Format: With the exception of a few electives and online courses, ADP MS courses are offered in the evening. 
  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions; Child Life Priority given to applications received by March 1 
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE exam not required


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Program Details

Through a blend of research and professional practice training, students in this vital field acquire competencies and expertise in applying knowledge of development and evidence-based practices to address real-world problems in real-world settings. Applied developmentalists are experts in interdisciplinary collaboration; they use their knowledge of current research and evidence-based methods to design, implement, and evaluate innovative interventions and programs for children, youth and families; they emphasize principles of positive psychology to promote the success of all children and youth, especially those who are at developmental risk and/or have developmental/learning difficulties. 

MS students may choose to concentrate in one of the following specialized areas of study and practice:   

Applied Research Methods for Child and Youth Serving Organizations (ARMO)  

The Applied Research Methods for Child and Youth Serving Organizations (ARMO) specialization focuses on training applied research practitioners who are able to producing relevant, useful research to evaluate and enhance key programs for child and youth development. Child and youth serving organizations are increasingly expected to collect and analyze a variety of data in order to monitor outcomes, improve performance, and demonstrate effectiveness. Organizations that serve children and families, however, often are overworked and underfunded, making such data-oriented efforts burdensome. To meet the need of child and youth serving organizations, the ARMO specialization trains practitioners within a model of practical, applied research to evaluate program functioning, performance, and outcomes as well as to contribute to overall knowledge.

Behavioral Health in Schools and Communities (BHSC) 

The Behavioral Health in Schools and Communities (BHSC) specialization advocates improving access to and quality of care for families and children and youth with developmental, social-emotional, and behavioral difficulties. A BHSC specialization is appropriate for students interested in consultative and direct provision of behavioral health services, developmental services for children with disabilities, and program administration; BHSC specialists also emphasize policy-focused work, education, and advocacy. Students learn about emotional and behavioral disorders, evidence-based interventions and treatments for individuals and groups, program development, and use of resources and data to answer identified questions and provide necessary services. Upon completion of the program, students in this specialization meet all of the evidence-based coursework requirements for the PA Behavior Specialist License.  Students may elect to also pursue the Applied Behavior Analysis certificate (BCBA) with some additional planning and coursework. The BHSC specialization is not a clinically-focused curriculum; therefore, it does not prepare students to apply for professional psychology or counseling licensure or to work as professional, licensed counselors, therapists, school psychologists, or school counselors, either in public or private practice settings.

Children with Special Health Care Needs with Child Life option (CSHCN) 

The Children with Special Health Care Needs (with Child Life option; CSHCN) specialization prepares students for direct work with families and children who have special health care needs in interdisciplinary settings such as children’s hospitals, transitional programs (i.e. “step down” programs), and community-based organizations. Increases in poverty and disability have resulted in increases in the prevalence of children who experience chronic healthcare conditions and needs. Students in the CSHCN specialization are trained in developmental healthcare prevention and intervention supports to meet children’s social, emotional, and behavioral needs in diverse health and allied health settings. Upon completion of the program, students interested in applying for the Child Life Certificate (overseen by the National Child Life Council) will: have met the expected coursework requirements. Candidates must apply and achieve a passing score on the national certification exam to gain the practice certificate. 

Infant Mental Health (IMH)  

The Infant Mental Health (IMH) specialization gives students the opportunity to gain specialized skills and knowledge for working with very young children (0 to 3-years of age) and their families as it pertains to the promotion, prevention and intervention for optimal social-emotional developmental for children. The training will be aligned with the recently purchased IMH Competency Guidelines and will prepare IMH students to be “ready” for IMH Endorsement through the process to be determined by the state of Pennsylvania.Infant mental health is a growing field of study and practice.  There are several potential employment opportunities within early childhood serving systems including; Home Visiting programs, Part C IDEA Early Intervention Providers, Child, Youth and Family workers, Early Care Educators, behavioral health providers (social workers, licensed professional counselors, psychologists), and more.  

Child Youth Development (CYD)

The Child Youth Development (CYD) specialization is designed to prepare professional practitioners who promote the positive development of children and youth in a variety of out-of-school settings. Child and youth participation in organized activities outside of school has dramatically increased, which has stimulated growth in this emerging professional area. The CYD specialization includes a developmental-ecological perspective that emphasizes both child development and the impact of contexts on the developing individual. It is based on the idea that the growth of  CYD activities provides the rich opportunity for creating and coordinating developmentally positive spaces.

View Program Curriculum >>

Degree Requirements

The ADP MS program requires students to successfully complete a Capstone Project in the second year at a community-based site. (We work with over 150 community partners.) Capstones vary greatly based on the student and community-partner’s interests and needs.  

Prerequisites

  • 3.0 GPA 
  • Courses in Research methods and Developmental Psychology 
  • Experience working with children or adolescents

Career Pathways

  • Community-based program Administrators, Directors and Supervisors 
  • Developmental Specialists 
  • Child and Youth Advocate 
  • Home Visitors 
  • Behavior Specialist Consultants (BSCs) 
  • Youth Workers 
  • Child Life Specialists 
  • Behavioral Health Specialists 
  • Teachers with strong training in applied development 
  • Research Associates 
  • Faculty in Community and 4-year Colleges 
  • Child Protective Services 

This degree option is focused on training students to prepare for clinical and research careers related to exercise and physical activity to prevent and treat chronic health-related conditions. This degree will prepare students for careers in cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention and rehabilitation, obesity prevention and treatment, and other related careers. This degree program will also prepare students to be competitive for additional training programs in areas such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other related disciplines. Students who select to train in research will also have strong foundational knowledge to enhance their ability to compete for admission to high quality doctoral programs.

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration:  
    • Full-time students can complete the non-thesis degree requirements in 12 months.   
    • Part-time students can complete the non-thesis degree requirements in 18-24 months. 
    • Students completing a thesis can complete the degree requirements in 18-24 months. 
  • Time Commitment: Full-time or Part-time 
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall 
  • Course Requirements: 
    • Non-Thesis: 30 credits 
    • Thesis: 36 credits
  • Application Deadline: Rolling admission. Priority for graduate assistantships will be given to those applications received by January 15th
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE Exam Not Required


Apply Now

Degree Requirements 

View Program Curriculum >>

  • Non-Thesis Requirements 
    • Comprehensive Examination is required based on key courses within the program. A minimum of 80% is required on this comprehensive examination. 
    • Clinical Health-Fitness Practicum is required.
  • Thesis Option Requirements 
    • Comprehensive Examination is required based on key courses within the program. A minimum of 80% is required on this comprehensive examination. 
    • Thesis is required. 

Prerequisites

Applicants need to demonstrate undergraduate coursework in human anatomy, human physiology, exercise physiology, and exercise testing and prescription. Applicants without this training can be admitted provisionally and will be required to take these undergraduate courses prior to full admission. 

Career Pathways

  • Careers in cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention and rehabilitation, obesity prevention and treatment, and other related careers.  
  • Preparation for additional training programs in areas such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other related disciplines. 
  • Preparation for admission to high quality doctoral programs. 

This degree option is focused on training students to prepare for applied and research careers related to the public health importance of lifestyle-based health enhancement programs in a variety of settings that include workplace, schools, medical settings, health insurers, communities, and others. This degree option will provide students training, skills, and knowledge to pursue careers in this area, and will bring contemporary perspectives to the development and implementation of health and physical activity programming.  Students who select to train in research will also have strong foundational knowledge to enhance their ability to compete for admission to high quality doctoral programs. 

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration:  
    • Full-time students can complete the non-thesis degree requirements in 12 months.   
    • Part-time students can complete the non-thesis degree requirements in 18-24 months. 
    • Students completing a thesis can complete the degree requirements in 18-24 months. 
  • Time Commitment: Full-time or Part-time 
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall 
  • Course Requirements:  
    • Non-Thesis: 30 credits 
    • Thesis: 36 credits 
  • Application Deadline: Rolling admission. Priority for graduate assistantships will be given to those applications received by January 15th.
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE Exam Not Required


Apply Now

Degree Requirements

View Program Curriculum >>

  • Non-Thesis Requirements 
    • Comprehensive Examination is required based on key courses within the program. A minimum of 80% is required on this comprehensive examination. 
    • Clinical Health-Fitness Practicum is required.
  • Thesis Option Requirements 
    • Comprehensive Examination is required based on key courses within the program. A minimum of 80% is required on this comprehensive examination. 
    • Thesis is required. 

Prerequisites

Applicants need to demonstrate undergraduate coursework in human anatomy, human physiology, exercise physiology, and exercise testing and prescription. Applicants without this training can be admitted provisionally and will be required to take these undergraduate courses prior to full admission. ​

Career Pathways

  • Careers as program coordinators or directors in a variety of health, fitness, and wellness settings that include workplace, schools, medical settings, health insurers, communities, and others.  
  • Research careers in the translation of lifestyle health and wellness programs and interventions.  
  • Preparation for admission to high quality doctoral programs.