New Year, New Programs for Health and Physical Activity

Imagine the unique education opportunity of learning in a classroom and then applying that knowledge to someone in a real-life situation. The Department of Health and Physical Activity (HPA) in the School of Education provides its students this experience, a combination of integrating world-renowned training and research effort dedicated to promoting health-focused quality of life. HPA is addressing a growing need for health, fitness, and research professionals with two brand-new, master of science degree tracks to prepare students for a career in this cutting-edge field, 1.) Clinical Exercise Physiology or 2.) Health and Physical Activity Programming and Promotion.

These new programs are structured to be more supportive of student goals by reducing course overlap and credit requirements, while expanding options for electives to allow students to better tailor their training to their career interests. This contemporary approach is achieved through providing two track options in each program: non-thesis (30 credits, completed in <12 months) or thesis (36 credits, completed in 18-24 months).

The Master of Science degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology option is focused on training students for clinical and research careers in the role of exercise and physical activity to prevent and treat chronic health-related conditions. The focus is primarily on clinical and translational applications of exercise physiology across multiple populations, rather than focusing solely on sport performance applications, which uniquely positions our program within the University, regionally, and nationally.

With both a non-thesis and thesis option, students will have strong foundational knowledge to pursue related careers (cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention and rehabilitation, obesity prevention and treatment, other health, fitness, and exercise related careers), or to enhance their ability to compete for admission to high-quality doctoral programs.

The Master of Science degree in Health and Physical Activity Programming and Promotion option will provide students the training, skills, and knowledge to pursue careers developing programs and promoting health and physical activity in a variety of settings that include workplace, schools, medical settings, health insurers, communities, and others. There is growing evidence of the importance of lifestyle in the prevention and treatment of numerous chronic conditions. Given this public health importance there has been renewed interest in implementation of lifestyle-based health enhancement programs in these settings.

Graduates from our current degree programs have secured employment as health coaches and in other areas of program development and promotion. This degree option expands this level of training of students and will build on the translational research expertise of the program faculty. For those opting for research-based careers, students will have strong foundational knowledge that will enhance their ability to compete for admission to high quality doctoral programs.

Become an effective leader in health, fitness, and physical activity research, programming, and promotion by training at one of the nation’s top graduate schools. Students who graduate from HPA will:

  • Be highly competitive on the job market,
  • Be well prepared to work in diverse health and fitness settings, and
  • Possess an understanding of both academic content and practical experiences that can be effectively applied in various settings.

Because of our pioneering research, experienced faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities, you won’t simply learn the facts, you’ll learn the application of those facts. We also collaborate with other schools in the University of Pittsburgh, including the School of Nursing, Graduate School of Public Health, the School of Medicine, and world-class medical center, UPMC, resulting in a unique and progressive academic experience.

To learn more about these programs, or any other program from the School of Education, prospective students are encouraged to request information.