Mar 02, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Studies in Exercise and Nutrition Science

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Exercise and Nutrition Science

  • Master of Science

Roger Davis, Dean, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Karen Robichaud, Director, Graduate Studies in Exercise and Nutrition Science
Anne Lowery, Director, Dietetics Internship

Core Faculty

Ruth Henry, Professor of Exercise Science
Nancy H. Hunt, Associate Professor of Nutrition
Kent D. Johnson, Professor of Exercise Science
Anne Lowery, Associate Professor of Dietetics
Autumn C. Marshall, Professor of Nutrition
Karen Robichaud, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science​
Matt Ruiz, Associate Professor of Exercise Science
Jeremy Townsend, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science


The M.S. in exercise and nutrition science is a 36-hour program combining the disciplines of exercise science and nutrition. Students with a background in exercise science, nutrition or other allied health or science areas will have advanced educational opportunities in either a wellness (working with healthy individuals) or clinical track. Students will choose a thesis or practicum option as their culminating experience. For more information, look online at

Key Strengths

  • Program flexibility-four core courses, with electives designed to meet professional and educational goals
  • Thesis or practicum option
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum
  • Opportunities for research or networking with local organizations for practical experience
  • Certification opportunities through ACSM or other professional organizations
  • R.D. internship available (students must satisfy all prerequisites and be accepted into internship appointment)

Career Opportunities

  • Exercise and fitness practitioner
  • Wellness/fitness facility manager or administrator
  • Community health departments and agencies
  • Cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation programs
  • Health care facilities
  • Food science and technology (with completion of R.D. [Registered Dietitian] requirement)
  • Wellness Counseling

Admission Policies and Procedures

Applicants to graduate programs must submit the following:

  1. Application Form. Each applicant must complete an application form. The application form is available at, then click on “Admissions,” then “Apply Today.” The application can be completed online or downloaded in a PDF version.
  2. Application Fee. Each application should be accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee. 
  3. Standardized exam score. Each applicant must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination. For more information on the GRE, visit and click on “GRE.” A minimum combined score of 288 current score (800 prior score) is required on the new GRE format. Students who have already earned a master’s level degree may apply to the program without submitting a standardized test score.
  4. References. Two letters of reference are required as follows: one from a college or university administrator or professor and one from a professional supervisor/employer, or personal reference.
  5. Official Transcript(s). Each applicant must submit an official transcript, showing degree conferral when appropriate, from all schools attended.
  6. Health Form. Each applicant must submit a completed health form signed by a health care provider. (To print a copy of the health form, visit
  7. FERPA. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act affords students certain rights of access to educational records; even if you are independent of your parents, you must submit this form prior to enrollment.
  8. Resume. A resume detailing the applicant’s work and academic experience is required.
  9. TOEFL. The Test of English as a Foreign Language is required for international students. (See section titled International Students  for more information.)

All application items should be submitted to the graduate studies in exercise and nutrition science office no later than 15 days before the beginning of the semester or term in which the student plans to enroll. Forms should be mailed to: Graduate Studies in Exercise and Nutrition Science, Lipscomb University, One University Park Drive, Nashville TN 37204-3951.

Transfer of Courses

Although all graduate credit hours may be transferred from another accredited institution, a maximum of six hours will be counted toward the M.S. in exercise and nutrition science degree. The director or appropriate faculty member of the graduate program will evaluate the course(s) being proposed for transfer and make a determination of suitability. No course with a grade below a “B” will be considered for transfer.


Students are required to provide satisfactory documentation of personal identification for off-site learning experiences required in many programs of graduate study at Lipscomb University. Failure to provide proper credentials will result in failure to complete the desired course of study. For complete policy, see section entitled Required Documentation for Off-Site Learning Experiences  in the opening section of this catalog.

Student Classifications

Students are admitted to graduate courses in one of five categories:

  1. Graduate Student: one who has satisfied all admissions requirements. (Average of 2.75 on undergraduate work, GRE acceptable scores.) A student with an incomplete admission file will be accepted to the program at the discretion of the program director but will be placed on an academic hold which will prevent registration for the following semester. Once the proper admissions documents have been received, the hold will be removed and the student will be allowed to register for the following semester.
  2. Conditionally Admitted Student: one who has been admitted conditionally, at the discretion of the program director, without satisfying all admission requirements. Students admitted with the following criteria may be required to complete a minimum of nine hours of graduate work with a grade of “B” or above.
    1. From an unaccredited school or with a substandard GPA or GRE/MAT score.
    2. A transfer student with a graduate GPA between 2.50 and 2.99. The transfer student must be in good standing at the previous institution attended.
    3. As a student who has not completed a bachelor’s degree program. The transfer student must be in good standing at the previous institution attended.
  3. Non-Degree Student: one who has been admitted to graduate studies and has met all admission requirements except GPA or GRE. The student may take up to nine semester hours for graduate credit. Those hours may be applied toward a master’s degree if the student makes a grade of “B” or better in the courses taken for credit and if all admission requirements (GPA and entrance test score) are met and the student is formally admitted to a graduate program as a degree-seeking student.
  4. Visiting Student: one who is currently enrolled as a student in good standing at the post-bachelor’s level at another graduate school, wishes to take courses at Lipscomb and desires to have transcript evidence of course work done at Lipscomb provided for the school of primary enrollment.
  5. Probationary Student: one who has been readmitted to a graduate program following academic suspension from the program.

Admission to a program does not imply admission to candidacy for the master’s degree. Only those students who meet the requirements for “Graduate Student” described above are eligible for candidacy.

Academic Policies

Course Load

A student enrolled for six hours is considered a full-time student. A student enrolled for less than six hours is considered a part-time student. No student will be permitted to enroll for more than 12 hours per semester without special approval from the director of the graduate program.

Academic Standing

  1. Good Academic Standing: To remain in good academic standing, the M.S. in exercise and nutrition science student must maintain a cumulative 3.00 GPA and a 3.00 GPA on the most recent 12 semester hours of work.
  2. Probation: Should the student’s cumulative graduate GPA fall below 3.00, he or she will be placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation will not be allowed to enroll for more than six hours during any term the probation applies.

    The probationary student is required to achieve a 3.00 cumulative GPA by the time the student has completed the next nine hours of course work. A course(s) may be repeated to achieve the requisite GPA. If the requisite GPA is attained, the academic probation status will be removed.
  3. Suspension: If the requisite GPA is not attained, the student will be suspended from graduate studies at Lipscomb for the following semester, after which the student may apply for readmission. The student may be required to appear before the graduate committee.

    Failing grades will provide no credit toward the degree but will be included in figuring scholarship level, unless replaced with a higher grade by repeating the course(s). A 3.00 GPA must be maintained to be eligible for financial assistance.
  4. Appeals: Appeals to suspension decisions should be made in writing to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Appeals must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on the Monday of the week before classes begin for the term during which the student wishes to be readmitted.

Degree Completion Requirements


No period of formal residency is required for a degree in a master’s program.

Statute of Limitations

All requirements for the M.S. in exercise and nutrition science degree must be completed within a five-year period from the time of initial matriculation.


Admission to a program does not imply admission to candidacy for the master’s degree. During the course of pursuing the M.S. in exercise and nutrition science degree, the student must be admitted to “candidacy.” For admission to candidacy the student must satisfy the following:

  1. Complete all required undergraduate deficiencies if admitted on condition.
  2. Complete at least 12 hours of graduate work.
  3. Maintain a 3.00 GPA on all courses taken toward the requirements for the degree with no incomplete grades.
  4. File a degree plan/application for candidacy in the graduate program office which meets all requirements and is approved by the administrator of the graduate program and the dean of the college. The degree plan must be filed during the second semester of graduate work in the Program.

After admission to candidacy and approval of the degree plan, any changes in the degree plan must be approved by the administrator of the graduate program and the dean of the college. The application for candidacy must be filed before the beginning of the student’s last semester in the program. No student will be allowed to graduate in the same semester in which the application for candidacy is filed.

Minimum Credits

The M.S. in exercise and nutrition science requires 36 semester hours. This requirement does not include hours accumulated to satisfy academic deficiencies.

Minimum GPA

The minimum cumulative grade-point average for all graduate education programs is 3.00 for all graduate courses taken for graduate credit while pursuing the degree. No grade below a “C” is acceptable. Such grades will not apply toward degree completion.


Students must register for GN 999X the semester in which all course work will be completed for graduation. Students who do not file their intent to graduate form in the registrar’s office by the end of the first week of their last semester may be delayed in graduating.

Graduate students receiving degrees are hooded during the May and Dec. commencement exercises.


Any exceptions to the above stated requirements would require approval by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs in collaboration with the Dean of the College and the Program Director.

Comprehensive Examinations

A successfully written comprehensive examination over the material covered is required of all non-thesis (practicum option) candidates for the M.S. in exercise and nutrition science by the first week in November for December graduation and the first week in April for May graduation and the last week in June for August graduation. Thesis candidates are required to successfully present/defend the results by July 15, for Aug. graduation, November 15, for December graduation and April 15, for May graduation. Students must turn in the completed thesis by July 27, for August graduation; December 15, for December graduation and April 25, for May graduation. Students complete the comprehensive examination in the semester before they intend to graduate. The purpose of the examination is to assess each student’s ability to apply principles covered in the M.S. degree program and to analyze, synthesize and evaluate information related to the content of the degree program.


Students who choose the thesis option are required to register for EXNS 5423 - Thesis I (3)  and EXNS 5433 - Thesis II (3) . Thesis I is taken after completion of 18 hours of course work. Thesis option students are required to both present and defend the thesis. These students do not have to take comprehensive exams.

Thesis option students will take 30 hours of course work (typically 10 courses) and six hours of thesis work to complete the degree requirements. The thesis option students must accrue 36 hours to complete the M.S. in exercise and nutrition science.


Students who choose the practicum option are required to register for EXNS 530V  after meeting with the practicum director. The practicum is required of all non-thesis option students and can be taken for three to six hours of credit (300-600 hours of practicum experience). The student must have taken a minimum of 18 graduate hours before he or she is eligible to register for the Practicum. If a student selects a three credit hour Practicum (300 clock hours), that student must take 33 hours of course work (typically 11 courses) to complete the degree requirements. If a student chooses the six credit hour Practicum (600 clock hours), that student will take 30 hours of course work (typically 10 courses) to complete the degree requirements. In either case, the practicum option students must accrue 36 credit hours to complete the M.S. in exercise and nutrition science. The practicum option requires students to take comprehensive exams.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees for 2017-18*

Tuition per credit hour $985
Tuition to audit 50% of tuition
Application fee $50
Application for Graduation $195
Returned payment fee $30
Thesis fee (includes printing and binding) $75
Thesis continuation fee $350
TouchNet payment plan enrollment fee (per semester) $60
Withdrawal fee $195
*Effective May 1, 2017  


Program of Study Requirements

    Master of Science

    (Applied behavior analysis, biomolecular science, engineering management, exercise and nutrition science, health care informatics, information security, informatics and analytics, information technology management, clinical mental health counseling, psychology, software engineering and sustainability)

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