Reduce health risks and improve quality of life for individuals and communities.

As the sedentary lifestyle becomes the norm for an increasing number of the population, the risk of chronic disease is at an all-time high. Chronic diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are not only the most common and costly diseases, but also the most preventable health problems in the U.S. Many of the health behaviors underlying chronic diseases, specifically lack of physical activity and poor nutrition, are modifiable.

There is growing national demand for professionals who understand the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity, and can leverage this knowledge to combat major public health issues facing today’s society. Sedentary behaviors underlie numerous chronic diseases and are considered a leading cause of morbidity and mortality.

The M.S. in Physical Activity & Chronic Disease is an interdisciplinary Master’s Degree, with coursework in the Departments of Health & Movement Science and Public Health. This 33-credit degree program prepares graduates for a career dedicated to the promotion and programming of physical activity as community health workers or other public/private sector health promotion positions.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this emerging field, graduates of this interdisciplinary program are uniquely qualified for careers in physical activity promotion at the community and population level. The graduate program prepares students through coursework and a 3-credit internship to sit for the Physical Activity and Population Health certification (ACSM/NPAS) sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Current physical activity research is examining:

  • Health disparities
  • Psychosocial health
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Adolescent health

Program Highlights

  • No program prerequisites
  • 100% Online
  • Accelerated (4+1) options available to qualified students
  • Opportunities to get involved with faculty research
  • Individualized advisement to focus education on student goals
  • Experience in physical activity assessment and measurement
    • Objective measurement (e.g. Actigraph accelerometers, ActivPal)
    • Subjective measurement
  • Curriculum designed to prepare students to sit for and pass the Physical Activity and Population Health certification (ACSM/NPAS) sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine
  • Qualifies for NEBHE Tuition Break program for Maine and Vermont residents

Career or Professional Opportunities

The MS in Physical Activity & Chronic Disease uniquely prepares students for opportunities post-graduation which include the following:

  • Physical activity programming and assessment:

    • Community health worker
    • non-Profit organizations
    • Hospital
    • Industry (corporate) wellness
  • Health promotion and education
  • Research Coordinator
    • Community-based participatory research
  • Health and wellness coaching
  • Doctoral programs in exercise science, public health, or similar fields

Program Requirements

Visit the graduate catalog for program requirements, curriculum, and further information.


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Contact Us

Dr. Kristie Rupp, PhD, ACSM-CEP
Program Coordinator, M.S. Physical Activity & Chronic Disease