Exercise & Sport Sciences

M.S. in Strength & Conditioning (Fall 2021)

All NCAA institutions are now required to have a certified strength and conditioning coach on staff. Additionally, high schools nation wide are recognizing both the need and the benefit of having individuals trained in strength and conditioning. Harding's program is designed for those who are interested in assisting athletes at all levels to improve athletic performance and emphasis on primary prevention of injuries. Our graduates will be well-equipped to fill those influential roles with Christian professionals.


There are two tracks students may take to prepare for the Master of Science in strength and conditioning exam.

Nontraditional (or fast track) – This 3+2 curriculum makes it possible for qualified students to complete both a Bachelor of Science in strength and conditioning and a Master of Science in strength and conditioning in five years. 

  • Students will declare strength and conditioning as the undergraduate major, complete liberal arts credits and prerequisites during their first three years, and finish graduate school in years four and five. 
  • The two years of graduate school start in the fall (beginning Fall 2021) and conclude the following fall, totaling four semesters. 

Traditional – Students follow a traditional four-year undergraduate track, ensuring that any required prerequisites are part of undergraduate curriculum. 

  • Interested applicants may apply for the graduate program as early as their final year of undergraduate study. 
  • The two-year strength and conditioning master’s program requires a secondary application process (the program opens Fall 2021).

Special opportunities 

During year one of the program, students will prepare to take the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam from the National Strength and Conditioning Association at the conclusion of the year. 

Hands-on experience:

Students will complete an internship and a practicum as part of the master’s curriculum, totaling 640 hours of supervised practice under a certified strength and conditioning coach. Upon completion of the practicum, students will qualify to sit for the Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified recognition offered by the College Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. See Graduate Catalog for further information. 

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