Health, Leisure and Exercise Science, M.S. Specializations

The graduate programs in the Department of Exercise Science and Community Health prepare qualified professionals to obtain graduate degrees (M.S.) with specializations in Exercise Science or Physical Education.


Exercise Science
Exercise Science specializes in the areas of human performance, fitness, cardiac rehabilitation, and wellness. The faculty members are engaged in studies dealing with both basic and applied aspects of human performance, aiming to advance the basic knowledge related to human performance as well as solve problems for the population.

Physical Education
The Physical Education specialization consists of a new “executive” style masters program that is specifically designed for those individuals who want to remain active in the physical education classroom while they complete their graduate degree. Students in this program will only be required to be on campus for an intensive three-week session during two summers. The remainder of their coursework will be completed from their homes. This will allow the student the opportunity to use the information they are learning in their program. Because of the unique nature and intense focus of this program, only a small cohort of students will be admitted each year. As a result, each student will receive the direct attention and gain the knowledge and skills that he or she needs to become a leader in the field of physical education.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University graduate admission requirements described in the Graduate Admissions section of the catalog, the department bases decisions for regular admission on a holistic review of credentials in which the criteria listed below are used to assess the potential success of each applicant.

Department Contacts

Exercise Science Contact

Dr. Ludmila Cosio-Lima
Faculty Advisor
Phone: (850) 474-2592
Building 72, Room 220

Physical Education Contact

Dr. Daniel Drost
Advisor, Assistant Professor
Phone: (850) 474-2592
Office: Building 72, Room 257

Catalog Description
Department's Website

University Requirements*
• Submission of Graduate Application and Processing Fee 
• Submission of official transcripts 
*International students may have additional requirements.

Departmental Requirements
• Submission of one of the following graduate admission test scores:
  GRE or MAT 
• Undergraduate cumulative GPA 
• Undergraduate senior year / major GPA 
• Academic preparation as demonstrated by undergraduate degree major 
• Submission of letter of intent describing reasons for applying to the program and associated career goals 
• Submission of three Recommendation Forms (PDF) 
• Certifications (ACSM, NSCA, ACE, AFA) - for Exercise Science specialization only 
• Evidence of appropriate teaching certifications - for Physical Education specialization only 
• Work experience as reflected in a resume

Application Deadlines


Certain graduate programs have earlier application deadlines. Check with the graduate department for departmental specific deadlines.


Student Perspective

“The University of West Florida's Physical Education Masters Program was essential for providing me with the knowledge, skill, and confidence in the field of physical education to properly teach, evaluate, and administrate a physical education program. The lead faculty in the program are very hands on and incredibly active with their students. I could not have asked for a more wholesome experience during my masters program.” — Sean Gabrus, HLES, Physical Education alumni

Faculty Perspective

“The physical education masters program is a valuable learning experience for those individuals who are interested in teaching or working with others in health or physical activity settings. I have talked with many graduates and they have explained to me that the program has given them experiences that have been critical for the jobs they are placed within. Not only have the experiences been important, the program has served to motivate graduates to become more involved in their fields (e.g., in organizations and administrative roles), more focused on making a difference, and more willing to be scholarly and supportive of their peers (e.g., presenting and taking part in conferences).” — Dr. Daniel K. Drost, Assistant Professor