Health and wellness are more than just a hobby or activity — they’re a mindset. It’s also a growing career field, as more and more people look to the advice of experts and professionals to discover the best ways to solve health and wellness challenges in today’s world.

About Salem’s Health and Human Performance Master’s Degree

The Master of Science in Health and Human Performance (MSHHP) offers an in-depth curriculum that challenges students to explore those significant areas of health, human performance, and the exercise sciences; to develop evidence-based approaches to tasks and problem-solving in health, fitness, and wellness; and to prepare for success and advancement in technical careers or to pursue terminal studies in professional health, fitness, and wellness science and industries. The MSHHP supports the university’s mission with an evidence-based, scientific program of study that encourages learners to develop the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed in the health and exercise science field. This approach applies to the allied health and wellness industries but to a wide range of diverse occupations and settings in health and exercise science. 

We’ve designed our master’s degree programs to be fully online, with a high-quality curriculum that aims to provide opportunities for professional growth and development; develop skills that allow you to conduct research and integrate theory and practice; and promote excellence in leadership, scholarship, work, and life. And we do all of this within a framework that fits into your current life and responsibilities with our unique, one-course-a-month schedule.

What Can I Do With a Master’s Degree in Health and Human Performance?

A master’s degree in health and human performance can help expand your career opportunities to include advanced and senior-level positions in areas like:

  • Fitness Trainers and Instructors
  • Fitness and Wellness Operations Managers
  • Medical and Health Services Managers
  • Fitness Professionals and Administrators
  • Fitness and Wellness Sales Managers
  • Strength and Conditioning Coaches
  • Health and Wellness Coaches

What Will I Learn in Salem’s Master’s Degree in Health and Human Performance Program?

The program curriculum focuses on the importance of preventative wellness, exercise prescription and assessment, and functional movement and quality of life issues. Modern scientific evidence-based approaches will be utilized for information search, problem-solving, and scholarly discourse. The MSHHP program embraces qualitative and quantitative approaches that support decision-making, leadership, and analysis. The program specializations are aligned with industry-recognized certification credentials, and every MSHHP student is required to take a capstone course in research methodology.

The online health degree specializations include:

  • Strength and Conditioning — Aligned with the standards for the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist credential, this specialization focuses on strength, conditioning, and performance for athletes.
  • Sports Coaching Administration — This specialization focuses on the coaching and administrative aspects of sports, concentrating on the principles of leadership, management, and overall athletic performance within sports teams and organizations.

Throughout your coursework, you’ll learn how to:

  • Formulate knowledge in the exercise sciences including anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, human movement science, biomechanics, exercise testing and programming, sports science, and nutrition.
  • Evaluate scientific inquiry in health and human performance methodology to collaborate in ways that strengthen the role of the fitness professional to promote excellence and innovation for optimal quality performance.
  • Summarize health & human performance applications to promote high-quality practical application which emphasizes the integration of ethical practices and professional standards to resolve problems and enhance educational learning
  • Appraise the different human performance technologies available to deliver collaborative instruction at the highest level of performance and coaching to advocate strategies to promote positive client outcomes and influence optimal health.
  • Synthesize current evidence-based practice and culturally appropriate professional practices to promote optimal health utilizing the full scope of the master’s degree to prepare health and human performance specialists.

Dean & Faculty

  • Dr. Cameron Halfacre
  • Dr. Tiffany Halfacre
  • Dr. Ryan Barnhart

What Health and Human Performance Classes Will I Take?

The master’s degree in Health and Human Performance requires 21 credits of core coursework that includes:

  • HHP600 Human Movement Science
  • HHP601 Biomechanics for Sport and Exercise
  • HHP602 Fundamentals of Nutrition Science
  • HHP603 Exercise and Sport Psychology
  • HHP604 Movement & Skill Acquisition
  • HHP605 Advanced Exercise Physiology
  • HHP606 Research Methods in Health and Human Performance/Capstone

Additionally, you’ll take 15 credits in your chosen specialization for a total of 36 credits.

For Strength and Conditioning, you’ll take:

  • HHP610 Sports Needs Analysis, Movement Screening & Assessment
  • HHP611 Scientific Foundations of Strength & Conditioning (NSCA CSCS Prep Course 1)
  • HHP612 Applied Strength & Conditioning Principles (NSCA Prep Course 2)
  • HHP613 Power and Speed for Sports Performance (NASE)
  • HHP614 Practical Internship Experience

For Sport Coaching Education, you’ll take:

  • HHP620 Foundations of Sport Coaching
  • HHP621 Psychology of Coaching
  • HHP623 Analysis of Sport Performance for Coaches
  • HHP624 Ethics and Diversity in Sport Coaching
  • HHP625 Contemporary Issues in Sport Coaching

How Long Will It Take to Get My Health and Human Performance Master’s Degree?

On average, a full-time student can earn their master’s degree in health and human performance in approximately 12 months. However, we recognize every student is different, with different circumstances. Please get in touch with one of our admissions advisors to discuss your specific questions and goals.

Why Should I Choose Salem University?

Since 1888, Salem University has built upon our tradition of accessible, affordable higher education by constantly innovating and looking to the future. We aim to develop lifelong learners who embrace problem-solving with a global perspective. We offer:

  • Accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs of study with continuous enrollment via distance education or on-campus
  • A unique one-course-a-month format that allows students to focus on a single subject at a time and build their knowledge in a way that feels natural
  • Online courses are structured to work within the constraints of full-time employment, allowing you to earn your degree with minimum disruption to your busy schedule
  • Supportive faculty and staff who serve as thought leaders and mentors
  • A beautiful 100-acre campus situated in the Smoky Mountains where programs of study are available for campus residents and commuter students

Admission Requirements

Admission to Salem is open to all qualified applicants regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or ability/disability. Anyone wishing to attend Salem can obtain the necessary application from the Office of Admissions or apply online. The completed application should be submitted to the Office of Admissions at the earliest possible date. The University admits students on a rolling, monthly start basis. Acceptance is within the discretion of Salem University; some programs have additional admissions requirements.

Take the Next Step

If you’re interested in getting started on your degree from Salem University, request more information or start a live chat with us today!