The culmination of the Master of Science in Exercise Science program is a 3-9 credit hours Capstone Experience.
Students will select one of the following three options:
- EHS 7800 Administrative Field Experience (3-9 hours, variable credit course)
The Administrative Field Experience is a 120-360 hour experience (depending upon credit hour selection) in an approved setting where students have the opportunity to enhance their administrative and supervisory skills. Students work directly under the supervision of a Graduate faculty member and an on-site supervisor at the internship site. All students are responsible for the completion of a project which allows them to integrate their academic preparation through problem solving or program implementation in a worksite setting. This course is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.
- EHS 7850 Master's Project in AEHS (3 hours)
The Master’s Project is a capstone experience that leads to the development of an exercise science and/or health promotion product. This product can be in one of many forms such as a publishable journal article, teaching aid, instructional videotape, program or facility development, web site, on-line course materials, lab manual, curriculum development, etc. Students will work directly under the supervision of a Graduate faculty member. This course is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.
- EHS 7900 Master's Thesis (3 hours), repeat once
The research based Master’s Thesis is a capstone experience that leads to the development and writing of a thesis under the supervision of a Graduate faculty member and the oversight of a Thesis Committee composed of at least two additional Graduate faculty. The Master’s Thesis (EHS 7900) is repeated once; therefore, it will require at least two consecutive semesters to complete. During the first semester, students will develop the research prospectus which will include the proposed title, background about the topic, review of the literature, and a description of the scientific methods that will be utilized for the research. In addition, students are required to complete the KSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for the use of human subjects if applicable. During semester two, students will complete the data collection, analysis, write up, and defense of the thesis. This course is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I complete my Administrative Field Experience at my place of employment?
Generally it is advisable to select a site other than one’s place of employment because a different site tends to help broaden one’s educational experiences. However in certain situations, a valid case might be made to warrant completing the field experience at one’s place of employment. It is imperative to understand that the field experience must be above and beyond one’s normal work responsibilities and approval is at the discretion of the course instructor.
How are the Master’s Project and Master’s Thesis different?
A Master’s Thesis is a research study and the Master’s Project tends to be more applied and can be in various forms. Also, the Master’s Thesis requires two semesters to complete; whereas, a Master’s Project generally is completed in a single semester. Following completion of a Master’s Thesis, students are required to orally defend their thesis before the Thesis Committee and an audience of Graduate faculty and students
Can I convert my Master’s Project into a Master’s Thesis?
As noted above, a Master’s Project and a Master’s Thesis are very different. Therefore, it is important to carefully decide which of the two Capstone Experiences will be the best for you. Once a student registers for EHS 7850 Master’s Project in AEHS, there is no way to convert it to EHS 7900 Master’s Thesis. A student would need to either complete or withdraw from the Master’s Project and register for Master’s Thesis the following semester. Also, it is important to understand that the Master’s Thesis will require two semesters.
Am I required to complete a Master’s Thesis if I plan to attend doctoral school?
This is a common misconception. Although it is advisable to complete a Master’s Thesis if a student plans to attend doctoral school, a Master’s Thesis is not a universal prerequisite for doctoral school admission. All students are encouraged to review the admission requirements for any doctoral program they are considering so they can make the appropriate choice. Regardless of whether a student selects a Thesis or Project, students are strongly encouraged to publish their work which will be highly received by doctoral programs.
Who will direct my Master’s Project?
Students should select a member of the Graduate Faculty to direct their Master’s Project. This faculty member must have the expertise and interest to direct the Project since it is a significant time commitment. It is important to understand that the Graduate faculty member has the discretion whether or not to direct the Project. Also, final approval is required by the Department Chair since directing a Project has ramifications on faculty teaching workload.
How do I select my Thesis Committee?
First, students should select a member of the Graduate Faculty to serve as the Thesis Committee Chair. This faculty member must have the expertise and interest to direct the Thesis since it is a significant time commitment. It is important to understand that the Graduate faculty member has the discretion whether or not to serve as Chair. Also, final approval is required by the Department Chair since serving as the Thesis Committee Chair has ramifications on faculty teaching workload across two semesters. Once a Chair has been approved, the Thesis Committee selection must be done in consultation with the Thesis Committee Chair since there are numerous factors that determine which Graduate faculty would be appropriate to serve on the Committee. As noted earlier, serving on the Committee is a major time investment; therefore, Graduate faculty members have the discretion whether or not to serve and their appointment must be approved by the Department Chair.
What is the format of the final Thesis product?
The Department has adopted two different formats for the final Thesis product: 1) traditional five chapter book format, or 2) journal article format. Although there are two different formats available, the Thesis process remains the same and the selection of the appropriate format is at the discretion of the Thesis Committee Chair. Your Thesis Committee Chair will provide the specific details regarding your Thesis format. Regardless of format, all students who complete the research Thesis are strongly encouraged to submit their work for peer-reviewed publication.
When should I begin preparing for my Capstone Experience?
It is never too early to begin thinking about the Capstone Experience. At least one semester before enrollment in the Capstone course, it is important to discuss your plans with the appropriate Graduate Faculty (e.g., instructor for the Administrative Field Experience, faculty with expertise related to the Project/Thesis, Graduate Program Coordinator, etc).
When and how do I select my Capstone Experience?
You should officially declare you Capstone Experience during the semester prior to registration in the Capstone course. The forms are available below and should be completed prior to the end of the semester preceding your Capstone Experience.