View Full Version : Summary: strength & conditioning programs

Kathy D. Browder
11-14-2000, 08:29 AM
Thanks to all who replied to my inquiry about graduate programs in strength
& conditioning. I have listed the original question below, followed by a
summary of the replies I received.

********Original Question***********

I have an undergraduate student who is interested in pursuing a master's
degree where he can focus on strength and conditioning research. Are there
any graduate programs (master's level) that focus specifically on strength
& conditioning, or should he just look for a more generic master's program
in exercise or sport science?

********Summary of Replies***********
Several people suggested that my student look at the journals and find
individuals, rather than programs, that emphasize strength and conditioning
research in his topic of interest. Andy Fry, Mike Stone, Bill Kraemer, etc.
are good places to start.

Others suggested that my student contact the NSCA national office for a
listing of universities that have applied for their new "Educational
Curriculum Recognition" program. It has been developed to identify
institutions of higher learning that meet such requirements; and also helps
to identify an educational career path for the S&C profession. One
respondent indicated that in a few issues back, the NSCA journal, Strength
and Conditioning, published a list of about 13 or 14 institutions with
strength training curriculums. The NSCA also publishes a list of strength
and conditioning assistanships, which are abundant. It was suggested that
my student check the NSCA web site or that journal.

In addition to these suggestions, I received recommendations for several
programs in the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Europe. I have
listed these programs below, along with the number of people that
recommended the program (in parentheses), contact information (if
provided), and comments made about each program.

Ball State University (6)
Muncie, Indiana, US
Biomechanics Lab Director: Dr. Robert Newton
Human Performance Lab Director: Dr. William Kraemer
Contact Information: www.bsu.edu/web/hpl/, Dr. Robert Newton (Email:
1. The focus in the biomechanics lab there is leaning strongly toward
strength and conditioning since we got a new Biomech. lab director in Jan.
I would highly recommend that your student check that program out. BSU is
also one of the permanent test sites for the CSCS twice a year, and one of
the first semester classes uses the CSCS textbook.
2. We do have strong strength conditioning/biomechanics program.
3. Here at Ball State University we have a MSc in Biomechanics which
focusses specifically on Strength and Conditioning. With William Kraemer
being Director of the Human Performance Laboratory and myself as Director
of the Biomechanics Laboratory the main thrust of our research and graduate
teaching is in muscle strength and power.
4. I saw your inquiry about a graduate program where a student can do more
in the area of strength and conditioning. I would suggest your student look
into the graduate programs at Ball State and University of
Wisconsin - La Crosse. Bill Kraemer, formerly of Penn State, has moved to
Ball State and has hired a group of people to teach and do research in
strength and conditioning.

University of Memphis, Tennessee, US (4)
Exercise Biochemistry Lab: Dr. Andy Fry
Human Performance Lab: Dr. Larry Weiss
Contact Information: http://www.hmse.memphis.edu
1. Good for becoming a researcher involved with strength and conditioning.
Much of the work in our labs relates to the strength and conditioning
field. Current research in our labs includes:
- acute of effects of strength training on force, power, and velocity
- physiological effects of short-term over-reaching induced by heavy
resistance training
- metabolic costs of resistance training
- reliability of a force/power/velocity measurement device
Other projects we are involved in are:
- Strength and conditioning consulting for track and field (primarily
throwing events)
- Strength and conditioning consulting for racquetball
- Tiger Weightlifting Club (a Olympic-style weightlifting club)
2. Dr. Fry's main research focus lies with the hormonal responses to
resistance training, however, he is very active in the NSCA and USA
Weightlifting. He enthusiastically embraces students that are seeking more
of an applied situation and collaborates with the strength coaches at the
university as well as the USOTC. Personally, I know the program is very
versitle catering to the research and the applied
driven very successfully.
3. You should have your student investigate The University of Memphis under
the tutelage of Dr. Andrew Fry. He does a great deal of work in the area.
4. At Memphis there is research and practical training in S&C.

Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, US (2)
Contact Information: Dr. Greg Haff (Email: haffgg@appstate.edu)
1. We have a program that is some what generic but has a focus area in
strength and conditioning. In the next 6 months we should have a program
that is in complete compliance with the NSCA-Recognition program. Dr. Mike
Stone originally put this program together with Dr. Harold O'Bryant in the
90's. The program has had great success in placing people into the strength
and conditioning profession. We have a brand new neuromuscular research
facility that should be equipped in the next 2 years to handle sports
performance and general health research as it relates to strength training.
We currently are working with USA Weightlifting on a project that is going
to look at elite women weightlifters.

Midwestern State University, TX, US (1)
Dr. Lon Kilgore

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, US (1)

University of Nebraska-Omaha, US (1)
Contact Information: Dr. Nick Stergiou (Email: nstergio@unomaha.edu)
1. We get a lot of students like that. We get them into our Exercise
Science with Internship Track. Then, we modify this track is such a way to
focus it to strength and conditioning research. It helps tremendously that
we have an excellent relationship with our Strength and Conditioning Coach.
Editor of the JSCR is also at Omaha and specifically at Creighton. Thus, we
also have a strong collaboration with them because they don't have a
graduate program. Our faculty publish in JSCR very frequently.

Penn St. University, US (2)
Contact Information: http://www.psu.edu/dept/kinesiology
1. I would suggest looking into mentor-based programs, such as at Penn St.
Finding a mentor who focuses in strength and conditioning would allow your
student to work in that area.
2. Penn State Univ. has a diverse Kinesiology program that allows students
to structure their specialities

Springfield College, Massachusetts, US (1)

University of West Virginia, US, ??? (1)
1. I believe I saw a strength and conditioning program at West Virginia.
I'm not positive, but I think they even offered a Ph.D. in S&C, the only
that I've seen.

California State University-Long Beach, California, US (2)
Contact Information: Dr. Michael Lacourse (Email: mlacours@csulb.edu)
1. John Garhammer is one of the biomechanists there. He is well-known for
his strength and conditioning research.
2. We currently have a MS degree program in Exercise Science at California
State University, Long Beach that will have a specialization in Strength
Training and Conditioning beginning Fall 2001. The degree would actually be
a MS in Kinesiology, with an Exercise Science Option. We have recently
negotiated an arrangment with Athletics to work together on this new
program.. We will have two GA positions and a number of internship
opportunities in our strength training complex. Our two key faculty members
are Dr. John Garhammer and Dr. Ralph Rozenek.

Ithaca College, New York, US (1)
Contact Information: Dr. G. Sforzo (Email: sforzo@ithaca.edu)
1. My guess is that there aren't any programs that specialize in strength
and conditioning but that student should seek graduate programs that have
faculty who have published/specialize in that area. We have at two faculty
who have a primary interrest in strength and conditioning yet our graduate
degree is in Exercise & Sport Sciences.

Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, US (1)
Contact Information: Dr. Elizabeth J. Higbie (Email: phtejh@panther.Gsu.EDU)
1. If interested in going to PT school and working on research with Gordon
Warren and Chris Ingalls with muscle physiology - particularly muscle
injury and strength training post injury.

Florida International University, Miami, Florida, US (1)
Contact Information: David Sandler (Email: sandlerd@fiu.edu)
1. We have a program that has 7 different courses (21 credits) dealing with
strength and conditioning (3), personal training, health and wellness,
special populations, etc. While the Master's degree will read MS Exercise
Science, we have tracks in Sports Performance, Sports Medicine, Health and
Wellness (and Cardiac Rehab). The candidate would choose two tracks, as
well as take a few additional courses (internship - in s&c, research
methods, etc.).

University of Louisville, Kentucky, US (1)
Contact Information: Kent J. Adams, Ph.D. (Email:
1. Our MS program in Ex Phys has a heavy strength emphasis with lots of
strength related research coming out of our lab. I also have a great
relationship with the University strength coaches.

California State University-Sacramento, US (2)
Contact Information: www.kilogram4.com, Dr. Bill Kutzer (Email:
1. We have a concentration in S&C within the Sport Performance Option of
our Masters degree in Kinesiology.
2. They have one of the best strength and conditioning programs under
(Kinesiology). The students are
instructed under coach Dr. Kutzer who has a weightlifting team (men and
women)who have won Nationals for at least five years and he is very well
known in the sport.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, US, (2)
Contact Information: Travis or Jeff McBride: mcbride.jeff@uwlax.edu,
1. I saw your inquiry about a graduate program where a student can do more
in the area of strength and conditioning. I would suggest your student look
into the graduate programs at Ball State and University of
Wisconsin - La Crosse. The second program at UWL has 2 of Kraemer's former
students, a husband and wife team by the name of McBride, who were hired at
La Crosse 2 and 3 years ago, both have interest in muscle phys. and
strength and conditioning. The level of support for grad. assistantships at
La Crosse isn't the best, but it is a good program.

The Waikato Polytechnic, Centre for Sport and Exercise Science (1)
Hamilton, New Zealand
Contact Information: Nicholas Gill (Email: scndg@twp.ac.nz),
1. Next year, we will have a honours and masters program up and running
with the opportunity to focus on strength and conditioning research.

University of Ballarat, Australia (1)
Contact Information: Warren Young (Email: w.young@ballarat.edu.au)
1. I am always looking for potential grad students in S & C.

University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, (1)
Contact Information: Dr. Dave Docherty (Email: docherty@uvic.ca.)
1. The recent topics of late have dealt with acute responses produced
during various resitance training programs (ie muscle oxygenation, EMG,
blood lactate).

University of Regina, Canada (1)
Contact Information: Dr. Kelly L. Lockwood (Email: Kelly.Lockwood@uregina.ca)
1. Our graduate program is globally called Kinesiology, however has other
students working in your
student's area of interest. Our program is small and can be molded to fit
the desired needs of the students and theri expected outcomes. Please look
at the U or R web site in PAS (name changing currently to KIN).

Other institutions that were mentioned were:
Institute of Sport at Bath in the UK, which is affiliated with the
University of Bath
Stirling University, the site for the Scottish Sport Institute.
Aust. Institute of Sport and the University of Canberra.
Southern Cross University, NSW, Australia (Contact Dr. Shi Zhou,

Finally, Steven Plisk of Yale University (e-mail: steven.plisk@yale.edu
http://www.yale.edu/athletic/Strength/strength.htm) repsonded that although
they do not have a curriculum, they do offer a S&C internship for students
who need practicum hours toward the completion of their degree. It is a
full-time, 10 month position offering stipend + benefits. Someone with
biomechanics education/background would be a valuable addition to the
staff, as they intend to acquire a force platform to be used for evaluating
their athletes. This position will be advertised next summer, and available
in August.

Kathy D. Browder, Ph.D.
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Physical Educ., Exercise & Sport Sciences
East Tennessee State University
Box 70654
Johnson City, TN 37614
TEL: 423-439-5796
Email: browderk@etsu.edu

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