This is an archived copy of the 2015-16 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science

Program and Application Information
Department Head:Dr. Margaret Fitzgerald
Graduate Coordinator:Dr. Bryan Christensen
Department Location:Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse
Department Phone:(701) 231-6737
Department Web
Application Deadline: Ph.D. Exercise Science and Nutrition: January 15 for fall only M.S. HNES - Exercise/Nutrition Science option: March 1 for fall only; M.S. Dietetics (online), GPIDEA: March 1 for fall only M.S. HNES - Leadership in Physical Education and Sport option: Enrollment is limited to 20 students.
Degrees Offered:M.S., MATrg, Ph.D.
Test Requirement:GRE required only for Ph.D. and for M.S. HNES - Exercise/Nutrition Science option
English Proficiency Requirements:TOEFL ibT 100; IELTS 7

Program Description

The Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences (HNES) offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in HNES with options in Exercise/Nutrition Science and Leadership in Physical Education and Sport. The HNES department also offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Dietetics (on line through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance), Master of Science (M.S.) in Advanced Athletic Training and a  Master of Athletic Training (MATrg)  degree. A Ph.D. degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition is also available.

Exercise/Nutrition Science Option

The Exercise/Nutrition Science option prepares the graduate for advanced positions with an emphasis in the areas of physical activity, exercise science, nutrition, and health promotion. The department is devoted to researching and understanding the long-term effects of physical activity and nutrition, and translating this research into effective exercise science and wellness programs for children, adolescents, and adults of all ages. This option is appropriate for athletic trainers, nutrition, and exercise science graduates.

Leadership in Physical Education and Sport Option

The Leadership in Physical Education and Sport (LPES) option is an online program that prepares teachers and coaches to become actively engaged in leadership roles within school systems or professional organizations. This degree prepares students to be master teachers, head coaches, department heads, and activities directors at the interscholastic level; assistant coaches, lecturers, and assistant or lead directors at the intercollegiate level; and to become actively engaged in leadership roles within professional organizations.

Admission requirements are as follows:

 1.       Cumulative baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
 2.       Undergraduate degree in the field of Kinesiology (physical education, coaching, etc.)

Students not meeting the above admission requirements may be accepted into the program with Conditional Standing by providing evidence that their potential as a graduate student is not adequately reflected by their academic record. Evidence from the applicant will include a written essay, and either a portfolio of professional accomplishments based on the Leadership in Physical Education and Sport (LPES) program standards and competencies, or GRE scores. Applicants who score in the upper 50th percentile in the verbal, quantitative, and writing portions will be given preference in admission to the program. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee automatic acceptance. Contact the program coordinator for a copy of the (LPES) standards and competencies.

Dietetics (On-line)

The Dietetics program prepares registered dietitians to practice at an advanced level or pursue doctoral study. The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance program in Dietetics provides opportunities for registered dietitians and registration-eligible dietetic graduates to integrate and apply principles from the biomedical sciences, human behavior, and management to design and lead effective food and nutrition programs in a variety of settings. This program is fully online (

In a multi-institution degree program, students:

  1. Apply and are admitted to one university;
  2. Enroll in all courses at that university; and
  3. Graduate or receive a certificate from that university.

A Dietetics graduate candidate must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours to earn a Master of Science degree. Students will complete a six-credit research thesis.

Admissions Requirements

In addition to Graduate School admission requirements, the following criteria will be considered at the time of application for admission into graduate study. Admission to a master's degree program is considered ONLY after all required application materials have been received and reviewed. In order to be considered, the applicant must have:

  • Bachelor of Science degree in an HNES related field from an accredited institution,
  • Overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, 
  • submitted all required materials as listed.
  • The GRE is required for the Ph.D. and the Exercise/Nutrition Science option of the M.S. degree.

During the application process, the applicant must submit an exhibit of his/her written competency through an essay discussing professional philosophy and professional goals.The Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences reserves the right to obtain additional information about the applicant's professional competence from qualified professionals. Admission decisions are based upon the predicted success of the applicant as a student and professional in the chosen field and are made only after considering all available data.

Financial Assistance

Both research and teaching assistantships may be available. Applications are considered on the basis of scholarship, potential to undertake advanced study and research, and financial need. To be considered for an assistantship, a completed Graduate School application, official transcripts, and three letters of reference must be received by the Graduate School by the program deadline. The department admits students for fall semester only in the Exercise/Nutrition Science option. Graduate assistants teach approximately six credits each semester, receive a financial stipend for their work, and a full tuition waiver for fall, spring, and summer semesters. Assistantships are available contingent upon current funding and faculty need.

Exercise/Nutrition Science Option

Required Courses
HNES 790Graduate Seminar (Introduction to HNES )1
HNES 710Introduction to Research Design and Methods in HNES3
STAT 725Applied Statistics3
HNES 713Graduate Exercise Physiology (Restricted to students enrolled in the Exercise Science/Nutrition Option)3
HNES 726Nutrition in Wellness3
Electives (at least 3 cr. outside of HNES)12
HNES 798Master's Thesis6

Leadership in Physical Education and Sport Option

HNES 700Research in Physical Education and Sport3
HNES 701Leadership and Entrepreneurship3
HNES 704Psychological Foundation of Sport & Physical Activity3
HNES 705Analysis of Sport Skill Instruction and Acquisition3
HNES 707Sport in American Society3
HNES 711Physical Education Curriculum3
HNES 712Supervision and Management3
HNES 714Legal Liability in HPER3
HNES 731Governance in Sport3
HNES 794Practicum/Internship3
or HNES 797 Master's Paper
or HNES 798 Master's Thesis

Dietetics Option

Required Core Courses9
Introduction to Research Design and Methods in HNES
Current Issues in Dietetics
Applied Statistics
Cost Controls in Hospitality and Food Service Systems
Entrepreneurship in Dietetics
Community Health and Nutrition Education
Nutrition, Health and Aging
Sports Nutrition
Nutrition Education
Nutrition in Wellness
Fundamentals of Leadership
Foodservice Operation Management
Food Writing for Professionals
Foodservice Systems within Healthcare
Maternal and Child Nutrition
International Nutrition
Nutrition: A Focus on Life Stages
Nutrition and Health Disparities
Understanding Food Culture
Advanced Human Nutrition
Metabolism of Micronutrients
Advanced Clinical Nutrition
Pediatric Clinical Nutrition
Nutritional Aspects of Oncology
Clinical Aspects of Nutrition Support
Nutrition and Immunology
HNES 798Master's Thesis6
Total Credits36

Thomas C. Barnhart, Ph.D.
University of New Mexico, 1978
Research Interests: Recreation Management, Playground Safety

Ardith Brunt, Ph.D.
Iowa State University, 1999
Research Interests: Nutrition, Gerontology

Wonwoo Byun, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina-Columbia, 2012
Research Interests: Physical Activity Epidemiology

Bryan Christensen, Ph.D.
University of Kansas, 2000
Research Interests: Biomechanics, Sports Psychology, Strength and Conditioning

Shannon David, Ph.D.
Ohio University, 2013
Rearch Interests: Athletic Training

Joe Deutsch, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2007
Research Interests: Physical Education Teacher Education; Coaching

Marty Douglas, Ph.D.
Michigan State University
Research Interests: Adapted Physical Activity

Kara Gange, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2010
Rearch Interests: Athletic Training

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 1994
Rearch Interests: Nutrition and Food Safety

Nikki German, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2008
Rearch Interests: Athletic Training

Kyle Hackney, Ph.D.
Syracuse University, 2013
Research Interests: Skeletal Muscle Physiology

Mary Larson, Ph.D.
University of North Dakota, 2008
Research Interests: Health Promotion and Lifestyle Medicine

Jenny Linker, Ph.D.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2011
Research Interests: Physical Education; Teacher Preparation

Katie Lyman, Ph.D.
University of South Florida, 2014
Research interests: Kinesio Tape®, Manual Medicine, Emergency Medicine

Yeong Rhee, Ph.D.
Oklahoma State University, 1999
Research Interests: Trace Elements, Chronic Disease, Immune Function, Functional Foods

Sherri Nordstrom Stastny, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2007
Research Interests: Nutrition, Gerontology

Bradford N. Strand, Ph.D.
University of New Mexico, 1988
Research Interests: Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction, Fitness Education, Sport Sociology

Donna J. Terbizan, Ph.D.
The Ohio State University, 1982
Research Interests: Exercise Physiology, Fitness, Wellness, Exercise Science, Chronic Disease Change