The primary objective of a master's (M.S.) degree program is to provide a scholarly approach to the academic subject matter content in athletic training, dietetics, nutrition, exercise science or sport and recreational studies introduced during the baccalaureate education. The primary objective of a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) program is to build upon the experience obtained during the master's program and foster student independence in research and/or teaching.
- M.S. Athletic Training
The M.S. in Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education and is comprised of 57-60 credits, offering a diverse array of clinical sites to gain professional experience.
- M.S. Dietetics - Online
The M.S. in Dietetics program, offered online through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), consists of 36 credits and is only available for those credentialed as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) or those that are RDN-eligible.
- M.S. Nutrition & Exercise Sciences
An integration between the fields of nutrition and exercise science, the M.S. in Nutrition & Exercise Science program is made up of 30-35 credits and prepares students to be skilled in professional practice/education and/or future research in the health sciences. Students may specialize in either nutritional sciences or exercise science.
- Ph.D. Nutrition & Exercise Sciences
The Ph.D. in Nutrition and Exercise Sciences program provides students the opportunity to begin their development as an independent researcher. Students pursuing a doctoral degree typically seek employment in higher education, industry or government. This doctoral program consists of 60 credits.
- M.S. Sport & Recreation Administration
The Sport and Recreation Administration program consists of 32-36 credits and prepares students to become dynamic leaders in intercollegiate athletics as well as campus and community recreation. The curriculum and internship experiences will educate students in management, marketing, communications, facilities, finance, ethics and legal issues, research and much more. Students graduating from the program will be equipped with a skill set that can be directly applied to a wide range of exciting career possibilities.
- Transdisciplinary Childhood Obesity Prevention (TOP) Certificate
The TOP Certificate provides expertise in a job market that is desperate for trained professionals in the prevention of childhood obesity. The program will expose students to a variety of disciplines involved in the prevention of childhood obesity, allow students the opportunity to design childhood obesity prevention initiatives, and prepare students to conduct transdisciplinary research on the behavioral, social, biological and environmental causes of childhood obesity. Faculty from Nutrition, Exercise Science, Early Childhood Education and Nursing work collaboratively with SDSU Extension to implement the TOP graduate certificate program. Students will obtain a TOP program certificate upon completion of the requirements for both the certificate (9-10 credits) and the Masters or Doctoral degree from their respective college.
Faculty: Dr. Lacey A. McCormack
Research Area/Key Findings: My research focuses on how the rural environment shapes the diet and physical activity behaviors of individuals across the lifespan. I’m working on determining how and why certain factors contribute to the rural/urban obesity disparity. What our research is showing is that rural populations, even within our small state, are very diverse. This may seem obvious to us, but outside of our state, many times rural is just thought to be whatever isn’t urban. We’re learning that it’s not just geographic location that matters, but also what your occupation is (i.e. farming or not) and how rural your lifestyle is (i.e. self-sufficiency and producing one’s own goods). Diet appears to be associated with a rural lifestyle, while physical activity is associated with a rural occupation - and this is among people who all live in the same zip codes! We’re seeing these types of findings in both adults and youth.
Current Projects: Right now we’re doing a lot of data analysis and writing! We’re also doing some exciting work examining school environments and school wellness policies in South Dakota and other states.
Advice for students seeking research opportunities: Know that opportunities are out there and don’t be afraid to ask faculty about them! Having some type of research experience can set you apart when you’re applying for graduate school, internships or jobs. And of course, research is fun!
Meet Susan Wallrich, a recent alumni of the Sport and Recreation Administration graduate program. Wallrich is now the Athletics Marketing Assistant at Florida State University.
“SDSU prepared me for my current/dream career by giving me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through my graduate assistantship and my classes. Being a smaller DI university we were able to be involved with all the sports SDSU had to offer, and assist with other departments within the athletic department such as ticketing, facilities, alumni events, and administration; something you might not get at a larger university. My experience as an intern, then eventually as a GA, at SDSU, built an irresistible resume that got me to where I am today.”
Preceptor, Charles "Charlie" Miller, MEd, ATC, joined the Sports Medicine team at South Dakota State University in August 2018. Charlie has been an ATC for 15 years and is the head Athletic Trainer for SDSU's football team. His favorite part about working with Athletic Training students is having the opportunity to learn from students as much as they learn from him..
iGrow Readers is a community-based program with curriculum created by South Dakota State University extension. The curriculum uses children’s books, paired with a nutritious snack and physical activity to promote health behaviors! This year the we went to Peace Lutheran and worked with pre-K students.
Exercise science graduate student, Claire Sylvestre, is teaching senior exercise science students how to perform Biodex testing and the importance of cheering on your subject.