Master of Science in Applied Exercise Science

Master’s in Sports Nutrition Online

Become an expert in sports nutrition today. Guide athletes with evidence-based advice with an MS in Applied Exercise Science, Sports Nutrition concentration from Concordia Chicago.

Become an Expert in Health & Fitness

Learn how our 100% online programs can help you get ahead in the exercise science field.

Application Deadline: March 6, 2024
Classes Start: March 11, 2024

Sports Nutrition Master’s Concentration Program Details

Our 100% online MS sports nutrition program is designed for working adults with asynchronous classes so you can learn anytime, anywhere. We keep class sizes small, so you can connect with your classmates and professors. Dual concentrations are also available.

Why Pursue a Sports Nutrition Degree?

The Sports Nutrition concentration is designed for individuals who aspire to provide sound sports nutrition information to athletes and physically active individuals. The program focuses on using evidence-based principles in designing and implementing exercise and nutrition programs and interpreting research in the field of exercise and sport nutrition. This strand prepares individuals for the Certified Sports Nutrition (CISSN) exam from the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job outlook for dietitians and nutritionists will be rosy, increasing by 20%. Additionally, those who take the exam can open doors in personal training and the food, beverage and supplement industry.

Several compelling reasons to pursue sports nutrition programs include:

Helping Athletes Reach Their Peak Performance: As a sports nutrition professional, you’ll have the opportunity to work closely with athletes and physically active individuals to optimize their performance. By providing them with personalized nutrition plans and evidence-based advice, you can help them achieve their goals, whether it’s improving strength, endurance or overall athletic performance.

Understanding the Science Behind Nutrition and Exercise: Sports Nutrition programs delve deep into the scientific principles of how nutrition and exercise affect the human body. With this knowledge, you’ll be equipped to design tailored meal plans and supplementation strategies that can maximize an individual’s training outcomes and aid in injury prevention and recovery.

Promoting Health and Well-being: Nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. As a sports nutrition specialist, you’ll not only be helping athletes perform better but also contributing to their long-term health by promoting balanced diets, managing weight and reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with poor nutrition.

Contributing to Sports and Exercise Research: Through your studies, you’ll gain an understanding of how to interpret and analyze research in the field of exercise and sports nutrition. Armed with this knowledge, you can contribute to the scientific community by conducting your research or assisting in ongoing studies to advance the field further.

Meeting the Growing Demand: The awareness of the importance of nutrition in sports and exercise is increasing rapidly. As a result, there is a growing demand for professionals with specialized knowledge in this area. A Sports Nutrition degree can open doors to various career opportunities in sports teams, fitness centers, sports organizations and even private practice.

Gaining Professional Recognition: Pursuing a Sports Nutrition degree and obtaining certifications such as the Certified Sports Nutrition (CISSN) exam from the International Society of Sports Nutrition can add credibility to your expertise and help you stand out in a competitive job market.

Flexibility in Career Choices: A degree in Sports Nutrition can lead to diverse career paths. While you may initially focus on working with athletes, you could later transition into roles like sports nutrition consulting, nutrition education, research or even writing for sports magazines and websites.

Personal Passion and Interest: If you have a passion for both sports and nutrition, pursuing a degree in Sports Nutrition can be an incredibly fulfilling career choice. It allows you to merge your interests and make a positive impact on people’s lives by optimizing their athletic performance and well-being.

Learn more about studying sports nutrition online in our Q& A with Professor Anna Turner. You can also read our article, Is Sports Nutrition the Right Path for You.

Institutional Accreditation

Concordia University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Industry Certification

This program prepares individuals for the Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) exam from the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

#1 Master’s in Exercise Science in the US

#2 for Affordability in the US

No Pre-reqs

Admission Requirements

Free online application

Bachelor’s degree

2.85 minimum GPA

Objective statement

Letters of recommendation


Required Core Courses

Students will explore upper extremity musculoskeletal anatomy with emphasis on systems that enable the human body to maintain proper stabilization and produce efficient movements. Students will develop human movement analysis techniques through assessment and evaluation of biomechanical movement patterns.

Application of mechanical principles to human movement with focus on the principles of kinematics and kinetics to the human body during movement. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6020 or AES-6030.

Students will explore trunk and lower extremity musculoskeletal anatomy with emphasis on systems that enable the human body to maintain proper stabilization and produce efficient movements. Students will develop human movement analysis techniques through assessment and evaluation of biomechanical movement patterns.

Apply principles of kinematics and kinetics of the human body in movement and sport activities. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6040.

Selected research techniques and designs utilized in exercise science research with emphasis on general statistics, interpretation of data, research ethics, scientific writing and library use.

Effects of exercise on the major systems of the human body, including cardiorespiratory, neuromuscular, glandular and digestive; with emphasis on optimizing human performance. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6050 or division chair consent.

Advanced study of energy metabolism and the primary physiological systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, neuromuscular) in the context of exercise and performance. Advanced topics related to mechanisms and adaptations relating to physiology during exercise. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6050.

Explores the relationships between nutrition, energy metabolism, and exercise and sport performance, with an in-depth analysis of dietary and nutritional supplementation. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6050, and AES-6200 or AES-6250.

Culminating experience in the Master of Science in Applied Exercise Science degree. Experiences may include, but are not limited to, independent research that leads to an actual product such as a publishable journal article, professional field experience, conference presentation, advanced certifications, program or facility development, website, online course materials, curriculum development. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6380, AES-6460, AES-6560, AES-6660, AES-6780 or AES-6860.

Required Program Courses

Explores the relationships between nutrition, energy metabolism, and exercise and sport performance, with an in-depth analysis of dietary and nutritional supplementation. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6050, and AES-6200 or AES-6250.

Examination of the role and function of vitamins and minerals from physiological and clinical perspectives. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6300.

Examines nutrition and exercise strategies for weight management with an emphasis on metabolic, physiological and psychological factors. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6320.

This course examines the planning and implementation of a sports nutrition program. Students are required to complete a nutrition assessment and planning case study on a member of their community. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6340.

In-depth study of selected advanced topics in sports nutrition. Prerequisite: B or higher in AES-6340.

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Ryan Richmond

MS Applied Exercise Science – Sports Nutrition Concentration

“The online format allows for me to continue expanding my business and professional goals while still pursuing a Master’s degree. I was initially worried as I had not previously had much experience with online coursework, but the format allows for structured, discussion based learning amongst peers.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Graduates build careers in fitness, wellness and sports management. Many of our students gain employment as:

  • Sports Nutritionists
  • Performance Nutritionists
  • Virtual Health Coaches
  • Wellness Coaches

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the employment of dietitians and nutritionists will grow by 7% from 2021 to 2031, which is as fast as the national average. Additionally, those who take the exam can open doors in personal training and the food, beverage, and supplement industry.

There are many factors that can affect the career outlook for Sports Nutritionists, including:

  • Increasing Emphasis on Health and Fitness: With a growing focus on health and fitness, more individuals are seeking professional guidance to optimize their athletic performance and overall well-being. As people become more health conscious, the demand for sports nutrition specialists is expected to rise.
  • Expanding Fitness Industry: The fitness industry, including gyms, sports clubs, and wellness centers, has been expanding steadily. Many of these establishments recognize the significance of nutrition in achieving fitness goals, leading to an increased demand for sports nutrition professionals.
  • Sports Organizations and Teams: Professional sports teams and organizations have also recognized the role of nutrition in enhancing athletes’ performance and recovery. As a result, they are investing in sports nutrition experts to optimize their athletes’ training regimens and dietary plans.
  • Corporate Wellness Programs: Many companies are incorporating wellness programs for their employees to promote better health and productivity. Sports nutrition experts may be hired to provide guidance on healthy eating habits and lifestyle choices to improve employee well-being.
  • Public Awareness and Media Influence: The media plays a significant role in shaping public perception, and the increased coverage of sports events and fitness-related content has fueled interest in sports nutrition. This heightened awareness may lead to more people seeking the advice of sports nutrition professionals.
  • Research and Advancements: Ongoing research in the field of sports nutrition continues to uncover new insights into the relationship between nutrition, exercise, and human performance. As scientific knowledge expands, sports nutrition specialists will play an essential role in translating research findings into practical applications for athletes and active individuals.
  • Remote and Online Opportunities: The rise of online coaching and telehealth services has opened up opportunities for sports nutrition professionals to work with clients from different locations, expanding their potential client base.
  • Combination of Expertise: Sports nutritionists with additional qualifications in fields such as personal training, physical therapy, or psychology can be particularly sought after for their comprehensive approach to optimizing athletic performance and overall health.

Earning a master’s degree in sports nutrition can open up a variety of career opportunities in the field of sports, fitness, and nutrition. Here are some potential career paths you could pursue:

  • Sports Nutritionist/Dietitian: You can work with athletes and sports teams to design personalized nutrition plans that optimize performance, aid in recovery, and prevent injuries. This might involve assessing their dietary needs, providing meal plans, and offering advice on supplements.
  • Researcher/Scientist: A master’s degree can be a stepping stone to a career in research and academia. You could work in universities, research institutions, or even private industry, studying the effects of nutrition on athletic performance and contributing to advancements in the field.
  • Nutrition Consultant: You might choose to work independently as a nutrition consultant, providing advice and guidance to athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and sports teams to help them optimize their nutrition for their specific needs.
  • Corporate Wellness: Many companies are investing in wellness programs to promote employee health and productivity. With a sports nutrition background, you could work in corporate wellness programs, providing nutritional guidance to employees looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Nutrition Educator: You could work in educational settings, such as schools, colleges, or community centers, teaching students and community members about the importance of proper nutrition and its impact on sports performance and overall health.
  • Athletic Department Nutritionist: Many colleges and universities have athletic departments that employ nutritionists to work with student-athletes and sports teams to ensure they are receiving the appropriate nutrition for their training and competition needs.
  • Nutrition Product Development: Work with food companies or supplement manufacturers to develop products specifically tailored to athletes and fitness enthusiasts, ensuring they meet nutritional and performance-enhancing needs.

Remember that networking, gaining practical experience through internships or volunteer work, and staying up-to-date with the latest research and trends in sports nutrition will greatly enhance your career prospects in this field.

The salary you can expect with a master’s degree in sports nutrition can vary widely depending on factors such as your location, the specific job role, your level of experience, and the industry you choose to work in.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, the median annual salary for dietitians and nutritionists was $61,650. More competitive positions can earn higher, with the top 10% earning more than $93,640.

Yes, we offer financial assistance to students in our sports nutrition master’s program. Please visit our Financial Aid page for more information.

Originally founded in 1864 as Addison Lutheran Teachers Seminary, Concordia University Chicago has transformed into a comprehensive establishment with a student body of over 6,000 full-time individuals engaged in pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees.

As a pivotal component of the broader Concordia University System comprising eight colleges and universities nationwide, Concordia University Chicago provides online educational opportunities across diverse fields within Kinesiology and Health Sciences. Our graduate programs, conducted entirely online, equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to embark on prosperous careers.

Apply today to start pursuing your master’s degree.

Our Master’s in Sports Nutrition program is designed to provide you with a comprehensive and specialized understanding of the intersection between nutrition, exercise, and human performance. Here are just some of what you will learn:

  1. Nutrition Fundamentals: You will study the basic principles of nutrition, macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), energy metabolism, and the role of nutrition in overall health and wellness.
  2. Exercise Physiology: This area of study focuses on understanding how the body responds to exercise and physical activity, including the physiological changes that occur during exercise and how nutrition impacts performance.
  3. Sports Nutrition Assessment: You’ll learn how to assess the nutritional needs of athletes and physically active individuals through methods such as dietary analysis, body composition assessment, and metabolic testing.
  4. Nutrition for Exercise Performance: This subject explores how specific nutrients and dietary strategies can enhance athletic performance, improve recovery, and support different types of physical training.
  5. Hydration and Electrolyte Balance: Understanding the importance of proper hydration and electrolyte balance for athletes and how to develop personalized hydration strategies.
  6. Nutrition for Different Sports and Activities: You’ll delve into the unique nutritional requirements of athletes participating in various sports and physical activities, considering factors such as energy expenditure, endurance, and strength demands.
  7. Sports Supplements and Ergogenic Aids: This topic covers the science behind various sports supplements and ergogenic aids commonly used in the athletic community and their potential benefits and risks.
  8. Weight Management and Body Composition: You’ll explore techniques for optimizing body composition, including weight loss, muscle gain, and fat loss while maintaining optimal nutrition for performance.
  9. Nutrition for Injury Prevention and Recovery: Understanding how nutrition can play a role in preventing injuries and supporting the recovery process after physical activity.
  10. Research Methods in Sports Nutrition: This course covers research design, data analysis, and the critical evaluation of sports nutrition studies.

Start Date

March 11, 2024

Deadline to Apply

March 6, 2024

Cost Per Credit