2010-2012 Graduate Studies Catalog

The Department of Health and Human Performance

Dr. Russ Lord, Chairperson
PE 120, (406) 657-2370

Professors:  Kathe Gable, Gary Gray, Russell Lord
Associate Professor:  Jay Shaw
Assistant Professor:  Lynne Fitzgerald
Lecturer:  Loretta Morgan
Instructor: Scott Murray
Athletic Training Program Director:  Suzette Nynas
Clinical Education Coordinator:  Patrick Hughes
Emeritus:  Harold Alterowitz

The department offers and administers the following Graduate Degree programs:

Master of Science in Athletic Training

Master of Science Interdisciplinary Studies Exercise and Sport Leadership Option

Master of Science in Sport, Recreation and Fitness Management (Program placed on moratorium)

The most current descriptions and requirements for these academic programs including course syllabi are available at the Department of Health and Human Performance Website: www.msubillings.edu/hhp.


The Department of Health and Human Performance through excellent instruction, innovative research, and community outreach to the local and global community is dedicated to preparing exemplary professionals who promote health and human performance.

Graduate Degree Programs

The Master of Science in Athletic Training degree is an Entry-Level Graduate degree program.  The graduate program in Athletic Training is designed to prepare students to become entry level athletic training professionals.  It prepares students for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam.  The curriculum is based upon cognitive and psychomotor learning experiences.  In order to become eligible to sit for the BOC examination, students within this degree must successfully complete all of the coursework within the professional area, successfully complete and pass all NATA competencies, and complete clinical education experience each semester over the course of the two year (5 semester) program.  Each new ATEP cohort begins in the third summer session in July.

All materials must be submitted prior to February 15th for admission for the new cohort which begins coursework in July.  Applications will be reviewed after February 15th.  Only completed files will be reviewed.  Applications and transcripts will be reviewed by the Athletic Training Admission Committee.  Overall GPA, GPA in prerequisite courses, and GRE scores will be used in the evaluation process.  Applicants not meeting the minimum GPA and course requirements minimums are notified and removed from applicant pool.  Accepted applicants will be notified no later than March 15th.

Minimum Undergraduate GPA:  If a student has below a 3.0 (on a 4 point scale), that student may be admitted provisionally to the program; however, the student must complete 12 semester hours with a 3.0 or better in order to obtain full admittance into the ATEP.

International students:  Either TOEFL or IELTS required.

The Master of Science Interdisciplinary Studies Exercise and Sport Leadership Option allows the student to pursue an in-depth emphasis in health and physical education K-12, as well as other potential areas designed for the student’s specific professional interests.  Graduates of this degree program demonstrate outcome competencies as defined in the College of Education Advanced Conceptual Framework.

Admission Requirements

The Department of Health and Human Performance requires the following minimum requirements in determining program admission to graduate degree programs.

  1. Undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (on a 4 point scale).
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or other graduate entrance examination.
  3. One official transcript from each college and/or university attended.
  4. Complete Montana State University Billings Graduate Studies application

Additionally, the Master of Science in Athletic Training program requires:

  1. An admission essay
  2. Three letters of reference from academic and professional sources concerning the candidate’s potential to succeed in graduate school, prospective contributions to the profession, etc.  A specific form is required for Athletic Training and is available online.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of twelve (12) graduate credits may be accepted for transfer from approved accredited educational institutions.  Copies of official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar to the Office of Graduate Studies.  No course credit may be transferred unless the grade receiv.ed was at least a “B.”  Transfer credits will be evaluated by the faculty, the program director, and the Health and Human Performance Department.  Copies of syllabi from transfer courses may be required to accurately judge the equivalency of courses.

Competitive Selection Criterion

Admission is competitive and is not guaranteed simply by meeting the minimum admission standards.  The Department of Health and Human Performance uses the prospective student’s undergraduate GPA, entrance examination score, application essay and letters of recommendation to determine the appropriateness of the applicant’s academic background as well as the compatibility of the candidate’s educational and career goals within the scope of the program.  Applicants are ranked according to the selection criteria below and admitted until the program is full each year.  Students who are not selected for admission may reapply.  The relative weights for selection criteria are reflected in the following percentages GPA = 40%, Letters of recommendations = 25%, Admissions essay = 25%, GRE = 10%.

Notification of Program Admittance

The applicant for the Master of Science Interdisciplinary Studies Exercise and Sport Leadership will receive a letter from the Director of Graduate Studies indicating admittance status no later than 30 days following the receipt of the complete application.  The applicant for the Master of Science in Athletic Training will receive a letter from the Director of Graduate Studies indicating the status of admittance no later than 30 days after the application deadline.

Plan of Study

Once admitted to one of the above programs, students meet with their advisor during the first semester of coursework and develop a plan of study that reflects their area of professional interest.

Research Project or Thesis

Students must complete a research project or a thesis.  Though both involve personal research that includes development of a research question, formulation of appropriate inquiry methods, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and communication skills, a thesis differs from a research project by having greater scope and greater potential contribution to the larger profession beyond personal interest.  Students should consult with the faculty prior to deciding between the research project or thesis.

Thesis, Thesis Defense, and Oral Exams

The student will meet with an advisor to explore a master’s thesis topic and design a suitable project.  A formal proposal, the format of which is to be determined by the advisor, will be written and presented before the graduate faculty.  Following completion of the project, a defense of the thesis project will be conducted before the graduate faculty.  Oral examinations, generally conducted at the end of the plan of study, and will be conducted on a date agreed upon by the student and graduate faculty.

NEXT: Master of Science in Ahtletic Training

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