Master’s in Strength and Conditioning

Exercise Science Offers Two Options for Programs Recognized by National Strength and Conditioning Association

Master’s in Strength and Conditioning

Beginning with the fall semester 2020, Gardner-Webb University is offering a Master of Science degree in strength and conditioning. The new program offers two enrollment options: one allows for completion of the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science along with the master’s degree in five years or less, while the other option allows for fall, spring or summer enrollment into a two-year program to complete the master’s degree.

Both programs rely heavily upon standards set by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Currently, the Bachelor of Science is a nationally-recognized NSCA program. The Master of Science includes extensive internship and laboratory work and is designed to be practical and hands on. Professors in the program include Jonathan Ahearn, a licensed physical therapist (DPT); Dr. David J. Granniss, Ph,D. in exercise physiology; and Dr. Jeff Hartman, PhD in kinesiology.

“We anticipate our largest percentage of students will be dual enrolled in the bachelor’s and master’s programs starting in the junior year,” observed Granniss, chair and associate professor of exercise science. “This master’s degree is perfect for anyone desiring to enter physical therapy school, NCAA strength and conditioning careers, cardiac rehabilitation, and doctoral work in similar fields.”

Kylie Ameres, a 2020 graduate of GWU with her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, health sciences concentration, is staying at Gardner-Webb to complete her master’s. She will also have the opportunity to play for the women’s soccer team another year.

“This master’s program will be beneficial for my future, especially in helping me reach my ultimate goal of getting into PA (Physician Assistant) school because the classes that makeup this master’s program will teach concepts that will be relevant in my future as a PA,” Ameres shared. “Ultimately, I want to be a PA, because I want to care for patients, as well as promote health and wellness on a more personal level. I have always been interested in health care, especially in underserved populations and want to be part of a medical team that will provide excellent treatment for all patients regardless of socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity. As a PA, I want to make a difference in all my patients lives and be sure they receive the highest level of personalized care possible.”

For more information about the new program, contact Granniss at or call 704-406-2305.