The Department of Human Performance and Physical Education offers degrees in:

  • Master of Arts in Coaching (online)
  • Master of Arts in Sport Management (online) 
  • Master of Science in Exercise Science (on campus)
  • Admission Requirements

    Students desiring to enroll in a graduate degree program in the Department of HPPE must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, preferably in physical education or related area. An acceptable minor in physical education or the equivalent from an accredited institution will be considered. Students without undergraduate majors in physical education or related areas may be required to take prerequisite courses. These may vary according to the student’s specialization. All applicants must submit the following information to the HPPE Department, Adams State University, 208 Edgemont Boulevard, Alamosa, CO 81101: 

    • An online application for admission to the Graduate School. 
    • A $30 non-refundable application fee. 
    • A letter of intent. 
    • A current resume
    • Two recent letters of recommendation from associates who can speak to the applicant’s academic strengths and potential.
    • An official transcript from all institutions attended sent directly from the institution to the Adams State Human Performance and Physical Education Department verifying receipt of the baccalaureate degree. Transcripts from Adams State need not be requested; however, official transcripts confirming transfer courses are required. Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted.

    In addition… 

    • An undergraduate cumulative GPA of a 3.0 in the final 60 hours of the undergraduate degree program is required. The department chair of HPPE will determine whether an applicant with a GPA lower than 3.0 in the final 60 hours must take the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing parts of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Scores on the GRE must be equal to or greater than 150 on the Verbal sub-test, equal to or greater than 150 on the Quantitative sub-test, and 4 or greater on the Analytical Writing sub-test. The department chair and graduate coordinator will finalize admittance into the program based on the applicant’s performance on the GRE. Scores will be computed for students who took the GRE prior to August 2011.
    • If applicant's undergraduate degree is in something other than Human Performance and Physical Education, the student may be required to complete additional pre-requisites.
    • Additional information may be requested by the department chair before a decision can be determined.
    • For the coaching and sport management on-line graduate programs, the HPPE department may limit cohort size, so qualified candidates should apply well in advance of the published deadline or risk delaying their acceptance to the next cohort. 
    • The chair of the Department of HPPE will notify students of admission decisions.
  • Degree Requirements

    The minimum degree requirements for all three programs are 36 hours. Students may transfer a maximum of six hours of graduate courses from an accredited institution. All transfer hours must be approved by the department chair. Any transfer requests must be filed on appropriate forms available online at gradschool.adams.edu.

    Students enrolled in the Coaching (online), Sport Management (online), or Exercise Science (on campus) programs have two options available for the culminating experience. Option One requires completion of 30 graduate academic hours and writing a six-hour master's thesis. Option Two requires candidates to complete 33 graduate academic hours and a three-hour field-based research project. Once an option is chosen, the student must complete that particular option.

    Those in the Coaching (online) and Sport Management (online) programs must also complete two mandatory summer on-campus residencies. The first residency is in June of the first summer of enrollment (before starting summer courses) and serves as an orientation to the program. The second residency is in June of the final summer of enrollment and serves as the culminating experience whereby students present their final projects (Thesis OR Field-Based Research, and Practicum).

    Option 1

    Master's Thesis graduate students may, after consultation with their advisor, elect to write a thesis. The thesis must be in accordance with prescribed standards as described in the HPPE graduate handbook.

    1. Students should register for HPPE 591 in the semester preceding HPPE 593 at the very end of the program. They must have successfully completed 18 hours of their graduate program including HPPE 503 and HPPE 543.

    2. In the semester before enrolling in HPPE 591, students will form a Master’s Thesis Committee consisting of three professionals. At least two members of the committee must be full-time tenure-track members of the Adams State University HPPE faculty. Any other committee member must be approved by the HPPE department chair and this individual must hold at least a master's degree. Students must obtain signatures from committee members and the department chair using the Master's Degree Culminating Activity Contract for Thesis (prior to enrolling in HPPE 591).

    3. Students will then work with committee chair throughout the semester enrolled in HPPE 591 (until mid-October) by providing the chair with multiple hard copy drafts of written work and subsequently responding to the chair’s comments and suggestions in a timely fashion. Upon each revision, the committee chair is given 7-10 days to complete his/her review and provide suggested edits.

    4. By late October, the committee chair will determine if the written proposal is adequate enough to be reviewed by the other committee members. This decision must be made by the end of October. If the student’s work is not adequate, then the student, chair, and department chair determine if a grade of IP should be given for the course or if other arrangements may be made. If the student's work is deemed adequate, then he/she provides the whole committee with hard copies (not electronic) of the proposal. Committee members are given 7-10 days to review the proposal.

    5. Students enrolled in the Exercise Science (campus) program then will propose the master's thesis to the committee and invited guests in an oral presentation in accordance with prescribed standards.

    Students enrolled in the Coaching and Sport Management programs then will propose the master's thesis to the committee and invited guests via Wimba on Blackboard (students must have access to a webcam for the presentation).

    The oral defense must be scheduled and completed no later than the second week of November.

    6. Upon successful completion of the oral defense, students are given until the first week of December to complete and re-submit any revisions to the written proposal in order to receive a higher grade. Students with a passing grade are not required to complete suggested revisions by December but any changes and committee recommendations must be reflected in the final thesis.

    Option 2

    Graduate students may, after consultation with their advisor, elect to complete a Field-Based Research project.

    The project must be in accordance with these prescribed standards:

    1. In the semester prior to enrolling in the course (HPPE 596), the student must obtain approval for the proposed field-based research project from the advisor and department chair using the Master's Degree Culminating Activity Contract for Field-Based Research. In addition, the student forms a Field-Based Project committee consisting of a chair and one other individual. The committee chair must be a full-time member of the HPPE faculty. The second individual may be a committee member from either inside or outside of the HPPE department (this person must be approved by the department chair and hold at least a master's degree). Any additional committee members must be approved by the committee chair. These committee members must sign the Master's Degree Culminating Activity Contract for Field-Based Research.

    2. The student will then work his/her committee chair and prepare a two-page project proposal within the first two weeks of the semester in which the student is registered in HPPE 596. The written proposal must include:

    1. project title,
    2. rationale for the project,
    3. purpose of the project/what the student plans on completing,
    4. who will benefit from this project,
    5. what is the product /outcome,
    6. timeline that lists specific dates for completing the project on time.  

    The student must get approval for the project from all committee members before moving forward with the project.

    3. Upon approval of the proposed project, the student will work with his/her committee chair throughout the semester by providing the chair with multiple hard copy drafts of written work and subsequently responding to the chair's comments and suggestions in a timely fashion. Upon each revision, the committee chair is given 7-10 days to complete his/her review and provide suggested edits.

    4. By late March, the committee chair will determine if the project is adequate enough to be reviewed by the other committee members. This decision must be made by the end of March. If the student's work is not adequate, then the student, chair, and department chair determine if a grade of IP should be given for the course or if other arrangements may be made. If the student's work is deemed adequate, then he/she provides the whole committee with hard copies of the project. Committee members are given 7-10 days to review the proposal.

    5. The student then will conduct a formal presentation of the project in accordance with prescribed standards.

    For students in the Exercise Science program, the face-to-face oral presentation must be scheduled and completed no later than the second week of April.

    Students enrolled in the Coaching and Sport Management (online) programs will present the project to the committee and invited guests in an oral presentation in accordance with prescribed standards. This presentation will occur in the second of two on campus residencies in early June. Students are required to attend the on campus residency in order to present the project.

    6. Upon successful completion of the oral presentation, students in the Exercise Science program are given until the first week of May to complete and re-submit any revisions to the written project in order to receive a higher grade. All final forms and final copies of the written project must be signed by the first week of May.

    Upon successful completion of the oral defense in June, students enrolled in the Coaching and Sport Management programs are given until the end of June to complete and re-submit any revisions to the written project in order to receive a higher grade. All final project forms and final copies must be signed by the end of June.

    7. One copy in spiral bound or 3-ring binder form of the written project is filed with department chair. Committee members also receive a copy of the completed thesis.


    A minimum of 36 program hours are required for all graduate programs in HPPE.

    Important note: Substitutions may be made with the approval of the department chair. Any substitutions must be filed on appropriate forms available online at gradschool.adams.edu.