The NSU master's in sports performance and leadership is a unique degree that prepares you for coaching and coaching-related occupations.

    About The Program

    This graduate program combines exercise science and sport management coursework to provide comprehensive knowledge and experiences for graduates to be successful.

    Our faculty are dedicated to helping students succeed in and out of the classroom. Students in this program are also often concurrently graduate assistants in NSU’s athletics programs. The unique experiences help many go on to work as high school or collegiate coaches.

    Students must pass written and oral examinations before graduating.


    Our program provides the breadth and depth of knowledge necessary to successfully:

    • Work with intercollegiate or professional sports teams in coaching or sports management roles
    • Lead athletic programs in educational or private settings
    • Preparing you to further your education within the areas of exercise science or allied health professions

    A capstone experience consisting of an internship or research project is required for program completion. Our faculty work with you to identify internship or research opportunities that match your career and professional interests.

    Eric Arnold


    Exercise physiology with research laboratory techniques training in biochemistry, molecular biology, and skeletal muscle physiology.


    Courses Taught

    Program Design for Strength and Conditioning

    Applied Sport Physiology

    Clinical Exercise Physiology (New Course Development/Offered 24)

    Neuromuscular Exercise Physiology (New Course Development/Offered 25)



    Graduate Student Research Award, Third Place, Southeast Chapter of the American College of

    Sports Medicine, 28th Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC, 2000

    Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Exercise Science, Georgia State University, 1999

    Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Exercise Science, Georgia State University, 1998


    Research Interests

    My primary research passion centers on fostering collegial and professional relationships with primary care…

    Kelsie Roberts
    Ph.D., Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University
    M.A., Quantitative Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University
    M.S., Leisure and Sport Management, Middle Tennessee State University
    B.S., Exercise Science, Middle Tennessee State University
    Kelsie Roberts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of sport marketing and administration in Northern's Sport Sciences department and serves as the department’s internship coordinator. Dr. Roberts teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in sport psychology, sport administration and sport marketing.
    She is an active member of the Academy of Leisure Sciences (TALS) and the North American Society for Sport Management. Dr. Roberts is dedicated to providing students with experiential learning opportunities and achieving success in and outside the classroom. Her main research focus, student-athlete well-being, is derived from her past experiences as a former…
    Chelsee Shortt
    Ph.D., Physical Education, University of South Carolina

    At the University of South Carolina, Dr. Shortt studied physical literacy, K-12 sport and physical activity (PA) policy, and child/adolescent PA behaviors in and out of educational settings. The publication of Dr. Shortt’s dissertation, "Conceptualizing Physical Literacy for Assessment of High School Students in the United States," can be found at University of South Carolina Scholar Commons.

    Dr. Shortt is Northern's SPL graduate coordinator, chair of the Sports Sciences Department, and faculty athletic representative. She is a member of the International Physical Literacy Association and serves as a country lead. 


    Dr. Shortt is dedicated to enhancing undergraduate and graduate research and providing advanced hands-on learning opportunities at Northern. 


    Jessica Talmage
    Ph.D., Exercise Science Concentration Biomechanics, Auburn University
    M.S., Exercise Science, Auburn University
    B.S., Exercise Physiology, East Carolina University
    Dr. Talmage directs the Nora Staael Evert Human Performance Lab at Northern and serves on the board of directors for the American Baseball Biomechanics Society. She works with multiple sports teams at Northern and hopes to continue to build a relationship with NSU athletics to keep our athletes on the field longer and unleash their maximum potential.
    Dr. Talmage is always looking for help in the human performance lab, so if you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, needs an internship, or graduate assistantship, please contact her at 
    Research Interests
    To date Dr. Talmage has published 15+…