Master of Science in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP) 3+2

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Master of Science
    • Accelerated Master's Degree

    Get Involved

    A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

    • Wellness Elevated: Work with clinical populations and their exercise programming for a semester or more.
    • Assistantships: Gunnison Valley Health collaborates with the HAEP program to set up five full tuition research assistantship positions with the rehabilitation department.
    • Shadowing: Opportunities to shadow practicing clinicians exist both locally and throughout the United States.
    • Research Funding: Apply for research stipends from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) that range in the thousands of dollars. All projects are published in ACE’s ProSource magazine and submitted to various journals.
    • Paid Positions: At the end of their fourth year, students can apply to be a paid trainer in our Wellness Elevated program, where they perform fitness assessments, write exercise prescriptions and train clients.


    Institutional Scholarships

    Common Scholarships

    Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

    Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

    Neighboring States Program

    Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

    The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

    For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Presidential Promise

    The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

    For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit

    Tuition Discount Programs

    Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

    For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Western Merit Scholarship

    Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

    For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit

    Faculty & Staff


    Christina Buchanan, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor, High Altitude Exercise Physiology Director
    Phone: 970.943.2027
    Office Location: Paul Wright Gym 224
    Lance Dalleck, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Exercise & Sport Science
    Phone: 970.943.3095
    Office Location: High Altitude Performance Lab 171
    Shan Hays, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Biology
    Phone: 970.943.2552
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 238C
    Emily McMahill, Pharm.D. headshot
    Ferchau Lecturer in Biology
    Phone: 970.943.2311
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 225
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Master of Science
    • Accelerated Master's Degree


    HAEP 3+2 students earn their bachelor’s degree in Exercise & Sport Science or Biology and master’s degree in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology in just five years. Early exposure to novel research through the High Altitude Performance Laboratory (HAP Lab)—7,717 feet above sea level—enables students to gain career-ready skills normally found only in graduate school. By the graduate portion of the program, students pursue the research topics of their choice, publish in scientific journals and work closely with real patients.

    Degree Details

    • B.S. in Exercise & Sport Science with an emphasis in Clinical Exercise Physiology: A comprehensive major grounded in the natural sciences with a heightened focus on exercise science and working with clinical populations and athletes.
    • B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Health Sciences: Designed for students interested in becoming occupational therapists, physician assistants and cardiac rehab therapists.
    • M.S. in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology: A graduate degree that prepares students for careers in performance, academia, research or clinical practice, as well as further study in the discipline of exercise science.

    Learn More

    Reach out to Christina Buchanan, Ph.D. for more information.