Graduate Academic Programs

Doctoral Degree Program (PhD)

Human Performance Major, Emphasis: Exercise Physiology

Description of Program

Exercise physiology is broadly based on basic sciences: human anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and biology. The primary goal of this field is to understand how the various cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems respond to challenges posed by exercise and physical training. Exercise physiology focuses on optimal performance such as that attained by elite and highly trained athletes. Unlike many fields, exercise physiology has remained integrative, examining how the failure or enhancement of one physiological system can influence another. The field also considers how the environment imposes limits on the body during exercise through such means as heat, cold, humidity, and altitude.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for this degree are prescribed by an advisory committee for each individual student. Common requirement components include:

  • Research Skills – Typically 9 credits of course work providing required skills to conduct research, such as statistical analysis.  These credits to not count toward the 90 credits required in the major, minor, electives, and dissertation portions of the degree.
  • Major – 30 credits minimum
  • Minor – 12 to 15 credits
  • Electives –  0 to 28credits (may include second major or minor)
  • Dissertation – 20 to 30 credits
Special Opportunities

Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels can assist in a wide variety of ongoing research experiments in the exercise physiology laboratories.

  • Careers for M.S.: Preparation toward Ph.D. programs; research-related positions at research laboratories.
  • Careers for Ph.D.: Graduates are qualified for research and teaching positions at universities, sports organizations, and medical centers.

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