Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

4-5 years
Credit Hours:

42 with prior master's degree72 with prior bachelor's degree
The mission of the Ph.D. program in Exercise Physiology is to train individuals for careers in research and teaching. A strong emphasis is placed on laboratory and research experience.
Exercise physiology is the field devoted to better understanding the relationship between exercise and the human body.

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Why Earn an Exercise Physiology Biology Ph.D.?

We offer opportunities to conduct research in:

  • Aquatic biology
  • Aquatic toxicology
  • Cell and molecular biology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental science
  • Forensic biology
  • Genetics
  • Neurobiology
  • Physiology
  • Plant sciences

Our faculty members include internationally renowned researchers who have earned recognition from the National Science Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Microbiology, among others.

Marketable Skills
  • Professional communication in life science environments
  • How to develop and present alternative explanations
  • How to conceive and design complex studies
  • Leadership ability
  • Supervision of research teams

Exercise Physiology Biology Ph.D. Highlights

The Center for Network Neuroscience focuses on in vitro preparations, especially monolayer cultures of mammalian central nervous system cells, and emphasizes research on pattern generation, storage and recognition.
The BioDiscovery Institute (BDI) operates through a pipeline linking sustainable plant production platforms, metabolic engineering and the development of new materials. The institute touts a multidisciplinary team of researchers committed to collaborating on large research projects with an emphasis on application of findings and solutions to meet market issues and needs.
The Center for Watershed and Reservoir Assessment and Management conducts research on techniques and best management practices for assessing and managing watersheds and reservoirs, addressing current and emerging problems and issues.
The Advanced Environmental Research Institute (AERI) houses multidisciplinary research teams that conduct science-based environmental research that provides an understanding of how human actions impact the environment, and then use that knowledge to suggest scientific, engineering, policy and/or educational solutions.
Qualified students are supported through competitive teaching assistantships or research assistantships funded by research grants to faculty members.
The Life Sciences Complex, which has Gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for sustainability, includes an aquatics laboratory and four climate-controlled rooftop research greenhouses.

What Can You do With a Exercise Physiology Biology Ph.D.?

There are many interesting careers available to you if you want to combine an education in biology with your interest in exercise, including:

  • Corporate health & fitness screener
  • University professor
  • Athletic development coach
  • Healthcare

Exercise Physiology Biology Ph.D. Courses You Could Take

Physiology of Exercise (3 hrs)
Functional responses of the human body during movement; emphasis on elementary principles and basic research underlying a sound, safe and healthy exercise regimen
Neuromuscular Physiology of Exercise (3 hrs)
Examination of the subcellular and macrocellular responses of the neuromuscular system to acute and chronic exposure to exercise. Special emphasis is given to the diagnostic and rehabilitative aspects of corrective exercise therapy as part of the health care delivery system
Cardiovascular Physiology of Exercise (3 hrs)
Study of the cardiovascular responses of normal and patient populations to acute and chronic bouts of exercise. Particular emphasis is given to the use of exercise as a treatment modality for cardiac- and pulmonary-impaired patients in a clinical environment
Advanced Human Physiology (3 hrs)
Physiological mechanisms in humans, with emphasis on medical physiology
Developmental Biology (3 hrs)
Mechanisms of development, differentiation, and growth in animals at the molecular, cellular, and genetic levels. Areas of emphasis include transcriptional control mechanisms, embryonic patterning, cell–cell interactions, growth factors and signal transduction, and regulatory hierarchies
Comparative Animal Physiology (3 hrs)
Comparison of structure and physiological function in a wide variety of animals. Emphasis on thermoregulation and on respiratory, circulatory, excretory, endocrine and digestive systems

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