Colleges with Physiology Programs

Explore physiology programs at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Review some of the course topics you'd study in each of these programs. Check the availability of online learning options for physiology programs. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Physiology programs are available at all levels of study so finding a program to fit your career goals is relatively easy. Most programs have internship or lab requirements and typically qualify you to sit for certification exams.

Do Schools Offer Physiology Programs Leading to an Associate's Degree?

Community colleges commonly offer a certificate or an associate's degree in either exercise science, kinesiology or exercise physiology. In addition to anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, courses in these programs generally include fitness, first aid, leisure science and nutrition. You may be required to complete a number of hands-on lab courses or an internship at a school-approved facility. Usually, credits earned in your Associate of Science (A.S.) program are transferable to a 4-year school, to be applied toward a bachelor's degree. Physiology and anatomy courses also form integral parts of 2-year programs leading to an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN), which you can use to transition to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

A certificate or A.S. in Exercise Science may qualify you to sit for a national certification examination as a fitness trainer, such as those administered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), American Council on Exercise (ACE), American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) or National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF).

An ADN may qualify you to sit for the National Council of Licensing Examination for Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Passing the exam allows you to practice as an RN.

Schools Offering Associate Degree Programs in Physiology

Physiology courses are available in nursing programs at the associate's degree level. The following are a few options for physiology programs:

  • Crafton Hills College offers an Associate Degree in Anatomy and Physiology
  • Dallas County Community College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Gateway Technical College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing

What Bachelor's Degrees Are Available?

Colleges may offer one or more baccalaureate programs with concentrations in physiology, exercise science, health science or a related area. Though some programs lead to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs are much more prevalent. Either degree can qualify you to enter the workforce immediately. Common areas of occupation include health promotion, wellness programs, exercise management, or a related health field at a federal or state agency. With further study, you may qualify for positions in physical or occupational therapy. You could become a nurse or a physician's assistant. With licensure, you may become a teacher or coach.

Very often, students holding a B.S. decide to continue in pursuit of graduate or postgraduate degrees. You may be able to use an undergraduate physiology regimen as a pre-med program.

Typical courses within either bachelor's degree program may include physiology of exercise, nerves, muscles and senses. They may also cover health and performance training, biomechanics and homeostatic mechanics. It's not uncommon for schools to offer you the opportunity to study abroad at a partnered university for periods stretching from a few weeks up to an entire year. Internships--either on campus or at a variety of approved local facilities--are typical components of bachelor's degree programs.

Schools Offering Bachelor Degree Programs in Physiology

Students who want to study physiology at the bachelor's level will have more options for a particular type of field. The following list includes clinical physiology and health and human physiology:

  • Boston University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Human Physiology
  • The University of Iowa offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Health and Human Physiology and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Human Physiology
  • Central Washington University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Clinical Physiology

What Are Examples of Graduate and Postgraduate Training?

There are a relatively large number of schools throughout the country that offer you the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Physiology or Exercise Science with a concentration in an area such as exercise physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology or athletic training. This 2-year program can prepare you for a research or clinical career at a health facility or biotechnological facility.

You can readily find schools that present programs leading to a Doctor of Philosophy in Physiology with concentrations such as cardiovascular and exercise physiology, reproductive physiology, neurophysiology or cellular physiology. Usually taking four years of full-time study or as much as six years of part-time time study to complete, this program can prepare you for a career in independent research.

Schools regularly offer a limited number of research and teaching assistantships to master's degree and doctoral candidates. These may be funded by the university or by an external source. Since they are accompanied by a stipend or waiver of tuition or both, competition for the positions is usually quite stiff.

Schools Offering Master Degree Programs in Physiology

At the master's degree level, there is the potential for students to advance their learning in the field of physiology at a higher level of expertise. Most of these programs are Master of Science programs:

  • Boston University offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Human Physiology
  • Georgetown University offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Physiology
  • Wright State University offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Physiology and Neuroscience

Schools Offering Doctorate Degree Programs in Physiology

The study of physiology extends all the way to the doctorate level, with a multitude of programs available. The following programs will prepare students for teaching and research positions:

  • Stanford University offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Molecular and Cellular Physiology
  • The University of Oregon offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Human Physiology with an emphasis on research
  • Temple University offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Integrative Exercise Physiology

Do Schools Offer Online Programs?

Because of the necessity of labs and hands-on practical courses, complete physiology degree programs aren't offered online. However, there are a number of schools that offer stand-alone physiology courses that are presented entirely online or in a hybrid format. In the hybrid format, in addition to online class work you may be required to attend a specified number of lab sessions on campus. Other schools create a virtual lab simulation so that you can complete lab and classroom assignments entirely online.

Physiology is a field of interest which is available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Plenty of options exist for interested students, in areas like human physiology, integrative exercise physiology, and clinical physiology.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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