PhD in Exercise Physiology

Exercise physiology is the field devoted to better understanding the relationship between exercise and the human body. If you're interested in a career in research or education in this field, then consider earning a Ph.D. Find out what you'll learn, what prerequisites you will need to complete and what you can do with your degree. Schools offering Exercise Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Study While Earning a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology?

In a Ph.D. program in exercise physiology, you will complete lecture and laboratory-based courses in areas including physiology, pharmacology, biochemistry and kinesiology. Most of your time will be spent conducting research in your area of interest. Possible areas of specialization include human nutrition, cardiovascular exercise physiology, the effects of aging and women's health.

In many programs, you'll complement your coursework and research with clinical training. Here, you will gain experience with the monitoring and testing equipment that is often utilized in exercise physiology, such as water tanks used for body fat analysis and weight training equipment. A Ph.D. program will culminate with the writing and defense of a dissertation. You will not find Ph.D. programs in exercise physiology available for online study.

Coursework Areas Pharmacology, biochemistry, physiology, kinesiology
Prerequisites Bachelor's or master's degree, possibly in exercise physiology or a related field; college-level coursework in biochemistry, organic chemistry and general chemistry
Career Options Teaching at a college or university; conductiong research; working with patients at a sports medicine clinic, rehabilitation center or wellness center
Median Salary (2018) $97,370 (for all postsecondary health specialties teachers)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 26% growth (for all postsecondary health specialties teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Prerequisites I Will Need?

Most exercise physiology Ph.D. Programs require that you have completed college-level coursework in biochemistry. You may also need to complete additional coursework in organic and general chemistry. Other courses that are considered helpful in your preparation for doctoral study include anatomy, physiology and biology.

You will need to hold at least a bachelor's degree in order to begin a Ph.D. program, with some programs preferring applicants with a master's degree. In some cases, though not all, you will need to have previously studied exercise physiology or a related field.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

Most graduates of a Ph.D. program in exercise physiology work in education or research. With this degree, you will be qualified to teach exercise physiology at a college or university. If you pursue research, you can work for a private or public research facility. In addition, you may work in a more patient-focused career at a sports medicine clinic, wellness center or rehabilitation center.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Capella University

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  • Indiana University

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    • Indiana: Bloomington
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  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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  • University of Illinois at Chicago

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  • The University of Alabama

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    • Alabama: Tuscaloosa
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    • Kentucky: Lexington