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Exercise Physiology, M.S.

Minimum Totals for Graduation: 30 hours

The Exercise Physiology degree program is designed to prepare students for several professional avenues. Health and Fitness practitioners will work in environments such as fitness facilities and community organizations. Strength and conditioning specialists work with athletes for performance enhancement on professional, intercollegiate, or secondary school athletic programs. Clinical physiologists offer medically supervised exercise programs for populations with morbidities such as cardiovascular or pulmonary. Graduates have also gone on to pursue terminal doctoral degrees in the exercise sciences and other students have used the master’s program as a launching point for admission into post-graduate allied health professions such as physician assistant, physical therapists, and medical school.

The Graduate Exercise Physiology degree program takes about two years to complete. Each student in the program is required to complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours, which include:

  • required core (9 hours)
  • required courses (9 hours)
  • elective courses (6-9 hours)
  • one of two capstone research experiences, Plan A or Plan B.

Credit hours in the electives vary depending on whether a Plan A thesis (6 credits) or Plan B research study (3 credits) is selected.

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards

Admission Requirement Snapshot

GPA: 3.0

Entrance Exam: GRE

Application Deadlines: April 1

See Admission Requirement Details Below

The program reviews all applications and submitted documents in making a determination on admission and makes such recommendations to the College of Graduate Studies.

  1. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate overall grade point average of 3.0. Applicants who possess an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 may be considered for admission with stipulations.
  2. Applicants must have completed at least one course in exercise physiology (CMU equivalent: HSC 308).
  3. Applicants must submit general Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.
  4. International applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate their English language competency using one of the methods outlines by the College of Graduate Studies (
  5. Applicants must submit an application, submit transcripts, from all academic programs attended, and submit two reference letters.

Retention Requirements:

  1. Students must achieve a 3.00 GPA to graduate and may not have more than two C or C+ grades in required classes to graduate.
  2. Students who may be admitted with stipulations must demonstrate during the first semester that can achieve a 3.00 GPA. Grades of C- or less do not count for graduation.
  3. Students who do not maintain a 3.00 GPA or who have more than two C or C+ grades in required classes may be placed on academic probation. Continued academic probation in multiple terms may be considered in determining whether a student will be allowed to continue in the program.
  4. Students will be allowed to repeat a course no more than two times in order to improve the grade.

Program Requirements

Required Core (9 hours)

HSC 632Cardiopulmonary Exercise Physiology


HSC 633Neuromuscular Physiology of Exercise


HSC 634Experimental Design in Exercise Science


Required Courses (9 hours)

HSC 635Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System


HSC 637Advanced Exercise Physiology


HSC 638Endocrine and Metabolic Responses to Exercise


Research Requirements (3-6 hours)

Select either Plan A (Thesis) or Plan B (Directed Research):

Plan A Thesis (6 hours)

HSC 798Thesis


Plan B Directed Research (3 hours)

HSC 797Directed Research in Exercise Physiology


Electives (6-9 hours)

Select hours in consultation with an advisor. A student must have a minimum grade of C in each elective course.

Total: 30 semester hours