Master of Science in Exercise Physiology

Master of Science in Exercise Physiology

The Master of Science degree program in Exercise Physiology is designed to prepare students to access key positions in the health, fitness, athletics, rehabilitation and research fields and to empower them with the knowledge and hands-on experiences to make a successful transition into post-graduate work. Students are encouraged to think critically and apply evidenced-based practices to address health and fitness issues.

Program Description
The program consists of classroom and laboratory courses designed to develop exercise physiologists as critical thinkers, healthcare professionals, and researchers. Students will be prepared to assist in the ongoing development of programs in health and wellness, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, hospital-based clinical research and fitness programs that evaluate athletes and human performance activities. The program also prepares the students for advanced graduate work. The full-time Exercise Physiology graduate program is a 32-credit concentrated one-year academic degree. Students begin the program in the fall semester and are scheduled to complete the degree at the end of the summer session.

Admission Requirements
Students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. A major or a concentration in exercise physiology or exercise science is preferred. Students should have undergraduate course work in the science areas including kinesiology and exercise physiology. When these courses are lacking, it is expected that students will make up the deficiencies. A student may be admitted to the program contingent upon successful completion of undergraduate deficiencies. Although not a prerequisite, it is strongly recommended that applicants have some academic background in statistics, research methods, anatomy, physiology, and chemistry.

Applicants must have a GPA of 2.8 in undergraduate coursework and have completed (or will complete) a baccalaureate degree prior to enrolling in this program. The application is online and can be found with detailed instructions on the Graduate Admissions page for Exercise Physiology.  An essay describing career goals, previous experiences, and research interests is uploaded to the online application.  The application also requests contact information for two people who can submit recommendations on the applicant's behalf. Official transcripts of baccalaureate and graduate cousework must be mailed from each institiution attended directly to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Degree Requirements
Students enrolled on a full-time basis must complete all courses in sequence. Part-time students must consult with the chair of the department to identify the appropriate course(s) to take each semester. Following completion of the academic component of the program (24 credits), the student chooses either the internship track or the thesis track (8 credits each). Internship experiences will be arranged through the program's clinical coordinator at places of interest throughout the United States.

Credit towards the degree will be given for courses with a grade of "C" or better; students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 during both semesters. If approved by The College of St. Scholastica, a maximum of six graduate semester credits may be transferred from an accredited graduate program. Once enrolled in the program, students must receive prior approval from the chair of the department for the course(s) to be taken at another university with the expectation of transfer. Evidence of progress means registration in a minimum of one course per semester during the academic year. The Master of Science in Exercise Physiology graduate program must be completed within seven years. Credits more than seven years old as of the date of graduation will not count toward the degree.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology at The College of St. Scholastica, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Analyze the three dimensional relationship of anatomical structures (muscle, bone, nerves, blood vessels) at specific body regions for function.
  2. Prescribe appropriate exercise protocols (prescriptions) for individuals across the human spectrum (age, gender, athletes, diseased, etc.).
  3. Select and perform the appropriate cardiopulmonary, cardiovascular and/or musculoskeletal assessments across the human spectrum with a focus on test selection and administration, pre-participation screening and risk stratification, risk management, emergency response procedures, and evaluation of results.
  4. Compare the human body's adaptation to acute and chronic exercise under standard and nonstandard environmental conditions with respect to variations in physiological variables and regulatory mechanisms across the human spectrum.
  5. Demonstrate professional behavior and effective written and oral communication skills in academic and professional settings.

The Exercise Physiology academic program consists of the following graduate courses:
EXP 6521: Functional Anatomy 3 cr.
EXP 6522: Biochemistry, Nutrition and Exercise 3 cr.
EXP 6531: Applied Exercise Physiology 3 cr.
EXP 6532: Physiological Assessment 3 cr.
EXP 6535: Cardiovascular Physiology 3 cr.
EXP 6536: Clinical Exercise Physiology 3 cr.
EXP 6538: Exercise Testing and Electrocardiography 3 cr.
EXP 6542: Strength Training, Conditioning 3 cr.
EXP 6555: Internship 8 cr.
EXP 6888: Thesis 8 cr.

EXP Courses EXP Courses EXP Courses EXP Courses EXP Courses EXP Courses EXP Courses EXP Courses EXP Courses EXP Courses

EXP 6521 - Functional Anatomy - 0-3 cr.
An advanced, regional, musculoskeletal anatomy course that emphasizes the study of functional relationships between musculature, nervous tissue, vascular, and skeletal components for the extremities and axial skeleton. Cadaver dissection laboratory experience is used to enhance understanding of three dimensional anatomical relationships for specific body regions.

EXP 6522 - Biochemistry, Nutrition & Exer - 3 cr.
Principles of biochemistry and metabolic processes in relation to nutrition and exercise. Basic elements of carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism and their role providing energy, building/repairing tissues and regulating metabolic processes during physical activity. Impact of nutrition on health, fitness and athletic performance. Regulation of cellular metabolism at the level of DNA replication through transcription to RNA and translation for protein synthesis. Effectiveness, ethical considerations, and the proposed biochemical/physiologic mechanisms of the most prevalent ergogenic aids used to enhance athletic performance.

EXP 6531 - Applied Exercise Physiology - 3 cr.
The human body's adaptation to acute and chronic exercise, including hormonal responses, under standard and nonstandard environmental conditions. Physiological variables are contrasted based on age and gender. Laboratory sessions are used to collect data to physiologically profile the human response to selected stressors.

EXP 6532 - Physiological Assessment - 3 cr.
Prepares students to successfully carry out various physical assessments across the population spectrum with a focus on test selection and administration, preparticipation screening and risk stratification, risk management, emergency response procedures, and evaluation/interpretation of test scores.

EXP 6535 - Cardiovascular Physiology - 3 cr.
Normal functioning of the cardiovascular system especially the integrative aspects of cardiovascular control and regulation in humans; cardiovascular responses to physiological (e.g., orthostasis, exercise) and pathological (e.g., hypertension, cardiac failure) situations.

EXP 6536 - Clinical Exercise Physiology - 3 cr.
Pathophysiology of common chronic diseases for which exercise has been shown to be a therapeutic benefit including diseases associated with the cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, metabolic, neurological, and immune systems. Focus is on preparing students to work with clinical and special populations in medical and nonmedical settings.

EXP 6538 - Exercise Testing & Electrocard - 3 cr.
Graded exercise testing using different test modes and protocols; pre-participation screening procedures; contraindications and termination criteria for exercise testing; emergency procedures and risk management. Emphasis is also placed on the importance of resting and exercise electrocardiogram interpretation for the identification of arrhythmias and other heart-related abnormalities.

EXP 6542 - Strength Training, Condition, - 3 cr.
Lays the foundation for the safe and appropriate prescription of exercise and physical activity necessary to enhance musculoskeletal strength, power and endurance as well as cardiovascular fitness and aerobic capacity.

EXP 6555 - Internship - 8 cr.
A semester internship in an off-campus setting, including but not limited to cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, adult fitness and training, corporate fitness or a clinical research institution. While off-campus, the student is supervised by an exercise physiologist or a practicing clinician. All internship activities are monitored by the clinical coordinator in the Department of Exercise Physiology.

EXP 6888 - Thesis - 4-8 cr.
The student writes and submits a research proposal to an advisor and/or the chair of the department of Exercise Physiology and the College's Institutional Review Board. If accepted, the first three chapters of the thesis (introduction, review of related literature, and methods) are written. The student collects, analyzes and interprets the data, then writes the final thesis chapters (e.g., results, discussion, and conclusions).