Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology Department

Exercise Physiology is the study of physiological mechanisms underlying physical activity, the comprehensive delivery of treatment services concerned with the analysis, improvement and maintenance of health and fitness, rehabilitation of heart disease and other chronic diseases and/or disabilities, and the professional guidance and counsel of athletes and others interested in athletics, sports training and human adaptability to acute and chronic exercise. Scientific results from exercise physiology research help to understand the physiological effects of systematic exercise, and the extent to which exercise helps in developing and maintaining cardiovascular and musculoskeletal integrity.

The Department of Exercise Physiology offers a bachelor of science degree in Exercise Physiology. During the spring semester of the senior year, students complete an internship (EXP 4555).

Larry Birnbaum, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair

Entrance requirements:

Students should apply for admission to the department by March 31 of spring semester of their sophomore year in college. Applicants must have at minimum a 2.7 cumulative grade point average and no grade lower than a C- in any course. An application to the major form can be obtained from One Stop.

Upon completion of the academic degree in Exercise Physiology, the student will:

  1. Analyze the underlying reasons, including biomechanical principles, for the involvement of specific nerves and muscles in human movement.
  2. Perform and evaluate the results of a variety of clinical assessments of different human populations (e.g., age, gender, athletes, chronic disease) and prescribe appropriate exercise protocols based clinical assessment results.   Assessments include exercise test protocols, metabolic gas analysis, 12-lead ECGs, risk assessment, screening, energy expenditure, heart rate and blood pressure, anaerobic and aerobic fitness/capacity, flexibility and range of motion, muscular strength, body composition.
  3. Evaluate research articles with respect to research designs, statistical analyses, limitations, validity and reliability.
  4. Discuss nutritional requirements of different human populations (e.g., children, adults, elderly, athletes, chronic disease) and the use of supplements with respect to effectiveness, potential adverse effects and ethics.
  5. Demonstrate professional behavior and effective written and oral communication skills in academic and professional settings.


Exercise Physiology major

All Exercise Physiology majors take the following prerequisite courses: CHM 1040, BIO 1036, MTH 1111, BIO 2110, 2120, PSY 2208, PSC 2001, PSY 3331 and the following departmental core courses: EXP 3321, EXP 3322, EXP 3323, EXP 3331, EXP 3332, EXP 3334, EXP 3342, EXP 4431, EXP 4436, EXP 4438, and EXP 4555.

Students interested in DPT need CHM 1110 and CHM 1120 instead of CHM 1040. They also need PSC 2001 and PSC 2002 as well as HSC 2209 and PSY 3423.

Some internships require the following certifications: American Heart Association, BLS for Healthcare Providers, C.P.R. certification, and American Red Cross Responding to Emergencies First Aid certification. Students are responsible for obtaining any certifications required for their internships.