Exercise Physiology Schools: How to Choose

Dec 07, 2019

Exercise physiologists study the effects of exercise on the human body and how exercise programs can help patients prevent or delay illness and disease. They work in research facilities, hospitals, universities, gyms, public clinics, rehabilitation centers and corporate wellness centers.

10 Exercise Physiology Schools

These schools offer training in exercise physiology and related fields:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
Brigham Young University Provo, UT 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $5,620
Graduate: $7,080
Baylor University Waco, TX 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $45,542
Graduate: $34,146
Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $11,707 in-state, $29,608 out-of-state
Graduate: $12,495 in-state, $27,321 out-of-state
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 4-year, public Doctoral Graduate: $15,798 in-state, $30,578 out-of-state
Gonzaga University Spokane, WA 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's Undergraduate: $43,210
Ithaca College Ithaca, NY 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate: $43,978
Graduate: $20,832
Kent State University Kent, OH 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $10,312 in-state, $19,014 out-of-state
Graduate: $11,536 in-state, $21,524 out-of-state
University of California-Davis Davis, CA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate: $14,402, $43,394 out-of-state
Graduate: $13,570, in-state, $28,620 out-of-state
Washington State University Pullman, WA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $11,584 in-state, $25,820 out-of-state
Graduate: $12,802 in-state, $26,234 out-of-state
University of Delaware Newark, DE 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate: $13,680 in-state, $34,310 out-of-state; Graduate: $33,678

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Here are some considerations for students looking at different exercise physiology schools:

  • If you want to specialize in a particular subfield within physiology, such as aquatic therapy or veterinary exercise, find out if the school offers a concentration in that subject.
  • Explore real-world training opportunities provided by the school, such as supervised work at an on-campus wellness center or an internship at an off-campus recreational facility.
  • If you want to pursue a career in academic research and teaching, find out about research opportunities and teaching assistantships available at the school.
  • Get more information about what graduates of the program do when they finish. Undergraduates can find out about graduate school acceptance rates, and graduate students may find out about fellowship placement rates and the future careers of previous students.

Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Physiology

Graduates of these 4-year programs may go on to work for fitness facilities, corporate wellness programs or physical fitness instructor programs. They also frequently open their own physical training businesses.

Master's Degree in Exercise Physiology

These programs apply exercise physiology to special populations such as the obese, diabetics, and those who suffer from heart or pulmonary disease. Graduates are prepared to lead hospital and clinical programs in therapeutic exercise programs for patients.

Doctoral Degree in Exercise Physiology

Geared toward students who want to teach or do research, doctoral degree programs delve into biochemical systems and their reactions to exercise of lack of exercise. Specialization tracks in teaching or research are available. This program lasts two to five years, depending on the time needed for the dissertation.

Special Emphasis in Aquatic Therapy

This one-semester specialization program is available to undergraduate and graduate students. Students learn to create water exercise programs to facilitate healing and enhance physical performance. Graduates will be ready to pass the Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation exam.

There are many schools that provide training in exercise physiology at multiple levels. Students may have the opportunity to pursue academic enrichment opportunities, like research and internships, and they can often pursue specific specializations.

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