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Universities Offering a PhD in Clinical Exercise Physiology

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are generally offered in exercise physiology rather than clinical exercise physiology, although some programs do incorporate clinical aspects. Interested students should consider factors such as accreditation, research opportunities and proximity to relevant institutes when selecting a program.

Accredited Ph.D. programs in clinical exercise physiology are offered in many schools across the nation. These doctoral programs, which may also be offered as exercise science with concentrations in exercise physiology, focus heavily on providing students with research and clinical training.

Schools with Exercise Physiology Programs

Below are a few of the schools you may find that offer Ph.D. degrees in clinical exercise physiology or exercise science.

College/University Location Institution Type In-State Tuition 2015-2016*
Colorado State University-Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO 4-year, public $9,348
Kent State University at Kent Kent, OH 4-year, public $10,864
University of California-Davis Davis, CA 4-year, public $11,220
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 4-year, public $10,770
College of Charleston Charleston, SC 4-year, public $12,450 (tuition and fees)
Ithaca College Ithaca, NY 4-year, private not-for-profit $19,248
Shenandoah University Winchester, VA 4-year, private not-for-profit $19,920
Teachers College at Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, private not-for-profit $34,896

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

University Selection Criteria

Clinical exercise physiology programs are available at the doctoral level at various schools, some of which are universities affiliated with teaching hospitals.

Consider the following when looking for a Ph.D. program in exercise physiology:

  • Look for reputable Ph.D. programs or ones that are accredited by agencies such as the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES) or the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP).
  • Students should consider Ph.D. programs that have solid faculty with backgrounds that align with their own interests, as well as if the school is near a clinic so that students considering a clinically focused career can gain experience and have access to practitioners in the field.
  • Find out if the potential program's graduates complete certification exams given by agencies such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). These exams, while optional in most situations, can help with career advancement

Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology

Doctoral-level programs in exercise physiology are research-focused and have few requirements for clinical experience. Most require ongoing research and publication to complete the program. Coursework requirements for these programs are tailored to meet a student's specific needs and interests. A bachelor's degree and sometimes a master's degree are required for entry, and most schools require that students demonstrate competency in key areas such as biology and chemistry before being admitted.

Students wanting to learn research and clinical skills in exercise physiology have a number of schools to choose from that offer Ph.D. programs in the field. Programs These research oriented programs may also be available as a PhD in exercise science with concentrations in exercise physiology.


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