• Exercise Physiology

    Exercise physiologists have broad and diverse experiences, depending on their area of interest. For example, understanding the effects of inactivity on the health and wellness in people of all ages is becoming increasingly important, given the impact of inactivity, poor nutrition, and overweight/obesity on chronic disease risk and mortality. In addition, ways to improve athletic performance, optimize training adaptations and recovery from exercise, and reduce injury risk are important areas of human performance research. Exercise physiologists study these questions and apply what they learn to improve health, wellness, athletic performance, injury prevention, and injury recovery. They may also become physical therapists, athletic trainers, professors, researchers, rehabilitation specialists, wellness specialists, and other specialties within the field.

    Prerequisite Coursework

    Most graduate programs in Exercise Physiology, as well as physical therapy or athletic training, require a year of biology with labs, a year of chemistry with labs, a year of physics with labs, and statistics. There are usually other courses required depending on the area of interest. It is very important to check with the programs of interest to find out their prerequisites, as it varies greatly depending on your program of interest and the institution. Many professional programs like PT require a minimum number of internship and shadowing hours. Some graduate programs require basic research experience.

    Relevant Tests

    Most all programs require the GRE. Check with each program you are considering to find out their specific requirements.

    Degree Programs

    This depends on the area of specific interest. For some jobs such as a wellness coach in a corporate fitness setting, a Bachelors degree with additional certification may be all that is required, whereas for other career options such as physical therapy, athletic training, or cardiac rehabilitation, a Masters degree or doctoral level degree is required. 


    The following are certifications available to Exercise Physiologist:

    ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist 
    Certification in Exercise Training and Prescription Writing for Disease Prevention and Treatment: Exercise physiologists can conduct and interpret fitness assessments, develop exercise prescriptions, and assist in clinical level training.

    ACSM (Registered) Clinical Exercise Physiologist 
    Certification in Exercise-related Consulting, Conduction Assessments, and Training for Those with Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, and Metabolic Diseases and disorders.

    Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist 
    Certification in designing and implementing strength programs for athletes (can also specialize in tactical populations).

    For more information: