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Kinesiology doctorate

Exercise Physiology Emphasis

Enroll for July 2024. Become an expert in your field with a doctorate in kinesiology.

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Why Choose PhD in Exercise Physiology?

Our PhD in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology is designed to prepare you for a career in academia or research. Graduates will be prepared to publish their own work and collaborate with other researchers, as well as teach at the post-secondary level.

The PhD program features additional courses beyond those of the EdD program since there is a stronger focus on research. Our PhD program features 55 hours of coursework and 12 hours of dissertation.

Why Choose EdD in Exercise Physiology?

Our EdD in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology is designed to help you apply research to solve real-world problems. Graduates will be prepared to pursue leadership roles within corporate wellness, higher education, professional sports organizations, and more, in addition to teaching at the post-secondary level. Those pursuing an EdD typically work firsthand with clients, rather than working primarily with other scholars.

Our EdD program features 49 credit hours of coursework and 12 hours of dissertation.

Image of a man undergoing exercise testing, wearing a face mask.

Program Outcomes: Exercise Physiology

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of physiological principles related to the metabolic, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems including the body’s response to acute and chronic exercise.
  • Interpret medical records and collaborate with clinicians to assess client needs.
  • Administer and interpret pre-participation and exercise assessments to ensure safe participation and exercise prescription.
  • Develop, implement, monitor, and modify exercise prescriptions and programming based on clinical and physiological status, client goals, and behavioral assessments.
  • Communicate, instruct, and educate clients on prescribed exercise programs, disease management, and risk factors.
  • Develop safety and emergency plans including inspection of equipment, HIPAA compliance, and proper record keeping.
  • Evaluate ethical dilemmas, make informed decisions, and demonstrate a commitment to behavior in professional practice.
  • Critically evaluate, create, and advance new trends and issues as leaders in the industry.

For PhD students, you will:

  • Develop expertise in a variety of research methods, including experimental design, data analysis, and statistical techniques, while also critically evaluating existing research and designing and implementing original research projects that make significant contributions to the field of kinesiology.

For EdD students, you will:

  • Develop advanced research skills, including the ability to design and implement rigorous, practical research projects that address real-world problems in kinesiology.

Why Choose CSP Global?

As the global campus of Concordia University, St. Paul, CSP Global is dedicated to offering graduate students the best education for their Kinesiology PhD exercise physiology emphasis. Our graduate faculty is dedicated to supporting academic careers, innovative dissertation research, and the successful completion of your graduate program.

Every faculty member is an expert in their field, guided by the CSP philosophy of always supporting a caring, nurturing, and energetic academic environment. The CSP Global doctoral students can expect to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their independent research and future careers.

Career Outcomes

A Doctorate in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology from CSP Global can open many doors. Graduates may pursue career advancement in education, research, and health and wellness, often in leadership roles. Please note some positions may require additional education, experience, or certification.

  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Athletic Director
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Wellness Director
  • Recreation Director
  • Physical Education Teacher

Career pathways that could be available to you with additional education:

  • Doctors of Osteopathic (DO)
  • Doctors of Chiropractic (DC)
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist

Our Unique Dissertation Process

CSP Global has adopted a unique dissertation process for our Doctorate in Kinesiology that follows the Carnegie Model for applied research. This approach will allow you to complete your dissertation process faster while engaging in industry-relevant projects.

You won’t have to complete all coursework before you begin your dissertation. We embed the dissertation process early in coursework through four seminar courses:

  • KHS7900 Seminar 1: Drafting the Dissertation Introduction
  • KHS7901 Seminar 2: Drafting the Dissertation Literature Review
  • KHS7902 Seminar 3: Drafting the Dissertation Methodology
  • KHS7903 Seminar 4: Finalizing the Written Dissertation Prospectus

These one-credit courses get you thinking about and working on your dissertation topic from the beginning of your educational journey at CSP Global.

By the time you complete all coursework and enroll in dissertation courses (KHS7950 for the EdD and KHD8000 for the PhD), you’ll be well on your way to completing your dissertation and earning your doctorate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, between 2021 and 2031 there are expected growth rates of 9 percent. This rate is faster than many other occupations, and an estimated 1,900 more job openings will be created by 2031.

An EdD (Doctor of Education) in physiology is a specialized doctoral degree that combines the fields of education and physiology. While the exact focus and requirements of the program may vary depending on the institution, an EdD in physiology prepares individuals for careers in teaching, research, and leadership roles in the field of physiology education.

A doctorate in physiological research is an advanced course that prepares people for careers in medical research and medical practices. It focuses on biology studies and demands the completion of basic and advanced science courses.

Degree requirements are as follows: 61 credits for the EdD in Kinesiology and 67 credits for the PhD in Kinesiology. Students can graduate in as little as 3 years with most graduating in 4 years. Time to graduation depends on transfer of credit and class schedules.

Physical therapists hold a DPT degree and focus on treating musculoskeletal disorders to improve mobility. PhD exercise physiologists have a doctoral degree in exercise physiology and concentrate on research within the field, how the body responds to exercise, and develop fitness programs.

Physical therapists work in clinical settings, while exercise physiologists often work in fitness centers or research institutions. Physical therapists provide hands-on treatments and design individualized exercise programs, while exercise physiologists conduct fitness assessments and prescribe exercise regimens.

Important Dates

Application Deadline: June 17, 2024
Next Start Date:
July 1, 2024

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Curriculum

Core (10 credits)

KHS7000 Issues and Trends in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7030 Professional Ethics and Program Management in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7900 Seminar 1: Drafting the Dissertation Introduction (1)
KHS7901 Seminar 2: Drafting the Dissertation Literature Review (1)
KHS7902 Seminar 3: Drafting the Dissertation Methodology (1)
KHS7903 Seminar 4: Finalizing the Written Dissertation Prospectus (1)

Exercise Physiology Emphasis (27 Credits)

KHS7010 Medical Aspects of Exercise and Disease Prevention (3)
KHS7020 Exercise and Health Behavior Change (3)
KHS7100 Advanced Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise (3)
KHS7120 Advanced Exercise & Sport Nutrition (3)
KHS7210 Advanced Exercise Physiology (3)
KHS7230 Advanced Exercise Prescription (3)
KHS7606 Physiology of Skeletal Muscle (3)
KHS7608 Exercise & Endocrine System (3)
KHS7595 Clinical Exercise Assessment (3)

Research Methods and Statistics (12-18 Credits)

For the PhD (18 Credits)
KHS7820 Research Methods in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7830 Advanced Research Seminar in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7550 Qualitative Research in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7600 Quantitative Research in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7650 Mixed Methods in Research in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7700 Statistics in Kinesiology (3)

For the EdD (12 Credits)
KHS7800 Action Research in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7810 Applied Measurement and Evaluation Techniques in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7820 Research Methods in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7830 Advanced Research Seminar in Kinesiology (3)

Dissertation (12 Credits)

For the PhD
KHS8000 Dissertation (12)

For the EdD
KHS7950 Dissertation (12)

Total Credits for EdD = 61
Total Credits for PhD = 67

Additional Program Information

KHS7000: Current Issues and Trends in Kinesiology: This course prepares students to analyze current problems, issues, and trends impacting kinesiology professions. The emphasis is on selecting and discussing emerging and controversial topics from research and everyday experiences that lead to action. Leadership principles will be examined as students develop and identify leadership strategies, tools and applications to successfully implement a personal mission and vision statement.

KHS7010: Medical Aspects of Exercise and Disease Prevention: This course utilizes an epidemiological approach to examine the relationship between physical activity and health and/or disease outcomes. Emphasis is on the role of exercise in preventative medicine. Topics include the impact of exercise on various diseases, and the effect of various medical conditions on the ability to participate in vigorous exercise and competitive sports.

KHS7020: Exercise and Health Behavior Change: Advanced analysis of theoretical health behavior models and their application to physical activity behavior. Includes practical techniques, tools and interventions (e.g., counseling skills, motivational interviewing) to enhance exercise adherence and motivation across the lifespan.

KHS7030: Professional Ethics and Program Management in Kinesiology: This course examines ethical and socio-cultural issues that kinesiology students will face during their training and professional practice emphasizing conceptual frameworks needed to articulate concerns and engage in meaningful dialogue with others. Topics include the application of ethical program management, financial management, legal issues, and evaluation and planning.

KHS7100: Advanced Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise: This course examines the effects of acute and chronic exercise on the cardiovascular system, with an emphasis on understanding the regulatory mechanism that controls the cardiovascular system at rest and in response to aerobic and resistance exercises.

KHS7120: Advanced Exercise & Sport Nutrition: This course examines the role of nutrient selection, metabolism, and timing play in supporting and improving health and human performance. Topics include nutrient bioenergetics, optimizing nutrient timing, micronutrients and macronutrients, ergogenic aids, thermoregulation, fluid balance, and weight management.

KHS7210: Advanced Exercise Physiology: The physiological responses to exercise performance and the effects of physical activity on the body’s functions are examined in theory and application.

KHS7230: Advanced Exercise Prescription: This course focuses upon the design of individualized exercise programs and prescriptions in health and disease. Knowledge of skills necessary for safe and effective application of these prescriptions for members of diverse populations as well as the prevention and maintenance of chronic disease will be emphasized.

KHS7595: Clinical Exercise Assessment: This is a comprehensive course designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform assessments and design exercise programs for patients with various medical conditions. The course covers the principles of exercise physiology and provides an overview of the assessment process, including history-taking, physical examination, and functional testing.

KHS7606: Physiology of Skeletal Muscle: This course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of skeletal muscle. This course covers the anatomy and physiology of muscle fibers, myofibrils, and sarcomeres, as well as the role of motor neurons in muscle contraction. Students will learn about the mechanisms underlying muscle function and the effects of different types of exercise and physical activity on skeletal muscle. The course also covers strategies for measuring and monitoring skeletal muscle function, including muscle strength and endurance, muscle size, and muscle activation.

KHS7608: Exercise and the Endocrine System: This course will examine exercise and endocrine system physiology. Basic principles about the endocrine system will be covered as well as the effects of exercise training, detraining, and disease on this system. The physiological principles and mechanisms of the endocrine system will be reviewed including endocrine organs and hormone classifications. The influence of exercise, nutrition, and disease on endocrine function will also be covered.

KHS7800: Action Research in Kinesiology: This course is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to design, conduct, and evaluate action research projects within the field of kinesiology. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of action research and its use in promoting change and improvement in a variety of settings, including physical activity and exercise programs, sport organizations, and health promotion initiatives.

KHS7810: Applied Measurement and Evaluation Techniques in Kinesiology: This course develops skills for the selection, development, and implementation of various types of instruments and techniques for measuring and evaluating health and human performance interventions. Evaluation of these interventions includes general health behaviors, health related fitness, nutritional and dietary intake, body composition, and other areas related to an individual’s quality of life.

KHS7820: Research Methods in Kinesiology: This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the research process in the field of kinesiology. Emphasis will be placed on real-world examples of how research is effectively accessed, interpreted, and used in professional kinesiology settings.

KHS7830: Advanced Research Seminar in Kinesiology: This course builds on the previous course, but with an intentional focus on the dissertation topic of interest for each student.  In-depth research strategies, data reliability and credibility, and the IRB process are discussed and completed during this course. Students schedule the dissertation proposal during this course.

KHS7900: Seminar 1-Drafting the Dissertation Introduction: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a faculty mentor. Special focus on selecting the dissertation topic, forming the committee. and drafting an introduction.

KHS7901: Seminar 2-Drafting the Dissertation Literature Review: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on an annotate bibliography drafting the literature review.

KHS7902: Seminar 3-Drafting the Dissertation Methodology: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on drafting the methodology.

KHS7903: Seminar 4-Finalizing the Written Dissertation Prospectus: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on drafting a dissertation prospectus.

KHS7950: Ed.D. Dissertation: The dissertation is an independent, scholarly work of research completed by the doctoral candidate, under the guidance of a dissertation committee. A dissertation demonstrates a candidate’s ability to undertake scholarship in his or her field through intellectual endeavor and the application of research skills. The completion of a dissertation requires a scholarly mindset involving ongoing evaluation, analysis, and synthesis of previous, relevant research as well as one’s own work. A dissertation involves exploring an important problem that warrants investigation due to its centrality to issues of practice and application.

KHS7000: Current Issues and Trends in Kinesiology: This course prepares students to analyze current problems, issues, and trends impacting kinesiology professions. The emphasis is on selecting and discussing emerging and controversial topics from research and everyday experiences that lead to action. Leadership principles will be examined as students develop and identify leadership strategies, tools and applications to successfully implement a personal mission and vision statement.

KHS7010: Medical Aspects of Exercise and Disease Prevention: This course utilizes an epidemiological approach to examine the relationship between physical activity and health and/or disease outcomes. Emphasis is on the role of exercise in preventative medicine. Topics include the impact of exercise on various diseases, and the effect of various medical conditions on the ability to participate in vigorous exercise and competitive sports.

KHS7020: Exercise and Health Behavior Change: Advanced analysis of theoretical health behavior models and their application to physical activity behavior. Includes practical techniques, tools and interventions (e.g., counseling skills, motivational interviewing) to enhance exercise adherence and motivation across the lifespan.

KHS7030: Professional Ethics and Program Management in Kinesiology: This course examines ethical and socio-cultural issues that kinesiology students will face during their training and professional practice emphasizing conceptual frameworks needed to articulate concerns and engage in meaningful dialogue with others. Topics include the application of ethical program management, financial management, legal issues, and evaluation and planning.

KHS7100: Advanced Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise: This course examines the effects of acute and chronic exercise on the cardiovascular system, with an emphasis on understanding the regulatory mechanism that controls the cardiovascular system at rest and in response to aerobic and resistance exercises.

KHS7120: Advanced Exercise & Sport Nutrition: This course examines the role of nutrient selection, metabolism, and timing play in supporting and improving health and human performance. Topics include nutrient bioenergetics, optimizing nutrient timing, micronutrients and macronutrients, ergogenic aids, thermoregulation, fluid balance, and weight management.

KHS7210: Advanced Exercise Physiology: The physiological responses to exercise performance and the effects of physical activity on the body’s functions are examined in theory and application.

KHS7230: Advanced Exercise Prescription: This course focuses upon the design of individualized exercise programs and prescriptions in health and disease. Knowledge of skills necessary for safe and effective application of these prescriptions for members of diverse populations as well as the prevention and maintenance of chronic disease will be emphasized.

KHS7550: Qualitative Research in Kinesiology: This course provides an in-depth examination of qualitative research, including research designs, data collection strategies, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation methods.

KHS7595: Clinical Exercise Assessment: This is a comprehensive course designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform assessments and design exercise programs for patients with various medical conditions. The course covers the principles of exercise physiology and provides an overview of the assessment process, including history-taking, physical examination, and functional testing.

KHS7600: Quantitative Research in Kinesiology: This course provides an overview of quantitative research, including research designs, data collection strategies, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation methods.

KHS7606: Physiology of Skeletal Muscle: This course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of skeletal muscle. This course covers the anatomy and physiology of muscle fibers, myofibrils, and sarcomeres, as well as the role of motor neurons in muscle contraction. Students will learn about the mechanisms underlying muscle function and the effects of different types of exercise and physical activity on skeletal muscle. The course also covers strategies for measuring and monitoring skeletal muscle function, including muscle strength and endurance, muscle size, and muscle activation.

KHS7608: Exercise and the Endocrine System: This course will examine exercise and endocrine system physiology. Basic principles about the endocrine system will be covered as well as the effects of exercise training, detraining, and disease on this system. The physiological principles and mechanisms of the endocrine system will be reviewed including endocrine organs and hormone classifications. The influence of exercise, nutrition, and disease on endocrine function will also be covered.

KHS7650: Mixed Methods Research in Kinesiology: This course provides  students with an in-depth understanding of the advantages and limitations of different research methods in kinesiology, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. This course will cover the principles of research design and data analysis, with a focus on the development and implementation of mixed methods research studies.

KHS7700: Statistics in Kinesiology: This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of statistical analysis techniques and their application in the field of kinesiology. This course will cover a range of topics, including descriptive statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and non-parametric methods. Students will learn how to apply these techniques to analyze data from various kinesiology studies, including studies of physical activity, exercise, and sport performance. They will also gain experience using statistical software to perform data analysis and interpret results. Throughout the course, students will work on real-world data sets and case studies, and will engage in interactive discussions and group projects that encourage critical thinking and problem solving.

KHS7820: Research Methods in Kinesiology: This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the research process in the field of kinesiology. Emphasis will be placed on real-world examples of how research is effectively accessed, interpreted, and used in professional kinesiology settings.

KHS7830: Advanced Research Seminar in Kinesiology: This course builds on the previous course, but with an intentional focus on the dissertation topic of interest for each student.  In-depth research strategies, data reliability and credibility, and the IRB process are discussed and completed during this course. Students schedule the dissertation proposal during this course.

KHS7900: Seminar 1-Drafting the Dissertation Introduction: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a faculty mentor. Special focus on selecting the dissertation topic, forming the committee. and drafting an introduction.

KHS7901: Seminar 2-Drafting the Dissertation Literature Review: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on an annotate bibliography drafting the literature review.

KHS7902: Seminar 3-Drafting the Dissertation Methodology: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on drafting the methodology.

KHS7903: Seminar 4-Finalizing the Written Dissertation Prospectus: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on drafting a dissertation prospectus.

KHS8000 Ph.D. Dissertation: The dissertation is an independent, scholarly work of research completed by the doctoral candidate, under the guidance of a dissertation committee. The dissertation will create knowledge and/or test a theory through the demonstration of scientific inquiry, investigative skills, methodological and analysis skills, scientific writing and presentation skills, and ethical behavior.

Concordia University, St. Paul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

As part of our doctoral program, you will not have to take a comprehensive exam.

There is no testing requirement to apply for our doctorate in kinesiology program. We consider your past performance as the best indicator of your future success. We’ll look at your prior college transcripts and request a writing sample showing that you can complete college-level writing.

View tuition page for more information.

CSP Global offers a variety of sources to help you pay for your education, including state and federal loans, payment plans, and scholarships for those who qualify. Many students also receive tuition reimbursement from their employers.

1. Online Application

2. Official College Transcripts

  • Submit official transcripts from an accreditor recognized by the US Department of Education stating the conferral of a Master’s degree or higher with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 system.
  • To be considered official, transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the institution or through secured electronic delivery.

3. Writing Sample

  • Those seeking admission into the Doctorate in Kinesiology program should submit a Master’s-level scholarly work that includes APA in-text citations and references. A sample of work from a previous Master’s program and/or professional doctorate will be acceptable.

4. Letters of Recommendation

  • Students seeking admission to the Doctorate in Kinesiology program should arrange to have two letters of recommendation completed by professionals who can speak to their greatest strengths and successes. It is recommended that these letters speak specifically to the applicant’s work ethic, disposition and academic ability.

5. Current Resume and Professional Goal Statement

  • Provide a copy of your resume and a brief statement detailing your motivation for pursuing a doctorate in kinesiology and your persistence toward achieving long-term goals.

Charting Your Course: An Inside Look at the EdD and PhD Kinesiology Dissertation Process

This special webinar features two professors alongside several students, providing an inside look at the EdD and PhD dissertation process. You’ll gain invaluable insights and hear firsthand experiences from current doctoral students, successful graduates, and knowledgeable staff, all committed to guiding and supporting aspiring kinesiology doctoral candidates like you.

Core Program Faculty

Dr Buns Headshot

Dr. Matthew Buns

Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science
Director of the Doctorate in Kinesiology

Dr. Buns’s research examines the mechanisms of expertise in sport and the psychological and cognitive factors associated with motor skills. Dr. Buns has published more than 25 scholarly articles in sport and exercise science and is the founding editor of the Track and Cross Country Journal. Learn more about Dr. Buns here.

Dr Katie Fischer Headshot

Dr. Katie Fischer

Associate VP for Academic Affairs and Strategic Program Development

Dr. Fischer’s background in higher education includes administration of in-class and online programs, development of new programs, and collaborative programming. Her academic focus includes public health, epidemiology, leadership, and program administration. Learn more about Dr. Fischer here.

Dr Lana Huberty Headshot

Dr. Lana Huberty

Dean of the College of Kinesiology, Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Health Sciences

Dr. Huberty brings with her a wealth of industry practice in both private and public sport and recreation settings. Research interests and publications focus on sport marketing and sponsorship, gender diversity within sport management, and sport leadership. Learn more about Dr. Huberty here.