Department of Kinesiology

School of Health and Human Sciences

Areas of Study: Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology is the study of how exercise affects the functions of the body which can influence health and or performance. Students learn the impact of exercise at the whole body, system, and cellular level. The students can apply this knowledge to work with healthy and clinical populations to impact positive alterations involving various physical activity programs. The knowledge gained in the academic field of exercise physiology may be acquired through the scholarly study of physical activity and through laboratory measurements of various physiological outcomes that can impact health and/or performance. Educating the community, including patients, clients, athletes, children, and older adults on how and why to employ specific types of physical activity to improve performance, health, and well-being relies on application of knowledge gained by professionals in the area of exercise physiology.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1

Produce highly competent clinicians, educators and researchers who possess the knowledge and skills to be distinctly competitive in the job market, and who appreciate and value their role as a contributing professional in clinical exercise physiology and/or human performance.


  1. Offer quality educational programs through UNCG´s Department of Kinesiology that prepare master’s and doctoral level students for careers in applied as well as research based programs in exercise physiology, kinesiology field and related disciplines.
  2. Provide teaching assistantships and mentoring opportunities for masters and doctoral students in laboratory based situations in exercise physiology concentrations.
  3. Provide research assistantships and training for graduate students in exercise physiology.
  4. Promote professional development through student involvement in local, regional and national professional meetings and activities; providing networking opportunities with nationally recognized scholars and clinicians through invited lectures and symposia; engaging in dialogue that promotes understanding of current professional and employment practices.

Goal 2

Promote proper physical activity practice across the lifespan in populations ranging from athletic to chronically diseased.


  1. Promote scientific inquiry leading to clinical knowledge.
  2. Provide hands-on experience through clinical graduate assistantships and internships.

Concentration Faculty


MS Degree Information

The MS in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Physiology includes both thesis and non-thesis (or coursework only) options. Both are 36-hour programs with the thesis option being more appropriate for students who wish to go on to pursue a doctoral degree and the non-thesis option being more appropriate for those who wish to design and implement exercise programming for athletes and other apparently healthy adults. The non-thesis option typically includes 6 credit hours of internship. We have a strong record of placing our students in the top facilities in north-central North Carolina; abundant opportunities exist in Greensboro, as well as in Winston-Salem, High Point, Durham, Chapel Hill, etc. Nearly all students are admitted into the non-thesis option. Those who show strong initiative in learning laboratory skills and in identifying a mentor and research topic may later be admitted into the thesis track (usually late in the first or early in the second semester).

The MS in Kinesiology with a concentration in Clinical Exercise Physiology is a 42-hour coursework only program that prepares students to enter careers in exercise programming and diagnostic exercise testing of individuals with, or at high risk for, chronic diseases. The curriculum includes coursework in exercise testing and prescription, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and electrocardiography, and includes 12 credit hours of internship at two or more clinical sites. Common internship sites include Cone Health, Wake Forest-Baptist Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center, and other sites across north central North Carolina. This CAAHEP-accredited program covers the competencies and internship hours required to pass the ACSM Clinical Exercise Physiologist Exam.

PhD Degree Information

The PhD in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Physiology is designed to prepare its graduates for careers in both teaching- and research-based academia. The program is mentor-based and it is generally expected that students gain ample experience in both research and teaching while at UNCG.

Plan of Study

Each student progresses through their degrees based on his/her individual plan of study. A plan of study must be approved by the student’s advisor (MS: non-thesis option) or a committee of three (MS: thesis option) or four (PhD) committee members chosen by the student and their advisor. The MS plan of study generally includes exercise physiology, a research methods course, and electives (mostly in the exercise physiology area). The PhD plan of study generally includes cardiovascular, muscular, and endocrine exercise physiology courses, four statistics courses, courses in protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism, and electives.

Application Requirements/Application Process

KIN Graduate Admission Process and Requirements.