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Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology provides advanced knowledge in how the body's structures and functions are altered when exposed to acute and chronic bouts of exercise. The concepts of exercise physiology are applied in the training of individuals to maximize their physical potential.

Exercise physiology students focus their academic course work on developing the ability to understand and apply the principles of exercise physiology to the response and adaptation of the human body to the physiologic demands of movement. Additionally, students learn to use physical activity as an educative tool in health, fitness, and sport settings. As a culminating experience, students in the exercise physiology sequence will complete a thesis or independent study.

Students accepted into this sequence will be expected to demonstrate a high level of academic performance in the foundation courses of exercise science and will have been previously involved with basic or applied research projects. Acceptance into the program is also based on the student's desired area of study. It is important that students identify an area of study that matches with the interests and expertise of the exercise physiology faculty members.

Completion of the exercise physiology sequence prepares students for future study in exercise physiology at the doctoral level, for research and development, for self-employment in the fitness industry, or for advanced positions in health, fitness, and wellness settings. 

Exercise Physiology Faculty and Research Interests

Dale Brown, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale 
Physical fitness and activity, exercise in health and disease, and exercise metabolism

Kristen Lagally, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Perceived exertion responses during exercise (particularly resistance responses)

Kelly Laurson, Ph.D., Iowa State University
Pediatric exercise physiology, epidemiology of cardiovascular disease and obesity as related to clinical cutpoints, body composition, training of young athletes

David Thomas, Ph.D., Arizona State University 
Physical fitness, physical activity and health, obesity

Exercise Physiology Curriculum (download checklist)

Master of Science Core Requirements - 6 hours

  • KNR 497, Introduction to Research Methodology
  • KNR 445, Statistics in Applied Science and Technology

Exercise Physiology Sequence Core - 15 hours

  • KNR 415, Exercise and Cardiorespiratory Function (even spring)
  • KNR 451, Laboratory Techniques for Performance Enhancement and
    Conditioning (even fall)
  • KNR 457, Lifecourse Exercise Physiology (odd spring)
  • KNR 480, Exercise and Body Composition (odd fall)
  • KNR 481, Work Metabolism (fall)

Cognate Area - 6-9 hours in courses approved by the exercise physiology faculty advisor

Culminating Experience - 3-6 hours with approval by the exercise physiology faculty advisor

Exercise Physiology Admission Requirements

In addition to the requirements for admission to the graduate program in KNR,  the exercise physiology sequence requires a bachelor's degree in exercise science. If the applicant’s bachelor's degree is from a discipline other than exercise science, the student is then required to complete all of the following undergraduate courses before proceeding to the graduate sequence core of exercise physiology classes; Human Anatomy and Physiology (181 & 182 - 2 semesters), 280 Exercise Physiology, and 282 Biomechanics (alternative course may be substituted with approval of advisor/mentor). 

Questions about Exercise Physiology?

Contact Dr. Kelly Laurson, Sequence Coordinator.

Exercise Physiology Grad Student Links

Career Opportunities

  • Conduct research and development
  • Self-employment in the fitness industry
  • Advanced positions in health, fitness, and wellness settings 

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Kinesiology and Recreation
Campus Box 5120
250 McCormick Hall
Normal, Il 61790-5120
Phone: (309) 438-8661
Fax: (309) 438-5559

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