Program Description

As a student in the graduate exercise physiology degree program at Central Michigan University, you'll work side by side with professors and professionals in clinics and labs such as the Motion Analysis Center or the Human Performance Laboratory.

The two-year Master of Science program prepares students for careers such as health and fitness practitioners, strength and conditioning specialists, clinical physiologists or related careers in the health professions field. Many graduates have gone on to pursue terminal doctoral degrees in the exercise sciences, and many other students have used the master's program as a launching point for admission into post-graduate allied health professions training.

Each student in the program is required to complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours, which include required core courses, specialization courses and elective courses. Credit hours in the core vary depending on whether a thesis (six credits) or independent study (three credits) is selected.

Research Opportunities and Assistantships

Outstanding students are encouraged to apply for a graduate assistantship. A full-time graduate teaching assistant is assigned a teaching load, research and/or teaching support, or an equivalent, that can total no more than 20 hours per week. Assistantships offer teaching opportunities in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, clinical exercise physiology and health fitness classes.

The exercise physiology program also boasts a number of state of the art research facilities, including the Motion Analysis Center (MAC), the Exercise Science Biochemistry Laboratory, the Human Performance Laboratory and the Environmental and Therapeutic Modality Laboratory. 

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Exercise Science Physiology program requires:

  • a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants who possess an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission;
  • completion of at least one course in exercise physiology or equivalent;
  • General Record Exam (GRE) scores;
  • transcripts from all academic programs attended; and
  • two letters of reference.

International applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate their English language competency using one of the methods outlined by the College of Graduate Studies.

The program reviews all applications and submitted documents in making a determination on admission and makes such recommendations to the College of Graduate Studies.

To be assured full consideration for admittance, all application materials must be received by April 1 for the following fall semester.

Application Deadline (for full consideration):
April 1st

Apply online at

Required Courses

Required Core Coursework (9 hours)

HSC 632: Cardiopulmonary Exercise Physiology

HSC 633: Neuromuscular Physiology of Exercise

HSC 634: Experimental Design in Exercise Science

Additional Required Courses (9 hours)

HSC 635: Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System

HSC 637: Advanced Exercise Physiology

HSC 638: Endocrine and Metabolic Response to Exercise

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete one of two research capstone experiences, either a Plan A – Thesis or Plan B – Directed Research in Exercise Physiology. The thesis is typically a written formal document which addresses, in an original fashion, some important concern of the discipline.

Plan B, or directed research projects, do not require a formal thesis; instead, more credits are earned in other types of courses and/or a scholarly paper is required. Plan B master's degrees may also require a project, case study, or professional paper.

Career Outlook

For More Information

Dr. Micah Zuhl, Graduate Program Director
Health Professions Building 1172
Central Michigan University
(989) 774-1411

Or visit our Health Professions website for more information.
Access the Exercise Physiology Program Flyer