Curriculum | M.S. Exercise Physiology

Program Description

The program consists of classroom and laboratory courses designed to develop exercise physiologists as critical thinkers, healthcare professionals and researchers.

Students will be prepared to assist in the ongoing development of programs in health and wellness, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, hospital-based clinical research and fitness programs that evaluate athletes and human performance activities. The program also prepares the students for advanced graduate work.

Program Length

The full-time Exercise Physiology graduate program is a 32-credit concentrated one-year academic degree. Students begin the program in the fall semester and are scheduled to complete the degree at the end of the summer session.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master's degree in Exercise Physiology at The College of St. Scholastica, the graduate will be able to:

  • Justify the roles exercise physiologists play in health care, fitness, and athletics, including the treatment and prevention of a variety of diseases that have a strong behavioral component such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis.
  • Perform and interpret assessments of physical and physiological parameters that indicate client health and fitness.
  • Critically evaluate research studies and apply the results to athletes, various patient populations, and the general public.
  • Display professional behavior in all interactions with clients and colleagues.
  • Develop individual exercise programs for a wide assortment of clients including athletes, various patient populations, and the general public.
  • Discuss the mind-body connection and the role that emotional health and stress management play in maintaining an individual's health and well being.
  • Demonstrate effective written and oral communications skills.

Degree Requirements 

Following completion of the academic component of the program (24 credits), the student chooses either the internship track or the thesis track (8 credits each). Internship experiences will be arranged through the program's clinical coordinator at places of interest throughout the United States.

Credit toward the degree will be given for courses with a grade of "C" or better; students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 during both semesters.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Required Courses

Expand and Collapse EXP 6521 - Functional Anatomy

An advanced, regional, musculoskeletal anatomy course that emphasizes the study of functional relationships between musculature, nervous tissue, vascular, and skeletal components for the extremities and axial skeleton. Cadaver dissection laboratory experience is used to enhance understanding of three dimensional anatomical relationships for specific body regions.

Expand and Collapse EXP 6522 - Biochemistry, Nutrition & Exer

Principles of biochemistry and metabolic processes in relation to nutrition and exercise. Basic elements of carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism and their role providing energy, building/repairing tissues and regulating metabolic processes during physical activity. Impact of nutrition on health, fitness and athletic performance. Regulation of cellular metabolism at the level of DNA replication through transcription to RNA and translation for protein synthesis. Effectiveness, ethical considerations, and the proposed biochemical/physiologic mechanisms of the most prevalent ergogenic aids used to enhance athletic performance.

Expand and Collapse EXP 6531 - Applied Exercise Physiology

The human body's adaptation to acute and chronic exercise, including hormonal responses, under standard and nonstandard environmental conditions. Physiological variables are contrasted based on age and gender. Laboratory sessions are used to collect data to physiologically profile the human response to selected stressors.

Expand and Collapse EXP 6532 - Muscle Testing and Function

Prepares students to successfully carry out various physical assessments across the population spectrum with a focus on test selection and administration, preparticipation screening and risk stratification, risk management, emergency response procedures, and evaluation/interpretation of test scores.

Expand and Collapse EXP 6535 - Cardiovascular Physiology

Normal functioning of the cardiovascular system especially the integrative aspects of cardiovascular control and regulation in humans; cardiovascular responses to physiological (e.g., orthostasis, exercise) and pathological (e.g., hypertension, cardiac failure) situations.

Expand and Collapse EXP 6536 - Clinical Exercise Physiology

Pathophysiology of common chronic diseases for which exercise has been shown to be a therapeutic benefit including diseases associated with the cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, metabolic, neurological, and immune systems. Focus is on preparing students to work with clinical and special populations in medical and nonmedical settings.

Expand and Collapse EXP 6538 - Exercise Testing & Electrocard

Graded exercise testing using different test modes and protocols; preparticipation screening procedures; contraindications and termination criteria for exercise testing; emergency procedures and risk management; and use of metabolic analyzing systems for the identification of disease risk in addition to the assessment of cardiorespiratory function. Emphasis is also placed on the importance of resting and exercise electrocardiogram interpretation for the identification of arrhythmias and other heart-related abnormalities.

Expand and Collapse EXP 6542 - Strength Training, Condition,

Lays the foundation for the safe and appropriate prescription of exercise and physical activity necessary to enhance musculoskeletal strength, power and endurance as well as cardiovascular fitness and aerobic capacity.

Expand and Collapse EXP 6555 - Internship

A semester internship in an off-campus setting, including but not limited to cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, adult fitness and training, corporate fitness or a clinical research institution. While off-campus, the student is supervised by an exercise physiologist or a practicing clinician. All internship activities are monitored by the clinical coordinator in the Department of Exercise Physiology.

Expand and Collapse EXP 6888 - Thesis

The student writes and submits a research proposal to an advisor and/or the chair of the department of Exercise Physiology and the College's Institutional Review Board. If accepted, the first three chapters of the thesis (introduction, review of related literature, and methods) are written. The student collects, analyzes and interprets the data, then writes the final thesis chapters (e.g., results, discussion, and conclusions).

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