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The College of St. Scholastica

A Hands-On Education for a Hands-On Career

Movement, activity, exercises — these aren’t things you can study while sitting behind a desk. They’re elements of an exercise physiology program that are best explored through firsthand experience.

Our program is designed to prepare students to access key positions in the health, fitness, athletics, rehabilitation and research fields. Some students will empower themselves with this additional knowledge and hands-on experiences to make a successful transition into post-graduate work.

Fast Facts

  • Two exercise physiology labs equipped with the latest technologies including metabolic analyzers, 12-lead ECG recorders and cardiac stress systems
  • Interprofessional learning opportunities with other Health Sciences graduate students
  • On-campus anatomy lab
  • Accelerated one-year on-campus program
  • 32 total program credits

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  • Detailed program overview
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  • Individual admissions support

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The program prepared me for both clinical and performance-based employment.

Cody Carlson

Degree Details


Tuition: $755/credit*

* Tuition rates are for the 2021-22 academic year. Additional fees and costs for course materials may apply. Total program cost and completion time varies depending on transfer credits and individual program plans. Tuition rates are subject to change.

Program Overview

Laboratories and Other Facilities

The Department of Exercise Physiology is housed in the most recent addition to the Burns Wellness Center and includes one fully equipped laboratory and a multi-functional room that can be used as a lab. In addition, the graduate-level Functional Anatomy lab is housed in the Science Center.

A Full Fange of State-of-the-Art Equipment

The Department’s two laboratories offer a full complement of metabolic, cardiographic and physiologic assessment equipment. A primary objective of the Department is to provide quality hands-on laboratory and research experiences for all students, so all of our equipment is available for student use rather than set aside for faculty or graduate research. This equipment includes:

  • Two Medical Graphics Ultima IITM metabolic analyzers with cardiac output; one with 12-lead ECG capabilities
  • A Medical Graphics Cardio2TM metabolic analyzer that has been upgraded with the latest software available and continues to produce research quality data
  • A Marquette CASE 8000TM Stress Test and Electrocardiographic system
  • A Quinton® Q-Tel RMS v3.1 telemetry system
  • Four additional stand-alone ECG monitor
  • Multiple treadmills, cycle and rowing ergometers
  • A variety of stadiometers, scales, skin-fold calipers and body fat analyzers
  • Additional equipment for assessing fitness and strength (dynamometers, goniometers, sit-and-reach boxes)
  • Ten desktop computers. In addition, the campus offers 24/7 wireless internet access
Functional Anatomy Lab

The anatomy lab, used for the graduate-level Functional Anatomy course, allows the student the opportunity to see and experience the complexity of the human body and its inner structures through hands-on dissection. Uncovering and discovering the body through dissection provides the student with an experience that reveals the body’s elaborate systems, organs and tissues and how they interconnect and function as one.

Hands-on Experience with the WellU and Cynergy Programs

WellU and Cynergy offer St. Scholastica community members an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a fitness advisor to help them meet their fitness goals. Graduate students from the Exercise Physiology program have the opportunity to meet with individuals and develop personalized exercise plans tailored to meet each individual’s personal fitness goals.


This program is offered at our Duluth campus as a full-time day program.


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:

  • Analyze the three-dimensional relationship of anatomical structures (muscle, bone, nerves, blood vessels) at specific body regions for function.
  • Prescribe appropriate exercise protocols (prescriptions) for individuals across the human spectrum (age, gender, athletes, diseased, etc.).
  • Select and perform the appropriate cardiopulmonary, cardiovascular and/or musculoskeletal assessments across the human spectrum with a focus on test selection and administration, pre-participation screening and risk stratification, risk management, emergency response procedures, and evaluation of results.
  • Compare the human body’s adaptation to acute and chronic exercise under standard and nonstandard environmental conditions with respect to variations in physiological variables and regulatory mechanisms across the human spectrum.
  • Demonstrate professional behavior and effective written and oral communication skills in academic and professional settings.

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.

Required Courses

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. Donor body dissection laboratory experience is used to enhance understanding of three dimensional anatomical relationships for specific body regions.

EXP 6522 – Biochemistry, Nutrition & Exer

Examines the biochemistry of humans in relation to nutrition and exercise. It emphasizes the basic elements of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, the role of nutrition in providing energy, building/repairing tissues and regulating metabolic processes during sports and the degree to which nutrition may enhance fitness. A section on molecular biology is included, which aids understanding of regulation at the level of DNA. Emphasis is also placed on the clarification of the most prevalent ergogenic aids (based on reputable research) and how they are thought to increase anaerobic and aerobic power (fitness) and athletic performance.

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.

EXP 6532 – Physiological Assessment

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.

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.

EXP 6536 – Clinical Exercise Physiology

Clinical exercise physiology is introduced as it relates to diseases associated with the cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, metabolic, neurological, and immune systems. Issues related to pathophysiology and etiology, screening and risk stratification, and exercise testing and prescription are addressed with a focus on the most common diseases/illnesses for which exercise has been shown to be of therapeutic benefit in terms of rehabilitation, risk factor modification, and quality of life. Focus is on preparing students to work with clinical and special populations in medical and nonmedical settings.

EXP 6538 – Exercise Testing & Electrocard

Graded exercise testing using different test modes and protocols; pre-participation 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.

EXP 6542 – Strength Training & Conditioning

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.

EXP 6555 – Internship

A 400-hour 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 Academic Internship Coordinator from the Department of Exercise Physiology.

EXP 6565 – Exercise Physiology Seminar

The first semester of this year-long seminar focuses on professional skills needed by future exercise physiologists that are not addressed in detail in other graduate exercise physiology courses. During the second semester, professionals from fields related to exercise physiology will serve as guest speakers and share their professional experiences and advice with the class.

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).

Career Outlook

Graduates of the program continue on to a diverse range of clinical and applied settings ranging from health care and fitness/wellness to athletics and entrepreneurial endeavors. Some graduates also choose to pursue graduate and professional degrees to better position themselves for careers in teaching, research, and other healthcare professions.

Admission Information

Visit our admissions page for information about transcripts, online application, international admissions and financing.

Application Deadline

The application deadline for the MS in Exercise Physiology program is Feb. 15, however, if you apply before that time you will be eligible for priority application review. After Feb. 15, applications are accepted until the program is full.


New Students
  • BA/BS degree from a regionally accredited college or university (major or concentration in exercise physiology is preferred, but not required)
  • Preferred minimum cumulative GPA 2.8
Note: Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.
Returning Students

A returning student is a student who was admitted and enrolled in a program at St. Scholastica but has been absent from the program for at least three continuous semesters, including summer. To return to the same program at St. Scholastica, a returning student must be in good academic standing and must apply for readmission to the College.

Recommended Coursework

Although not a prerequisite, it is strongly recommended that applicants have some academic background in statistics, anatomy, physiology, exercise physiology, chemistry, algebra, physics and research methods.

Accepted Students

  • After you are notified a decision has been made regarding your application, log into your application portal, view your decision letter and click “Reply to Offer”
  • Submit $250 non-refundable deposit
  • Submit Student Health Services forms, including the immunization form, through the COR student portal/My Health/Forms

Meet Our Faculty

Experienced, Dedicated and Distinguished Educators

Expect to be heard, to be challenged and to be involved. St. Scholastica faculty are world-class scholars and experts in their field who bring their deep experience to online and on-campus classrooms. Our values of community, respect, stewardship and love of learning reflect our faculty’s commitment to lifting up others and celebrating our common humanity.