PhD in Exercise Physiology

Degree Requirements

Students previous coursework must include biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology and exercise physiology to be considered.  It is also advantagous to have organic chemistry, biochemistry and some nutrition.

The PhD program in Exercise Physiology requires 85 hours beyond the bachelor's degree.  A committee of 4 faculty members  must approve all graduate courses, including those from other universities.  The graduate course work includes 15 hours in exercise physiology, plus coursework in physiology, nutrition and biochemistry.  Research requirements include NEP 7500  (9 hours of research projects) and NEP 9090 (12 hours dissertation).  One semester of teaching experience is required, as is participation on an external grant proposal and co-authoring two manuscripts.  NEP 8850 Advanced Exercise Physiologyis used as your competency course a grade of B or better is required.  If the student has a similar course in their transfer courses from a masters, then another course will be used - this must be approved by the graduate director and committee.

Note:  Masters courses may be transferred from other institutions (30 hours maximum) may count toward the doctoral program at the discretion of the student's committee (3 members in dept., 1 member outstide).

Sample Plan of Study

Because students in the PhD program are from a wide variety of disciplines, and pursue the PhD at different paces, a sample plan of study is not easily produced.  Students are encouraged to work out their plan of study with their advisor.    

Exercise Science (Major Field)
NEP 7001Topics in Nutritional Science and Exercise Physiology (Exercise Endocrinology *)1-99
NEP 7500Research in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology (*)1-99
NEP 8001Topics in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology (Cardiovascular Disease and Exercise *)1-3
NEP 8850Advanced Exercise Physiology (*)3
NEP 8860Exercise Endocrinology3
NEP 9090Doctorate Research in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology (*)1-99
Physiology Area (1st support area - minimum 9hrs credit)
MPP 7422Medical Physiology4
MPP 9430Cardiovascular Physiology3
MPP 9434Microvascular Circulatory Function4
NEP 8870Exercise Metabolism (*)3
V_BSCI 8420Veterinary Physiology5
V_BSCI 9435Molecular Exercise Biology3
Nutrition (2nd support area - minimum of 9 hrs credit)
BIOCHM 7270Biochemistry (*)3
BIOCHM 7272Biochemistry3
NEP 7340Human Nutrition II Lecture3
NEP 7970Sports Nutrition2
NEP 8030Etiology of Obesity3
NEP 8085Problems in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology (*)1-99
NEP 8310Nutritional Biochemistry of Lipids3
NEP 8340Nutrition in Human Health3
Research and Statistics (minimum of 9 hrs. credit)
ESC_PS 8850Quantitative Foundations in Educational Research3
ESC_PS 9650Application of Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research3
STAT 7510Applied Statistical Models I3
STAT 7540Experimental Design3
STAT 8220Applied Statistical Models II3
Electives (these are suggestions, others may be acceptable upon discussion with your committee)
AN_SCI 8420Endocrinology3
AN_SCI 9442Vitamins and Minerals4
V_BSCI 8410Seminar in Veterinary Biomedical Science1
* Required Courses
STAT 7560Applied Multivariate Data Analysis3

Back to Top

Qualifying Process

NEP 8850 Advanced Exercise Physiology is used as your competency course and the student must pass with the grade of B or better. If the student comes in with a master’s course similar to NEP 8850,  then another course can be used as the competency course and will be approved by the committee and graduate director (e.g. NEP 8870 Exercise Metabolism).

Back to Top

Comprehensive Examination Process

Candidacy for a doctoral degree is established by passing the comprehensive examination.  The comprehensive examination includes written and oral sections and is completed as the candidate is completing the prescribed coursework.

Back to Top

Dissertation Requirements

The dissertation must be written on a subject approved by the candidates doctoral program committee, must embody the results of original and significant investigation and must be the candidates own work.  All dissertation defenses shall be open to the general faculty.  For the dissertation to be successfully defended, the student's doctoral committee must vote to pass the student on the defense with no more than one dissenting or abstaining vote. 

Back to Top


Deadline for Fall entrance: Dec 30

Minimum TOEFL Scores

Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
100 600

Minimum GRE Scores

When did you take the GRE? Verbal Quantitative Analytical
After Aug. 1, 2011 150 150 3.5

Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the PhD in Exercise Physiology and the minimum requirements of the Graduate School. Before official admission to the University of Missouri, your application materials will be reviewed by both the Graduate School and the degree program to which you applied.  

Exercise and Physiology Program Applicants must have a 3.00 undergraduate GPA, a 3.5 graduate GPA and meet the minimum GRE scores to be admitted (GRE scores must be within the last 5 years). TOEFL scores are required from international applicants.  Specific information can be found on the department website:

At this time, the program does not accept students into the doctoral program without a master's degree.  A student without a master's degree who would like to pursue a doctoral degree must apply to the master’s graduate program.  Once accepted into the master's program it is possible to apply and transfer to the doctoral program after the first year of graduate study.  Specified criteria must be met for the transfer to be approved by the Nutritional Sciences Graduate Admissions Committee.  Please contact the department for more information on this subject.

Deadline for Applications is December 30th. While applications received after that date will still be considered, they will not be eligible for all fellowships.

Complete instructions for applying to the program can be found on the programs website:

Back to Top