PhD in Exercise Physiology

Degree Requirements

The PhD program requires a minimum of 72 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 a major external grant proposal.  NEP 8850 Advanced Exercise Physiology A is used as your competency course and the student must earn a B or better.  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:  Specific Masters courses (36 hours maximum) may be counted on the doctoral program at the discretion of the student's committee (3 members in dept., 1 member oustide).  Target ~ 72 hours beyond B.S.)

Sample Plan of Study

Because students in the PhD program are from a wide variety of circumstances, 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 Physiology1-99
NEP 7500Research in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology1-99
NEP 7970Sports Nutrition2
NEP 8850Advanced Exercise Physiology3
Physiology Area (1st support area)
MPP 7310Mammalian Cell Function3
MPP 9430Cardiovascular Physiology3
NEP 8870Exercise Metabolism3
V_BSCI 8420Veterinary Physiology5
V_BSCI 9435Molecular Exercise Biology3
Nutrition (2nd support area)
BIOCHM 7270Biochemistry3
BIOCHM 7272Biochemistry3
NEP 7340Human Nutrition II Lecture3
NEP 8085Problems in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology1-99
NEP 8310Nutritional Biochemistry of Lipids3
NEP 8340Nutrition in Human Health3
Research and Statistics
ESC_PS 9620Qualitative Methods in Educational Research II3
ESC_PS 8830Quantitative Analysis in Educational Research I3
3rd Advanced Statistic or Design Course3
Other Courses
AN_SCI 8420Endocrinology3
AN_SCI 9442Vitamins and Minerals4
V_BSCI 9467Neural Cardiorespiratory Control3
NEP 9090Doctorate Research in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology1-99

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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 8870,  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).

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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.

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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. 

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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
Prior to Aug. 1,2011 500 500 3.5
On or 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. TOEFL scores are required from international applicants.  Specific information can be found on the department website:

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

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