PhD in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology with Emphasis in Exercise Physiology

Degree Requirements

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

The PhD program in Exercise Physiology requires 75 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 coursework in exercise physiology, 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 highly recommended, as is participation on an external grant proposal and co-authoring two manuscripts.  NEP 8850 Advanced Exercise Physiology is 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), and may count toward the doctoral program at the discretion of the student's committee (3 members in dept., 1 member outside).

Required Core Courses
NEP 7340Human Nutrition II Lecture3
NEP 8220Cardiovascular Disease and Exercise3
NEP 8501Hot Topics in Nutrition, Exercise and Disease (minimum of 3 hrs.)1
NEP 8850Advanced Exercise Physiology3
NEP 8860Exercise Endocrinology3
NEP 8870Exercise Metabolism3
NEP 9087Doctorate Seminar in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology (minimum of 4 hrs.)1
NEP 9090Doctorate Research in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology12
and Biochemistry
or BIOCHM 8240 Introduction to Graduate Biochemistry I
Research Ethics (select 1-2 hrs.)1-2
BIOCHM 8060Ethical Conduct of Research1
BIO_SC 8060Ethical Conduct of Research1
MPP 8415Responsible Conduct of Research thru Engagement, Enactment and Empowerment NIH and other Federal Age2
V_PBIO 8641Introduction to Research Ethics1
Statistics (pick two courses)
ESC_PS 7170Introduction to Applied Statistics3
ESC_PS 8850Quantitative Foundations in Educational Research 3
ESC_PS 9650Application of Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research3
STAT 7070Statistical Methods for Research3
STAT 7510Applied Statistical Models I3
STAT 7520Applied Statistical Models II3
STAT 7540Experimental Design3
Research Methods and Techniques (minimum of 2 hrs.)
MPP 8417Scientific Communication2
MPP 8420Skills in Biomedical Research2
NEP 7500Research in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology1-99
Suggested Electives
NEP 7970PANHP Capstone: Sports Nutrition3
NEP 8030Etiology of Obesity3
NEP 8125Preventive and Therapeutic Exercise Physiology3
NEP 8127Advanced Physiological Assessment and Exercise Prescription 3
NEP 8310Nutritional Biochemistry of Lipids3
NEP 8340Nutrition in Human Health3
V_BSCI 9435Molecular Exercise Biology3
NEP 8085Problems in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology (independent study, can take more than one)1-99
BIOCHM 8260Macromolecular Systems Integration4
MPP 7422Medical Physiology4
MPP 9426Transmembrane Signaling4
MPP 9434Microvascular Physiology4
BIOCHM 9432Molecular Biology II4

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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.   

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).

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.

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

GRE Scores - this department no longer requires the GRE

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 and a 3.5 graduate GPA. 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:

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