Exercise physiology is a growing industry in both clinical and non-clinical settings. What does it take to become an exercise physiologist? First, students must prepare to work towards at least a Bachelor of Science degree. However, exercise physiology degree programs do not stop there. In this article, you will learn the difference in degree programs, and how to earn your exercise physiology degree.
What is an Exercise Physiology Degree?
Exercise physiology is a type of science fitness professionals use in the health field to record fitness and wellness goals and opportunities for patients. An exercise physiologist can work both in clinical and non-clinical settings. Most exercise physiologists work in clinical settings with patients who are struggling with health problems. These physiologists will track fitness and wellness applications through a number of physical examinations. Professionals in this field will work with clients or patients on a continuous basis depending on their needs.
Degree Programs Within This Field
Generally, students who wish to earn a degree in exercise physiology will work toward a science degree at the bachelor level. Most bachelor programs require college prep classes including core courses in mathematics, English, biology, physics, and chemistry. Additionally, students must have a high school diploma, transcripts, and an undergraduate degree in either kinesiology or exercise science. Below are the different types of degrees students can earn in exercise physiology.
Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology
In general, a bachelor’s degree program in exercise physiology will take about four years for a student to complete. This degree program will go in-depth into cardiovascular fitness, endurance, body composition, muscular strength, and flexibility. In addition, students will learn how the body works in response to exercise and physical activity. This degree program may also require students to complete a clinical or internship for completion of the program. Typically, coursework in an exercise physiology bachelor program will include topics such as human anatomy, human biochemistry, pharmacology, human nutrition, and psychology.
Master’s of Science in Exercise Physiology
A master’s degree program in exercise physiology typically takes students an additional two years to complete. This type of degree goes more into depth within topics and coursework related to exercise physiology. Most of the time, students will spend time in both classrooms and laboratory settings for research adaptability’s within this topic. Typical coursework for a master’s degree program in exercise physiology includes courses such as the chemistry of exercise, nutrition and energy, pharmacology, advanced biochemistry, pathophysiology, and exercise leadership.
Exercise Physiology Ph.D.
A Ph.D. or doctorate program usually takes an additional year to three years for completion. This degree program implements more research strategies specific to the student’s area of expertise within exercise physiology. The coursework is a continuation of the student’s master’s degree program. This degree program will help the students specialize in research and academic positions under exercise physiology, therefore becoming an expert in their field. This type of degree program will teach more about the body at the microbiological level, studying topics within the cellular function and biological organisms. With this type of degree, students are eligible to become an educator on this topic. Coursework in a Ph.D. program includes courses such as mechanics, cellular physiology, cardiac rehabilitation, statistics, enzyme mechanics, structural equation models.
While most career options require at least a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, undergraduate students may start as lab technicians or assistants. Many students are required to work under an internship program for completion of these types of degree programs. Even though becoming an exercise physiologist requires years of schooling, the benefits of different career opportunities outweigh the time and energy it takes for students to receive their degrees.