How do I Choose the Best Exercise Physiology Programs?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2018
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There are four items to consider when choosing the best exercise physiology program: program length, education level, career path, and overall cost. Exercise physiology programs are available at the college and university levels. An exercise physiologist is responsible for studying how the body responds during both intense and prolonged exercise. They provide advice to professional athletes and complete research projects.

Exercise physiology programs are available at the college, university undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels. While all four options will result in academic credentials in exercise physiology, it is important to review the different programs and decide which is best for you and your career goals. The option selected determines the job opportunities available to you.

An exercise physiology program at the college level is two to three years in length. This program is rarely offered part time. The undergraduate degree is four years long. In order to qualify for admissions to a master's degree, candidates must have completed a bachelor's degree. The master's program is an additional two years. A doctoral degree is after the master's and is at least another two, for a total of eight years of education.


The career paths available for someone who completed exercise physiology programs at the college level include daily interaction with professional and amateur athletes, research project subjects, and other laboratory workers. Tasks include completing physical tests, collecting data, and administration of research projects. This type of career is most rewarding for people who enjoy helping people be the best they can in physical activities, such as sports.

The exercise physiology programs available at the university level are designed to train exercise physiologists. A professional physiologist must have a minimum master's degree, with the vast majority of employers requiring a Ph.D. The career paths available include professional work for universities, hospitals, and research services firms.

As with everything, cost is a determining factor when looking for the best exercise physiology programs. Look at the total cost of the different programs and then compare that to the salary available for the positions requiring that level of education. Think about the time and dedication required to achieve that type of career.

Exercise physiologists are devoted to research, and may find that employment opportunities are located in other cities or countries, requiring the uprooting of family to pursue a career. Although there are some opportunities in private research laboratories, they are quite limited. It has been proven that proof of effectiveness in a particular product is only required by a niche market of elite athletes. The modern consumer will purchase a product based on marketing and advertising first.



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