Exercise Physiology

Doctor of Philosophy, Exercise Physiology

The doctoral program in Exercise Physiology prepares students for careers in academia and professions which enhance physical well-being, health, and human performance.

It provides a firm foundation in essential scientific knowledge, technical know-how, and practical skills through teaching, research, publication, and service. Current research includes cardiovascular, neuromuscular, metabolic, hormonal, and body composition/functionality responses to acute and chronic physical activity (exercise) in association with various factors such as nutrients, environmental stress, and chronic diseases by utilizing both human and animal models.

Female physiotherapist assisting senior woman to lift dumbbell in the medical office

The mission of the graduate Exercise Physiology program at Florida State University is to provide advanced training to students in the fields of both basic and applied physiology.  We prepare students to generate and apply research-based knowledge and provide public service in exercise, health, and human performance.  Resources for the Exercise Physiology program include applied electrophysiology physiology laboratories, cardiovascular laboratories, skeletal muscle laboratories, and the Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine (ISSM).  Individually and collectively, the resources enable the rigorous study of human performance, exercise metabolism, sports nutrition, cardiovascular, and muscle physiology at the cellular and molecular levels in humans and animals.  The laboratories contain necessary equipment for biochemical and both in vivo and in vitro cellular/molecular analyses.  The Exercise Physiology laboratories have an environmental chamber, a BodPod®, and a micro-computed tomography 3D scanner (micro-CT).  The laboratories also have DEXA units, Biodex™ dynamometers, electrocardiography machines, metabolic carts, and fluorescent microscopes.


Must submit by: For graduate assistantship eligibility:
Fall April 1 February 1
Spring October 1 July 1

This program admits in the fall and spring semesters. All application materials must be received by the deadline posted. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

  1. An upper-division undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The same scale applies for graduate-level work. A professional degree is not counted for university GPA requirements.
  2. A master’s degree or post-baccalaureate professional degree from an accredited university.
  3. A competitive Graduate Record Examination revised General Test (GRE) score; recommended score of above the 50th percentile (approximately 150) in both verbal and quantitative sections with a 4.0 or higher on the writing section. Please note that it can take up to ten (10) days after sitting for the GRE for an official score report to be sent to the university
  4. International students: Applicants must submit an official English Proficiency Score Report.  A TOEFL iBT® score of at least 80 (iBT) or 550 (paper-delivered) or an IELTSTM Academic score of at least 6.5 is required. The department recommends 600 (paper-based) or 100 (internet-based) TOEFL for a competitive application to the doctoral program.  Our department does not accept other English proficiency examinations.
  5. A visit to the department is strongly encouraged. Please contact the College’s graduate office to schedule your visit. Before you submit your online application and pay the application fee, you should directly contact graduate faculty members in your area of interest to see if they have room in their labs and are available to mentor you.

Attainment of these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission decisions are based on assessments of all aspects of the student’s application materials. The department reserves the right to increase standards if warranted by enrollment limitations and by the number and quality of applicants. Financial aid is a separate process from the admission to a graduate program.

A related degree is required and the completion of core coursework for the associated master’s degree program offered at FSU (or the equivalent) is highly recommended.

We encourage you to submit and complete your application early. The graduate admissions committee reviews completed applications throughout the open application period, which allows you to quickly receive an admissions decision.

  1. Apply Online, submit the admissions application and pay the application fee.
  2. Once you have submitted your application:
    • Complete the Faculty Preference list – in order of preference, select three faculty members you would like to work with throughout your graduate program.
    • Upload a Statement of Purpose outlining your research interests and career goals. We want to know how your background and prior training make you the right candidate and why Florida State University is a good fit for you.  Please indicate up to three FSU faculty members with whom you would like to work and why. We strongly encourage applicants to familiarize themselves with the research interests of the NIP faculty.
    • Upload a resume or vita (information should be current).
    • Submit contact information for three recommenders. The recommenders should be professionals you have worked with who are familiar with your academic performance and can speak directly about your qualification for this degree. Academic recommendations are preferred, but relevant professional recommendations will be accepted. No personal recommendations or letters from peers will be accepted.
  3. Submit official GRE scores to the FSU Office of Admissions. The school reporting code for test scores is 5219; no department code is required.
  4. International Students: Submit an official English Proficiency Score Report:
    • TOEFL test scores electronically from ETS.org to the FSU Office of Graduate Admissions. The university’s reporting code for test scores is 5219; no department code is required.
    • IELTS Academic test scores in physical (paper) form directly from IELTS.org to the FSU Office of Graduate Admissions at:
    • Florida State University
      Office of Graduate Admissions
      222 S Copeland St / Westcott Bldg
      Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410
  5. Submit official transcripts (with translations if necessary) to the FSU Office of Admissions. We require transcripts from EVERY post-secondary institution you attended (even if those courses are posted to another institution’s transcript). Transcripts uploaded to application are considered unofficial transcripts.

For questions about the application process:

CHS Office of Graduate Studies

Please allow a minimum of ten (10) business days for the Office of Admissions to process your incoming materials.

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