Exercise Sciences - PhD

Advanced Exercise Physiology Understanding

Demonstrate an understanding of exercise physiology beyond the master degree level.

Critical Analysis and Research

Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate scientific literature and apply the scientific method in the exercise sciences.

Personal and Professional Development

Have the capacity to organize effectively, work independently and write coherently.

Effective Communication

Apply their knowledge of the exercise sciences through successful oral and written presentations.

Teaching Experience

Obtain teaching experience at the university level.

Grant Writing

Obtain experience in grant proposal writing.

The PhD in Exercise Sciences is designed to prepare students for leadership at the highest levels of their professions. Since most of the students who receive PhDs will become university or college faculty and will teach and publish in their chosen areas, students must be (1) well trained in the scientific bases of exercise science, (2) well acquainted with the scientific literature, and (3) able to do independent research.

Requirements for Degree.

  • Credit hours: minimum 60 hours beyond the bachelor’s degree (includes dissertation) in addition to supporting area prerequisites. Students who have earned a master’s degree must complete at least 36 hours of additional graduate work.
  • All doctoral students must complete an original research study and present it at a regional, national, or international conference or submit a manuscript to a refereed journal.
  • Areas of specialization: the three areas have the following in common. The core and specialization must be taken at BYU:
    • Research Core (22-26 Hours): ExSc 691, 693R, 751, 753, 797R (4 hours), 799R (18 hours).

Exercise Physiology

  • Required courses (16 Hours): ExSc 666, 667, 669, 766, 769, PDBio 565.
  • Supporting areas: minimum 18 hours of graduate credit, plus prerequisites, must be included in supporting areas approved by your dissertation committee. Suggested areas include: physiology and developmental biology, biochemistry, health/wellness, nutrition, biomechanics.

Health Promotion

  • Required: (16 Hours from the following): ExSc 640, 661, 666, 667, 669, 671, 673.
  • Supporting areas: minimum 17 hours of graduate credit, plus prerequisites, must be included in supporting areas approved by your dissertation committee. Suggested areas include: health, nutrition, statistics, teacher and program evaluation, biomechanics/advanced exercise physiology.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

  • Required courses (18 Hours): ExSc 560, 625R (12 hours), 668.
  • Supporting areas: minimum 16 hours of graduate credit, plus prerequisites, must be included in supporting areas approved by your dissertation committee. Suggested areas include: muscle function, pedagogy, physiology and developmental biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, nutrition, health/wellness.

For All Specializations

  • No more than 9 hours of supporting area course work may be transferred from another university. One member of each student’s committee must be from outside the college.
  • PhD students must register for at least two consecutive 6-hour semesters on the BYU Provo campus.
  • Dissertation.
  • Examinations: (A) comprehensive examination; (B) oral defense of dissertation.
Fall Deadline:
February 1
Winter Deadline:

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Summer Deadline:

Additional Requirements:
  • Letter of intent
  • Baccalaureate degree in physical education or related field with competence equivalent to several different classes (contact department for details)
  • Thesis or publishable manuscript
  • Foundational science and skill competencies relating to different classes (contact department for details)
  • GPA of 3.5 for last 60 semester hours of upper-level academic work
Required Tests: GRE; TOEFL/IELTS if English is not first language
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*New GRE Revised General Test with a two year average of scores. When applicable.

Contact Information

Phone: (801) 422-5717
Fax: (801) 422-0555
Address: 106 SFH
Email: maggie_shibbla@byu.edu
Website: http://exercisesciences.byu.edu/



The university makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this catalog, but reserves the right to make changes at any time without prior notice.
Since change is a part of university life, curriculum and program changes will likely occur during the time the current Graduate Catalog is in circulation.

Honor Code

The university expects that all students, regardless of religion, will maintain the behavioral standards of the school, including the Honor Code. These include high standards of honesty, integrity, chastity, morality, and dress and grooming, in addition to abstinence from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse. The Honor Code Statement is found here.