Human Performance Lab

Degree Requirements

The PhD degree requires:

1) Approximately 3 years to complete.

2) A minimum of 90 hours of graduate work (30 of these hours can come from your MS degree).

3) Three required courses in the HPL (9 total hrs).

4) One 24 hr cognate or two 15 hr cognates in physiology, biology and/or chemistry.

5) Passing written and oral comprehensive exams, typically toward the end of the second year, before being admitted to candidacy.

6) A dissertation covering a research problem that will contribute new knowledge to the field (10 hrs required, up to 24 hrs total), including an oral defense of the dissertation.


Typical Course Progression


Year 1-Fall Semester

EXSC 637 Applied Physiology (3 hrs, HPL required course)

CHEM 563 Principles of Biochemistry 1 (3 hrs, cognate course)

Year 1-Spring Semester

EXSC 603 Exercise Physiology 1 (3 hrs, HPL required course)

CHEM 564 Principles of Biochemistry 2 (3 hrs, cognate course)

Year 1-Summer Sessions

EXSC 633 Seminar in Exercise Science (3 hrs each 5 week summer session)


Year 2-Fall Semester

EXSC 630 Exercise Physiology 2 (3 hrs, HPL required course)

BIO 557 Molecular Biology with laboratory (4 hrs, cognate course)

Directed cognate and elective hours (as needed)  

Year 2-Spring Semester

PHYS 640 Medical Physiology (8 hrs, cognate course)

Directed cognate and elective hours (as needed)

Year 2-Summer Sessions

EXSC 633 Seminar in Exercise Science (3 hrs each 5 week summer session)


Year 3-Fall Semester

DISS 799 Dissertation (up to 12 hrs)

Directed cognate and elective hours (as needed)   

Year 3-Spring Semester

DISS 799 Dissertation (up to 12 hrs)

Directed cognate and elective hours (as needed)  



Examples of Cognate and Elective Hours

BIOT 590 Intro to Recombinant DNA and RNA Techniques

BIOT 591 Theory and Applications of PCR

BIOT 592 Protein Isolation and Analysis

BIOT 594 Cell Culture Techniques

BIOT 595 DNA Sequencing and Bioinformatics

BIO 556 Cancer Biology

EXSC 638 Electrocardiography

EDPS 641 Statistical Methods

EDPS 642 Intermediate Statistics

EDPS 645 Intro to Nonparametric Statistics

PHYS 511 Endocrinology

PHYS 513 Renal Physiology

PHYS 514 Cardiovascular Physiology

PHYS 515 Physiology of Aging

PHYS 520 Neuroscience