Clinical Exercise Physiology, MS

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The MS in clinical exercise physiology degree program prepares students for careers as clinical exercise physiologists.

Students learn how to use primary and secondary prevention strategies to improve, maintain or abate declines in fitness and health in populations ranging from children to older adults. They learn to collaborate with medical professionals to guide exercise and rehabilitation programs for at-risk clients and clients with chronic diseases.

The American College of Sports Medicine is the national association responsible for establishing guidelines and recommendations for exercise testing, prescription and evaluation of research for both healthy populations and those with chronic disease. The ACSM certification is deemed the organization's most prestigious credential for clinical professionals with a master's degree and 600 hours of hands-on clinical experience. This program provides the knowledge, clinical experience and skills needed by individuals preparing for successful completion of the registration examination for the registered clinical exercise physiologist certification.

At A Glance

Clinical Exercise Physiology, MS

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

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Earn your BS in Kinesiology and MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology quicker through our new 4+1 ACCELERATED DEGREE PROGRAM.

Now you have a streamlined path to your master's degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology immediately from the undergraduate Kinesiology program, reducing the time to get your master's degree from two years to one year. During your senior year in the College of Health Solutions, you will complete credit hours toward your master's degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology. Once you complete your bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, you have just one year left of courses to earn your master's degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate graduate admissions application.

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Application Deadlines

The priority deadline for the MS in clinical exercise physiology program is June 1.

The final deadline is Aug. 1.

GRE Waivers

GRE waivers for the MS in clinical exercise physiology program are approved on a case-by-case basis. Our admissions committee takes a holistic approach to reviewing each applicant's background and relevant experience. To be considered for a GRE waiver, contact

Certification and licensure

The College of Health Solutions prepares graduates for excellence upon entering the workplace. Since certification and licensure requirements vary by profession and from state-to-state, we recommend that you visit the ASU licensure website to determine if your program meets the requirements of individual state licensures or national certifications, as applicable. If you have specific questions, please contact your program director or degree coordinator.

Degree requirements

Required Core (21 credit hours)
EXW 501 Research Statistics (3)
EXW 535 Advanced Exercise Assessment and Prescription (3)
EXW 542 Health Promotion (3)
EXW 560 Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation (3)
EXW 565 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physiology (3)
EXW 568 Management and Treatment of Chronic Disease for the Clinical Exercise Physiologist (3)
KIN 547 ECG Interpretation (3)

Electives (1 credit hour)
EXW 591 Seminar (1)

Other Requirement (3 or 9 credit hours)
EXW 500 Research Methods (3), or
EXW 515 Advanced Exercise Physiology (3) and EXW 584 Clinical Exercise Physiology Internship (6)

Culminating Experience (0-6 credit hours)
written comprehensive exam, or
EXW 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
This program has a thesis option or a non-thesis option. Students in the thesis option must take EXW 500 Research Methods. Students selecting the non-thesis option must complete a clinical internship of six credit hours EXW 584 Clinical Exercise Physiology and take EXW 515 Advanced Exercise Physiology.

All students must pass a written comprehensive exam. Thesis students must also pass an oral comprehensive exam.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the College of Health Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in exercise science, exercise physiology, kinesiology or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. GRE scores
  4. letter of intent
  5. three letters of recommendation
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

A foreign language exam is not required.

One letter of recommendation must be submitted by an academic reference from major coursework. All qualified applicants are admitted providing they have met all requirements for admission. Admission is not limited to any target number of students unless enrollment exceeds the projected capacity of the program to provide an adequate, quality program. In the case of space limitations, applicants are prioritized based on GRE scores, GPA, letters of reference and letter of intent for admission to the program.

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What are Accelerated Programs at ASU?

ASU students may accelerate their studies by earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as little as five years (for some programs) or by earning a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 or 3 years.

Accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs are designed for high-achieving undergraduate students who want the opportunity to combine undergraduate coursework with graduate coursework to accelerate completion of their master’s degree. These programs, featuring the same high-quality curriculum taught by ASU's world-renowned faculty, allow students to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree in as little as five years.

Accelerated bachelor’s degree programs allow students to choose either a 2.5- or a 3-year path while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students can opt to fast-track their studies after acceptance into a participating program by connecting with their academic advisor.