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Kinesiology & Recreation - Exercise Physiology

Exercise Science provides advanced knowledge in how the body's structures and functions are altered when exposed to acute and chronic bouts of exercise. The concepts of exercise physiology are applied in the training of individuals to maximize their physical potential.

Exercise physiology students focus their academic coursework on developing the ability to understand and apply the principles of exercise physiology to the acquisition, performance, and refinement of motor skill. Additionally, students learn to use physical activity as an educative tool in health, fitness, and sport settings. As a culminating experience, students in the exercise physiology sequence will complete a thesis or independent study.

Students accepted into this sequence will be expected to demonstrate a high level of academic performance in the foundation courses of exercise science and will have been previously involved with basic or applied research projects. Acceptance into the program is also based on the student's desired area of study. It is important that students identify an area of study that matches with the interests and expertise of the exercise physiology faculty members.

Completion of the exercise physiology sequence prepares students for future study in exercise physiology at the doctoral level, for research and development, for self-employment in the fitness industry, or for advanced positions in health, fitness, and wellness settings.

University Admission Requirements

A student applying to a master's program must:

  • have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
  • present official transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Transcripts can be emailed from the university to or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Office of Admissions, 201 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 2200, Normal, IL 61790-2200

International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.

Additional Program Admission Requirements

A student applying to this program must:

  • have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for either the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework or any previous work in a master's program. If you do not meet the 3.0 GPA standard, you may be considered if your GRE scores for the verbal and quantitative sections are above the 40th percentile (approximately 149 each on verbal and qualitative reasoning).
  • submit official GRE Scores (use institutional code 1319)
  • submit current resume, outlining your education and work history (2 page maximum)
  • submit a statement of career goals
  • submit a list of three references including names and e-mail addresses within the online application.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Fall (August)  February 1 
Fall (August)  March 1 for International students 

Graduate Assistantship Information

The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.


To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,

  • be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
  • be in good-standing
  • be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).


Graduate assistants receive

  • monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
  • a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
  • a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment

Cost & Funding

See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from continuous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.

Graduate Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Kelly Laurson  McCormick 151B  (309) 438-7082 
2016-08-30T13:46:29.206-05:00 2016