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Core (Required) Courses in Exercise Physiology

These classes must be taken by all Exercise Physiology graduate students.

EXSS 700 – Applied Statistics and Research Methods in Exercise and Sport Science (3 credits)

  • Required preparation, undergraduate statistics course. Applied statistical analysis – interpretation of data from exercise and sport science. Emphasis: choosing method of analysis, using statistics software to run analyses. Major topics: experimental and nonexperimental research design, sampling, hypothesis testing, power calculation, t-tests, ANOVA, correlation, simple and multiple regression, and chi square. FALL

EXSS 705 – Research Design and Methods (1-3 Credits)

  • Required preparation, any undergraduate statistics course. Builds heavily upon material presented in EXSS 700. Planning, conducting, and reporting of research. Thesis writing and writing for publication. Problem-solving and practical experience in applied statistical analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data from the field of exercise and sport science. SPRING and FALL

EXSS 780 – Physiology of Exercise (3 credits)

  • The study of the physical, biochemical, and environmental factors that influence human performance. Emphasis is placed on metabolic, cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, and endocrine systems. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. FALL

EXSS 783 – Assessment of Physiological Functions in Exercise (3 credits)

  • Designed to develop laboratory techniques and experimental design skills as applied to the physiology of human performance. Simultaneous enrollment with EXSS 780 is required. FALL

EXSS 785 – Seminar in Exercise Physiology (3 credits)

  • Graduate standing in exercise and sport science or permission of the instructor. In-depth study of selected advanced topics in exercise physiology. Emphasis on metabolism, biochemical, and cardiorespiratory physiology, with student presentations on selected topics. FALL

EXSS 789 – Practicum in Exercise Physiology (3-4 Credits)

  • The implementation of theories and practices of fitness or cardiac rehabilitation in a professional setting under the direction of an experienced practitioner. SPRING

EXSS 990 – Research in Exercise and Sport Science (1-3 credits)

  • Graduate standing in exercise and sport science or permission of the instructor. Individually designed research projects conducted by students under the direction of a graduate faculty member.

EXSS 993 – Master’s Research and Thesis (3 credits)

  • All UNC graduate students are required to take a minimum of 6 credit hours of thesis work. The credit hours are usually divided between the final two semesters of course work, i.e., during the 2nd year. Thesis credit hours are usually divided up between the fall and spring semesters as follows: 3 credits in the Fall to propose the thesis idea and 3 credits during the Spring in order to defend and graduate in May. All UNC graduate students are required to be registered for 3 thesis credit hours during the semester in which they defend their thesis.


  • Up to 6 credit hours can be taken as “selectives” to complement educational goals and/or academic needs. broadening one’s academic preparedness will pay dividends for your career pathway. Only one 400/500 level course is permitted.
  • Listed below is only a sample of potential courses a student can elect to take from within the EXSS Department, or in other departments on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Please note that selectives outside of the EXSS Department require advance planning and often special permission from the instructor and/or department. Successfully enrolled EXSS graduate students contacted the assigned instructors and/or department chair of the specific department during their first semester (Fall) or early during their second semester (Spring). Once granted special permission to enroll in a course, dropping the course is strongly discouraged. We encourage students to take on the challenge and work hard to remain academically competitive. Courses taken during the summer sessions may not be covered by T.A. tuition remission benefits.


Exercise and Sport Science

EXSS 410 – Exercise Testing and Prescription (4 credits)

  • Students must take laboratory section along with class. This is an upper division undergraduate course designed to provide the theoretical and practical knowledge in basic exercise testing and prescription for both healthy and select special populations.

EXSS 479 – Performance Enhancement Specialization for Health Professionals (1 credit)

  • An upper-level course designed to provide students who have a health profession background with the theoretical and practical knowledge related to the Performance Enhancement Specialization for athletes.

EXSS 576 – Exercise Endocrinology (3 credits)

  • Advanced course examining the responses of the endocrine system to exercise and the adaptations that occur with exercise training. Provides the fundamentals necessary for exercise science and allied health science students to understand the integral role that the endocrine system plays in exercise.

EXSS 580 – Neuromechanics of Human Movement (3 Credits)

  • This course explores interactions between the nervous and musculoskeletal systems via integration of concepts from neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, anatomy, neuromuscular control, and biomechanics. Topics include muscle mechanics, sensorimotor function, joint stability, movement disorders, neurocognition, and neuroplasticity following injury and disease. Course meetings involve both lecture and laboratory content.

EXSS 732 – Human Anatomy for Athletic Trainers (4 credits)

  • Graduate standing in exercise and sport science or permission of the instructor. The study of gross human anatomy, with emphasis on the functional and clinical aspects of the neck, back, and extremities as related to athletic injuries. FALL

EXSS 781 – Clinical Exercise Prescription and Testing (2-3 credits)

  • This course concentrates on the knowledge and skills necessary for providing exercise testing and prescription in the clinical setting, emphasizing cardiac rehabilitation. SPRING alternating years.

EXSS 782 – Nutritional Aspects of Exercise (2-3 credits)

  • Graduate standing in physical education or permission of the instructor. Exploration of the role of macronutrients and micronutrients as they apply to exercise, physical conditioning, and competition. Students obtain experience in dietary analysis as it applies to athletic populations. Prerequisite/Corequisite: EXSS 780. SPRING alternating years.

EXSS 784 – Advanced Topics in Exercise Physiology (3 credits)

  • Required preparation, completion of a graduate level exercise physiology course. Graduate standing required. This course deals with current and rapidly developing aspects of the exercise physiology field. Specifically enhancing and adding to the content area of basic physiology acquired in EXSS 780. SPRING



BIOS 600 – Principles of Statistical Inference (3 credits)

  • Required preparation, knowledge of basic descriptive statistics. Major topics include elementary probability theory, probability distributions, estimation, tests of hypotheses, chi-squared procedures, regression, and correlation.



EPID 600 – Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health (3 credits)

  • An introductory course that considers the meaning, scope, and applications of epidemiology to public health practice and the uses of vital statistics data in the scientific appraisal of community health. One lecture and two lab hours per week.

EPID 735 – Cardiovascular Epidemiology (3 credits)

  • Review of cardiovascular health and disease in populations and their population determinants. Topics include epidemiologic methods, risk factors, strategies for prevention, and a student research project. Three lecture hours per week

EPID 772 – Cancer Prevention and Control Seminar (3 credits)

  • An interdisciplinary overview of cancer prevention and control. Emphasis on projects and activities from perspectives of epidemiology, health behavior and education, and health policy and management. Appropriate research design and methodologies are covered.



NUTR 600 – Human Metabolism: Macronutrients (3 credits)

  • Cell biochemistry and physiology emphasizing integration of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in whole-body metabolism; regulation of energy expenditure, food intake, metabolic adaptations, and gene expression; and macronutrient-related diseases (atherosclerosis, obesity).

NUTR 696 – Readings in Nutrition (1-9 credits)

  • Permission of the instructor. Reading and tutorial guidance in special areas of nutrition.

NUTR 810 – Physical Activity Epidemiology and Public Health (3 credits)

  • This course provides an overview of major issues in physical activity measurements, population distribution, correlates, impacts (physically and economically), and public health recommendations. Interventions, including relevant theories, will be reviewed. Three lecture hours per week.

NUTR 812 – Introduction to Obesity: From Cell to Society (3 credits)

  • Provides a broad survey of obesity research including measurement issues, biological, social, and economic etiologies, health and economic consequences, and prevention and treatment of obesity.

NUTR 813 – Nutritional Epidemiology (3 credits)

  • This course introduces basic methods of dietary assessment, reviews various topics in nutrition epidemiology, and teaches the skills needed for critical evaluation of the nutritional epidemiologic literature.

NUTR 814 – Obesity Epidemiology (3 credits)

  • Examines epidemiology research on the causes, consequences, and prevention of obesity. Emphasis on methodological issues pertinent to obesity research.


Health Behavior and Health Education Courses

HBEH 660 – Environmental and Science Journalism (3 credits)

  • Prepare students to work as environmental and science journalists. The course emphasizes writing skills in all delivery formats and interpreting environmental, science, and medical information for consumers. Honors version available.

HBEH 700 – Foundations of Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights (3 Credits)

  • This is a required course for masters’ students in the EQUITY concentration. The course will expose students to the broad context through which public health practitioners and researchers understand and address public health issues in regards to health equity, social justice and human rights. This course will provide students with an overview of the field, as well as an introduction to concepts and topics that are relevant across the MPH curriculum.

HBEH 772 – Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating Health Behavior Interventions (2 Credits)

  • Designed to provide practical tools that can be used in real world settings, this course will examine methods to plan health behavior interventions and determine if and how a particular health-related program works. Several major types of evaluation will be covered, with emphasis on process and impact evaluation. Restricted to Health Behavior MPH Concentration Students.

HBEH 795– E-Health (3 credits)

  • An overview of the positive and negative impacts of the Internet on public health. Covers research, evaluation sites, ethics, and use of theory that addresses key public health problems.


Human Biology

BIOL 445 – Cancer Biology (3 credits)

  • Selected examples will be used to illustrate how basic research allows us to understand the mechanistic basis of cancer and how these insights offer hope for new treatments.

BIOL 450 –Neurobiology (3 credits)

  • Recommended preparation, BIOL 205. Survey of neurobiological principles in vertebrates and invertebrates, including development, morphology, physiology, and molecular mechanisms. Three lectures a week.


Other courses per student’s goals & their academic advisor approval.