James Madison University

Graduate Program in Exercise Physiology

Admission to the Program

Applicants will be evaluated based on several criteria including: undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation. All of these application materials must be received prior to consideration for admission. Admission and assistantship application materials must be received by February 15 for full consideration.

For more information on graduate applications, please contact Dr. Nick Luden (ludennd@jmu.edu).


This 33- to 36-credit hour program leads to a Master of Science degree with a concentration in exercise physiology. Students in this program receive broad-based preparation in exercise physiology including required coursework in advanced exercise physiology topics, physiological testing, exercise prescription and research. Students may select either the thesis or non-thesis track and will have elective options in the areas of clinical exercise physiology, applied exercise physiology, nutrition, biology, and graduate psychology. This program is designed to prepare students to pursue a doctoral degree in a related field or to enter a variety of workplaces related to clinical, sport, research, fitness, or heath and wellness industries.

Curriculum Overview

The following core curriculum is required for all students:

  Core Requirements Credit Hours
KIN 541  Physical Activity Epidemiology 3
KIN 542  Exercise Across the Lifespan 3
KIN 644  Metabolic and Cardiorespiratory Exercise Physiology 3
KIN 645  Muscular and Hormonal Exercise Physiology 3
KIN 650  Exercise Testing, Evaluation, and Prescription 3
KIN 655  Research Techniques 3

Students are also required to complete one of the following tracks:

Thesis Track (required to compete 33 credits for graduation):

  • MATH 522. Statistics (3 credits)
  • KIN 700. Thesis (6 credits)

Non-Thesis Track (required to complete 36 credits for graduation):

  • KIN 681. Internship in Exercise Science OR
  • KIN 697. Directed Research in Kinesiology (3-9 credits)

Note: KIN 697 credits exceeding 3 credits can be counted towards elective requirements below. 

Students are also required to choose from the following electives (or others if approved by academic advisor): Thesis Track – 6 credits or Non-Thesis Track – 12 credits

  • KIN 547. Physiol. of Performance Enhancement in Endurance Sports
  • KIN 643. Environmental Exercise Physiology
  • KIN 540. Clinical Exercise Physiology I
  • KIN 640. Clinical Exercise Physiology II
  • NUTR 545. Nutrition and Exercise
  • NUTR 555. Theories and Practices of Weight Management
  • NUTR 582. Nutrition and Metabolism


Graduate Assistantship

Apply for a graduate assistantship

Graduate teaching assistantships provide students with valuable professional experiences. Depending on the assistantship assignment, responsibilities may include preparing and facilitating undergraduate laboratory experiences, facilitating physical activity, planning and implementing outreach programs, delivering short lectures, grading, and assisting with administrative tasks. Graduate assistants are required to perform 20 hours per week. View a list of possible assistantships.

All assistantships include a stipend intended to offset costs accrued during graduate school. University-wide stipend amounts for graduate teaching assistants are currently $4,642 per academic semester ($9,284/academic yr). Assistantships also include tuition waivers (full or partial).  

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