M.Ed. in Kinesiology - Exercise Physiology

Physical health and wellness is a complex subject, which means the study of exercise science combines facets of education, public health, nutrition, medicine, athletics and more. UVA's master's program in Kinesiology—Exercise Science will prepare you for a wide range of career options and a rewarding future promoting physical health.

“This program has opened my eyes to a whole new world of medical knowledge. The faculty, resources, and my peers have been beyond helpful to me through the PA school interview process.”

– Heather Stuck, M.Ed. Candidate, Kinesiology - Exercise Physiology

The master's degree in Exercise Physiology is a two-year program of study (typically one year for UVa undergraduates who complete the B.S.Ed. in Kinesiology). There are currently three specialization options:

  1. A specialization that prepares students for advanced graduate study in Exercise Physiology, Physical Activity Intervention, Exercise Science and potential academic/research careers
  2. A specialization that prepares students for clinically-oriented careers in fitness/exercise and health promotion, physical activity intervention, cardiac rehabilitation or strength training and conditioning
  3. A specialization that allows students to combine options 1 and 2

Program Life

Exercise scientists study the effects of exercise/physical activity on health, disease, and sport performance. They focus on the prescription of exercise and promotion of physical activity for healthy individuals, athletes, and/or clinical populations. The field of exercise physiology thus overlaps considerably with public health, epidemiology, nutrition, medicine, and athletics.

Our students take courses in metabolism, physiology, epidemiology and disease prevention. They learn to critique research as well as conduct it. They learn to administer exercise tests, read electrocardiograms, and counsel patients about lifestyle. They gain the knowledge and skills to work with healthy adults, athletes, clinical populations and children.

Career opportunities exist in health and fitness centers, sports programs, hospitals and other clinical settings, academic institutions, research laboratories, rehabilitation facilities and public health agencies. This course of study can lead to employment in community, corporate and university exercise programs, or cardiac rehabilitation, advanced study and research in the field of applied exercise physiology.

Students who graduate from this area of study will have:

  • A thorough knowledge of exercise and physiology with an emphasis on metabolism and cardio-respiratory function
  • An ability to provide competent leadership for exercise classes involving health and high risk patients
  • A thorough knowledge of, and practical experience, in procedures for exercise testing
  • An ability to analyze and interpret basic data obtained during exercise tests
  • A working knowledge of research design, research methods, and basic statistics

Program Details

  • Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

    The GRE is not required for applicants applying to begin in 2023. Due to test center closures related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic applicants may apply without submitting GRE scores.

    Consistent with the M.Ed. admissions criteria

    The M.Ed in Kinesiology--Exercise Physiology is open to:

    ·Students who have already obtained an undergraduate degree. The program is typically completed in 4 semesters.

    ·UVA students currently in the B.S.Ed. in Kinesiology program who choose to focus their course work and practical experience in Exercise Physiology can complete the master’s degree in one additional year. These students must be in good academic standing. Students should declare their interest in the master’s in Exercise Physiology by the end of their third year, since this determines the electives they take, and allows them to begin graduate course work in their 4th year at UVA. Those who qualify may apply for Direct Admission to the graduate program.

    Admissions Requirements
    Students must meet the admission standards outlined in the School of Education and Human Development's Admission Policies, which include a high standard of achievement during their undergraduate work (minimum of 3.0 GPA) and 2 outstanding recommendations. Note that recommendations should be solicited through the online application. Students are also required to submit one of the following:

    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores that are no more than 5 years old. GRE scores for MEd, MT, EdS students admitted for the 2014-15 academic year were at or above the 150 (verbal), 145 (quantitative), and 4.0 (analytical writing).
    • For applicants enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at UVA at the time of submission: SAT or ACT scores may be substituted for the GRE score. Applicants who had SAT or ACT scores sent to the university previously do not need to have them re-sent.

    Applicants may submit unofficial test scores and transcripts with their application. However, official transcripts showing degree conferral and official test scores are required prior to matriculation.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Application Due Date

    April 15th for the first review of applications. Applications will be accepted until July 1 on a space-available basis. Accepted students begin the program in August (fall semester). Decisions will be available 6 weeks after the deadline.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Degree Requirements

    To complete the M.Ed. in Kinesiology--Exercise Physiology, students must complete a minimum of 36 credits (beyond their undergraduate degree). UVA students who complete the B.S.Ed. in Kinesiology with more than 120 hours can count up to 6 approved graduate credits toward the M.Ed. degree. Required courses and suggested electives are described below in "course of study."

    In addition to the 36 credits, students must also either complete a master’s thesis under the direction of Arthur Weltman OR pass a comprehensive examination. Students who are not doing a thesis are expected to participate in additional practicum experiences beyond the EDHS 7431/7432 series.

  • Funding Opportunities

    Teaching LPA classes, graduate teaching assistantships, employment opportunities related to exercise/physical activity at local hospitals, health clubs, UVa intramurals, and research assistantships from externally-funded grants.

    Students may apply for federal financial aid, including work-study. Information about federal aid programs, including applying using the FAFSA, can be found through Student Financial Services. Additional financial aid information can be found on the School of Education and Human Development's Financial Aid webpage.

  • Typical Length of Study


    Semester of Entry:

    UVA students completing the 4 + 1 (undergraduate degree in Kinesiology, M.Ed in Exercise Physiology) have ongoing admission to the master’s program. Typically, they begin taking graduate level courses in the fall semester of their fourth year, as approved by Arthur Weltman. Graduate students entering from other institutions begin the master’s program in August (fall semester).

    Full or Part Time:

    Full Time. The MEd program can be completed on a part time basis with the permission of the Exercise Physiology Faculty

  • Course Overview

    Typical Master’s Curriculum


    Fall 1st Year       
    Recommended Courses

    KINE 5475             (1)          Seminar in Exercise Physiology
    KINE 5495             (3)          Human Physiology: Systems and Function
    KINE 5430             (3)          Advanced Exercise Physiology
    KINE 5450             (3)          Exercise Principles for Health, Fitness & Chronic Disease (Practicum)


    Spring 1st Year 
    Recommended Courses

    KINE 5440             (3)          Exercise Physiology Laboratory
    KINE 5432             (3)          Human Circulatory Physiology: Regulation & Adaptation
    KINE 5460             (3)          Clinical Exercise Testing, Evaluation and Prescription


    Fall 2nd Year     
    Recommended Courses

    KINE 8400             (1)          Seminar in Exercise Physiology
    KINE5485              (3)          Life Cycle Nutrition
    KINE 5480             (3)          Exercise Intervention in Disease


    Spring 2nd Year
    Recommended Courses

    KINE 8400             (1)          Comps Review Seminar (all non-thesis)
    KINE 5470             (3)          Metabolic Adaptations to Exercise


    Selected Electives (not all inclusive)

    KINE 5760             (3)          Principles of Strength and Conditioning
    KINE 6400             (3)          Changing Behavior to Improve Diet and Physical Activity
    EDHS 7230           (3)          Theories and Techniques of Counseling
    KINE7400              (3)          LIfeStyle Int & Comprehen Care in CardioPul Rehab
    KINE 7410             (3)          Principles and Practice of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
    KINE 8980             (3)          Practicum
    KINE 8998             (3)          Master's Research Internship
    KINE 8999             (3)          Master's Thesis Credit
    GNUR 6010           (4)          Advance Pathophysiology
    PHS 7000              (3)          Introduction to Biostatistics
    PHS 7001              (3)          Introduction to Biostatistics 2
    EDLF 5330            (3)          Quantitative Methods and Data Analysis I (Stats 1)
    EDLF 7420            (3)          Quantitative Methods II: General Linear Models (Stats 2)
    EDLF 8310            (3)          Generalized Linear Models (Stats 3)


    Note: The availability and schedule conflict of courses days and times or the recommendations of you academic may effect which specific classes should be taken to maximize the student experience.

    In addition, students may select to pursue a thesis or become involved in internship opportunities through medical facility partners (clinical track) and the university athletics program (athletic training track).

  • Sample Jobs After Graduation

    Worksite/community based wellness and health promotion, hospital based fitness and cardiac rehabilitation programs, clinical research, personal training, strength and conditioning, physical activity/health promotion in local or county health departments, university fitness programs.

    The M.Ed in Kinesiology--Exercise Physiology can prepare graduates for admission to PhD, MD, PA, or RD programs.

  • Public Professional Licensure Disclosures

    As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).

    Upon completion of the M.Ed. in Kinesiology - Exercise Physiology program at the UVA School of Education and Human Development, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state. Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

    Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.