The Exercise Physiology major provides an academic program of liberal arts and basic sciences for the student interested in exercise physiology, fitness and health/wellness. The sequenced curriculum seeks to develop a graduate with the skills and academic background to pursue a career in the rapidly growing health and fitness industry. In addition, students are well prepared to pursue graduate work or professional education in a variety of areas including physical therapy, sports medicine, occupational therapy, medical school, etc. Incoming freshman admitted to the Direct Admit Physical Therapy program and those applicants accepted to the physical therapy program in their junior year will follow a course sequence that allows them to begin the doctorate in physical therapy (D.P.T.) in their senior year.

Degree Offered

Marquette University confers the degree bachelor of science with a major in exercise physiology on those students who have satisfactorily completed the required curricula.


For successfully meeting established criteria, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) officially recognizes Marquette University's Education Program in Strength and Conditioning through January 2020.

The exercise physiology Program in the Department of Physical Therapy at Marquette University in Wisconsin is the fourth academic institution in the United States to be recognized as an accredited academic program of study for exercise physiology by the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP). A ten-year accreditation was awarded from ASEP through September 2022.

Academic Performance

The Program in Exercise Science established the following policies with regard to grades, the use of the Substitute Repeat Option and the useful lifetime of courses:

Candidates for a degree must earn at least the minimum number of credits listed in their curriculum and a minimum GPA of 2.600. All students must comply with the College of Health Sciences graduation requirements. All students must meet a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.400 after freshman year, and a 2.600 after sophomore year and beyond. A student should understand that a grade point average of 3.000 or better is required for admission consideration by most graduate programs. A student must earn a C or better in all major courses. Major courses completed with a CD or D count toward the total credit hour degree requirements, but do not fulfill major requirements and must be repeated prior to advancing in course sequence.

Limit on the use of substitute repeat option

Since the institution of the punitive F in May 1991, the university has implemented the use of the substitute repeat option whereby the new repeated course grade will be used in the computation of the GPA and the student will receive degree credit only once. The Program in Exercise Science endorses the use of the substitute repeat option as a means to improve a student's GPA but limits its use to a maximum of five instances.

In addition to the above, the program expects its students to adhere to standards of conduct and professionalism. Professional behavior is vital to the success of every health care provider. Violations and/or major deficiencies may prevent students from receiving clinical assignments, may be grounds for dismissal from the major, or other penalties.


Final examinations are held in all subjects. A student's grade of scholarship in each subject is determined by the combined results of his or her class work, course assignments, and examinations as defined in the course syllabus. A student who misses a final examination in an EXPH or other course risks the loss of credit and the possibility of not being able to enroll in subsequent EXPH courses. Any student that misses a final exam in any course must file a written excuse with the College of Health Sciences office within 48 hours of the examination. Should the excuse be deemed valid, permission may be given for a delayed examination.

Certification in Basic Life Support

Certification in basic life support that includes child, infant, and both one- and two-person adult CPR along with AED (automatic external defibrillation) training is required of all students. Certification may be obtained following successful completion of EXPH 1010. Continued certification must be maintained by and is the responsibility of the student. Students without current CPR with AED certification cannot participate in their clinical experience which may result in the failure of that experience and may delay graduation.

Health Insurance/Health Certification

All students prior to clinical/practical experiences must present evidence of health insurance before clinical/internship assignment can be made. A chest X-ray, vaccinations, and TB screening may be required prior to clinical assignment as dictated by the specific site. Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended.

Exercise Physiology and Doctor of Physical Therapy

A curriculum has been developed to accommodate prerequisites for entrance into the D.P.T. while meeting the required course work for EXPH. Students that are either direct admit students or intend on applying to the D.P.T. program must meet with a physical therapy adviser as soon as possible to discuss programmatic differences that are required to meet the standards.

Students must be aware that several courses in the D.P.T. curriculum are required to complete the EXPH major, resulting in a delay in conferring the degree. Students can participate in the May Commencement ceremonies following completion of the DPT4 year, however, diplomas will not be granted until December, after successful completion of the DPT5 Fall semester.

A minimum of 128 credit hours are required for the degree including the following requirements areas:

Area Credit Hours
UCCS Requirements34-37
Required Cognates14
Major (includes three credits of advanced EXPH electives)67
General Electivesto achieve 128 total credits

UCCS Curriculum Requirements for EXPH

Refer to the University Core of Common Studies (UCCS) for courses that will meet requirements, if not specified below.  The university allows for one dual application course towards fulfillment of two UCCS knowledge areas.  Students who complete a dual application course will complete 34 UCCS credits (instead of the typical 37 credits) and will need to complete additional general elective credits to achieve the 128 credits required for the degree.

UCCS Rhetoric (R)6
Rhetoric and Composition 1
Rhetoric and Composition 2
Contemporary Presentation
UCCS Mathematics and Reasoning (MR) - One of the following:3
Modern Elementary Statistics
Psychological Measurements and Statistics
Social Statistics
UCCS Individual and Social Behavior (ISB) 3
General Psychology
UCCS Diverse Cultures (DC) 3
Any approved UCCS DC course
UCCS Literature and Performing Arts (LPA) 3
Any UCCS LPA approved course
UCCS Histories of Cultures and Societies (HCS) 3
Any UCCS HCS approved course
UCCS Science and Nature (SN)3
General Biology 1
UCCS Human Nature and Ethics (HNE) 7
Philosophy of Human Nature
Theory of Ethics
Applied Ethics for the Health Sciences (or PHIL 4335 or THEO 4450, three credits each)
UCCS Theology (T) 6
Introduction to Theology
One additional UCCS (T) approved class

Required Cognate courses for EXPH

All students are required to complete:

BIOL 1001General Biology 1 (also fulfills UCCS SN requirement - see above)3
BIOL 1002General Biology 23
CHEM 1001General Chemistry 14
CHEM 1002General Chemistry 24

Exercise Physiology Major

The following major course requirements and EXPH major electives must be completed with a C grade or better (see the Academic Performance section).  Major course requirements completed with a CD or less must be repeated prior to advancing in the course sequence for the sophomore and junior years.

Major Course Requirements

EXPH 1001Introduction to Exercise Science2
EXPH 1010Emergency Care, CPR and AED2
BISC 2015Anatomy and Physiology for the Health Sciences 13
BISC 2016Anatomy and Physiology for the Health Sciences 23
EXPH 2106Cognitive and Motor Learning3
EXPH 2110Kinesiology/Biomechanics4
EXPH 2115Exercise Physiology and Bioenergetics5
EXPH 2190Scientific Principles of Strength and Conditioning3
EXPH 3100Exercise Leadership3
EXPH 3170Administration in Exercise Science (PHTH 7513 for students admitted to DPT program)3
EXPH 3180Exercise Testing, Prescription and EKG4
EXPH 3189Nutrition and Exercise Performance4
EXPH 3986Exercise Physiology Practicum 12
EXPH 4187Exercise Physiology for Special Populations (PHTH 7515 for students admitted to DPT program)3
EXPH 4192Advanced Exercise Physiology (PHTH 7518 for students admitted to DPT program)3
EXPH 4195Advanced Exercise Physiology Laboratory (PHTH 7518 for DPT students)1
EXPH 4986Exercise Physiology Practicum 2 (PHTH 7503/7504/7986 for students admitted to DPT program)16
Additional EXPH advanced electives from the list below.3
Total Credit Hours67

EXPH Major Elective Courses (3 credits required): Additional courses selected from the following list:

EXPH 2931Topics in Exercise Physiology1-4
EXPH 3010Cardio Dance1
EXPH 3020Core Stabilization1
EXPH 3030Introduction to Research in Biomechanics2
EXPH 3040Yoga1
EXPH 3050Latin Dance Aerobics1
EXPH 3060Kickboxing F.I.T.1
EXPH 3070Latin Dance Aerobics + Toning1
EXPH 3080Tai Chi1
EXPH 3090Environmental Physiology 2
PHTH 1001Introduction to Physical Therapy and Medical Terminology (for Direct-Admit PT students)1

Curricula have also been developed for those students interested in using Exercise Physiology as a pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary or pre-graduate school degree. Students are required to meet with an adviser to discuss programmatic differences based upon their unique circumstances.

Typical Program for Exercise Physiology Major

First TermHoursSecond TermHours
ENGL 1001 (R)3ENGL 1002 or COMM 1100 (R)3
CHEM 10014CHEM 10024
EXPH 10102BISC 20153
EXPH 10012BISC 20163
BIOL 10013Elective3
 17 16
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
EXPH 21155PHIL 23103
PSYC 1001 (ISB)3EXPH 21903
PHIL 1001 (HNE)3EXPH 21104
THEO 1001 (T)3Statistics (MR)3
 17 16
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
EXPH 31003EXPH 31804
EXPH 39862EXPH elective3
EXPH 31894EXPH 21063
Electives6UCCS (DC)3
 UCCS (T)3
 15 16
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
EXPH 31703EXPH 4986 EXPH Practicum 216
EXPH 41873 
EXPH 41923 
EXPH 41951 
PHIL 43361 
 15 16
Total credit hours: 128

Note: Major courses (BISC 2015/2016 and all EXPH courses listed in the curriculum) completed with a CD or less must be repeated prior to advancing in the course sequence for the sophomore and junior years.

Typical Program for Exercise Physiology Major - Direct Admit DPT

This curriculum has been developed to accommodate the prerequisites for entrance into the DPT while meeting the required course work for the exercise physiology major. Students that are either direct admit DPT students or intend on applying to the DPT program must meet with an adviser as soon as possible to discuss programmatic differences that are required to meet entrance standards.

First TermHoursSecond TermHours 
ENGL 1001 (R)3ENGL 1002 or COMM 1100 (R)3 
CHEM 10014CHEM 10024 
EXPH 10012BISC 20153 
EXPH 10102BISC 20163 
BIOL 1001 (SN)3PHTH 10011 
 PSYC 10013 
 14 17
First TermHoursSecond TermHours 
EXPH 21155PHIL 2310 (HNE)3 
PHIL 1001 (HNE)3EXPH 21903 
THEO 1001 (T)3EXPH 21104 
PSYC cognate for DPT*3Statistics (MR)3 
UCCS (HCS)3BIOL 10023 
 17 16
First TermHoursSecond TermHours 
EXPH 31003EXPH 31804 
EXPH 31894EXPH elective2 
EXPH 39862EXPH 21063 
UCCS (LPA)3PHYS 10024 
PHYS 10014UCCS (T)3 
PHIL 43361  
 17 16
First TermHoursSecond TermHoursSummer TermHours
BIOL 3701**4BISC 41203DPT Curriculum 
BISC 71305BISC 31503 
PHTH 7503 (for EXPH 4986)3PHTH 7504 (for EXPH 4986)2 
PHTH 7512 (DC)3PHTH 75282 
PHTH 7513 (for EXPH 3170)3PHTH 7515 (for EXPH 4187)2 
 PHTH 7516 (for EXPH 4187)2 
 PHTH 75253 
 18 17 0
First TermHours  
PHTH 7518 (for EXPH 4192/4195)3  
PHTH 7986 (for EXPH 4986)4  
DPT Curriculum   
Total credit hours: 139

The DPT program prerequisites include a second PSYC course in either developmental or abnormal psychology.  Possible MU courses include PSYC 3101, 3120 or 3401.  Other courses require approval of the DPT program. 


Or BISC 4145 Human Physiology(offered Spring term only)


Students enrolled in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program follow the curricula as established by the Physical Therapy Department. The curriculum includes courses in the fourth and fifth year of the DPT program that substitute for required EXPH major courses (listed in parenthesis). Students participate in the May Commencement ceremony with their class, however, diplomas and official transcripts are not granted until satisfactory completion of the fall semester in the DPT5 year.  All courses completed prior to awarding of B.S. degree are counted towards undergraduate GPA and determination of academic honors.

Typical Program for Exercise Physiology Majors - CTRH Accelerated Degree Program (M.S. Thesis and Non-thesis Options)

First TermHoursSecond TermHours
BIOL 10013CHEM 10024
CHEM 10014ENGL 1002 or COMM 11003
ENGL 10013UCCS (DC)3
EXPH 10012BISC 20153
EXPH 10102BISC 20163
 17 16
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
EXPH 21155BIOL 10023
PHIL 10013EXPH 21104
PSYC 10013EXPH 21903
THEO 10013Statistics (MR)3
 17 16
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
EXPH 31003EXPH 21063
EXPH 31894EXPH 31804
EXPH 39862EXPH elective3
PHYS 10014UCCS (T)3
 16 16
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
EXPH 31703EXPH 49868
EXPH 41873PHIL 43361
EXPH 51923BISC 5145*4
EXPH 51951CTRH Curriculum TBD3
BISC 5135*4 
CTRH Curriculum TBD0-1 
 14-15 16
Total credit hours: 128-129

Maximum 12 credits of graduate courses taken in senior year can apply toward the CTRH graduate program.  In addition, BISC 5135 and BISC 5145 fulfill 8 cr. towards EXPH major requirements (in place of 8 cr. EXPH 4986) and must be completed with a C or better.  CTRH requirements completed in senior year will apply towards the 128 total credits for B.S. degree.


EXPH 1001. Introduction to Exercise Science. 2 cr. hrs.

Exposure to the fields of exercise science. Current topics of interest including certification requirements and professional development. Prereq: ATTR major; or EXPH major; or cons. of instr.

EXPH 1010. Emergency Care, CPR and AED. 2 cr. hrs.

Lecture/lab. An overview of principles and techniques of first aid, emergency care and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Competency in skills leads to American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR and first aid certification. Prereq: EXPH major; or ATTR major; or cons. of instr.

EXPH 1050. Surface Anatomy and Palpation. 1 cr. hr.

Laboratory course designed to define and analyze the forces influencing movements, describe body planes and axes, and identify anatomical structures (muscles and joints) through palpation. Prereq: EXPH Major; or ATTR Major; or cons. of instr.; anatomy and physiology or concurrent with anatomy and physiology.

EXPH 2106. Cognitive and Motor Learning. 3 cr. hrs.

Lecture/lab. A study of the principles of human motor learning development from infancy through adulthood. Instructional emphasis is given to those factors which have implications for exercise and training. Prereq: EXPH major; ATTR major; or cons. of instr.

EXPH 2110. Kinesiology/Biomechanics. 4 cr. hrs.

Lecture/lab. Study of human motion emphasizing skeletal structure. Mechanical principles which influence human exercise are examined. Identification of the origin, insertion and function of major muscles is included along with surface anatomy. Prereq: EXPH 2115, BISC 2015 and BISC 2016 must be completed with a grade of C or better prior to enrolling in this course.

EXPH 2115. Exercise Physiology and Bioenergetics. 5 cr. hrs.

Lecture/lab. Protein, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in relation to energy production including anaerobic and oxidative pathways with an emphasis on exercise and health. A study of the effects of exercise on the major systems of the human body, including the cardiorespiratory and neuromuscular systems. Prereq: BISC 2015, BISC 2016, CHEM 1001; and CHEM 1002 which may be taken concurrently, ATTR major; EXPH major; or cons. of dept. ch.

EXPH 2190. Scientific Principles of Strength and Conditioning. 3 cr. hrs.

Lecture/lab. This course reviews the research and applications of disciplines such as physiology and biomechanics. Specific topics include program design, exercise techniques, strength, power, speed and flexibility development, physical testing, and training adaptations. Prereq: EXPH 2115.

EXPH 2931. Topics in Exercise Physiology. 1-4 cr. hrs.

Selected topics, not a part of the regular course work taught because of a special need, interest, or opportunity. Prereq: Jr. stndg. and EXPH major; or Jr. stndg. and ATTR major; or cons. of instr.

EXPH 3010. Cardio Dance. 1 cr. hr.

Provides students with a new method for teaching cardiovascular fitness in a clinical/exercise setting. Utilizing the principles and techniques learned throughout the semestser, students will be required to develop a instruct a cardio dance fitness session. Prereq: ATTR or EXPH major.

EXPH 3020. Core Stabilization. 1 cr. hr.

Core Stabilization will introduce the students to the anatomy and function of the human body core musculature. Students will learn an evidence based approach to develop an integrated exercise plan to strengthen and stabilize the core. Students will be able to integrate this knowledge into an appropriate treatment plan for a variety of special populations. Exercise modalities such as the physioball, foam roll, body blade, theraband, and Pilates will be learned. Prereq: ATTR or EXPH major.

EXPH 3030. Introduction to Research in Biomechanics. 2 cr. hrs.

Exposes students to a wide variety of biomechanical research methods that are used to study human movement. Students will be exposed to these methods through inquiry-based learning projects. In addition, general experiences related to the collection, analysis, and presentation of scientific data will be emphasized. Prereq: ATTR or EXPH major.

EXPH 3040. Yoga. 1 cr. hr.

Provides students with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the practice and benefits of yoga. Philosophy and history as well as traditional and modern aspects of yoga will be covered. Various class styles will be presented and explored. Prereq: ATTR or EXPH major.

EXPH 3050. Latin Dance Aerobics. 1 cr. hr.

Introduces students to basic and advanced Latin dance steps choreographed to appropriate music. Students learn proper class format and structure to lead a safe and fun Latin Dance Aerobics class, including non-verbal cues, and appropriate modifications. Prereq: ATTR or EXPH major.

EXPH 3060. Kickboxing F.I.T.. 1 cr. hr.

Students will learn proper class format, safety, technique and structure to develop and lead safe and effective kickboxing training routines. Prereq: ATTR or EXPH major.

EXPH 3070. Latin Dance Aerobics + Toning. 1 cr. hr.

Introduces students to basic and advanced Latin dance steps choreographed to appropriate music. Students learn proper class format and structure to lead a safe and fun Latin Dance Toning class, including proper cues, exercises, and appropriate modifications. Prereq: ATTR or EXPH major.

EXPH 3080. Tai Chi. 1 cr. hr.

Students learn the “Fifteen Important Transitions” (F.I.T.) of Tai Chi F.I.T. and adjunct exercises (qigong) for their utilization in a variety of clinical settings. Throughout this course, participants learn the principles and practice the postures of Tai Chi F.I.T., along with qigong exercises, to develop and lead safe and effective Tai Chi F.I.T. programs to improve an individual’s physical strength, posture and alignment, balance, motor recruitment strategies, and proprioception. Prereq: ATTR or EXPH major.

EXPH 3090. Environmental Physiology. 2 cr. hrs.

Systems based physiological responses and adaptations to acute and chronic environmental stress. Considerations will be given to rest and exercise conditions. Depending on class interest, topics could include: Spaceflight and microgravity, hyperbaric environments, hypoxia, high altitude, heat, cold, as well as exercise under extreme conditions such as expeditionary climbing. Application to chronic disease will be emphasized throughout the course. Prereq: ATTR or EXPH major.

EXPH 3100. Exercise Leadership. 3 cr. hrs.

Lecture/lab. A study of the necessary leadership qualities and skills expected for leading exercise activities. Will develop expertise in the instruction of a wide variety of fitness related programs. Prereq: EXPH 2110 and EXPH 2115; and a course in anatomy and physiology.

EXPH 3170. Administration in Exercise Science. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of the strategies and considerations involved in the successful management of a fitness facility. Areas include program planning, budgeting, facility design and organization. Prereq: EXPH major; ATTR major; or cons. of instr.

EXPH 3180. Exercise Testing, Prescription and EKG. 4 cr. hrs.

Lecture/lab. Practical experience in fitness testing/assessment, program design and instruction in a wide variety of fitness related programs. Emphasis on test protocols for evaluating health related components of physical fitness. Prereq: EXPH 2115.

EXPH 3189. Nutrition and Exercise Performance. 4 cr. hrs.

Lecture. A study of the basic nutritional concepts, principles and current issues. Emphasis on nutrition for training and conditioning related to health and wellness, including ergogenic aids. Prereq: EXPH 2115.

EXPH 3986. Exercise Physiology Practicum 1. 2 cr. hrs.

Work experience in approved fitness-related agencies. Experience may include fitness testing, evaluation, exercise prescription, instruction, leadership or management in different settings. May be dependent on space. Current CPR and First Aid certifications. S/U grade assessment. Prereq: Jr. stndg., EXPH major, EXPH 3100, which may be taken concurrently, EXPH 1010, EXPH 2110, EXPH 2115 and EXPH 2190, which may be taken concurrently.

EXPH 4010. Obesity - A Comprehensive Approach. 2 cr. hrs.

Explores obesity as a disease process using a multi-focal approach. Students will examine mental, physical, and social facets of obesity as well as approaches to treat and prevent it. For EXSC/ATTR students, application of classroom material will occur via service learning at a variety of sites in MPS and other facilities throughout Milwaukee, WI. Prereq: ATTR or EXPH major.

EXPH 4187. Exercise Physiology for Special Populations. 3 cr. hrs.

Lecture. A study of program modifications and techniques for various populations; which may include for example exercise prescription throughout the life span. Prereq: EXPH 2115 and EXPH 3180, or cons. of dept. ch.

EXPH 4190. Advanced Strength & Conditioning. 3 cr. hrs.

Covers advanced strength and conditioning topics including: plyometrics, speed and agility development, testing, program design, linear and non-linear periodication and potentiation phenomenon. Prereq: EXPH 2115, EXPH 2190 and cons. of instr.

EXPH 4192. Advanced Exercise Physiology. 3 cr. hrs.

Advanced course in the study of the body's response to physical activity. Focus is on standard techniques utilized in exercise physiology research. Prereq: Sr. stndg., EXPH major or ATTR major, EXPH 2115, EXPH 3180, and anatomy and physiology; or cons. of instr.

EXPH 4195. Advanced Exercise Physiology Laboratory. 1 cr. hr.

Presents advanced techniques used in exercise physiology to study the human body’s response and adaptations to exercise. Focuses on laboratory techniques and skills that are standard, but cutting edge in exercise physiology research and form the basis of knowledge in exercise physiology. Laboratory techniques include those used to study and quantify neuromuscular function, metabolic responses and cardiovascular adjustments to acute and chronic exercise. Students gain practical experience in the scientific process and come to understand and perform these techniques. Prereq: Sr. stndng, EXPH Major, EXPH 2115, and anatomy and physiology (BISC 2015 and BISC 2016); or cons. of instr.

EXPH 4956. Distinguished Scholar in EXPH Research. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Review and application of research related to exercise physiology under the direction of a faculty adviser. Students participate in various aspects of the research process which may include literature review, design/proposal, data collection, analysis/interpretation, and dissemination of results.

EXPH 4960. Distinguished Scholar in EXPH Seminar. 0-3 cr. hrs.

Scholarly presentations by visiting faculty and clinicians, resident faculty and graduate students on current topics related to exercise physiology. 0 cr. graded SNC/UNC, 1-3 cr. graded S/U.

EXPH 4986. Exercise Physiology Practicum 2. 7-16 cr. hrs.

Work experience in approved fitness-related agencies. Experience may include fitness testing, evaluation, exercise prescription, instruction. Leadership or management in different settings. May be dependent on space. S/U grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of program dir., Sr. stndg, EXPH major, current CPR and First Aid certifications and satisfactory completion of all EXPH major course work with a grade of C or better.

EXPH 4995. Independent Study in Exercise Physiology. 1-4 cr. hrs.

Independent study under the direction of faculty. Prereq: Cons. of instr.