PhD in Kinesiology

Exercise Physiology

The PhD specialization in exercise physiology is a broad, theory-based program with an emphasis on the physiological responses to acute exercise and the adaptations that occur with training that will prepare students for teaching and research careers in exercise physiology in universities, industry, the military, and research institutes. Students, along with the faculty, conduct research that examines the relationship between the histochemical and mechanical properties of skeletal muscle, the role of exercise on mitochondrial function and mitochondrial DNA damage, and the relationship between exercise, inflammatory proteins, and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, focus is given to applied programs that include the influence of ergogenic aids on muscle function and athletic performance, the acute and chronic responses of the cardiorespiratory systems to exercise, the influence of exercise on substrate utilization, and the molecular/biochemical role of exercise in the prevention of chronic disease. 

Admission Requirements

Recommended Prerequisites (must have a grade of B or better): Undergraduate Exercise Physiology, Biological Sciences (12 semester hours, graduate and/or undergraduate), General Chemistry, Physics. 

Course Requirements

Seventy-five credit hours at the graduate level must be earned including a maximum of 12 credit hours for the dissertation. The curricular requirements include: 

  • at least 27 credit hours at the 7000 level or above, exclusive of any type of independent study
  • 15 credit hours in Exercise Physiology selected from:
    KIN 7503, 7530, 7533, 7535, 7537, 7550, 7536
  • a minimum core requirement of 12 credit hours in research design, methodology, and analysis (KIN 7900, EXST 7003, EXST 7013 or equivalents, and one research course specific Exercise Physiology, e.g. KIN 7539)
  • minimum of 12 credit hours in an area of specialization outside of Exercise Physiology. (This can be a specified LSU graduate minor.)

Other Requirements

Each PhD student must complete a milestone examination within two years of admission to the School of Kinesiology. This examination serves as the student’s qualifying exam for continuing in the PhD program. The exam consists of carrying out a research project that must be approved by the student’s program of study committee. At or near the end of the completion of a PhD student's required coursework, the student should schedule the general examination. The general examination consists of two parts: one written, the other oral. The written portion consists of writing a comprehensive review paper in which the student must demonstrate mastery of content knowledge in their chosen specialization, the ability to synthesize and critically evaluate current literature, and the ability to formulate research questions and/or hypotheses. The oral portion is typically a defense of the review paper, although the oral examination need not be limited to topics related to the paper.

Upon successful completion of the general examination, the PhD candidate moves forward with the dissertation to demonstrate the ability to design and conduct independent and original research. The student is expected to complete 2-3 research projects before presenting a final research project as the dissertation proposal. The final examination will be an oral examination primarily concerned with the final project dissertation, although the committee may opt to extend the subject matter.



Contact Us

Dr. Neil Johannsen
Phone: 225-578-5314



Program Area Faculty