Earn your PhD in Health and Human Physiology

The PhD program in HHP is based on the concept that the successful candidate should have:

  • A basic general knowledge of all areas related to health promotion and human physiology
  • A strong working knowledge of the research techniques that may appropriately be applied to problems in health promotion and human physiology
  • An in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge in at least one specialized area in the fields of health promotion and/or human physiology

By closely working together with an individual mentor, PhD students will also obtain training in the general areas of grantsmanship, oral and written communication of scientific research data in the form of journal articles and presentations at scientific conferences, and teaching.

Thus, the PhD program in HHP will prepare students for a successful career in academic and non-academic settings.

Interested in pairing research with your studies?

The Department of HHP is looking for new MS (thesis) and PhD students for research positions. Our outstanding faculty conducts a wide range of innovative research in health promotion, human physiology, and therapeutic recreation. Learn more.

Requirements and program planning

Students seeking admission to the PhD in HHP must hold a BS or BA degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Also, courses in anatomy and physiology with laboratory sections, as well as coursework in statistics, are prerequisites. Typically, these prerequisites are met by a total of 8 semester hours of anatomy and physiology (3 semester hours lecture and 1 semester hour laboratory component for anatomy and physiology, respectively) and a 3 semester hour introductory statistics course.

72 semester hours of graduate coursework, which includes all research-related coursework

One introductory statistics course, such as:

  • Introduction to Biostatistics (BIOS:4120), 3 semester hours
  • Selected Applications of Statistics (PSQF:6242), 3 semester hours
  • Biostatistics (STAT:3510), 3 semester hours
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods (STAT:4143), 3 semester hours
  • Selected Applications of Statistics (PSQF:6242), 3 semester hours

Two advanced statistics courses, such as:

  • Regression and ANOVA in Health Sciences (BIOS:5120), 3 semester hours             
  • Intermediate Statistical Methods (STAT:6513), 4 semester hours    

All of these:

  • Research (HHP:6000), minimum of 10 semester hours over several semesters
  • Advanced Research Methods and Ethics (HHP:6020), 3 semester hours
  • Thesis PhD (HHP:7900), minimum of 12 semester hours over several semesters

Four enrollments at 1 semester hour each.

  • Integrative Physiology Seminar (HHP:6400), 1 semester hour
  • Seminar in Motor Control (HHP:6300), 1 semester hour
  • Seminar in Health Promotion (HHP:6500), 1 semester hour
  • Practicum in College Teaching (HHP:7000), 2 semester hours
    • Only required for students who are not serving as a teaching assistant

Elective courses are used to enhance a student’s knowledge in a special area of interest and to broaden the student’s knowledge in the general area of HHP. Elective courses will be selected in consultation with the academic advisor/mentor.

Examples of elective courses include:

  • Neurobiology (BIOL:3253), 4 semester hours
  • Immuniology in Health and Disease (HHP:3450), 3 semester hours
  • Health Coaching (HHP:4020), 3 semester hours
  • Nutrition Interventions (HHP:4320), 3 semester hours
  • Practicum in Health Coaching (HHP:4365), 3 semester hours
  • Understanding Human Disease (HHP:4390), 3 semester hours
  • Planning and Evaluating Health Interventions (HHP:4420), 3 semester hours
  • Genetic Basis of Disease (HHP:4450), 3 semester hours
  • Physical Activity Epidemiology (HHP:5200), 3 semester hours
  • Physical Activity and Dietary Behavior Change (HHP:6030), 3 semester hours
  • Advanced Topics in Obesity (HHP:6050), 3 semester hours
  • Advanced Skeletal Muscle Physiology (HHP:6130), 3 semester hours
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology (HHP:6150), 3 semester hours
  • Advanced Metabolic Exercise Testing and Prescription (HHP:6200), 4 semester hours
  • Advanced Respiratory Pathophysiology (HHP:6260), 3 semester hours
  • Advanced Sport and Exercise Nutrition (HHP:6310), 3 semester hours
  • Advanced Exercise Physiology (HHP:6410), 3 semester hours
  • Advanced Cardiovascular Physiology (HHP:6460), 3 semester hours
  • Advanced Physiology of Aging (HHP:6470), 3 semester hours
  • Advanced Energetics in Health and Disease (HHP:6510), 3 semester hours
  • Advanced Neural Control of Posture and Movement (HHP:7300), 3 semester hours
  • Gross Human Anatomy for Graduate Students (ACB:5203), 6 semester hours
  • Biochemistry (BIOC:3110), 3 semester hours
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I (BIOC:3120), 3 semester hours
  • Biochemistry and Molectular Biology II (BIOC:3130), 3 semester hours
  • Epidemiology I: Principles (EPID:4400), 3 semester hours
  • Statistical Methods in Epidemiology (EPID:5241), 4 semester hours
  • Grant Writing for Clinical Interventions (EPID:6110), 3 semester hours
  • Nutritional Epidemiology (EPID:6350), 2 semester hours
  • Epidemiology II: Advanced Methods (EPID:6400), 4 semester hours
  • Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases (EPID:6600), 3 semester hours
  • Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine (FRRB:7000), 4 semester hours
  • Pathogenesis of Metabolic/Cardiovascular Disorders (MMED:6230), 3 semester hours
  • Graduate Physiology (MPB:5153), 4 semester hours
  • Neurophysiology (NSCI:4353/BIOL:4353), 3 to 4 semester hours
  • Neurobiology of Disease (NSCI:7235), 3 semester hours
  • Occupational Ergonomics: Principles (OEH:4310), 3 semester hours
  • Occupational Ergonomics: Applications (OEH:6310), 3 semester hours
  • Pharmacology I: A Drug's Fantastic Journey (PCOL:3101), 3 semester hours
  • Pharmacology II: Mechanisms of Drug Action (PCOL:3102), 3 semester hours
  • Drugs Mechanisms and Action (PCOL:4130), 3 semester hours
  • Kinesiology and Pathomechanics (PTRS:5210), 4 semester hours
  • Activity-Based Neural and Musculoskeletal Plasticity in Health Care (PTRS:6224), 4 semester hours
  • Biomedical Instrumentation and Measurement (PTRS:7812), 3 semester hours
  • Analysis of Activity-Based Neural and Musculoskeletal Plasticity (PTRS:7875), 3 semester hours

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