Earn your MS in Health and Human Physiology

The MS in Health and Human Physiology is designed to academically prepare students with a bachelor's degree for doctoral programs in the broad areas of health promotion and human physiology. Because this curriculum is designed to prepare students for a doctoral program, it is offered only as MS with thesis.

Health promotion is distinguished by its focus on physiological and behavioral processes as they interact with social and cultural forces to impact health.

Scholarship in this area advances the current understanding of physical activity behavior and health outcomes associated with this behavior through the evaluation of theories that predict behavior, the modeling of physical activity patterns associated with health outcomes, and the testing of interventions that promote physical activity and improve quality of life. Students with a special interest in health promotion may elect to focus on acquiring the analytical and research skills necessary to go on to doctoral programs.

Human physiology is the study of how the human body responds to external and internal stimuli, including physical exercise and stress, environmental conditions, aging, and disease.

Scholarship in this area requires in-depth knowledge in the natural sciences, including biology, chemistry, biochemistry, biomechanics, mathematics and statistics, physics, anatomy, biomechanics, neuroscience, and physiology. Students with a special interest in human physiology will acquire knowledge of the integrative functions of human organ systems and gain hands-on skills in experimental techniques in the areas of biomechanics and/or cardiovascular, skeletal muscle, pulmonary, sensorimotor and/or neurological physiology, and/or exercise physiology using human subjects, experimental animals, isolated tissues, or cell culture systems.

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 entering the MS in HHP with thesis must hold a BS/BA degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Basic knowledge in the areas of anatomy, physiology, and statistics are required. Therefore, courses in anatomy and physiology with laboratory sections, as well as coursework in statistics, are prerequisites for the MS in HHP with thesis. Typically, these prerequisites are met by a total of 8 semester hours of anatomy and physiology (3 semester hour lecture and 1semester laboratory component for anatomy and physiology, respectively) and a 3 semester hour introductory statistics course.

30 semester hours of graduate coursework, which includes a maximum of 4 semester hours of Thesis MS (HHP:7500).

One introductory statistics course, such as:

  • Introduction to Biostatistics (BIOS:4120), 3 semester hours
  • Basic Biostatistics & Experimental Design (PCOL:5204), 1 semester hour
  • Biostatistics (STAT:3510), 3 semester hours
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods (STAT:4143), 3 semester hours
  • Selected Applications of Statistics (PSQF:6242), 3 semester hours

One advanced statistics course, such as:

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

  • Advanced Research Methods and Ethics (HHP:6020), 3 semester hours

  • 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

  • Thesis MS (HHP:7500), 2 to 4 semester hours
    • Maximum of 4 semester hours

Elective courses serve to broaden the student’s knowledge in the general area of HHP and enhance the student’s knowledge in the special area of interest. Elective courses will be selected with guidance from the advisor/mentor.

Examples include:

  • Obesity: Causes/Conseq/Prevent/Treatment (HHP:3050), 3 semester hours    
  • Health Management and Administration (HHP:3430), 3 semester hours  
  • Behavioral & Clinical Health Assessment (HHP:4010), 3 semester hours  
  • Health Coaching (HHP:4020), 3 semester hours    
  • Sport and Exercise Nutrition (HHP:4310), 3 semester hours        
  • Nutrition Interventions (HHP:4320), 3 semester hours    
  • Planning/Evaluating Health Interventions (HHP:4420), 3 semester hours    
  • Physical Activity Epidemiology (HHP:5200), 3 semester hours    
  • Advanced Respiratory Pathophysiology (HHP:6260), 3 semester hours      
  • Advanced Skeletal Muscle Physiology (HHP:6130), 3 semester hours   
  • Advanced Clinical Exercise Physiology (HHP:6150), 3 semester hours   
  • Advanced Metabolic Exercise Testing and Prescription (HHP:6200), 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   
  • Pharmacology I: Drug’s Fantastic Journey (PCOL:3101), 3 semester hours  
  • Pharmacology II: Mechanisms of Drug Action (PCOL:3102), 3 semester hours 
  • Drug Mechanisms and Action (PCOL:4130), 3 semester hours  
  • Advanced Energy Metabolism in Health and Disease (HHP:6510), 3 semester hours   
  • Gross Human Anatomy for Graduate Student (ACB:5203), 5 semester hours
  • Graduate Physiology (MPB:5153), 4 semester hours
  • Biochemistry (BIOC:3110), 3 semester hours 
  • Biomedical Instrumentation & Measurement (PTRS:7812), 3 semester hours
  • Analysis of Activity Based Plasticity (PTRS:7875), 3 semester hours  
  • Nutrition Epidemiology (EPID:6350), 2 semester hours

Also available for semester hour credit.

  • Internship in Health Coaching (HHP:4365), 3 semester hours
  • Problems (HHP:5000), arranged
  • Research (HHP:6000), arranged

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