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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology

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Exericse Science Events, Internships, and News

The M.S. degree in exercise physiology trains graduate students on the latest science of performance testing and exercise prescription for a wide range of populations. Students and faculty from out laboratory present and publish routinely on the topics in exercise assessment and prescription. We believe tomorrow's exercise physiologist also requires skills in modifying a person's exercise behavior, particularly patient populations with or at risk for preventable diseases. Our students often complete a research manuscript, internship, or both as their capstone project. These experiences make students prepared for PhD programs as well as careers in strength and conditioning, coaching, worksite wellness, hospital based exercise prescription, and many more.  

 M.S. Application Requirements and Submission Process 

The M.S. in Exercise Physiology program is a two year cohort program, meaning all students start in the Fall and follow the course sequence with their classmates. All required application materials must be received by February 1st for full consideration. Students applying to the program should have or be eligible to complete a bachelor degree by August of the application year. Candidates should have a major in athletic training, exercise science, sport science, kinesiology, or closely related field. Minimum coursework for acceptance includes basic statistics, physiology of exercise, and a course in nutrition.

Application Materials: When you apply using the link below, you will need to submit a resume, a letter of interest, and three letters of reccomendation. 

GPA: Our program does not have a specified minimum GPA, however a cumulative GPA of 3.0 is typically necessary to compete for a spot.

GRE: We do not require the GRE. 

Application Process - All application materials are submitted online via the University's website for admission to graduate studies. *Note that this program only offers a Fall start date. 

Apply to the College of Graduate Studies and Research and the Exercise Physiology Program:

Prospective and Current Students

Students will gain experience in the Viola Holdbrook Human Performance Laboratory during courses and research. Equipment and assessment tools include Bod Pod, BIA, force plates, hydrostatic weighing, metabolic carts, Vitolograph, Computrainer, Monarchs, lode ergometers, ActiGraph accelerometers, electromyography, hydrotrack, Force treadmill, BioPac, and lactate and cholesterol analyzers.,

MSU Mankato prides itself on providing meaningful and practical education while maintaining affordability. To learn more about tuition costs, please visit MSU Graduate Financial Services 

Our students often receive assistanthips within our department as well as other departments across the university. Explore [PDF] assistantship opportunities and other financial aid resources (63 KiB) to learn more. 

Application for Graduate Assistant in Exercise Physiology

The application for Fall 2018 Graduate Assistant positions will be posted here as soon as it is approved by the University. 

GA for Exericse Physiology has been filled. 

Explore the [PDF] Career Paths of Our Recent Graduates (158 KiB).



Program Outline and Course Sequence (revised for Fall 2018) 

The Exercise Physiology graduate program follows a cohort design, with about 10 students accepted in the Fall (no Spring admission), who take all courses together over the 4 semesters. 


Current Student and Faculty Research

+ Comparison of an Increased Load between Female and Male Law Enforcement Students
+ Relationship between CP and W' to Muscle Fiber Distribution and Performance
+ Standing Breaks and Prolonged Sitting: Effect on Epithelial Function
+ Heart Rate during Single and Double Under Jump Rope Intervals
+ Physical Activity, Academic Stress, and Life Stress in Students Enrolled in Physical Activity Classes
+ Relationship between Physical Activity as a Vital Sign and Activity during Physical Activity Classes
+ Evaluation of Certificates and Degrees among Fitness/Exercise Professionals

Current Capstone Internships

+ Wenger Physical Therapy
+ Olson Physical Therapy
+ University of Minnesota Strength and Conditioning
+ Sanchez-Casal Tennis Academy
+ Mayo Clinic Cardiovascular Rehabilitation
+ Mayo Clinic Worksite Wellness
+ MSU Mankato Athletics

Graduate Assistantships 2017-2018 

Dylan Hofstad - Teaching Assistant Viola Holdbrook Laboratory
Slater Powell - Teaching Assistant Viola Holdbrook Laboratory
Jacob Gallagher - Teaching Assistant Viola Holdbrook Laboratory
Kate Weed - Research Assistant Force Science Institute
Emily Novak - Research Assistant Force Science Institute
Mike Kantor - Teaching Assistant MSU Anatomy and Physiology
Alex Hartman - MSU Athletic Training
Courtney Ferry - MSU Athletic Training
Spencer Klevan - MSU Fitness and Wellness
Lindsey Lentz - Graduate Assistanship United Hospital
Austin Witt - Graduate Assistantship South Central College


Exercise Science/Sports Medicine Faculty 2017-2018

Dr. Jessica Albers, PhD
Assistant Professor (program coordinator) 
Office: HCN 170; Phone: (507)-389-1471
Interest/Research: physical activity and fitness assessment in youth populations, development and evaluation of physical activity after-school programs, jump rope programs for youth, high intensity interval training, physical activity interventions for special populations





Dr. Mary F. Visser, PhD
Office: HC 1314; Phone: (507)-389-2672
Interest/Research: exercise and aging: balance and mobility, resistance training, flexibility, group exercise programs

Ex Officio or Visiting Graduate Faculty
Such special appointments allow these individuals to serve as a committee member on an exercise science graduate student's supervisory committee

Dr. Todd Kanzenbach, MD, CAQ
Team Physician
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Mr. Chip R. Gay, MA, CES, CSCS
Clinical Exercise Specialist
Mayo Clinic Health System

Mr. Thomas Inkrott, MA, CSCS
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Quotes from Recent Graduates
The Exercise Physiology graduate program offers a wide array of opportunities for students to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for their professional careers. As a graduate student, I helped create a bariatric surgery patient exercise program for Mayo Clinic Health System, a balance and mobility program, and worksite wellness programs for area businesses. I was able to study abroad in South Africa, which sets me apart from others in my field. In addition, I was a graduate assistant for two years and taught undergraduate laboratory classes and assisted with practical examinations. Lastly, I was able to conduct research, submit a manuscript for publication and assist with other research. I am confident my graduate experience played a vital role in the success I have achieved since graduating.
Amanda Younger, Class of 2014

Minnesota State University, Mankato provided me state-of-the-art technology right at my fingertips.  The variety of testing tools available allowed each student to explore multiple ways to obtain the same values; not something every campus has.  This in turn allowed me to feel comfortable when I applied for employment on either end of the spectrum in the field of Exercise Physiology.  Dr. Visser and Dr. Pettitt were extremely helpful as their wealth of knowledge, relationships with other faculty members, administration, athletic coaches and sports medicine personnel provided available resources to conduct a Graduate Research topic worthy of publishing.  Overall my experience as a Graduate Student at MSU-Mankato opened the door to many opportunities and gave me the advantage over other candidates when I was considered and accepted to Intern at the NSCA's Performance Center.
Tedi Andrews, Class of 2010

For more information, contact the exercise physiology program coordinator
Dr. Jessica Albers, PhD
170 Highland Center North
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Mankato, MN 56001
Phone: (507)-389-1471

Updated Nov 2017