UMass Boston

Exercise & Health Sciences PhD

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Accelerate your EHS career, improve lives.

UMass Boston's Exercise and Health Sciences doctoral program is a firmly research-based, interdisciplinary program. Your primary area of research will align closely with the research of a specific faculty advisor in the Department who you chose to work with.

The faculty’s broad expertise ranges from the cellular and molecular level (molecular mechanisms) to the society at large (community and population studies), with many collaborative research efforts focused on exercise physiology, behavior science, and physical activity and health promotion in diverse populations across the lifespan. You will also have the opportunity to explore other areas of interest in the form of directed research and elective courses, which will help you to become a more well-rounded researcher.

Emerge from this program prepared to:

  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of fundamental concepts of exercise science and/or health promotion
  • Conduct systemic inquiry and apply critical thinking to evaluate scientific literature relevant to the specialization area in exercise science and health promotion
  • Use an appropriate theoretical framework and quantitative and/or qualitative methods to acquire, analyze and interpret data
  • Disseminate scientific findings at local, national, and global levels through publications and presentations
  • Demonstrate leadership as a researcher and educator to promote physical activity and improve health in diverse populations

Career Possibilities

Work in a clinical or research setting to assess patients’ fitness levels and and design programs tailored to their needs as an exercise physiologist. Improve the lives of a corporation’s employees as a health and wellness coordinator. Or, focus on the health and wellbeing of entire communities as a health promotion specialist. These are just a few of the possibilities.

Become a(n):

  • Exercise physiologist
  • Corporate Wellness Specialist
  • Health Promoter
  • Personal Trainer
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist

Attend an Info Session   Start Your Application

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • A completed application form
  • Personal statement
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended
  • Two references
  • TOEFL scores, if applicable.
  • Résumé (strongly recommended)

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: February 1 (priority) and June 1 (final) for fall

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website

Curriculum

BS to PhD Route

Required Master’s Level Courses (15 Credits)

  • EHS 625L - Quantitative Research Methods 3 Credit(s)
  • EHS 630 - Advanced Health Fitness and Nutrition Assessment 3 Credit(s)
  • EHS 655 - Advanced Physical Activity and Health 3 Credit(s)
  • EHS 685 - Applied Exercise Physiology 3 Credit(s)
  • NURSNG 760 - Introduction to Biostatistics: Biostatistics I 3 Credit(s)

Concentration Courses (6 Credits)

Complete two courses from one of the concentrations below.

Applied Exercise Physiology Concentration

Concentration Courses (6 Credits)

  • EHS 680 - Clinical Exercise Physiology 3 Credit(s)
  • EHS 682 - Exercise Metabolism 3 Credit(s)

Physical Activity and Health Promotion Concentration

Concentration Courses (6 Credits)

  • EHS 656 - Advanced Nutrition and Health 3 Credit(s)
  • EHS 670 - Designing Exercise and Health Promotion Interventions 3 Credit(s)

Required Doctoral Level Courses (12 Credits)

  • EHS 825L - Advanced Quantitative Research Methods I 3 Credit(s)
  • EHS 887 - Advanced Topics in Exercise and Health Sciences 3 Credit(s)
  • NURSNG 705 - Health Disparities 3 Credit(s)
    OR
  • NURSNG 757 - Social Behavioral Determinants of Health 3 Credit(s)
  • NURSNG 770 - Biostatistics II: Advanced Statistical Methods in Healthcare Research 3 Credit(s)

Electives (12 Credits)

Complete four additional courses offered by Nursing or other departments (e.g. Gerontology, Psychology, and Biology).

Dissertation/Research Courses (30 Credits)

Complete 30 credits from below with at least 18 credits of dissertation study.

  • EHS 898 - Directed Research in Exercise and Health Sciences 1-6 Credit(s)
  • EHS 899 - Dissertation 1-6 Credit(s)

MS to PhD Route

Required Courses (12 Credits)

  • EHS 825L - Advanced Quantitative Research Methods I 3 Credit(s)
  • EHS 887 - Advanced Topics in Exercise and Health Sciences 3 Credit(s)
  • NURSNG 705 - Health Disparities 3 Credit(s)
  • NURSNG 770 - Biostatistics II: Advanced Statistical Methods in Healthcare Research 3 Credit(s)

Electives (6 Credits)

Complete two additional courses offered by Nursing or other departments (e.g. Gerontology, Psychology, and Biology).

Dissertation/Research Courses (24 Credits)

Complete 24 credits from below with at least 18 credits of dissertation study and no more than 6 credits of directed research.

  • EHS 898 - Directed Research in Exercise and Health Sciences 1-6 Credit(s)
  • EHS 899 - Dissertation 1-6 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

BS to PhD Route

Complete 75 credits from at least 17 courses including five required master’s level courses, two concentration courses, four required doctoral level courses, four electives, and 30 credits of dissertation/research courses.

Concentration: Select a concentration in applied exercise physiology or physical activity and health promotion.
Doctoral candidacy: Candidates must pass a written qualifying exam at a time to be designated by the student’s pre-dissertation committee. Content covered in the exam is agreed upon by the major faculty advisor and the student. The exam will be completed over the course of several days within a two-week period. Students must pass all areas on either the first or second try before being allowed to continue in the program and work on their dissertation proposal.
Dissertation: Candidates must propose and ultimately compose and defend a dissertation based on original research. The dissertation document will include an introduction, rationale and hypothesis, review of the literature, description of methods, presentation of results, and discussion of the relevance of the study’s findings to the field at large. The results of the research will be presented in manuscript-ready format, including two or more separate papers that are ready to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals. The student will be required to submit at least one of these papers to a journal prior to orally defending their dissertation; the paper must be under peer review to meet this requirement.

Statute of limitations: Eight years.


MS to PhD Route

Complete 42 credits from seven or eight courses including four required courses, two electives, and one to two dissertation/research courses.

Doctoral candidacy: Candidates must pass a written qualifying exam at a time to be designated by the student’s pre-dissertation committee. Content covered in the exam is agreed upon by the major faculty advisor and the student. The exam will be completed over the course of several days within a two-week period. Students must pass all areas on either the first or second try before being allowed to continue in the program and work on their dissertation proposal.
Dissertation: Candidates must propose and ultimately compose and defend a dissertation based on original research. The dissertation document will include an introduction, rationale and hypothesis, review of the literature, description of methods, presentation of results, and discussion of the relevance of the study’s findings to the field at large. The results of the research will be presented in manuscript-ready format, including two or more separate papers that are ready to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals. The student will be required to submit at least one of these papers to a journal prior to orally defending their dissertation; the paper must be under peer review to meet this requirement.

Statute of limitations: Eight years.

Contact

Graduate Program Director Kai Zou
kai.zou [at] umb.edu
(617) 287-7282

Program Assistant Chanel Fields
chanel.fields [at] umb.edu
(617) 287-7594

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