Ball State’s PhD in human bioenergetics will prepare you for an exciting and fulfilling research career in exercise physiology or related disciplines.

Our program, founded in 1981, has graduated over 60 students into the professional research world of exercise physiology.

The PhD program is research intensive and should be pursued only by students who have a serious commitment to the science of exercise physiology and have a strong background in exercise physiology as well as the basic sciences (chemistry and biology).

Program Requirements

The PhD in Bioenergetics requires 90 credits of graduate work. Thirty of those credits can come from your MS degree.

Additional requirements include:

  • three required courses (9 credits) in the Human Performance Laboratory
  • one 24-hour cognate or two 15-hour cognates in physiology, biology, and/or chemistry
  • passing, written, and oral comprehensive exams, typically toward the end of the second year, before being admitted to candidacy
  • a dissertation covering a research problem that will contribute new knowledge to the field (10 credits required, up to 24 total), including an oral defense of the dissertation

Total Credits



A few of the classes you will take include:

  • Applied Physiology
  • Principles of Biochemistry
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Seminar in Exercise Science
  • Molecular Biology With Laboratory

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Graduate Catalog.

View Catalog

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will gain general laboratory skills and knowledge of HPL instrumentation (Involves critical thinking and troubleshooting)
  2. Comprehensive Written and Oral Exams (Critical thinking, comprehensive understanding of exercise physiology concepts, and excellent written and oral communication skills).
  3. Dissertation (Multifaceted aspects of critical thinking, data collection, data analysis, interpretation of data, writing, and presenting).
  4. The student will demonstrate the ability to write a scientific article.
  5. The student will demonstrate the ability to publicly present science information to peer groups and organizations.

Paying for Your Education

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing this degree? Then you will need to meet our admissions criteria and apply.

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More Information

If you would like to learn more about this program or about Ball State Graduate School in general, please complete our online form to request more information. Or, if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.

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