Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Exercise Physiology
College: College of Science and Health
Department: Biological Sciences
Student Type: Graduate Semester
Degree: Master of Science (M.S.)
Campus: Lisle Campus
Benedictine University’s Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Exercise Physiology program is designed in accordance with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for certification as a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-CEP). The program can be completed in as little as 15 months on a full-time basis. Students develop the skills and qualifications to work in the prevention of cardiovascular, pulmonary and other lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes. The program’s curriculum also includes two internships for students to acquire 600 hours of hands-on clinical experience. These internships provide extensive hands-on training in the rehabilitation of individuals who have experienced problems related to chronic diseases. The program is academically demanding and requires considerable commitment on the part of the student. If you are a highly motivated person who takes pride in building a sound scientific knowledge base about exercise physiology, we encourage you to contact us to arrange an interview and tour our facilities.
The M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology program is part of the Department of Biological Sciences at Benedictine University. The curriculum was developed with the input of an advisory committee composed of practicing exercise physiology professionals and in accordance with the guidelines designated by the ACSM. The program is based on the Benedictine philosophy that man is spirit, mind and body, and that the realization of human potential is based on an integration of the three components.
Graduates of the M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology program are employed at many clinical sites, including cardiac rehabilitation and non-invasive cardiac diagnostics departments, in the Chicago area. These alumni often serve as preceptors for students during their clinical internships. In addition, our alumni are active in the professional organizations for the field.
Starting the Program
Admissions and Prerequisites Clinical Exercise Physiology Program
Students must have earned an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited university, and completed undergraduate courses in exercise physiology, general chemistry, biochemistry, nutrition, anatomy and physiology. A combined health science organic/biochemistry class may be substituted for biochemistry. Due to the rigor of this program of study, it is highly recommended that a “B” or better is attained in undergraduate prerequisite courses.
Applicants who may have outstanding prerequisite coursework are encouraged to apply during the fall. Certain prerequisite coursework needs to be completed prior to entering the program in order to follow the recommended course sequence. Applicants may be admitted on a conditional status depending on which prerequisites are outstanding. Prerequisite courses may be taken at Benedictine University or any accredited university.
Applications must be submitted by March 1 in order to receive an acceptance decision by March 31. Students may still apply after the March 1 deadline. All acceptances will be based on a student’s qualifications, experience and incoming student space availability.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.
For a full list of application requirements, please visit ben.edu/gradadult. Among the requirements are a one-page essay discussing your education addressing prior exercise physiology and/or exercise testing coursework and career goals, and a personal or phone interview with the directors of the M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology program. Two letters of recommendation are also required; one that can address your academic potential (from a science instructor) and one that can address your interpersonal skills and work ethic (from an employer).
The M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology program uses a variety of different teaching methods, including case studies in combination with laboratories, to better integrate academic information with practical application. It also requires two internships for further application of learned concepts in the workplace setting.
Students are introduced to the most recent information in the natural sciences through rigorous coursework in physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. Additional coursework in electrocardiography, advanced exercise physiology, behavioral modification and exercise testing both for healthy individuals and clinical populations prepare students with the knowledge and skills they will need for professional practice.
Two clinical internships which offer students the opportunity to gain practical experience in the workplace are required. Internships are supervised by practicing professionals in the field who provide feedback on the student’s knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as personal attributes that employers seek when making new hires. Students gain expertise in numerous physiological assessment techniques through internships, community testing and Benedictine’s Young Hearts for Life screening program.
The Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Benedictine University allows students to assess the physiological responses to the stress of exercise. The fitness center in the Dan and Ada Rice Center is an additional resource for laboratory-based courses. Students also have the opportunity to provide exercise programming to a wide variety of older individuals at the Performance Enhancement Center at the Villa St. Benedict retirement facility.
The M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology program is academically demanding and prepares students for the critical responsibility they assume in professional practice. Students improve decision-making skills, learn to critically analyze the literature, and demonstrate the ability to safely assess physiological performance of patients. Successful completion of the program requires that each student pass an academic and skills competency exam that is based on the knowledge and skills learned throughout their coursework.
Clinical Exercise Physiology Recommended Course Sequence
|BIOL 5521||Clinical Exercise Testing and Prescription I||1|
|BIOL 6681||Behavior Modification||2|
|BIOL 5340||Advanced Integrative Human Physiology I 1||3|
|BIOL 6662||Advanced Exercise Physiology||3|
|BIOL 6623||Graded Exercise Testing||3|
|BIOL 5359||Pathophysiology 1||3|
|BIOL 6663||Exercise Pharmacology||3|
|BIOL 6664||Clinical Exercise Testing and Prescription II||2|
|BIOL 6690||Internship I||2|
|BIOL 6625||Comprehensive Clinical Exercise Physiology Exit Exam and Skills Examination||1|
|BIOL 6642||Applied Nutritional Physiology w/metabolism||2|
|BIOL 6692||Internship II||3|
These courses are designated as foundational, which means, a "B" or better is required to meet degree requirements.
Preston Aldrich (2004), Ph.D.
Professor, Biological Sciences - MSCEP
Ph.D., 1997, Botany, University of Georgia, Athens
M.S., 1991, Botany, University of Minnesota, St. Paul
B.A., 1987, Chemistry, St. Olaf College
Leigh Anne Harden (2015), Ph.D.
Associate Chair, Biological Sciences
Associate Chair, Biological Sciences - MSCEP
Ph.D. 2013, Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington
B.S. 2007, Biology, Davidson College
Jayashree Sarathy (2010), Ph.D.
Department Chair, Director of Graduate Programs, Biological Sciences
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences - MSCEP
Ph.D. 1999, Physiology, University of Illinois at Chicago
M.Phil. 1991, University of Madras, India
M.S. 1990, University of Madras, India
B.S. 1988, University of Madras, India
Regina Schurman (2007), Ed.D., ACSM-CEP, C.P.A.
Director of Pre-Health Professions, Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences - MSCEP
Ed.D. 2012, Higher Education and Organizational Change, Benedictine University
M.S. Clinical Exercise Physiology, 2007, Benedictine University
B.S. Accountancy 1991, DePaul University
A.A.S. Data Processing 1984, Oakton Community College
Lee Ann Smith (2004), Ph.D.
Professor, Biological Sciences - MSCEP
Ph.D. 2004, Biomedical Science, University of Connecticut Health Center
B.S. 1997 Biochemistry, Benedictine University
Students in the M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology will achieve the following student learning outcomes (SLO):
Student Learning Outcome 1: Students will demonstrate knowledge of metabolic processes, cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal systems
• University SLO: 1. Disciplinary Competence and Skills
Student Learning Outcome 2: Students will learn to effectively communicate physiological concepts
• University SLO: 3. Communication Skills
Student Learning Outcome 3: Demonstrate the ability to administer and interpret diagnostic techniques associated with physiological processes
• University SLO: 5. Analytical Skills
Student Learning Outcome 4: Students will demonstrate understanding of methods used in clinical exercise testing
• University SLO: 4. Information Fluency
Student Learning Outcome 5: Students will apply knowledge of clinical exercise physiology in a real-world setting
• University SLO: 5. Analytical Skills; 7. Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility