T Nation

Exercise Science Programs(short)

what are the best exercise science/ phisiology/kineseology programs in the country? or good programs that happen to be at damned cool schools? its hard to judge bc most are not accreditted, and it seems like there is a lot of variation from program to program. to make the question more picky, im mostly looking at NCAA division III type schools. thanks for the replies…

i know you guys’ve got somethin’…

I think you’re going to have difficulty finding one of the best programs at a D-III school. Actually, I highly doubt it. Although the field is growing rapidly, the funds and programs are still not adequate.

Even if you do find a school that has such a program, I caution you that there are even a plethora of Master’s level students and graduates that went through programs that taught them absolutely nothing. My point is that there are far more programs out there that are worth absolutely zilch than there are bonafide programs.

I urge you to take a look at The University of Texas at Austin. First off, the faculty and program are world renowned. Secondly, I doubt you’ll find a college town that you’ll like better than Austin–although I hear those in Gatorville (i.e. Gainesville) know how to do it up right, too.

thanks for the advice. however if you were forced to pick some smaller D3 programs what would you suggest? maybe not the “best” programs, but good ones(there seems to be a lot of shitty ones out there.)

anyone know about the program at U. of Miami?

My advice is to pick a school based on the people who do research there. I’m going to U of Connecticut to work with Jeff Volek and Bill Kraemer who are two very cool exercise science/nutrition guys.

Baylor U in Texas is another good school. They are developing a new graduate program specifically in sports nutrition. Rick Krieder is one of the main men who work there.

In regards to Canada, if you are ever interested… McMaster, McGill, and Guelph all have good programs.

Good luck!

I agree with much of what Timbo said. If you want research or to be involved in working with collegiate athletes, your best bet is a larger D1 school.

That said, I’ve had a good experience with a D3 school (the University of New England). It’s best known for its athletic training program and college of osteopathic medicine, so I was very fortunate to be able to go more in-depth in other disciplines than most EXS students do. This, of course, was in addition to my double major of EXS and Sports Management.

Also in the Northeast is Springfield College (D3); they have pretty good undergraduate programs in ATC, SFM, and EXS, although I’m always surprised at how loose their admissions process is. I know that Joel will vouch for the reputation of the College of New Jersey, too.

Above all, college is what you make of it. Guys like Timbo, Joel, and I have gotten to where we are by going beyond the classroom. Wherever you go, you’ll deal with people who insist that protein is evil and that aerobic exercise is superior. Where you distinguish yourself is your willingness to not only do your requisite schoolwork, but also engage in independent research (PubMed, NSCA materials, etc.) and participating at T-mag. Otherwise, you’ll just be no different than the undergrad EXS students that eat Pop Tarts and Mountain Dew for breakfast during Exercise Physiology classes.

If you’d like more info about UNE, I’d be happy to help you out. PM me if interested.


 Yes she IS, much to my delight as I live in CT, and former UCONN student. In fact my brothers are studying at UConn in Storrs right now, and theres a good chance youll find out who they are Cassy.

 I think youll love the local area - it's kept very clean. There's these huge wheat fields, and hills covered with wheat, as well as a bunch of very well kept barns, for those majoring in agricultural science. I personally think it's gorgeous and wouldve loved to graduate from UConn in storrs, but alas, I wanted to be a pilot instead.  I do remember I used to go to one of its smaller campuses elsewhere in CT, and hated the fact that I payed the same thing those at Storrs payed and I had a crappy lil campus with nothing goin on, while they had a beautiful huge campus with full exercise facilities, and were renovating all buildings - and they did a great job at it too. You should like it. It's a huge campus. It's not in the middle of a city - instead it's surrounded by wheat fields, and woods. It is however very close to Hartford, about 15 min drive, which is the biggest city in CT, and only a breath away from Bradley international Airport, again about 15 minutes at the most.

  Anyhow, good luck Cassy! Maybe you can straighten up some of them skinny-fat peoples that think walking from the classroom to the cafeteria is considered a form of exercise. At the very least, make sure they can get a glimpse of those arms - maybe the mere shock of seeing a hot girl who is much leaner and much stronger than most in a 5 mile radius will do something for them lol.

WHile I understand you are looking in the Sates, don’t rule out Canadian schools. There are some great programs in Canada, much less expensive than American schools, and many have their share of top notch researchers. Check out York University in Toronto, the University of Toronto, and I hear that Memorial has a good program as well. Me? I went to the University of New Brunswick. Good program, good faculty. The guy I learned the most from was is now the Dean of Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan, also definitely worth a look… good luck.

Hey Big Willie, who is the new dean? I was good friends with the last few guys there until I moved to Edmonton. Plus I dated a roomful of PE ladies, before the term changed to Kinesiology. Man those people party hard.

Well, I already answered this post in the Lair, but I’ll go for it again in case it helps someone else. Overall, I highly agree with Eric, Timbo and Cassanova, so I’ll just reiterate what I said earlier.

It really depends on what your focus is. I’d look for a smaller program where you get to participate in more stuff. As a general rule for undergraduate education, classwork is overated. Look for a program with lots of lab work and research projects where you can be both a subject and a lab assistant.

Just remember that you are still responsible for truly educating yourself. College exs phys programs are good for learning about the underlying physiology, but you aren’t going to find a program that will get you ready to write article for T-Mag.

One suggestion. Get a copy of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and look at the authors. Find out what authors you like and where they teach and learn about their programs.

Finally, I’ll give a little shout out to my alma mater, UC-Davis. Great program, but it’s in transition right now, so I’m not really sure what to tell you other than check it out.

The College of New Jersey. I go there; it’s Division III, about 6000 students. They have a good exercise science program and a pretty cool performance lab.

Let me know if you want some more information.


I agree with everything that has been said about going above and beyond the classroom.

But as a McMaster gradudate, I also have to agree with Cass. McMaster is a great school, and home of Dr. Tarnopolsky.

Hey Smiley… the new (well, a little over a year ago) dean is Dr. Mark Tremblay. While his major focus of research lies in fitness/wellness, specifically with kids, he knows his shit about the major trends, issues, and whatnot with pretty much every aspect of our field. If you want a guy to study exercise physiology/endocrinology under, he’s your man.

BTW, York University is home of Tudor Bompa as well.

thanks for all te recomendations. you all have been very helpful. for some of the canadian responses, im not necesarilly opposed to canada. in fact my dad is canadian so ive got dual citizenships. im actually going to college to study/play hockey. whats the university hockey scene like up there? with all the Jr leagues, the “O”, and the "Dub"ya, im curious as to how much attention university hockey gets.

SUNY Cortland in NY has a pretty decent exercise science program. I graduated there witha degree in Health Education and they are known for their phys ed program. However, they recently added some state-of-the-art athletic facilities and took ex phys classes there and they have one of the best performance labs in the central NY area (which includes Syracuse University and Cornell University). Website is www.cortland.edu. HOpe that helps…Tony G

BTW…Cortland is a Division III school which has a hockey team…so it looks like it fits pretty well with what you are looking for.

an old teamate of mine plays there actually. i also saw that SUNY is on the NSCA list of approved schools(which may i add is not a very long list). i will definately be looking farther into it. thaks a lot.

Alright, you all know I couldn’t let this opportunity to toot my own horn go to the archives so soon. What am I getting at? I got accepted to UConn’s Department of Kinesiology’s Master’s Program in Exercise Science today. I’ll start in the fall. Looks like there will be a formidable T-Mag contingent in Storrs!

Congats EC!