Degree type(s): Master's
Degree field(s): Healthcare
Location(s): Blended; Bismarck, ND
Program offerings by location and modality are subject to change.

MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology: Blended Program

Graduate degree; Master of Science

University of Mary's accredited Clinical Exercise Physiology (CEP) program focuses on advanced studies of exercise physiology with a clinical emphasis in exercise prescription for clinical populations, including cardiac, bariatric, diabetes, pulmonary, cancer, arthritis, and more. Graduates of the MS CEP program pursue careers in diverse health and education settings that include cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, clinical exercise prescription, leadership in the community and corporate fitness environments, strength and conditioning, and higher education.

The MS degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences. It is offered in a blended delivery format that includes online and face-to-face classes, enabling students to live and work in another community while completing the graduate degree. A GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required for this program.

Clinical Exercise Physiology Program Highlights

The University of Mary offers graduate students the opportunity to earn an MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology at an affordable, private, Catholic university.

  • Earn your master’s degree in a flexible program designed for working professionals that blends online and face-to-face courses.
  • Visit campus once a semester in order to gain hands-on clinical experience. Intensive lab weeks provide opportunity for skills acquisition and mastery via practice, repetition and application with real program participants in the Exercise Clinic.
  • Learn in a curriculum grounded in specialty standards and Christian, Catholic, Benedictine values that will enrich your career and everyday life.
  • Gain hands-on, clinical experience through evidence-based practice and internship opportunities.
  • Learn and be mentored by highly professional and experienced clinicians.
  • Gain valuable research experience, creating opportunities to advance knowledge and position graduates for further study at the doctorate level.
  • Sit for the ACSM-RCEP exam at the end of your studies.

Career Outlook for Clinical Exercise Physiology Majors

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for exercise physiologists is expected to grow quickly over the coming decade. In addition, holding a master’s degree will help to expand your range of employment options. It is estimated that licensor for clinical exercise physiologists will become a must in the near future, requiring a master's degree and RCEP certification or equivalent. 

Required Courses:

  • EDU 551 - Critique and Design of Research (2 credits)
  • EDU 565 - Statistics (3 credits)
  • CEP 506 - ECG for Clinical Exercise Physiology (2 credits)
  • CEP 518 - Pathophysiology (3 credits)
  • CEP 520 - Exercise Testing and Prescription (2 credits)
  • CEP 599 - Professional Distinction & Research I (1 credit)
  • CEP 618 - Exercise Pharmacology (2 credits)
  • CEP 621 - Exercise Prescription and Chronic Conditions (2 credits)
  • CEP 625 - Health Behavior & Education & Lab (2 credits)
  • CEP 636 - Clinical Exercise Physiology I & Lab (3 credits)
  • CEP 637 - Clinical Exercise Physiology II & Lab (2 credits)
  • CEP 650 - Biogenetics (2 credits)
  • CEP 699 - Professional Distinction & Research II (1 credit)
  • CEP 700 - Internship I: Clinical (3 credits)
  • CEP 701 - Internship II: Clinical (3 credits)
  • CEP 702 - Professional Distinction & Research III (1 credit)
  • CEP 703 - Professional Distinction & Research IV (2 credits)
  • CEP 704 - Professional Distinction & Research V (2 credits)
  • CEP 730 - Establishing and Managing a Clinic & Lab (1 credit)
  • HUM 799 - Graduate Student Assessment HP
  • CEP 899 - Continued Enrollment*


  • HPS 505 - Psychology in Sport, Health, and Disease (3 credits)
  • HPS 617 - Nutrition in Sport, Health, and Disease (3 credits)

Even as one of the most affordable private universities in the nation, the University of Mary does offer a variety of scholarships. In fact, 99% of main campus undergraduate students receive some form of scholarship! 

Some scholarships are available for specific academic programs, such as nursing, while other scholarships are available for certain student populations, such as military and veteran students

We strongly encourage you to contact your personal admissions representative to discover all of the options that might be available to you. In many cases, a program specific scholarship is just one component of a complete financial aid package. 

Our admissions professionals will work together with our Office of Financial Assistance to ensure that you get the best financial aid package possible to finance your education. 

To gain admission to the clinical exercise physiology program, you must complete the application packet, possess a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, and hold a Bachelor of Science degree (exercise science preferred) and the fulfillment of the following:

  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II (with labs)
  • College Chemistry Series (with labs)
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Lifespan/Developmental Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • College Math
  • Basic course in pharmacology by the time CEP 618 Exercise Pharmacology is taken

Dr. Jill Nustad, D.Sc., ACSM-CEP - Department Chair

Dr. Moran Saghiv, PhD. - MSCEP Program Director

Jason Kobes, MA - Fieldwork/Internships Coordinator

Kayla Dressler, MS - Assistant Professor, Exercise Clinic Coordinator

Dr. Anita Wirtz - Adjunct Faculty

Jenny Schmidt, RD, LRD - Adjunct Faculty

Wade Kooiman, Ed.D. - Adjunct Faculty

Patricia Ratliff, D.Sc. - Adjunct Faculty

Contact at: [email protected] 

Our program has a 90.9% retention rate. Only 2 out of 22 students that have started the program had their studies terminated. One due to personal medical needs, the other due to the lack of compliance with the programs criteria of completion.

If you are considering a master’s degree in clinical exercise physiology, you might also be interested in the following graduate programs offered at the University of Mary: