M.S. in Exercise Physiology

Carroll University's Master of Science in Exercise Physiology (MEXP) program with a clinical emphasis offers small, individualized classes that put the focus on you, as well as extensive hands-on experience in our unique rehabilitation clinic. Our program provides an innovative curriculum taught by faculty with extensive experience in cancer and chronic disease rehabilitation, as well as a reputation of teaching excellence.

Extensive hands-on experiential learning both in and outside the classroom prepares you for future job success. You'll benefit from more than 1,000 hours of clinical experiences, including an internship, and the preparation needed to immediately sit for the ACSM-CEP exam upon graduation. You'll be prepared for careers in inpatient and outpatient cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, cancer rehabilitation, stress testing, preventive cardiology programs and various wellness related settings that cater to clients with current or ongoing health conditions.

About Exercise Physiology

Exercise physiology is the scientific study of the physiological mechanisms underlying human movement. In clinical settings, exercise physiologists or exercise specialists work with patients to directly combat their disease using prescriptive exercise, and to improve and maintain their health. Many patients with chronic conditions such as cardiac disease, cancer, or metabolic diseases often work through rehabilitation with a certified exercise physiologist.

The field is waiting and you’ll be more than ready for it:

  • 90% of our students obtain a job within three months of graduation.
  • Even before graduating, 81% of our students get a job in their chosen field DURING their second year in our program.
  • Our clinical practical courses prepare you for multiple career options.
  • Our research component gives you the foundation you need to pursue a doctoral degree or career in research.
  • Tuition costs for our program are among the most affordable in the state.
  • Our in-house CURE program provides you with one-on-one patient contact.

Rehabilitation Clinic: CURE Program

Our Carroll University Rehabilitative Exercise (CURE) Program includes practical opportunities both on and off campus. During two semesters you’ll receive a diversified clinical experience conducting individualized exercise interventions on patients diagnosed with cancer and chronic disease, as well as the geriatric population, in our state-of-the-art CURE Clinic. 

Graduate Into a High-Demand Career

Carroll's program delivers the background knowledge and extensive hands-on experience you need to become an expert in clinical rehabilitation. Upon graduation, you'll be prepared for a variety of clinical and related specialty certifications, and/or doctoral level work in exercise physiology or other allied health disciplines. This means you’ll be career-ready for a variety of positions, including, but not limited to:

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation 
  • ​Cancer Rehabilitation 
  • Research Programs 
  • Diabetic Management 
  • Stress Testing 
  • Gerontology Programs 
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation 
  • Inpatient/Outpatient Clinics 
  • Medical Fitness Facility 
  • Fitness and Wellness Clinics 

Practical Experiences

Students will accumulate more than 1,000 hours of clinical experience through three practicums and a 14-week internship. Recommended experiences meet the requirements for becoming an ACSM Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP):

  • Cardiovascular
  • Cancer
  • Metabolic
  • Orthopedic/Musculoskeletal
  • Neuromuscular
  • Immunological/Hematological

Program Details

“I chose Carroll’s program over others primarily for its diverse education in chronic disease populations.”
— Kate Born

Read Kate's story

Connect with Us

Grad Admission Counselor Brian Ish

Join us for an event! Speak one-on-one with faculty and our graduate admission counselor, Brian Ish.
Get your questions answered about the program and admission process.

Virtual Information Sessions - held on Microsoft Teams

  • Thursday, August 1, 2024 - 11:00 AM - RSVP Here
  • Wednesday, September 18, 2024 - 1:30 PM - RSVP Here
  • Wednesday, November 13, 2024 - 1:30 PM - RSVP Here
  • Thursday, January 16, 2025 - 2:30 PM - RSVP Here
  • Thursday, February 13, 2025 - 2:30 PM - RSVP Here
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2025 - 1:30 PM - RSVP Here

Graduate Programs Open House 

  • Thursday, July 25, 2024 - 6:00 PM - RSVP Here

Interested but unable to attend? Contact Brian Ish to learn more:
Email - ishb@carrollu.edu | Call or text - 262-425-5696
Schedule an appointment:  Bookings Link

“If you love working with and helping people and have a passion for exercise, this is the field for you!”
— Sadie Engelken

Read Sadie's story

MEXP student working with patient

Internship Opportunities

In addition to the learning opportunities above, our students have recently completed internships at cardiac, pulmonary, and cancer rehabilitation sites such as:

  • Ascension NE Wisconsin—Saint Elizabeth Hospital
  • Ascension SE Wisconsin at Mayfair Road
  • ProHealth Care Waukesha Memorial Hospital
  • Duke Diet and Fitness Center
  • AMITA Health Alexian Brothers
  • Northwest Community Hospital
  • Shirley Ryan Ability Lab
  • Swedish Covenant Hospital
  • St. Clare Hospital
  • Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center—Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic
  • University of Northern Colorado Cancer Rehabilitation Institute
  • St. Joseph's Hospital—Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center
  • St. Mary's Hospital—Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Ascension All Saints Hospital—Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital—ProHealth Heart and Vascular Care
  • Gundersen Lutheran La Crosse Clinic—Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center and Healthy Living Center

Develop Expertise in Research

In your second year of the MEXP Clinical program, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in research and active data collection. Gain expertise in writing research proposals, recruiting clients for testing and gathering full sets of data for analysis. You’ll present your research during the spring semester at Celebrate Carroll, our annual academic conference that highlights scholarly achievements of students and faculty. Select students will also be invited to present research at the regional and national American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Conference each year. Future national conference locations include San Francisco, Washington D.C., San Diego and Denver.

Learn More about our Research

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Program News

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Endominance Interviews Professor Brown


Carroll professors Jessica M. Brown, Ph.D was interviewed by Endominance.

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Professors present virtual seminar for InBody USA


Carroll professors Jessica M. Brown, Ph.D, and Daniel Shackelford, Ph.D, were asked to present a virtual webinar for InBody USA, a world leader in creating body composition technology.

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Meet the Faculty

Dr. Jessica Brown, Ph.D. and Dr. Daniel Shackelford, Ph.D. are considered pioneers in the field of exercise-based cancer rehabilitation. Together they developed the first cancer population-specific treadmill protocol for the measurement of cardiovascular endurance and are the innovators behind Brown’s Phase Program for cancer rehabilitation. The pair have hosted numerous international workshops and trainings on cancer rehabilitation and developed much of the curriculum currently taught and used by other groups throughout the world. At Carroll, they created the Carroll University Rehabilitative Exercise (CURE) Program, a rehab clinic that focuses on using exercise as medicine for cancer patients and those diagnosed with chronic disease.

Your goals arewithin reach

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