About

Are you interested in an advanced degree that will enhance your understanding of a variety of processes that sustain life? Do you want to be an expert in your field?

The PhD program in bioenergetics and exercise science is housed in the Department of Kinesiology within the College of Health and Human Performance, and is offered in conjunction with the Departments of Physiology and Biochemistry in the Brody School of Medicine. In the most recent rankings, our doctoral program was ranked 6th by the National Academy of Kinesiology in 2010. This ranking was based upon program faculty indices of productivity, funding, and visibility as well as student indices of graduate assistant support, student quality, employment, and admissions.

ECU's bioenergetics and exercise science program combines study in exercise science, kinesiology, biochemistry, and physiology culminating in a doctor of philosophy degree. In essence, the program investigates how energy produced and released by the metabolic process is harnessed to perform the cellular work and activities necessary to sustain life.

Students have the opportunity to utilize laboratory and research facilities of all participating disciplines. Bioenergetics and exercise science graduates address research questions at the level of the whole body to the gene using a variety of approaches and are trained for employment in health care, government, academic, research and service institutions.

ECU Advantage

The interdisciplinary content and collaborative approach to mentoring provide students with the “best of several worlds.” Students apply to the PhD in bioenergetics and exercise science program by contacting the Department of Kinesiology. They have access to the resources (e.g. faculty with in-depth training in diverse areas of expertise, core equipment, student funding) of several campus units and centers (e.g. the Human Performance Laboratory, Biomechanics Laboratory, East Carolina Diabetes and Obesity Institute, Center for Health Disparities Research, Pediatric Health Weight Research and Treatment Center, and Brody School of Medicine).

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Katsuhiko Funai (371-A Ward Sports Medicine Building; 252-737-4684; funaik@ecu.edu)

The doctoral degree in bioenergetics and exercise science is an interdisciplinary degree program housed in the Department of Kinesiology and offered in conjunction with the Departments of Biochemistry and Physiology in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. This program uses a unique interdisciplinary approach to address the role of energy transposition in health and disease under resting and exercise conditions. Students address research questions that range from the whole body to the gene level as they investigate the mechanisms by which physically active lifestyles influence disease processes, prevention, and treatment. Students can choose between four concentrations of study: biomechanics and motor control; cellular and molecular bioenergetics; exercise physiology and behavioral science; and nutritional exercise physiology. Graduates are prepared for employment in health care, government, and academic private institutions.

The bioenergetics and exercise science program requires a minimum of 69 s.h. as follows:

1. Professional standards and ethics - 2 s.h.
  • HUMS 7004 - Ethics and Research: Humanities and Basic Medical Sciences or
  • KINE 7004 - Research Ethics for a Complex World
2. Foundations in bioenergetics and exercise science - 7 s.h.
  • KINE 7335 - Seminar in Bioenergetics
  • KINE 8310 - Pedagogy in Bioenergetics
3. Research and application - 36 s.h.
    Research design - 6 s.h.
    • KINE 8330 - Introduction to Research
    Statistics - 3 s.h.
      Dissertation - 27 s.h. (minimum)
      • KINE 9000 - Dissertation
    4. Concentrations - 24 s.h.

    (Select one of the following.)

      Biomechanics and motor control - 24 s.h.
        Core (13 s.h.)
        • KINE 6202 - Motor Learning
        • KINE 7200 - Biomechanics
        • KINE 7204 - Techniques of Biomechanical Assessment

        • KINE 7211 - Bioenergetics or
        • KINE 7447 - Translational Exercise Physiology
        Advanced topics in bioenergetics (5 s.h.)

        (Select from the following courses.)

        • KINE 8331 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        • KINE 8332 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        • KINE 8333 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        • KINE 8334 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        • KINE 8335 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        • KINE 8336 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        Restricted electives (6 s.h.)

        (Select from the following courses.)

        • ANAT 7200 - Gross Anatomy and Embryology
        • BIME 6250 - Biomedical Signal Processing
        • KINE 7002 - Nutrition and Exercise
        • PHLY 7702 - Graduate Organ Systems Physiology
        • PHLY 7703 - Graduate Neuroscience
        • PHLY 7730 - Medical Neuroscience
        • PHYS 6715 - Biomedical Physics
        • PHYS 6720 - Physics of Medical Imaging
        • PTHE 8200 - Clinical Biomechanics
        • PTHE 8301 - Motor Control and Movement Disorders
        • PTHE 8502 - Muscle Physiology
        • Any approved elective
      Cellular and molecular bioenergetics - 24 s.h.
        Core (8 s.h.)
        • BIOC 7301 - Biochemistry I or
        • KINE 7211 - Bioenergetics *

        • KINE 7447 - Translational Exercise Physiology
        Restricted electives (7-9 s.h.)

        (Select from the following courses.)

        • BIOC 7310 - Molecular Biochemistry

        • BIOC 8320 - Biochemistry II: Regulation of Metabolism or
        • KINE 8320 - Bioenergetics II: Regulation of Metabolism *

        • PHLY 7702 - Graduate Organ Systems Physiology
        Advanced topics in bioenergetics (3-6 s.h.)

        (Select from the following courses.)

        • KINE 8331 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        • KINE 8332 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        • KINE 8333 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        • KINE 8334 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        • KINE 8335 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        • KINE 8336 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
        Restricted electives (3-5 s.h.)

        (Select from the following courses.)

        • BIOC 7310 - Molecular Biochemistry

        • BIOC 8320 - Biochemistry II: Regulation of Metabolism or
        • KINE 8320 - Bioenergetics II: Regulation of Metabolism

        • PHLY 7702 - Graduate Organ Systems Physiology
        • PHLY 7703 - Graduate Neuroscience
        • PHLY 7704 - Physiological Proteogenomics
        • any approved elective
        Note:

        * One of the following courses is required for the cellular and molecular bioenergetics concentration: KINE 7211 or KINE 8320.    

        Exercise physiology and behavioral science - 24 s.h. **
          Core (7 s.h.)
          • KINE 6440 - Physical Activity Psychology

          • KINE 7211 - Bioenergetics or
          • KINE 7447 - Translational Exercise Physiology

          Advanced topics in bioenergetics - 5 s.h.

          (Select from the following courses.)

          • KINE 8331 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
          • KINE 8332 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
          • KINE 8333 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
          • KINE 8334 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
          • KINE 8335 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
          • KINE 8336 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
          Restricted electives - 12 s.h.

          (Select from the following courses.)

          • COHE 6430 - Database Systems in Health Care
          • HLTH 6001 - Foundations of Health Education and Promotion
          • HLTH 6110 - Intervention Strategies for Health Education and Promotion
          • KINE 6212 - Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Diagnostic Procedures
          • KINE 6401 - Assessment of Physical Activity and Fitness
          • KINE 7002 - Nutrition and Exercise
          • MPH 6008 - Ethnic Health and Health Disparities
          • MPH 6027 - Applied Mixed-Methods Research
          • PHLY 7702 - Graduate Organ Systems Physiology
          • PSYC 6333 - Applied Behavior Analysis
          • any approved elective
          Note:

          ** At least 12 s. h. of the 24 s. h. in the exercise physiology and behavioral science concentration must be from courses which are at the 7,000 or 8,000-level.  All electives must be selected in consultation with concentration mentor.

          Nutritional exercise physiology - 24 s.h.
            Core (14 s.h.)
            • KINE 7002 - Nutrition and Exercise
            • KINE 7211 - Bioenergetics
            • KINE 7447 - Translational Exercise Physiology
            • NUTR 6105 - Human Nutrition in Physiology and Metabolism
            Advanced topics in bioenergetics (5-6 s.h.)

            (Select from the following courses.)

            • KINE 8331 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
            • KINE 8332 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
            • KINE 8333 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
            • KINE 8334 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
            • KINE 8335 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
            • KINE 8336 - Advanced Topics in Bioenergetics
            Restricted electives (4-5 s.h.)

            (Select from the following courses.)

            • KINE 8320 - Bioenergetics II: Regulation of Metabolism
            • PHLY 7702 - Graduate Organ Systems Physiology
            • PHLY 7704 - Physiological Proteogenomics
        For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

        Careers With This Degree

        Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

        • Physiology, Pathology, and Related Sciences
        • Scientific and Technical Services
        • Physiology, Pathology, and Related Sciences

        Career Opportunities

        ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

        NC Tower

        This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

        • Self-employed;
        • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
        • Work outside of North Carolina.

        US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

        This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

        Degree-specific internships

        For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

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