The PhD program requires 72 credits.

  • 42 credits are required courses in the core curriculum
  • 18-20 credits are electives
  • Up to 12 credits (no fewer than 10) are for your dissertation


Preferred program prerequisites include physics, chemistry, human anatomy, physiology and statistics.

Core Curriculum

  • ES 502 Neuromuscular and Metabolic Responses to Exercise
  • ES 503 Cardiopulmonary Responses to Exercise
  • ES 539 Research Seminar Must complete two semesters
  • CHB 550 Public Health and Population Wellbeing
  • ES 620 Grant Writing for Health Scientists
  • NTR 505 Exercise Nutrition
  • GSC 640/PHI 640 Graduate Research Ethics
  • Statistics and Experimental Designs, STA 527 Intro to Medical Statistics and STA 536 Experimental Design and Analysis  or equivalent

Informal Degree Requirements

You may need to complete specialty training or certification to participate in certain research studies.

Doctoral Qualifying Examination

After completing a substantial portion of the recommended coursework, you will take the doctoral qualifying exam. Passing this exam demonstrates knowledge in your field of specialization and in research before beginning work on your dissertation.


The program requires a minimum of 10 credit hours of dissertation research. The dissertation effort demands, in general, at least one year of full-time concentration in residence. Ultimately, the quality of the dissertation is the crucial consideration regardless of how many credit hours are allocated.

Application to Candidacy

After you have completed all major field experiences, successfully passed the qualifying examination, and presented your dissertation proposal in a department seminar, you’ll enter the final stages of your degree program. At this time, you’ll file an Application to Candidacy form with UB’s Graduate School. The form summarizes the courses to be applied toward your degree. The Graduate School will then notify you of your acceptance to candidacy.

Review a timeline for the PhD program.