PhD in Applied Physiology Curriculum


The goals of the core curriculum are to provide students with a fundamental understanding of physiological systems and their interactions and to develop sound techniques for hypothesis development and evaluation. All students participate in the closely interwoven Systems Physiology sequence that takes students from the most basic molecular mechanisms common to all cells, though their application to specific neuromuscular systems, and culminating with the complex interaction among multiple systems. Students are taught the core methods of research and hypothesis development in a highly interactive doctoral seminar, and the techniques for testing those hypotheses in biostatistics.

Systems Physiology

This sequence focuses on the function and adaptations of movement-related systems. Interactions among the various systems and their plasticity is emphasized. Students begin, in AP 6211, at the most basic level to understand how molecular forces construct the building blocks of biology and to see homeostasis at a subcellular level. They extend these concepts in AP 6212, to see the emergent properties of the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems. Finally, in AP 6213, the influence of interaction among these systems, and the emergent behavior of integrative physiology is explored.

Doctoral Seminar

Students are exposed to diverse current research techniques and topics, culminating in the design of an independent research project. Students learn to identify questions, to refine those questions into a testable hypothesis, and to develop a research plan and proposal to address the hypothesis.


Introductory, statistical principles and methods of experimental design, sampling, power estimation, and hypothesis testing using ANOVA and regression.