Sport and Exercise Science - Exercise Science Graduate Program Emphasis

Exercise Science is the integrated study of human movement, encompassing the physiological, mechanical, and behavioral aspects of physical activity. Concentration areas within this discipline include biomechanics, exercise physiology, and social psychology of sport and physical activity. UNC offers a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in Sport and Exercise Science - Exercise Science emphasis.


The Master of Science degree program includes a broad base of content knowledge and provides opportunities for students to become involved in laboratory, clinical, and basic science research. Students in this program can choose between a Thesis Option or a Professional Research Project Option. Involvement in ongoing research projects is expected. 

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program allows students to take exercise science courses in their emphasis area of choice and pursue research projects associated with their interests. Experience in the classroom as a university-level instructor is also required of doctoral students, given the teacher-scholar emphasis at UNC.


Biomechanics is the study of the structure and function of biological systems by means of the methods of mechanics. Students in the Biomechanics graduate program will study biomechanics research, laboratory techniques, and have options to study in affiliated areas.

Explore the UNC Biomechanics Laboratory to learn about ongoing research projects, lab news, recent publications, and participation information.


Exercise Physiology

The Exercise Physiology graduate emphasis focuses on physiological systems’ responses to exercise. The program involves an in depth examination of both acute and chronic adaptations to exercise with special attention placed on the cardiovascular system, skeletal muscle, and metabolism.

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Social Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity

The focus of the graduate Social Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity emphasis is placed on social psychological concepts as they relate to sport, exercise and physical activity behavior including motivation, self-perceptions, emotion, group processes and socialization. A lifespan developmental perspective is also taken to address these social psychological forms of influence in sport, exercise and physical activity contexts.