Clinical Exercise Physiology (Professional Program: DCEP)
College of Applied Health Sciences
Department of Physical Therapy (MC 898)
1919 W. Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60612-7251
Campus Location: 4th Floor, Applied Health Sciences Building
The College of Applied Health Sciences offers the Doctor of Clinical Exercise Physiology degree. The DCEP is the advanced degree for individuals who wish to become clinical exercise physiologists. At the University of Illinois Chicago, students complete three terms (12 months) of didactic and clinical education that includes lecture and laboratory courses, seminars, and clinical internships.
The Doctor of Clinical Exercise Physiology program is the first of its kind in the country, and offers students the following:
- unique opportunities to work with different patient populations including those with cardiovascular disease, pulmonary conditions, pediatric cardiopulmonary conditions, chronic kidney disease, metabolic disorders, and cancer
- access to the University of Illinois Medical Center, including opportunities for clinical observations
- opportunities to expand their skillset with cardiovascular imaging and providing diabetes education to patients
- world-class faculty specializing in chronic diseases, including researchers with labs on site
- a prime location in the heart of Chicago
Under the current legal constructs, the DCEP program will enable students to prepare for several specialized certifications to grow their skill set and increase their opportunities for employment. These certifications include:
- ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist
- ACSM Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer
- ACSM Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer
- Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
- Point-of-Care Ultrasound Certification
The Doctor of Clinical Exercise Physiology program at UIC is considered a professional clinical doctorate degree program, not a graduate program.
- Prior Degrees Applicants must possess a Master of Arts or Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Science, Kinesiology, or like degrees. Students must also have had at least 100 hours of experience working in a clinical setting (i.e., cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, community wellness, adult physical fitness programs, cardiopulmonary exercise stress testing).
- Prerequisite Courses It is highly recommended that prospective students have taken courses in the following areas: electrocardiography; advanced exercise testing, interpretation and prescription; and advanced exercise physiology.
- Grade Point Average Minimum GPA of 3.00/4.00 in Master's program.
- Test Required None.
- Minimum English Competency Test Score (for international applicants)
- TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
- IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
- PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
- UIC Application and Transcripts Required.
- Personal Statement Required. A 300- to 500-word personal statement, in which the applicant addresses their desire to attend the professional doctorate program and how they intend to apply their newly acquired skills.
- Letters of Recommendation Required. Two letters in support of the application from people who can comment meaningfully on the applicant's work in academic and professional settings.
- Additional Requirements for International Applicants Please consult the International Requirements page for a list of credentials and requirements, including the following items.
- Minimum Semester Hours Required 50-54 hours from the Master's degree.
- Course Work
|Degree Course Sequence|
|Fall Semester (18 Hours)|
|Nutrition for Healthy Living|
|Healthy Living Medicine for Diabetes and Other Metabolic Disorders|
|Professional Development I|
|Clinical Education Experience I|
|Cardiovascular Imaging and Research Methods I|
|Spring Semester (18 Hours)|
|Control of Posture and Locomotion|
|Behavioral Counseling for Healthy Living|
|Healthy Living Medicine for the Clinically Complex Patient|
|Clinical Education Experience II|
|Cardiovascular Imaging and Research Methods II|
|Ultrasound Clinical Rotation I|
|Summer Session (14-18 Hours)|
|Professional Development II|
|Clinical Education Experience III|
|Ultrasound Clinical Rotation II|
|Project in Clinical Exercise Physiology|
- Grade Point Average Minimum GPA of 3.00/4.00 in all courses completed for the degree is required.
- Portfolio Required. The portfolio is a record of learning that occurs outside of course work and reflects the learning process of an individual student.