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Physiology Coursework

The graduate program in Physiology is jointly administered through the Department of Biological Sciences and the School of Biomedical Sciences. The faculty is comprised of members drawn from the Department of Biological Sciences and the Applied Physiology Laboratory of Kent State University's School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport, the Departments of Physiology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM) and The University of Akron and Akron City Hospital. Graduate work may lead to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biological Sciences, with concentrations in Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology or in Environmental and Comparative Physiology, or to the M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, with concentrations in Cardiopulmonary Physiology or in Exercise Physiology. The programs are research-oriented and designed to provide the student with a thorough grounding in physiological principles and techniques as well as opportunities for specialization according to the expertise of the faculty. A major objective is to develop individuals competent in both research and teaching.


Admission to graduate work toward a physiology degree in Biological Sciences or in Biomedical Sciences will be recommended by the faculty of the appropriate program subcommittee, and the review of applications will be managed by the Department of Biological Sciences and the School of Biomedical Sciences, accordingly. In addition, a faculty member with whom the student wishes to work must agree to serve as advisor, and thus early contact between the applicant and a prospective advisor is encouraged. A successful applicant will be expected to have a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (undergraduate and graduate) on a four point scale, to have completed mathematics through calculus, one year of physics, one year of organic chemistry, and coursework in the following areas: (a) genetics, (b) biochemistry or cell biology, (c) vertebrate anatomy, (d) histology, developmental anatomy, or embryology. A student may be admitted despite one or more deficiencies, but it will be necessary to make up the deficiencies prior to the candidacy examination. International students must provide TOEFL scores and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores must also be submitted for evaluation although there is no minimum GRE score required for admission.

PROGRAM OF INSTRUCTION IN BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES (waivers or substitutions must be approved by the Director).

1. Core

a. Cell Biology

  • BSCI 5/70143 Eukaryotic Cell Biology (3 cr) Current study of the structure and function of eukaryotic cells, including recent advances in research technology.
  • Must enroll concurrently in: BSCI 6/70144 Selected Readings in Eukaryotic Cell Biology (1 cr)

b. General Biochemistry (one of the following):

  • CHEM 5/70261 Principles of Biochemistry I (3 cr)Introduction to biochemical principles, including chemistry and metabolism of biochemically important compounds.
  • CHEM 5/70262 Principles of Biochemistry II (3 cr) Supramolecular and cellular biochemistry, including transcription and translation
  • BSCI 5/70142 Bioenergetics (3 cr) Respiration and photosynthesis, their origin, development, and control in living systems. Concepts are introduced from fundamental principles.

c. Quantitative Methods and Statistics (one of the following):

  • BSCI 6/70103 Biological Statistics (3 cr)
  • PSYC 6/71651 Statistical Inference in Psychology (3 cr)
  • BMS 78637 Analysis of BioAnthropological Data I (5 cr)
  • BMS 78638 Analysis of BioAnthropological Data II (3 cr)
  • Equivalent course approved by Director

d. Seminar

  • BMS 60291 Introduction to Biomedical Sciences (1 cr)

e. Professional Development

  • BSCI 6/70194 College Teaching in Biology (1 cr)

2. Physiology Core

a. Basic Physiology - student must complete one of the following:

  • BMS 6/70449 & 6/70450 Medical Physiology I & II (7 cr)Biophysical and biochemical concepts of integrative organ system physiology in the human.
  • BSCI 5/70433 & 5/70434 Mammalian Physiology I & II (6 cr)
  • BSCI 5/70444 & 5/70445 Mammalian Physiology Laboratory I & II (2 cr) The internal environment, metabolism and energy balance, temperature regulation, nervous system and special senses, the cardiovascular, renal, respiratory and digestive systems.

3. Concentration Electives - student must complete two courses from either option (a) or (b):

a. Cardiopulmonary Physiology

  • BMS 6/70451 Microcirculation (2 cr)Theory and practical application of current techniques to evaluate fluid and solute exchange across the microvascular wall.
  • BMS 6/70452 Pulmonary Physiology (2 cr) Relationship between structure and function of the lung with focus on: mechanics, circulation, gas exchange, gas transport, acid/base regulation, host-defense, ventilation-perfusion.
  • BMS 6/70429 Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience (4 cr) The relation of aspects of the neurosciences to the fundamental properties of nervous tissue, establishing a firm base in experimental neurobiology.

b. Exercise Physiology

  • ELS 6/75081 Energy Metabolism and Body Composition (3 cr) Measurement of metabolic response to exercise. Topics include ergometry, spirometry, energy expenditure, body composition, and performance correlates of strength, power, and endurance.
  • ELS 6/75082 Cardio-Respiratory Function During Exercise (3 cr) Measurement of the cardiovascular-respiratory response to exercise. Includes resting spirometry, lung function during exercise, electrocardiography, blood pressure, PWC testing and exercise prescription.

4. General Electives - May include courses listed above not selected, other pertinent courswork at a consortial institution not otherwise selected, and/or the following as appropriate to the student's interests and objectives:

  • BMS 6/70550 & 6/70551 Medical Pharmacology I & II (6 cr)
  • BSCI 6/70461 Neurochemistry (2 cr)
  • BSCI 5/70174 Immunology (2 cr)
  • ELS 75004 Biomechanics (3 cr)
  • ELS 75083 Exercise Energy Metabolism (3 cr)
  • ELS 75084 Cardiovascular-Respiratory Dynamics in Exercise (3 cr)
  • ELS 75085 Anthropometry and Body Comp. in the Exercise Sciences (3 cr)
  • ELS 75086 Muscle Function and Exercise (3 cr)
  • ELS 75087 Environmental Stress and Exercise (3 cr)

5. Seminar - All students are required to register for seminars appropriate to their field of interest for a minimum of three semesters.

6. Additional coursework - May be required by the student's guidance committee in order to meet Program or Departmental requirements.

7. Teaching - The teaching of laboratories and, as appropriate, lecture courses is considered important in the training and development of doctoral candidates. Students should have this experience during their graduate career, including those on non-teaching scholarships or research assistantships for most of their tenure.

8. Professional Development - Candidates are expected to engage, to the extent possible, in other activities beneficial to their professional development. These include membership in professional organizations; attendance at meetings, and when appropriate, presentation of research results; familiarity with the relevant literature; and other activities available during their graduate career.

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