Physical Therapy

Exercise Physiology Major Requirements

Program Requirements
Academic Progression Policy
Technical Standards
Health Requirements
Additional Program Requirements 
Course of Study - Class of 2013+ (pdf)

For additional information visit the Department of Physical Therapy or contact us.

Program Requirements

Completion of the Exercise Physiology program will prepare well-educated and competent practitioners. All students are expected to demonstrate the essential abilities and skills necessary to work accurately and safely with peers and patients/clients in a variety of settings, including classroom, laboratory, and practice settings. Students are expected to assume responsibility for life-long learning and professional career development.

Academic Progression Policy

To qualify for continued matriculation in the Exercise Physiology program, all students must meet specific academic criteria. These include maintaining a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, a minimum science GPA of 2.5, a minimum 2.5 GPA in all courses in the EP major, and no grade less than C in major courses. The courses that are included in the science GPA include Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Physiological Chemistry or General Chemistry I and II, and General Physics I and II, including all of the respective laboratory courses.  Students who fail to meet these academic requirements will be dismissed from the program with the right to appeal.  A student with a successful appeal will be allowed back into the program on probation. A student is permitted only one probationary period in his/her undergraduate career in the EP program.

Students are expected to adhere to the Honor Code and to maintain the highest ethical behavior both in and out of the classroom. A copy of the department honor code can be found in the Exercise Physiology manual. Cheating or plagiarism is strictly prohibited. Should students witness either behavior, they are required by the Code to report infractions. Students found in violation of the Honor Code will be dismissed from the program. Students in the College of Health Sciences are also expected to adhere to the university’s policy on academic integrity  and the college’s social media policy.

Technical Standards

The following guidelines have been developed to specify the essential functions students must demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of the Exercise Physiology curricula.  Functions listed are required for the learning and practice of critical thinking, communication, and technical skills taught in the curricula.  These functions may be required in practicum, classroom, and laboratory environments.

Students in Exercise Physiology must demonstrate certain minimum skills, including:

1.  Observational and Examination Skills:

  • obtain an appropriate health/fitness/medical history from the patient/client.
  • accurately examine body systems and determine vision, hearing, speech and non-verbal communication, cognition, strength, flexibility, and functional capacities of patients/clients in the context of exercise physiology.
  • accurately examine cardiovascular fitness, including vital signs, blood pressure, breathing patterns, and exercise endurance.
  • observe demonstrations and participate in classroom and laboratory experiences.
  • reliably read all equipment monitors and dials.

2.   Communication Skills:

  • communicate (verbal, nonverbal and written) with others in a respectful, polite and confident manner
  • maintain accurate and timely documentation in all written assignments in classroom and practicum settings
  • translate complex information simply and clearly.
  • maintain confidentiality of information/records in all settings.
  • demonstrate understanding of English, including speaking, reading, and writing using correct grammar, accurate spelling, and expression.
  • use communication technology timely and effectively, i.e. telephone, computer, UMass Lowell student email, ISIS and other classroom technologies.

3.  Motor Skills:

A. Mobility

  • Attend lecture and laboratory classes and access laboratories, classrooms and work stations.
  • Attend internships in assigned locations.
  • Accomplish required physical tasks for assessment, demonstration, leadership, and assistance in academic, laboratory, and internship settings.
  • Perform emergency procedures such as first aid or CPR in laboratory and internship setting.
B. Strength tasks

  • Safely and effectively administer exercise and training techniques which require demonstration, facilitation, spotting, or resistance.
  • Manually adjust exercise and training equipment.
  • Safely assist and guard patients/clients during exercise testing and training.
C. Fine motor and coordination skills

  • Use palpation and touch to accurately assess pulse, locate and prep sites for electrode placement, and skinfold measurement.
  • Accurately set equipment dials and switches, calipers, use stethoscopes and sphygmomanometers, and tape measures.
  • Accurately assess blood pressure.

4.  Critical Thinking Skills:

  • demonstrate the ability to recall knowledge, comprehend and interpret, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information obtained during didactic, laboratory, and/or practice setting experiences.
  • demonstrate problem-solving skills necessary for identifying/prioritizing problems, and developing appropriate solutions and treatment plans for patient/client problems as well as evaluating those solutions for efficacy.
  • demonstrate the ability evaluate and integrate scientific research.

5.  Behavioral and Social Skills:

  • demonstrate appropriate interpersonal skills evidenced by mature, sensitive, and effective professional interactions
  • demonstrate a positive attitude (motivation) toward learning
  • demonstrate attributes of honesty, integrity, enthusiasm, compassion,  empathy, and continuous regard for others
  • demonstrate emotional well-being necessary for exercising sound judgment
  • demonstrate appropriate time management, dependability, and punctuality
  • demonstrate ability to critique own performance, accept responsibility for one’s own actions, and follow through on commitments and assignments
  • actively seek help when necessary and appropriately utilize constructive feedback
  • demonstrate organizational skills, completing all professional responsibilities and assignments in a timely manner
  • adapt to ever-changing environments, demonstrating flexibility, and learning in the face of the uncertainties and stresses inherent in the educational and practice settings
  • delegate responsibility appropriately, and function as a member of a team
  • demonstrate respect of personal space.
  • maintain appropriate personal hygiene and adhere to appropriate professional attire mandated by the department and practicum setting.
  • display tolerance for individual, social, gender, and cultural differences in fellow students, colleagues, faculty, patients/clients and community members.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell Exercise Physiology Program will consider for admission any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform or learn to perform the functions listed in this document with or without reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments consistent with ADA.  Applicants with disabilities are not required to disclose the existence or nature of their disability during the admissions process;  however, any applicant with questions about these technical requirements is strongly encouraged to discuss the issue with a Department representative.  If appropriate, and upon the request of the applicant/student, academic adjustments and/or reasonable accommodations may be provided.

Health Requirements

All students in the Exercise Physiology program must meet the following health requirements:

  1. Prior to entry into the Practicum in the senior year, students must provide evidence of a current physical exam indicating satisfactory general health as mandated by the state (Proof of immunizations for MMR (2 doses) Varicella (2 doses) Tdap (1 dose current TB test, and Hep B (3 vaccines)). Additional requirements may be made by practicum sites (flu shot, color blind test, etc.)
  2. Any other pertinent health information/needs must be communicated to the department faculty in a timely manner.

Additional Program Requirements

  1. Students must meet with their advisor each semester for pre-registration advising.
  2. Students must provide evidence of current CPR Certification (infant through adult with AED) prior to entry into the senior year.
  3. Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of Standard  Precautions and current HIPAA regulations and adhere to those standards in the laboratory and practice setting when necessary.
  4. A criminal background check (CORI check) is required before starting the Practicum in the senior year.