What are my chances of getting into the program?
Each year we receive between 30-50 applicants for the program, with 15 students being accepted for admission. The faculty and staff associated with the program independently evaluate and rank each candidate. Those rankings are then merged. Generally, candidates are evaluated on the basis of GPA, references, prior experience in the field (although this is not an absolute requirement), and perceived people skills.
How can I enhance my chance of getting into the program?
The most important things you can do are: 1) attain as high a GPA as possible, 2) get positive references from intern coordinators, or people who are familiar with our program (past alumni working in the field), and 3) visit campus so that we get a chance to meet you. The field of Clinical Exercise Physiology is a people-oriented field. The more demonstrated experiences you have in dealing with people of all ages, in a variety of settings, will increase your chance of getting into the program.
Are GREs required for admissions into the program?
No. We do not require students take the GREs in order to apply to the program.
What fields do successful applicants come from?
Most students who are accepted into the program come from some sort of allied health related field (e.g., Fitness, Physical Education, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Health Education). However, this is not always the case. Some of our best students have come from totally unrelated fields.
Is a campus visit required?
No, but we encourage potential students to visit campus if at all possible. It gives you the opportunity to meet faculty members, staff, and current students in the program. It also gives you a chance to see how our programs are run. Plus, when we evaluate candidates, it is always in your favor if we can put a face with an application. If you would like to arrange a campus visit, contact the Program Director, Dr. John Porcari, by phone (608.785.8684) or email
How is the job market?
The job market remains strong for our graduates. The La Crosse program has a very strong national reputation and people know that graduates from the program are consistently well-prepared and ready to step right into the job market once they finish their degree. We also have an extensive network of alumni working in the field who like to hire "one of their own."
What is the salary range of a Clinical Exercise Physiologist?
Starting salaries for our recent graduates who go into a hospital or clinical setting have ranged from ~$38,000-$42,000 per year. Salaries vary and are typically lower in the Midwest and are higher on the east and west coasts. Students who have additional degrees (e.g., PT, RN, dietetics) also command higher salaries upon graduation.
How do I decide on a thesis topic?
Probably one of the most difficult and stressful parts of the program is deciding what to do your thesis on. All of the faculty involved with the program are actively involved in conducting research and have a number of research ideas that you can use for your thesis. You can also come up with ideas on your own (ideally) if you have a particular area of interest or have conducted research elsewhere. A lot of thesis ideas are spin-offs of something students or faculty have recently read in the newspaper or a magazine (e.g., a new fitness fad, a new piece of exercise equipment, etc.). It makes it a lot easier to immerse yourself in your thesis if it is a topic that you really have an interest in. Once you get on campus John and Carl will help you decide upon a thesis chair and help you set up a committee. View a listing of the thesis projects being conducted by past CEP students.
What is the city of La Crosse like?
La Crosse is situated on the banks of the Mississippi River and is home to about 52,000 residents. If you like the outdoors, you will love La Crosse. There are miles of hiking and biking trails, beautiful bluffs, and the hunting and fishing is tremendous. Click
for the Chamber of Commerce website. From there you can check out anything you want to know about La Crosse. If something is not listed, just type the word (e.g., weather) into the search box and presto...you will be linked to the appropriate information.
Is housing affordable?
Being a college town, there are plenty of student rentals and apartment complexes close to campus. On average, expect to pay between $250 - $400 per month, depending on the size of the apartment, the number of roommates you choose to have, and whether or not utilities are included. Once you are accepted into the program, more specific housing information will be sent to you.