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2012.03.05 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO Introduces Ph.D. in Exercise Science, A First for Nebraska

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has announced the creation of a new doctoral degree in Exercise Science – the first of its kind in Nebraska – providing the state and the region with cutting edge exercise science professionals with advanced training to meet the rapidly increasing job demands.

This new degree, offered by the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) in the College of Education, will be offered through UNO’s Office of Graduate Studies, which helped UNO become recognized as a Carnegie doctoral research institution last year.

“We have placed Nebraska highly on the scientific map,” said Nick Stergiou, director of the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility and Isaacson Professor in UNO’s College of Education. “This Ph.D. will enhance this trajectory of excellence.”

The Exercise Science program will include four specific emphases, including biomechanics, exercise physiology, physical activity and motor control. The National Science Foundation has estimated that there is an expected growth of 18 to 40 percent in exercise science jobs over the next six years.

In addition to the new doctoral degree, HPER offers bachelors and master’s degrees in Health, Physical Education and Recreation with the option of an emphasis in Exercise Science.

“The establishment of the Ph.D. in Exercise Science both recognizes the significant growth in the quality and value of the field at UNO and the University of Nebraska and it reflects the growing importance of research and scholarship in our understanding of how human movement affects our health and wellness,” Sr. Vice Chancellor B.J. Reed said.

The importance of a doctoral degree in exercise science is not only seen in the trends for national job growth, but local job growth as well. The absence of a clinically oriented Ph.D. program in Exercise Science has resulted in numerous students leaving the state of Nebraska.

“We want this brain drain to stop,” said Daniel Blanke, director of the UNO School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. “We have worked hard at developing and nurturing this Ph.D. program which will provide new and exciting opportunities for students in Nebraska and will provide Nebraska with highly educated scientists and researchers.”

A recent report from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research, the Nebraska Department of Labor and the Battelle research organization showed that job opportunities in the state would trend more towards health care and nursing over the long term.

“The new doctoral degree program for exercise science will only add to the high level of excellence we promote in the School of HPER and College of Education,” said Nancy Edick, dean of the College of Education. “I am not only proud of Nick Stergiou and his team for their work helping get this program secured for UNO, but excited to see the high-level of research and high quality of professionals that will come to UNO as a result.”

The exercise science doctoral program at UNO will officially start with the Fall 2012 semester.

For more information on the exercise degree program please contact Erin Owen at eowen@unomaha.edu or by phone at (402) 547.7444.

UNO Creates New Exercise Science Ph.D.


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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu