Graduate Program

Ph.D. in Human Bioenergetics

General Program Description

Doctor of Philosophy Student Handbook
PhD Progress Report

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Human Bioenergetics prepares students for academic and research careers. This program trains professionals in basic and applied research addressing important aspects of human health and disease, human performance, and human aging. Trainees will be equipped to serve the state and the nation in a variety of capacities such as basic and applied research scientists in academic, industrial, and public health settings.

Human Bioenergetics is the multidisciplinary study of how energy is transferred in cells, tissues and organisms. The manner in which the body regulates energy transfer pathways and processes has a fundamental influence on health. These processes convert food into energy and relate directly to human health across the lifespan and the spectrum of functional capacities from chronic disease to elite athletic performance.

The doctoral program in Human Bioenergetics is highlighted by a common core of classes, significant number of elective classes in specialized cognate areas, grant writing, and extensive research experience.

Faculty members work closely with students for their academic, professional and personal advising.

On-site research facilities and laboratories are state-of-the-art and are part of the Human Performance Clinical/Research Laboratory. Other on-campus facilities are used in collaboration.

Each faculty laboratory provides a unique research opportunity for students to develop specialized experience related to their career goals.


Admissions Information

Admission Requirements

Candidates for admission to the Human Bioenergetics Doctoral Program in Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University must:

  1. Meet the University and Graduate School minimum requirements for admission.
  2. Hold a bachelor’s or a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or proof of equivalent degree and training from an acceptable foreign institution of higher education. An applicant who holds a first professional degree (e.g., M.D., D.O., D.V.M., D.D.S.,) from a regionally and programmatically accredited college or university in the United States, or proof of equivalent degree and training from an acceptable foreign institution of higher education, may be considered on an individual basis even though he or she does not hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent as defined above.
  3. Candidates for admission must have a commitment from a faculty member to serve as the dissertation and academic mentor/adviser at the time of application.

International student applicants from non-English speaking countries must also demonstrate English proficiency by completing the TOEFL exam with a total score of at least 600 (paper based test), 200 (computer based test) or 100 (internet based test), no exceptions.

Applicants should be trained in a relevant area of science to be competitive to enter the program. Any course deficiencies identified at the time of application will be required to be remedied upon enrollment as a graduate student.

Students holding the master’s (or equivalent, e.g. post-baccalaureate M.D., D.O., D.V.M., D.D.S.) degree may be able to apply 30 credits or more toward the doctoral degree. This will be determined on an individual basis.

Prerequisite Courses:

Prerequisite/background course requirements will depend on the specific area of research interest associated with potential faculty advisers. Generally, discipline related courses along with science courses will be necessary.

Required Support by Faculty Member: Admission to the doctoral program is dependent upon the availability of resources and of a faculty dissertation adviser/mentor to oversee the program of study (required course work) and to guide the dissertation project. Thus, interested students MUST contact individual faculty members in an area of interest and interview (see below). It is critical that the potential applicant initiate conversations with potential faculty adviser(s) before or simultaneously with application to the program. Because of this required linkage with a faculty mentor upon entry into the program, individual applicants might be denied admission, even though the general qualifications for admission are met, if there is not a faculty member willing or able to accept the student into his or her mentorship. Contact the Graduate Program Director, Matthew.Hickey@ColoState.edu if you need assistance in making contact with a faculty member or need help in identifying a potential mentor.

A personal interview by the potential faculty mentor/adviser and the Doctoral Admissions Committee is required of all finalists for admission. Final acceptance and continuation in the program are contingent upon the sponsorship by a faculty member who will serve as the dissertation and academic adviser. The admission of a student into the program and the selection of an adviser are by mutual agreement and are formalized in the letter of acceptance from the Department.

Application Process

To apply to the doctoral program in Human Bioenergetics in the Department of Health and Exercise Science:

  1. Complete the online application from the Graduate School (official transcripts for all degrees and the application fee will be required);
  2. Submit a letter* of application to the Department of Health and Exercise Science to include a statement of career goals and research interests (Attach your curriculum vita and any supporting documents such as thesis and/or publications); and
  3. Submit three letters of recommendation from former/current professors.
  4. Acquire the Health and Exercise graduate faculty adviser support letter detailing the faculty adviser’s support of the application and the financial support plan.
  5. If a Graduate Teaching Assistantship is a potential part of the financial support plan, the applicant must complete the APPLICATION FOR GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIP form obtained from the department and submit to the department.

*Note: in your letter, indicate the faculty member with whom you have interviewed as your potential adviser.

Departmental Address:

Graduate Program Director
Health and Exercise Science
220 Moby B Complex
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1582

Decision on Admission

The final decision on admission into the doctoral program is made by the Doctoral Admissions Committee consisting of the departmental Graduate Program Director, two departmental graduate faculty members (excluding the proposed faculty mentor of the applicant under consideration), and the Department Head (ex officio). The potential faculty mentor makes the specific recommendation for admission of an applicant to the Doctoral Admissions Committee documenting the acceptability of the applicant for admission and providing the plan for the commitment of resources and support for the applicant’s training. The Doctoral Admissions Committee then makes the final decision based on the potential faculty mentor’s recommendation, a review of the applicant’s credentials, and overall programmatic concerns. The final decision as to acceptance or denial is formalized in the letter to the applicant.

Application Deadlines

April 15th -- Fall Admission
November 15th -- Spring Admission


Program Requirements

Degree Requirements

All course and degree requirements must meet Graduate School requirements for awarding of the Ph.D. degree.

Total Minimum Credits Required for Degree (72 credits):
A minimum of 49 credits (22 credits of core requirements, 6 credits of statistics cognate, 9 credits of electives, a minimum of 12 dissertation credits), plus up to a maximum of 30 (or more if CSU Master's degree) credits submitted from the Master's degree in partial fulfillment of the doctoral degree should equal a minimum total of 72 credits. If the department accepts fewer than 30 credits for the Master's degree and this is insufficient to meet the 72 minimum credits overall, the remaining credits must be taken to reach a minimum of 72 credits for the doctoral degree. Additional courses may be required by a graduate committee to address deficits in a given applicant's training/academic preparation. In addition, the credit totals for a given program of study may be well above the minimum credit expectations detailed above and below. Required credits are detailed later in this Handbook.

For students enrolled in a continuous master's/PhD program, all courses used towards the CSU master's degree (listed on the student's GS6 Program of Study for the master's degree) may be applied to the PhD degree, even if the total master's degree credits exceed 30. The Credits from Master's Degree section on the GS6 Program of Study form must be filled out in order for the master's credits to be added to the total PhD credits. Of the courses earned at CSU, at least 21 credits must be in 500 or higher level courses.

Teaching Requirement:
As part of a comprehensive doctoral training program, students are required to teach 10 contact hours in a single undergraduate "regular" course in a single semester, with a minimum of 5 contact hours with the teaching mentor. The Ph.D. Teaching Requirement Planning Form (Appendix A) must be completed by the student in consultation with the adviser and the course instructor, and signed by the adviser and course instructor and department head. This form is due four weeks prior to the start of the semester. A teaching mentor will be assigned (this will usually be the adviser or course instructor) to monitor the teaching and provide assistance to assure quality classroom experiences for students in courses taught by Ph.D. candidates. The student registers for Supervised College Teaching (HES 784V) for one credit when engaged in this teaching requirement. These credits for supervised teaching do not count toward the minimum number of credits toward graduation and are NOT included on the "Program of Study" (GS 6 form). Appendix B has the Teaching Requirement Completion Form that is completed at the end of the experience. The Department Head and Graduate Program Director clear this requirement for graduation on the GS 25B form signed at the end of the last semester.

The faculty instructor, or their designee, must evaluate the doctoral student who teaches in this regard at least twice during the course. This can be accomplished using the HES peer teaching evaluation form, or a similar written narrative evaluation. Students within the course should be permitted to complete a Student Course Survey specifically for the graduate student teaching in the course. All evaluations must be forwarded to the Department Head. In the case of poor performance, the adviser in consultation with the Department Head should execute a remedial plan, before the student can teach again.

Required Examinations
All graduate program exams are governed by the Graduate School rules, regulations and appeal processes as stated in the Graduate and Professional Bulletin.

  1. Preliminary (Candidacy) Examination:
    Note: The GS6 form, Program of Study, must have been filed prior to the initiation of the Preliminary/Candidacy exam. The Preliminary/Candidacy exam cannot be taken if the GS6 form is not on file at the Graduate School. The Student must be in good standing with the Graduate School with a GPA of at least 3.00. The intention to hold a Ph.D. preliminary examination must be publicized two weeks prior to the event by the adviser. This information should go to the Graduate School, the Department Head, and the Graduate Program Director.

    No later than the end of the semester following completion of core coursework (fourth semester), and at least two terms before the final examination, Ph.D. candidates will be required to complete a comprehensive knowledge examination. The student’s graduate committee, in consultation with the graduate student, will determine the timing of this examination and its content. Content and examination format will vary from student to student and is up to the discretion of the graduate committee. The exam will always consist of two parts: written and oral. The written exam will be completed over a two-day period and submitted to the student’s graduate committee for grading. The results of the written exam must be satisfactory to the committee before moving to the oral portion of the exam. The oral defense of the examination will take place no later than two weeks after the written exam and is administered by the student’s graduate committee. Students who fail to successfully complete the written or oral component of the comprehensive exam will, at the discretion of the student’s graduate committee, be given no more than one attempt to retake the examination. A Ph.D. candidate must successfully pass the preliminary exam before being eligible for further progress in the program. The result of the preliminary/candidacy exam is reported to the Graduate School on the “Report of Preliminary Examination” (GS 16) and establishes the student’s official candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The Department Head signs this form. The Student and Adviser are responsible for filing this form with the Graduate School within two business days following completion of the exam.

  2. Research Updates:
    The student will be required to meet annually with the graduate committee. During these meetings, the student is expected to provide a research update to the graduate committee. The graduate committee will evaluate whether adequate progress is being made toward completion of the dissertation. If deficiencies are noted, the graduate committee will provide benchmarks for adequate progress and suggest strategies to aid in the dissertation completion. In the first and second years, these meetings correspond with the formation of the dissertation committee (year one) and preliminary exam (second year). Additional years are performed annually with the final report completed after the dissertation defense. Yearly reports (PhD Progress and Completion Report) will be completed by the student and Advisor and signed by the Advisor, student, and Graduate Program Director.

  3. Dissertation Proposal:
    Within 3 year of entry into the program, students will propose a sequence of studies constituting a dissertation. The dissertation proposal per se will be comprised of a written proposal, the format of which is determined by the student's graduate committee; but usually in the form of a grant proposal. A public presentation of the dissertation proposal (time and date scheduled through the Graduate Program Director at least two weeks prior) will be followed by a more in depth discussion with the doctoral committee. The written proposal will be provided to the student’s graduate committee no later than two weeks prior to the date of the presentation of the proposal. The student’s graduate committee will examine both the written and oral examination to determine if the student has an adequate proposal to proceed on to their dissertation research. The results of the dissertation proposal, and yearly update, will be communicated to the departmental Graduate Program Director and included in the PhD Progress and Completion Report.

  4. Dissertation Defense:
    The dissertation defense will be scheduled upon satisfactory completion of data collection and analysis as determined by the student’s graduate committee in consultation with the student. The student’s graduate committee conducts the defense. The defense must be publicized across the University at least two weeks prior to the date of the defense. The date and time of the public presentation must be scheduled through the Graduate Program Director at least two weeks prior. The dissertation defense is public and is an oral presentation followed by the examination of the student’s dissertation that is carried out by the student’s graduate committee. The public presentation will be 40-45 minutes followed by 15-20 minutes of questions from the public (not the committee members). The graduate committee will perform further examination after the public presentation. The results of the dissertation defense are reported to the Graduate School on the “Report of Final Exam Results” (GS 24) and are included in the PhD Progress and Completion Report. The Student and Adviser are responsible for filing this form with the Graduate School within two business days following completion of the exam.

The Dissertation:
Dissertation research must represent “original inquiry” and constitute a body of work that represents a progression of research studies that address a significant problem, and that investigate the underlying mechanisms/issues involved. “Negative result” and “descriptive” studies are generally not acceptable for a dissertation, unless such findings constitute a significant contribution to the understanding of the problem addressed, add significantly to the body of knowledge, or serve as preliminary studies that have lead to more substantial research projects within the dissertation.

Guidelines for the format of the dissertation are available on the Graduate School website (Dissertation Manual). You are strongly encouraged to review these guidelines prior to writing the dissertation and to refer to them as you prepare your dissertation. Note that while alternative overall formats for the dissertation are permitted (multi-part and two volumes), there are basic formatting requirements required. Multi-part dissertations may be best when the dissertation represents several manuscripts for publication. The Graduate Program Director can assist when alternative formats are considered. Preparation of at least one manuscript from the dissertation for submission to a peer-reviewed journal is required. The Department Head and Graduate Program Director clear this manuscript requirement by signing the GS 25B form completed as part of the completion of all requirements for the degree.

Grant Writing Experience:
As part of the doctoral training, a grant writing experience and submission will be required. This experience may be in the form of a formal course, or as directed by the graduate student’s adviser and committee, or as part of the dissertation proposal. The adviser evaluates the experience and proof of submission is required and will be included in the PhD Progress and Completion Report.

Final Disposition of the Dissertation:
Submission of the dissertation is done through the Graduate School by the posted semester deadline. All requirements and the processes are posted on the Graduate School website. The dissertation MUST be submitted electronically and must follow Graduate School guidelines. A PDF electronic copy of the final dissertation must be provided to the Department via the Department's Graduate Program Director.

Exit Interview with Department Head:
All graduate students must schedule an exit interview with the Department Head following the successful defense of their dissertation and prior to graduation. Students complete a survey on their graduate experience prior to the exit interview. Students bring the Graduate School form "Departmental Requirements Clearance Form" (GS 25B) for signature. Prior to this, the PhD Progress and Completion Report should be completed with the Graduate Program Director (Appendix D).

Publication of Dissertation:
In partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. degree, each Ph.D. candidate must publish a minimum of one journal manuscript based on the dissertation research in a quality journal (as determined by the student's graduate committee). As the lead-time for a manuscript to be accepted for publication can be up to a year, the student’s graduate committee may permit a manuscript submission at the time of completion of the degree as fulfillment of this requirement to publish. The requirement to publish the dissertation research is cleared for graduation via Department Head signature on the GS 25B form at the end of the final semester.

Additional Expectations:
In expectation of a quality doctoral experience, Ph.D. candidates should have presented their work in abstract form at an appropriate number of national meetings and published at least one peer-reviewed manuscript prior to graduation (as principal or as co-author). It is in the interest of the Ph.D. candidate to have a body of work that has been peer-reviewed and accepted by the discipline via publications to reflect their academic and scientific ability upon awarding of the degree. Additionally, evidence of successful grant writing and submission will greatly enhance the student's credentials. These additional expectations are documented during yearly research updates and completion of the PhD Progress and Completion Report.

Course Requirements

Total Minimum Credits Required for Degree (72 credits):
A minimum of 49 credits (22 credits of core requirements, plus 6 credits of statistics cognate, plus 9 credits of electives, plus a minimum of 12 dissertation credits), plus up to a maximum of 30 (or more if CSU Master's degree) credits submitted from the Master's degree in partial fulfillment of the doctoral degree should equal a minimum total of 72 credits. If less than the department accepts fewer than 30 credits for the Master's degree and this is insufficient to meet the 72 minimum credits overall, the remaining credits must be taken to reach a minimum of 72 credits for the doctoral degree. Additional courses may be required by a graduate committee to address deficits in a given applicant’s training/academic preparation. In addition, the credit totals for a given program of study may be well above the minimum credit expectations.

As stated above, a master's degree from an accredited college or university may be accepted for a maximum of 30 credits, or more if it is a CSU Master's degree for a student who is continuing into the doctoral program without interruption. In addition, up to ten credits in courses earned after the date on which the master's degree was awarded may be accepted in transfer if approved by the student's advisory committee, the department, and the Graduate School. A minimum of 32 credits must be earned at Colorado State University after admission to a doctoral program. At least 21 credits beyond the master's degree must be earned in courses numbered 500 or above. See the Graduate and Professional Bulletin for details if credits from a Master's degree are not being applied toward the Ph.D. Note: courses at 100-200 levels cannot count as graduate credits and will not be counted in the GPA calculation (and cannot be placed on the GS6 form described below).

The Program of Study: GS6 Form
Individual student course work is planned early (first-second semester) in the student's program. All course work is then submitted on the GS 6 form, Program of Study; which should be completed and submitted no later than the student's second semester. This constitutes the required curriculum for the student. As part of the required curriculum, courses to address deficits in preparation may likely be included. The Program of Study can be modified after submission to the Graduate School, but there are limitations. Any course that has received a grade cannot be removed. Courses not yet taken can be removed. Courses with a "D" or worse cannot be counted toward the degree. Any course can be added.

If changes in the Program of Study have occurred, this is reconciled when the student completes the GS 25 Application for Graduation form. The student can make no change to the Program of Study; all changes must be in consultation with and with the approval of the adviser.

REQUIRED COURSES

Year 1
Semester 1Credits
HES 610: Exercise Bioenergetics 3
HES 704 A or B: Advanced Topics in Human Bioenergetics3
HES 793: Bioenergetics Seminar1
Stat XXX: Statistics Elective 3
Total10
Semester 2Credits
*HES 700: Professional Skills in Bioenergetics or elective 3
PHIL/CM 666: Ethics 3
Stat XXX: Statistics elective3
HES 793: Bioenergetics Seminar1
Total10

Year 2
Semester 1Credits
HES 704 A or B: Advanced Topics in Human Bioenergetics 3
HES 793: Bioenergetics Seminar 1
Elective3
HES 799: Var. Dissertation 3
Total10
Semester 2Credits
HES 793: Bioenergetics Seminar1
*HES 700: Professional Skills in Bioenergetics or elective3
Elective3
HES 799: Var. Dissertation 3
Total10

Year 3 - 4
Dissertation credits or electives                                                  36

*Offered every other year

REQUIRED: 6 CREDITS STATISTICS COGNATE

Choose any 2 of the following:

  • STAT 511 – Design and Data analysis for researchers I
  • STAT 512 – Design and Data analysis for researchers II
  • STAT 530 – Mathematical Statistics
  • STAT 540 – Data analysis and regression
  • STAT 544 – Biostatistical methods for quantitative data
  • STAT 560 – Applied multivariate statistics

REQUIRED: MINIMUM OF 9 CREDITS OF ELECTIVES

Sample courses:

FSHN 700 – Cellular Nutrition
CM 501 – Advanced Cell Biology
BC 563 – Molecular Genetics
BC 565 – Molecular Regulation of Cell Function
MIP 576 – Bioinformatics
HES/FSHN 630– Integrative Exercise and Nutrition Metabolism
BMS 500 – Mammalian Physiology I
BMS 501 – Mammalian Physiology II
FSHN 550 – Advanced Nutritional Science
FSHN 551 – Advanced Nutritional Science II
BMS/MECH 570 –Bioengineering
BMS 575 – Human Dissection
BMS 619 – Advanced Human Gross Anatomy