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Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

Chair’s Welcome

Thank you for visiting the web pages of the Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology (NEP) at WSU Health Sciences Spokane. On these pages, you will find information on our academic programs, faculty teaching and research interests, outreach activities, news and much more.

Regular physical activity and proper nutrition are the cornerstones of health promotion and disease prevention. Yet the majority of adults and many children in the U.S. are sedentary at work, school and leisure-time, and our diets consist largely of highly palatable, energy-rich foods. Given the well-established health benefits of regular physical activity and proper nutrition, it is essential to understand why so many interventions have failed to motivate people to change their health behaviors and how barriers to making health behavior changes can be overcome. The teaching and research foci of the NEP program sit at the intersection of clinical and population-level approaches to combating obesity and chronic disease. We also have additional expertise in patient populations that benefit from nutrition and exercise therapy, including bariatric surgery, hypertension, and malnutrition syndromes.

A unique aspect of our BS NEP program is that it prepares students to be eligible for the American College of Sports Medicine Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP) examination, and also puts them on the path toward completing education required to take the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) examination through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) through the MS NEP Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD). The MS NEP CPD is unique because of its cognate in physical activity / exercise, allowing students to focus on clinical dietetics while still developing a solid grounding in principles of exercise physiology, exercise testing and exercise prescription.

The current academic year has been important for our continued growth. The program officially transitioned into the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine as a new department. Changes to the BS program have recently been approved. Students will now follow a pre-health professional track as preparation prior to acceptance into the Spokane-based program. The MS CPD program has undergone some changes to allow for a smoother transition from the BS to the MS level, with further didactic training in graduate level biochemistry, statistics, and research methods. And, we are excited to re-establish the MS NEP (thesis) and PhD NEP degree programs with recruitment into these research tracks happening fall 2017 for entrance in  fall 2018.

With approximately 15,000 square feet of dedicated teaching, research and office space, the physical home of NEP in the Health Education & Research Building (HERB) is getting a major overhaul consisting of new, state-of-the-art equipment for laboratory courses, practicums and research.

Great things are ahead for NEP …. So please stay tuned!


Glen E. Duncan, Ph.D., RCEP
Professor and Department Chair

Glen Duncan
Chair, Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology

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