Doctor of Clinical Exercise Physiology

Training experts that apply exercise interventions across patients with complex clinical morbidities

UIC’s Doctor of Clinical Exercise Physiology (DCEP) program provides unique didactic and practical training opportunities that elevate the professional preparation beyond what is currently available for students who aspire to practice as clinical exercise physiologists.

Our program builds upon a master’s degree training and delivers rigorous didactic and practical education that includes the clinical management of patients with complex health conditions, performing echocardiograms, delivering diabetes education to patients and effectively managing clinical programs and personnel.

Students who complete earn our DCEP are well poised to pursue careers in cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, bariatric exercise programs, cancer rehabilitation and other clinical exercise intervention settings, cardiopulmonary exercise stress testing, diabetes education, program management, cardiovascular sonography, academics, be a part of medical research teams and more.

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Stats and Facts

A physical therapist is treating a patient's knee
UIC Physical Therapy Faculty Practice
Learn from world-class faculty and researchers including those in our faculty practice
Employers are
more likely to hire a candidate with a DCEP over a master's and
would pay, on average, $10K more per year to candidates with a DCEP
Cemal with patient
DCEP receives IBHE approval
The only DCEP program in the country has already attracted attention
program is the first of its kind in the United States

Your career

Our graduates are uniquely prepare to sit for certifications that students at the master’s level commonly are not prepared to take (ACSM’s Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer and Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer).

In a survey taken by cardiac, pulmonary and exercise testing directors/managers within Illinois of the respondents, 60% identified that if presented two candidates, one with a master’s and one with a professional doctorate, they would be more inclined to hire the professional doctorate. Additionally, 23 reported that they would pay a higher starting salary (on average $10,000 more per year) for a DCEP over a master’s prepared student.

Learn from the best

  • Cemal Ozemek

    Cemal Ozemek

    Levarages his experience as an educator, investigator and director of the UIC Cardiac Rehabilitation Program to foster his students’ professional development and success

  • Hannah Claeys Ozemek

    Hannah Claeys Ozemek

    Practicing in clinical spaces that deliver exercise interventions and assessments across populations with chronic health diseases for over 15 years

  • Joel Hardwick

    Joel Hardwick

    As Director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation program, Joel is exploring applications of clinical exercise physiology in diabetes management, exercise oncology, and cardiac rehabilitation

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See yourself at UIC

Still wondering what a DCEP can do for you? Contact us to learn more.

You can contact Dr. Cemal Ozemek at: