Jul 14, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Kinesiology and Sport Studies Major, PhD

The PhD degree with a major in Kinesiology and Sport Studies is a research-intensive degree focused on preparing individuals in the areas of kinesiology and sport studies. Specific areas of specialization are listed below. The program can usually be completed in 3 years (2 years of course work and 1 year for the dissertation). Students must pass comprehensive exams and file admission to candidacy paperwork prior to taking dissertation hours.

Students must complete a Master’s degree prior to admission into the program. The doctoral committee approves the course of study. The minimum requirements of the degree are listed below. At least 24 of these hours, exclusive of the dissertation, must be beyond the Master’s level.


Credit Hours

Concentration (Kinesiology or Sport Studies) 15
Research 18
Specialization (see below for options) 9
Cognate (must come from an area related to and supportive of the concentration and specialization) 6
Dissertation 24

NOTE: The above are viewed as minimum requirements and are subject to modification by the student’s committee.

Kinesiology Concentration

The PhD major in kinesiology and sport studies offers a concentration in kinesiology, which deals with the study of human movement. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of skills needed for high quality research and innovative teaching. Students are expected to become proficient in research methods within their respective areas of specialization. The program prepares students for postdoctoral or faculty positions in higher education, or positions in applied sport and clinical settings and has specializations in Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, Physical Activity Epidemiology and Sport Psychology and Motor Behavior.

Biomechanics specialization

The PhD specialization in biomechanics focuses on mechanisms, prevention, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries and diseases. Doctoral students in the biomechanics specialization receive research training under the direct supervision of a faculty member in the areas of lower extremity injury mechanisms, rehabilitation, and prevention, effects of impact loading to lower extremity joints during dynamic movements, gait mechanics following total joint replacement, gait retraining using real-time feedback, and evaluation of medical orthoses and footwear. They gain instructional experience by teaching laboratory sections of undergraduate biomechanics and anatomy courses. Students take courses in biomechanics, and supporting coursework in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, statistics, and/or mathematics.

Exercise Physiology specialization

The PhD specialization in exercise physiology focuses on applied human physiology, and uses a systems approach to study the acute responses to exercise and the chronic adaptations to physical training. Doctoral students in the exercise physiology specialization gain hands-on experience in research by working under the direct supervision of a faculty member in the areas of physical activity assessment, metabolism, the health benefits of exercise, and body composition assessment. They also gain experience in instruction by teaching undergraduate laboratories under the mentorship of a faculty member. The supporting coursework (i.e. cognate) can be taken in a number of areas, including Nutrition, Statistics, or Nursing.

Physical Activity Epidemiology specialization

The PhD specialization in physical activity epidemiology examines how the burden of chronic disease at the population-level can be impacted through the frequency, intensity, type and duration of physical activity. Doctoral students will receive training in physical activity assessment techniques, research designs, field-based skills, and secondary data analysis. In addition, doctoral students will have the opportunity to learn geographic information system and statistical techniques as well as design community-based interventions to promote physical activity across the lifespan.

Sport Psychology and Motor Behavior specialization

The PhD specialization in sport psychology and motor behavior emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to course work and research as well as the development of students’ proficiency in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Students are expected to obtain a significant grounding in the allied parent disciplines. Students must have completed all requirements for a master’s degree in kinesiology, physical education, psychology, sport studies, or a related field prior to beginning the doctoral program.

Sport Studies Concentration

The PhD degree with a major in kinesiology and sport studies offers a concentration in sport studies with areas of specialization in socio-cultural studies and sport management. The program stresses an interdisciplinary approach to course work and research and expects students to become proficient in qualitative and quantitative research methods. Students are expected to obtain a significant grounding in the allied, parent disciplines. The program prepares students to obtain faculty or administration positions in higher education.

Socio-Cultural Studies specialization

The PhD specialization in Socio-Cultural Studies derives its primary intellectual identity from the disciplines of history, philosophy, and sociology. The program draws upon perspectives from cultural studies, feminist theory, global studies, ethics, and other specialized forms of inquiry in critically examining all levels of competitive sport and other organized movement activities. We teach students to forge connections between theoretical considerations and potential solutions to a wide variety of real-world challenges. We are committed to the principles of diversity and social justice and to the provision of positive sport and movement experiences for all people. The majority of doctorate students pursue careers as faculty in higher education after completing their degree. However, some have obtained positions outside of academia, for example in diversity services for major corporations.

Sport Management specialization

The Sport Management doctoral specialization within Sport Studies prepares graduates for positions as faculty members in higher education. The coursework for the program is developed between the student and the faculty advisor to meet the educational goals of the student. Students have the flexibility to develop a program that allows them to focus on the area of Sport Management in which they have an interest. Doctoral students will receive training in research design and methodology and are expected to conduct research outside the requirements of the classroom. The program consists of 15 hours within the concentration, 18 hours of research courses, nine hours within the specialization and a minimum of six hours in an outside or cognate area.