A student working with a physical therapy client


Tackle chronic disease. Champion fitness. Study the science of human movement and prepare for a career that improves lives.

Kinesiology PhD

Doctor of Philosophy degree candidates pursue an advanced program of study and research in preparation for careers in research and teaching.

Areas of Study

Cultural, Interpretive and Science Studies

Drawing on theories and methodologies of sciences, arts, and humanities; studies and creates knowledge related to physical culture, health, and the human body.

Exercise Physiology

Examines work output, energy transfer, and movement efficiency. Research in this area strives to better understand the consequences of exercise stress on body systems.

Exercise Psychology

Faculty in the Exercise Psychology group examine the psychological antecedents (e.g., motivation, personality) and consequences (e.g., mental health, cognitive function) of involvement in physical activity and exercise.

Motor Control / Biomechanics

Examines the neural, physiological and behavioral aspects of the control of movement across the lifespan and in health and disease.

Pedagogy & Physical Activity

Examines how knowledge and skills are imparted in an academic context, focusing on curricula and instruction that helps individuals develop knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle.

Admissions Requirements

  • The minimum of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education
  • A minimum grade-point average of 3.5 (A=4.0) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work or 3.5 for all graduate work if entering with a master’s degree
  • Although the GRE scores are not required, the scores may provide helpful supporting information in some cases. Applicants who have taken the GRE and feel their scores would benefit their application are encouraged to submit the scores. If you would like to submit scores, we recommend you scan your official score report as a PDF file and attach it to your application. You do not need to submit official scores through ETS, but if you decide to, please use our University code of 1836.

    Your application must demonstrate sufficient academic/quantitative preparedness to be considered for admission to the program. Your prior coursework, volunteer and/or work experiences, and recommendations are just a few of the items that will be reviewed to gauge your preparedness for graduate studies.

  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • Official Transcripts
  • International students must also submit Test of English as a Foreign Language scores, with a minimum for full status admission: 103 (TOEFL - IBT) or 7.5 (IELTS).   Scores cannot be more than 2 years old. Please see more information about the DUPLINGO test here.
  • Students for whom English is not their native language and who wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship must achieve a score on the speaking sub-section of 24 (TOEFL - IBT) or 8 (IELTS). See this page for more details.

Admission Deadlines

Students may apply to either the M.S. or the Ph.D. program. Applications for Fall admission are due on January 15. Applications for Spring semester are due on October 1.

Degree Requirements

  • Candidates must complete 96 graduate hours or 64 hours of work beyond the master’s degree, including 32 hours of thesis research.
  • Candidates are required to demonstrate competence in research methodology appropriate to their area of study.
  • Ph.D. student progress is reviewed at the end of the first year of study.
  • Ph.D. candidates must successfully complete the preliminary and final doctoral examinations.

Apply Now

Follow the link below to follow begin your application.

Request more information

Julie Jenkins
Administrative Aide
Phone: (217) 333-1083

Dr. Laura Rice
Director of Graduate Studies