Kinesiology PhD

A PhD in kinesiology prepares students for a career in academics, teaching, research, or clinical settings. Students will work closely with a faculty advisor with expertise in their area of interest to conduct research and write a dissertation. The PhD program explores kinesiology through an interdisciplinary approach across emphasis areas in the life sciences and social sciences.


PhD students who received full or partial funding*

4.5 years

Average time to complete our PhD program


PhD students who have published one or more peer-reviewed papers*

* Fall 2020 data

Emphasis areas

All students pursuing a PhD in kinesiology will need to select their emphasis area and faculty advisor prior to applying. Students should review the following emphasis area options and the associated faculty and labs. They should choose an emphasis area that aligns with their future career goals and research interests.

Biomechanics and neuromotor control

Provides advanced knowledge for understanding how the human nervous system controls movement and how the neurological disease affects motor function. Students will focus on the application of the laws of physics to the motion of biological systems.

Exercise physiology

The study of issues related to acute and chronic effects of physical activity on human physiological systems and health. Including how fundamental concepts of human energetics and mechanics apply to exercise, sport, physical exertion, and health promotion.

Perceptual-motor control and learning

Focuses on movement skills and how they are learned and controlled over the human lifespan.

Physical activity and health promotion

Intended to provide students with advanced study in physical activity and health promotion and disease prevention, as well as study designs from an epidemiological approach.

Sport and exercise psychology

Explores the thoughts, feelings, and actions of people in physical activity contexts. Research focuses on participants of competitive sport, exercise and fitness, sports medicine and rehabilitation, physical education, and health and wellness.

Sport management

Concentrates on the theoretical and practical dimensions of the management of athletic events, sports teams and facilities, and the sporting process.

Sport sociology

Focuses on the scientific study of human behavior and social organization in the sport context. The primary objective is to attempt to identify, describe, and explain the role and relationship of sport in society.

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Daheia Barr-Anderson headshot

Daheia Barr-Anderson, PhD
Director of Graduate Studies

Sara Cannon headshot

Sara Cannon
Graduate Program Coordinator
& MEd Advisor