The Department of Kinesiology offers programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in kinesiology with areas of study in exercise science and sport pedagogy.

Kinesiology

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in kinesiology has been designed to provide students with the coursework, laboratory, and practical experiences to become a leading educator and researcher.

Admission

Admission to the PhD program area of study in kinesiology is competitive and based on prior academic achievement, graduate record examination (GRE) scores, recommendations, and research interests.  Minimum requirements consist of:

  • a master's degree from an accredited institution
  • a composite (verbal and quantitative) GRE score of 300 (exercise science only; no GRE required for applicants in sport pedagogy)
  • one of the following:
    • 3.0 GPA for the last 60 semester hours in a degree program
    • 3.0 GPA for a completed graduate degree program.

Preference is given to students who have strong backgrounds in the Life Sciences (for exercise science) or related fields, meet the minimum requirements stated above, and have research interests compatible with at least one of the Kinesiology faculty members.

Financial Support

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available each year. These assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis. Graduate assistants may be asked to assist with teaching, research, and/or the outreach mission of the academic unit.

Procedures & Deadlines

Interested applicants should apply online to the Graduate School of the University of Alabama (http://graduate.ua.edu/applicants.html). Students will be admitted on a rolling basis at the discretion of program faculty as applications are received. Prospective students should identify a prospective research mentor and contact that person for more information regarding an admission timeline. For coursework focusing on exercise science, admission and graduate assistantship applications must be submitted by January 15 to be considered for Fall admission. For coursework focusing on sport pedagogy, applications are accepted year round.

Sequence of Steps through the Ph.D. Program

The sequence of steps for a doctoral student from admission to graduation is:

  1. Satisfaction of admission requirements
  2. Formation of doctoral program of study
  3. Completion of coursework
  4. Completion of major comprehensive exams
  5. Formation of doctoral dissertation committee
  6. Proposal of doctoral dissertation
  7. Admission to candidacy
  8. Oral examination of the dissertation
  9. Submission of final copies of the dissertation

The Program

The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 72 hours beyond the master’s degree. This program includes 1) 24-hour kinesiology (i.e., exercise science or sport pedagogy) core; 2) 12-hour competency in research and statistics; 3) 12 hours of foundation courses to support the major; and 4) 24 hours of dissertation.

Doctoral Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation is designed to provide students with a significant research experience and is considered a contribution to the research and the literature in the field. It is anticipated that students will complete credits for the dissertation after the completion of all coursework and the comprehensive examination. The student will work closely with the doctoral program chair and committee in developing a dissertation proposal and conducting the dissertation research. The doctoral dissertation committee will consist of a minimum of five faculty members, one of whom must be from outside the department.

Advising

All doctoral students will be advised by a major professor with whom they will have been aligned as part of the admissions process. In the event a doctoral student is granted admission without a research mentor/major professor, they will be assigned an interim advisor upon admission to the Ph.D. program. The advisor will assist the student in the evaluation of previous work, selection of coursework, and research oversight.

Time Limit for Doctoral Study

Students must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree within nine calendar years from the time they are officially admitted to a program of study.

Financial Support

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available each year. These assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis. Graduate assistants may be asked to assist with teaching, research, and/or the outreach mission of the academic unit.