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 Concentration

Bio-behavioral Kinesiology

Examines the impact of sport and physical activity on individuals. This area includes Exercise and Sports Psychology, Biomechanics, Motor Control, and Kinesmetrics.

Cultural, Pedagogical, & Interpretive Kinesiology

Examines the interaction between physical activity and the individual from cultural, sociological, and pedagogical perspectives.

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.

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 masters degree
  • Official results of the aptitude portions of the Graduate Record Examination with a score of 152 on both verbal and quantitative
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • International students must also submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, with a minimum score of 580 on the paper-based TOEFL test, 237 on the computer-based test, or 102 on the internet-based test (iBT)
  • Students for whom English is not their native language and who wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship must achieve a score of 230 or higher on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) on versions prior to 1996. A score of 50 or higher is required on the newer versions of the tests.

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.

Request more information

Julie Jenkins
Office Administrator
Phone: (217) 333-1083

Dr. Steven Petruzzello
Associate Head for Graduate Studies