Jul 19, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Kinesiology, PhD

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Colleges  > College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences  > Department of Health and Human Performance  > Kinesiology, PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology program currently focuses on four broad areas of kinesiology, namely motor control and learning, physiology, obesity studies, and sport and fitness administration.

Program Objectives

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Kinesiology is designed to provide doctoral level training to prepare a professional with the cognitive and research skills needed to be a productive scholar.

The objectives of the PhD in Kinesiology are:

  • To train scholars with the capacity to understand and conduct research in kinesiology.
  • To train scholars with the capacity to develop and evaluate programs consistent with national health promotion and disease prevention objectives.
  • To train scholars with the capacity to prepare research funding proposals and program development proposals.
  • To train individuals with the capacity to be successful in higher education and kinesiological settings in the public and private domains.

The usual time for completion of the PhD (Kinesiology) program is four to five years.

For more information, please visit the Ph.D. in Kinesiology program website.

Admission Requirements

Admittance to the program will be based on a series of criteria that includes:

  • Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA):  Most admitted students have a GPA above 3.5.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE):  Most admitted students score above the 60th percentile on the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections and at least 3.5 on the Analytical Writing section.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Letter of Research Interests with Statement of Professional Goals
  • Writing Sample (Examples: thesis, journal articles, professional reports, etc.)
  • Standardized Writing Exercise (Details available from the Graduate Advisor)
  • Personal Interview with a potential faculty advisor (Note: when possible, this should be an in-person interview; when travel distance is a concern, this may be a telephone or teleconference interview.)
  • Additional documents and English proficiency requirements for International Graduate Applicants

Degree Requirements

Credit hours required for this degree: 66.0

The Ph.D. in Kinesiology requires a minimum of 66 hours, including 6 hours of required doctoral dissertation hours. These hours are comprised of the required courses below, HHP Journal Colloquium, course hours for preparing the required Ph.D. Candidacy Project, and designated electives that are pertinent to a student’s course of study. After completion of the 2nd year, students are required to enroll in PEP 8304 HHP Journal Colloquium each semester until graduation. Electives are to be taken under the direction and approval of the student’s faculty advisor. These electives can be drawn from the designated elective course list and include classes (both scheduled and Special Problems classes) offered within the department, classes offered in other departments within the University of Houston, or classes offered in support areas at other academic institutions. The approved electives will provide the student with an academic foundation in the particular discipline of study within the Ph.D. program.

Students are required to pass a qualifying exam at the end of their first year of study to assess critical thinking and writing skills.  After completion of 45 hours of coursework, students are eligible to sit for the comprehensive exam. In order to advance to candidacy students must pass the comprehensive exam. Students that fail either test two times will be dismissed from the program. To learn more about degree requirements please visit the program details web-page.

In addition to the sequence below, each student will be required to participate in on-going research projects, develop independent research projects, generate research results that form the basis of their candidacy paper and attend research seminars and thesis/dissertation defenses within both the department and the wider scientific research community.

The capstone experience within the Ph.D. (Kinesiology) program is completion of a dissertation research project and dissertation document.

Core Requirements

The following classes are mandatory for all Ph.D. (Kinesiology) students in HHP:

Designated Electives

All designated electives must be considered applicable for a doctoral course of study and normally be at the 7000/8000 academic level. These courses are to be taken under the direction and approval of the student’s advisor and may require a petition.  For classes not at the 7000/8000 level, but deemed necessary to the professional preparation of the student by the advisor, approval of such classes for inclusion in the student’s degree plan in the designated elective area must be obtained from the Graduate Research Degrees (GRD) committee in the department. Such non-7000/8000 level classes must satisfy the following criteria to be considered for approval for inclusion in the student’s degree plan by the GRD committee. Final approval for inclusion of such non-7000/8000 level classes in a doctoral degree plan lies with the Dean’s office.

Elective classes in support areas can be taken at the University of Houston and other universities that UH has an inter-institutional agreement with (for more information contact your advisor and the registration office). These classes MUST be approved by the advisor and normally be at the 7000/8000 level. If a class is not at the 7000/8000 level then it must be approved by the GRD committee.

Example support areas include:

  • Behavioral medicine
  • Human Factors
  • Orthopedic & Rehabilitative Medicine
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacy
  • Biology
  • Measurement
  • Physiology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology
  • Health
  • Optometry
  • Statistics

Students will enter the program in a cohort and are expected to follow the schedule below over their first two years:

Academic Policies

Residency Requirements

All Ph.D. (Kinesiology) students are required to enroll in Residency during their first full academic year of entering the program (Fall and Spring semesters).

During this residency period, a student must be enrolled as a full-time student (i.e. 9 hours of academic classes per semester) for both the Fall and Spring semesters of their residency period.

During the Fall semester, each student in residency shall enroll and successfully complete the designated departmental residency class, Principles of Scientific Inquiry.

During their residency period, students will be introduced to “professional activities” including research experiences, journal club, seminar attendance, attendance at thesis/dissertation defenses and other experiences that are applicable to continual professional development.

Student Annual Review Process

Annual reviews are formative and are performed at the end of each Spring semester a student is enrolled in the program.

Reviews are performed by the advisor in partnership with the student and include:

  • Review of academic performance in class
  • Details of involvement in research projects
  • Student feedback on their perception of the progress they are making in the program
  • Advisor’s assessment of the student’s progress
  • Advisor-generated decision on whether or not the student is making “adequate progress” towards completion of the degree

The information generated is then reviewed by the departmental GRD Committee for a final decision on whether or not a student is making adequate progress towards the degree

After review of the information supplied by the advisor and student by the GRD committee, there are three potential outcomes of the annual review process that can be arrived at.

These are:

  • Adequate progress (student continues in the program)
  • Academic probation (student continues in the program with remedial action determined by the GRD committee).
  • Termination from the program (after failure of probationary period)

Department Academic Policies

College Academic Policies  

University of Houston Academic Policies  

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