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Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The doctoral degree program requires a minimum of 60 semester credits (including 24 dissertation credits but no more than 30 credits) which satisfy the following requirements, described here and in the MSU Academic Programs Catalog. Courses completed at the master's degree level may be accepted by the student's guidance committee in partial fulfillment of departmental requirements, but they may not be included in the 60-credit minimum requirement for the doctoral degree. The maximum allowable time period for completion of a doctoral degree is eight (8) years from the date of admission.

Area of concentration. A minimum of four graduate courses (minimum 12 credits) in the student's area of concentration, excluding general research courses, are required. A minimum of 6 of these credits must be taken in the Department of Kinesiology.

PhD Milestones and Requirements for Each Year of Study - Please review the PhD Milestones document (along with the requirements below) to better understand the time frames for when PhD students need to complete various requirements.

Kinesiology breadth requirement (minimum of 6-9 credits). Courses used to satisfy the breadth requirement must be approved by the student's guidance committee. Courses used to satisfy requirements related to the research cognate may not be used to satisfy the breadth requirement.

  • Ph.D. students who have completed a previous degree in kinesiology (or similarly named program such as physical education or exercise science) must complete a minimum of 6 credits of kinesiology courses at the 800-900 level outside of the student's major area/concentration.
  • Ph.D. students who have not completed a previous degree in kinesiology (or similarly named program such as physical education or exercise science) must complete a minimum of 9 credits of kinesiology courses at the 800-900 level representing at least two different disciplinary areas (adapted physical activity, athletic training, biomechanics, exercise physiology, growth and motor development, psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity) outside of the student's major area/concentration.

Supporting area cognate. Three or more graduate courses (minimum of 9 credits) which relate to the area of concentration must be completed. These courses should complement study in the student's concentration and the physical education cognate, and must be taken outside the Department of Kinesiology.

Research cognate. Students must complete the following courses or equivalent courses in educational inquiry and research:

  • KIN 995 - Research Practicum (Please Read: Research Practicum Policy)
  • 9 credits of 800-900 level research methods courses approved by the Ph.D. program.

Research practicum. Students must complete a research practicum within the first 2 years or 36 credits of study, whichever occurs later. The practicum consists of successful completion of a 1-3 credit KIN 995 Research Practicum and a departmental presentation of the results.

Teaching Portfolio. Students are required to demonstrate the ability to teach subject matter in their concentrations or areas of suport. In order to do so, it is required that doctoral students document these experiences through a teaching portfolio. Please read the MSU Ph.D Teaching Portfolio Policy document for more information.

Comprehensive examinations. Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination with both written and oral components that pertains to the student's area of concentration, as well as the related areas of study described on the student's program plan. Students are eligible to take the examination after completion of at least 80% of prescribed course work listed on the student's program plan.

Dissertation. The culminating scholarly experience for KIN doctoral students is a publishable research study completed as part of KIN 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research (minimum of 24 credits and no more than 30 credits). The dissertation must be based upon original research and represent a contribution to the scientific knowledge in the student's concentration