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 years from the date of admission.
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.
The primary purpose of the doctoral degree concentration in athletic training is to develop scholars who are competent in teaching, conducting research, and serving in leadership roles in athletic training, physical education, sport, fitness, and educational organizations.
Find out more information about concentration requirements here.
Contact the following faculty member about the concentration in athletic training.
The doctoral concentration in exercise physiology is designed to prepare students for careers in teaching, research, and/or clinical settings.
Students who pursue the concentration in exercise physiology have opportunities to participate in research exploring the relationship between exercise and the various physiological systems, and the interaction of exercise with such factors as diet and disease across the lifespan.
In addition to specific coursework in physiology of exercise, all students will study research design and practice through additional required coursework and research practicum experience. Students are expected to present dissertation results at national/international conferences and to publish their work in leading peer-reviewed journals
Find out more information about the concentration requirements here.
Contact the following faculty member about the concentration in exercise physiology.
Cognitive and Motor Neuroscience
The doctoral degree concentration in Cognitive and Motor Neuroscience is designed to prepare students who are competent theoretical or applied researchers, university teachers, and leaders in outreach to educational units, government agencies, and professional associations. Motor development is viewed as a life-long process, with change occurring throughout the lifespan.
The faculty seek to develop scholars who examine these life-cycle changes in motor behavior, not only to systematically describe their nature and extent, but also to study the processes and subsystems underlying change and to explain and predict such changes.
Find out more about concentration requirements here.
Contact the following faculty member about the concentration in Cognitive and Motor Neuroscience.
Psychosocial Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity
The primary purpose of the doctoral concentration in psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity is to develop scholars who are competent in teaching, conducting research, and serving in leadership roles in physical education, sport, fitness, and educational organizations. Students at the doctoral level typically specialize in sport psychology or sport sociology.
Sport psychology examines the influence of psychological variables on motor performance and the influence of sport and physical activity participation on psychological phenomena.
Sport sociology examines social structures on sport and physical activity, as well as the social significance of sport and physical activity from different theoretical perspectives.
Find out more about the concentration requirements here.
Contact the following faculty member about the concentration in psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity.
The Breadth Requirement is a 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.
Students must complete the following courses or equivalent courses in educational inquiry and research:
- KIN 995 – Research Practicum
- 9 credits of 800-900 level research methods courses approved by the Ph.D. program.
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.
Students are required to demonstrate the ability to teach subject matter in their concentrations or areas of support. 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.
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.
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