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Program at a Glance

College of Health Professions and Sciences
Kinesiology&Phys Thpy, Schl of
U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges - Most Innovative 2024

Conducting Cutting-Edge Research to Advance the Understanding of Human Movement

The purpose of the Kinesiology, PhD program is to develop the next generation of teacher-scholars and professional leaders to advance the broad discipline of kinesiology through exploration of human movement, applied physiology, sports performance, sports medicine and clinical rehabilitation. Students will become proficient in conducting research, while interpreting and applying their findings in order to impact professional practice.

The Kinesiology, PhD program requires a minimum of 63 credit hours beyond the master’s degree. Students must complete 24 credit hours of foundational research core courses, 24 credit hours of specialization elective courses, and 15 credit hours of dissertation after being admitted to candidacy. Advancement to candidacy and completion of dissertation hours requires support from a qualified faculty mentor.

Potential applicants to the PhD program are encouraged to reach out directly to faculty to demonstrate interest and identify common goals that will facilitate mentorship and completion of the degree.

Doctoral students learn through collaborative opportunities with local healthcare and fitness facilities, sports organizations, and the UCF Sports Science Initiative. Ample research opportunities help students foster a team-approach to healthcare and wellness through interdisciplinary research conducted with faculty through the Institute of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation Science. Students contribute to educating future clinicians and scientists with research and teaching in a robust undergraduate kinesiology program.

Two females looking at computer screen together


Top 10 doctoral program rankings (relative to size) by the National Academy of Kinesiology in 2014 and 2020.
UCF's PhD in Kinesiology program has had a 100% job placement for graduates since 2011.
The kinesiology field is expected to see 10-20% employment growth over the next decade.

Application Deadlines

Fall Priority
December 1
January 1

Ready to get started?

Course Overview

Research Methods in Kinesiology

Examine scientific inquiry and research-based practices that expand knowledge within the discipline of kinesiology.

An in-depth study of adaptations of various physiological systems to exercise training and the effects of environmental factors on physiological systems and performance.

Learn and apply statistical evaluation in kinesiology-related research. Determine appropriate data analysis procedures and interpretation of results.

Theoretical and practical development of dissertation project(s) and preparation for dissertation proposal prior to entering candidacy.

Nicholas Clark

My time at UCF allowed me to receive outstanding mentorship from experts in the field, learn and collaborate with other Ph.D. students, and utilize new, state-of-the-art research equipment. Teaching upper-division courses helped me develop my instructional practices, and at the end of the program, I felt prepared for an academic career with meaningful research and teaching experiences.”

Nicolas Clark, '21 PhD

Kinesiology Skills You'll Learn

  • Proficiency in conducting research related to human movement and interpreting scientific findings
  • Gain expertise in technical writing through the preparation of research manuscripts and grant applications under guidance of a faculty mentor
  • Confidence in the delivery of STEM and/or health-related education to a variety of diverse populations
  • How to improve health professions and healthcare delivery through the advancement and dissemination of relevant kinesiology-specific knowledge.

Career Opportunities

  • University Professor
  • Sport Scientist
  • Clinical Research Scientist
  • Postdoctoral Fellow

Admission Requirements

The UCF Kinesiology, PhD program admits once per year for the fall semester. Applicants must apply online and all requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline. Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.

Potential applicants to the PhD program are encouraged to reach out directly to specific faculty to demonstrate interest and identify common goals that will facilitate mentorship and completion of the degree.

To apply, submit the general graduate admissions requirements, as well as the following items by the deadline:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended
  • A master’s degree in a closely related field and master’s level competency in educational research and statistics
  • Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Goal statement
  • Resumé/vita reflecting relevant experience
  • Writing sample

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