Kinesiology

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

The minimum requirements for admission to the master's program include:

  • a 3.00 junior/senior grade-point average (on a 4.00 scale),
  • satisfactory recommendations,
  • and appropriate background courses in physical, biological, behavioral, and/or social science, depending on the intended area of specialization.

Applicants from majors other than exercise and sport science/physical education are welcome to apply. In addition, doctoral applicants are expected to meet more stringent admission standards, including documented research capabilities (e.g., from an M.S. degree). Experience is highly desirable. Admission is highly competitive and the best-qualified students will be admitted subject to space availability and compatibility of the student with the department's research mission. GRE scores are not required for admission.

Degree Requirements

Master of Science (M.S.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

The M.S. program of study in the Department of Kinesiology requires a minimum of 30 credits, including:

Required Courses
6 credits from the six Department of Kinesiology areas of graduate study 16
6 credits of classes offered outside the Department of Kinesiology 16
KINES 590Colloquium (two semesters)2
Electives
10 elective credits10
Culminating Experience
KINES 600Thesis Research6
Total Credits30

Each specialization may require additional, specific courses. At least 18 credits in the 500 and 600 series combined must be included in the program. A minimum of 12 credits in course work (400, 500, and 800 series), as contrasted with research, must be completed in the major.

M.S. degree students must complete Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Training (10 hours) and demonstrate proficiency in the English language.

The M.S. degree also requires the formation of a master’s committee, the writing of a satisfactory thesis accepted by the master’s committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School, and the passing of a thesis defense. The final public oral examination, conducted by the student's committee members, must be scheduled and passed after all other work, including the M.S. thesis, has been completed.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

A program to meet the individual needs of each student is planned with the adviser in consultation with the Ph.D. committee members. Regardless of the area of study, the following are required of all Kinesiology doctoral degree candidates:

Required Courses
15 credits from the six Department of Kinesiology areas of graduate study 1, 215
6 credits of classes offered outside the Department of Kinesiology 16
KINES 590Colloquium (all semesters until after the comprehensive exam has been passed)Varies
Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) training (10 hours)
Total Credits21

Beyond this minimum of 21 credits, the student’s adviser, and Ph.D. committee in consultation with the student set the structure and content of the doctoral program. A student’s Ph.D. committee can require additional course work depending on the student’s background and research plans. A maximum of six (6) credits only from Independent Studies may count toward the 15 departmental credits required for the degree.

All doctoral students must pass a qualifying examination, a comprehensive written and oral examination, and a final oral examination (the dissertation defense). To earn the Ph.D. degree, doctoral students must also write a dissertation that is accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Dual-Titles  

Dual-Title Ph.D. in Kinesiology and Bioethics

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-208 Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs.

Kinesiology Ph.D. students may pursue additional training in bioethics through the dual­-title Ph.D. program in Bioethics.

Admission Requirements

Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in Kinesiology and The Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. After admission to their primary program, students must apply for admission to and meet the admissions requirements of the Bioethics dual-title program. Refer to the Admission Requirements section of the Bioethics Bulletin page. Doctoral students must be admitted into the dual-title degree program in Bioethics prior to taking the qualifying examination in their primary graduate program.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the degree requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Kinesiology, listed in the Doctoral Degree Requirements section. In addition, students must complete the degree requirements for the dual-title in Bioethics, listed on the Bioethics Bulletin page.

The qualifying examination committee for the dual-title Ph.D. degree will be composed of Graduate Faculty from Kinesiology and must include at least one Graduate Faculty member from the Bioethics program. Unless this requirement is waived by the Bioethics Graduate Director, the committee must include one member of the Bioethics Program who is not also a member of Kinesiology faculty. There will be a single qualifying examination, containing elements of both Kinesiology and Bioethics. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the qualifying examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for Ph.D. committees, the Ph.D. committee of a Kinesiology and Bioethics dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the Bioethics Graduate Faculty. Unless this requirement is waived by the Bioethics Graduate Director, the committee must include one member of the Bioethics Program who is not also a member of Kinesiology faculty. If the chair of the Ph.D. committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Bioethics, the member of the committee representing Bioethics must be appointed as co-chair. The Bioethics representative on the student’s Ph.D. committee will develop questions for and participate in the evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their Ph.D. committee and reflects their original research and education in Kinesiology and Bioethics. Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Dual-Title Ph.D. in Kinesiology and Clinical and Translational Sciences

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in GCAC-208 Dual-Title Graduate Degree Programs.

Doctoral students with research and educational interests in clinical and translational science may apply for the Dual-Title Ph.D. Degree in Kinesiology and Clinical and Translational Sciences following admission to the Graduate School and Kinesiology and prior to taking the qualifying examination in Kinesiology. An admissions committee comprised of faculty affiliated with the dual-title program will evaluate applicants. Applicants must have a graduate GPA of at least 3.5 in a research area related to human health. Prospective dual-title program students will write a statement of purpose that addresses the ways in which their research and professional goals will be enhanced by an interdisciplinary course of study in clinical and translational sciences.

This dual-title degree program emphasizes interdisciplinary scholarship at the interface of basic sciences, clinical sciences, and human health. Students in the dual-title program are required to have two advisers from separate disciplines: one individual serving as the primary mentor in the Graduate Program in Kinesiology and another individual serving as the secondary mentor in an area covered by the dual-title program who is a member of the Clinical and Translational Sciences faculty.

To qualify for the dual-title degree in Kinesiology and Clinical and Translational Sciences, students must satisfy the Kinesiology Ph.D. degree requirements listed on the Degree Requirements tab. In addition, students must complete the degree requirements for the dual-title in Clinical and Translational Sciences, listed on the Clinical and Translational Sciences Bulletin page. At least half of the 18 elective credits required must be at the 500 or 800 level. Up to 12 credits of course work may overlap with required elective courses of the Graduate Program in Kinesiology.

For students in the dual-title program, the qualifying examination will include content from both Kinesiology and Clinical and Translational Sciences, and must be completed within four semesters (summer sessions do not count) of entry into the Kinesiology graduate program. The qualifying examination committee must include at least one member of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Graduate Faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for Ph.D. committees, the Ph.D. committee of a Kinesiology and Clinical and Translational Sciences dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the CTS Graduate Faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the Ph.D. committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Clinical and Translational Sciences, the member of the committee representing Clinical and Translational Sciences must be appointed as co-chair. The fields of Kinesiology and CTS will be integrated in the student’s comprehensive exam, and the Ph.D. committee member representing CTS is responsible for constructing and grading the parts of the comprehensive exam that cover the CTS field of study.

Dual-title Ph.D. students must complete a dissertation on a topic that reflects their original research and education in both Kinesiology and Clinical and Translational Sciences. In order to earn the dual-title Ph.D. degree, the dissertation must be accepted by the Ph.D. committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School, and the student must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense).

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Kinesiology (KINES) Course List

Learning Outcomes

Master of Science (M.S.)

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate mastery of core principles and methods in one of the six graduate areas of study in the Department of Kinesiology.
  2. Graduates will be able to critically analyze work by others on their field of specialty.
  3. Graduates will be able to carry out an original research project and disseminate their research effectively via publication and/or presentation.
  4. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to work in a collegial and ethical manner with other professionals within their own sub-discipline and across other kinesiology sub-disciplines.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

  1. Graduates will demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the theories and methods of one of the six graduate areas of study in the Department of Kinesiology.
  2. Graduates will be able to critically analyze work by others in their field of specialty.
  3. Graduates will be able to identify worthwhile research questions and plan research studies to address these questions.
  4. Graduates will be able to carry out multiple original and independent research studies and disseminate their research effectively via publication and/or presentation.
  5. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to work in a collegial and ethical manner with other professionals within their own sub-discipline and across other kinesiology sub-disciplines and across disciplines outside of kinesiology.

Contact

Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Nancy Williams
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Jonathan Bates Dingwell
Program Contact

Shari Grassi
276 Recreation Building
Penn State University
University Park PA 16802
slg19@psu.edu
(814) 863-0847

Program Website View