Kinesiology Ph.D.

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Our Kinesiology Ph.D. program will equip you with advanced research methods, laboratory techniques and technologies, and statistical techniques to be a successful scholar in the field. With a Doctoral degree in Kinesiology you can pursue a career in higher education or the research industry, advancing science and making a positive contribution to societal health.

graduate student Jeremy McAdam presenting posterAs a doctoral student, you will develop your program of study with a faculty mentor and a committee based on your professional objectives. You will work with your mentor on extensive study and/or laboratory investigation for three or four years. From your research projects, you can publish papers and establish your name in the field. Choose and propose your final dissertation topic that demonstrates your original, creative research. In your last semester you will defend your dissertation to your committee and mentor.

Brooks Mobley and Dr. Roberts in labDuring your time as a Ph.D. student you will teach undergraduate kinesiology courses as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA). You will also take classes and complete your written compositions prior to proposing and defending your dissertation.

Review our over 20 research laboratories and the novel work each is conducting. Contact the faculty member that directs the lab for more information and to pursue opportunities to be a doctoral student under their mentorship.

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Degree Overview | Admissions | Faculty | Cost & Financial Support | Information for Students | Special Opportunities

Degree Overview

Coursework — 60 hours

  • 50 hours of Select Advisor Approved Credits
  • 10 hours of Research and Dissertation

Areas of Study

  • Biomechanics
  • Exercise physiology
  • Motor development
  • Motor learning and control
  • Neuroscience
  • Physical activity and health
  • Research in athletic training
  • Sport & Exercise Psychology
  • Teaching and research in physical education
  • Advanced Teaching Certification through an NCATE-approved program is available for students who hold undergraduate teaching certification.


View Opportunities for Research in Kinesiology Labs>>
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  • Master’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.
  • Prior to acceptance, a faculty member within the School of Kinesiology must agree to serve as your mentor. We recommend you do this prior to applying.

Application Deadlines

  • Applications and all other relevant material must be received by the Graduate School by the following dates:
    • February 1 for Graduate Assistantships (completed online with your graduate school application)
    • May 1 for Fall semester start (August)
    • April 1 for International applicants for Fall semester start (August)

Admission Requirements

Graduate School Admission Requirements >>

For the admission process, you will need to provide the following:

  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript
  • Application fee payment

International applicants must also submit:

  • TOEFL or IELTS test
  • Medical insurance plan and an Official Statement of Financing
School of Kinesiology Admission Requirements >>
  • Minimum GPA 3.0
  • Resume
  • Letter of Intent
  • Approval from the School of Kinesiology Director, Graduate Studies Committee, and faculty
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Cost & Financial Support

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Funding opportunities for tuition support can be achieved through the appointment of a graduate teaching assistantship.  School of Kinesiology assistantships are .33 FTE appointments. GTAs are expected to work 13-15 hours per week. Assistantships pay for:

  • university tuition (up to 15 hours per Fall and Spring term only)*,
  • student fees, and
  • special course fees.

*Summer term is not a full tuition waiver unless the student has a specific assistantship responsibility.

GTAs are limited to 40 hours for master’s students and doctoral students who have matriculated from a master’s program, or 80 hours for students in a direct doctoral track. With an assistantship, you will pay a registration fee each semester.  Some assistantships are funded by outside agencies and may have the benefits of an extra stipend or a 12 month appointment.

An assistantship is renewable if you demonstrate:

  • continuing school support
  • high level of academic performance
  • excellent performance as a GTA
  • satisfactory progress toward the degree.
Deadline — February 1

If you are interested in applying for an assistantship, please complete the teaching assistantship form when completing your on-line graduate application. FEBRUARY 1st is the deadline for assistantship applications for the upcoming academic year. In order to be considered for an assistantship, all graduate school admission application materials and the assistantship application must be complete.

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Information for Students


The School of Kinesiology provides a quality graduate program rich in scholarly work and opportunity. One of the school’s strongest assets is our faculty and their willingness to mentor graduate students for future employment and scholarly endeavors.

Auburn is the university to attend if you are looking for faculty support and involvement. Students who graduate from the School of Kinesiology at Auburn University report great satisfaction with their educational experience.

Peter Hastie, Ph.D.
Wayne T. Smith Distinguished Professor
Graduate Program Officer – Physical Education/Teacher Education

Matthews Miller, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Graduate Program Officer – Physical Activity & Health and Exercise Science


The School of Kinesiology provides a 2-day orientation to help prepare our graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) for teaching at the university level. Throughout the year, Jared Russell, Ph.D., provides a comprehensive professional development and training program for GTAs.

Auburn’s Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning also provides instructional development for GTAs. The Preparing Future Faculty program helps graduate students who are planning a future in higher education.


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Special Opportunities

  • Work with athletes of all ages and abilities in our Performance and Health Optimization Center:
    • Analyze the biomechanics of USA Team Handball or the Houston Astros in the Sports Medicine and Movement Lab
    • Study the biomechanics of elite runners and the agility of field players in the Sports Biomechanics Lab
    • Research nutritional supplements and their effect on performance in the Molecular and Applied Science Lab
    • Investigate motor learning and the psychology of sport in the Performance and Exercise Psychophysiology Lab.
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