PhD in Kinesiology

Behavioral, Psychological, and Pedagogical Sciences

The Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology with a specialization in behavioral, psychological, and pedagogical sciences enhances student preparation for careers in higher education and a variety of health professions involving research competencies and program development. Behavioral, psychological, and pedagogical sciences focuses on investigating diverse determinants of health across the lifespan with an emphasis on physical activity. Specific areas include:

Health Behavior Change

  • Understanding behavioral determinants of health that improve quality of life across the lifespan
  • Developing and evaluating interventions and policies that improve individual and population health

Psychology of Physical Activity

  • Investigating psychosocial determinants of physical activity and health
  • Understanding influences of physical activity on health and well-being across the lifespan


  • Investigating focus areas of teacher and learner cognition, emotion, and motivation
  • Enhancing professional knowledge, competencies, and skills in applied kinesiology fields such as teaching, coaching, personal training, wellness education, and mental training.

Admission requirements

BS or MS in Kinesiology or related field.

Course requirements

Ph.D. Program for Specialization in Behavioral, Psychological, and Pedagogical Sciences***

Research Skills Credit Hours
KIN 7900 Introduction to Research Methods 3
EXST 7003 Statistical Methods/Techniques I (or equivalent, including EXST 7004, 7005, 7009) 4
EXST 7013 Statistical Methods/Techniques II (or equivalent, including EXST 7014, 7015, 7019) 4
KIN 7574 Qualitative Research in Kinesiology 3
Advanced Research Elective* 3


Kinesiology Core

Motor Behavior Elective (select one of the following courses) 3 Credit Hours
KIN 7508 Analysis of Human 3
KIN 7510 Motor Learning 3
KIN 7512 Motor Control 3
KIN 7520 Motor Development 3


Exercise Physiology Elective (select one of the following courses) 3 Credit hours
KIN 7534 Exercise in Health and Disease 3
KIN 4526 Physiology of Endurance Training 3
KIN 7537 Exercise and the Environment 3


Specialization Requirement Select 5 of the following courses 15 Credit hours
KIN 7502 Curriculum Construction in Physical Education 3
KIN 7513 Seminar in Physical Education Professional Preparation 3
KIN 7514 Pedagogy in Physical Education 3
KIN 7515 Theories of Achievement Motivation in Physical Activity 3
KIN 7528 Sport Psychology 3
KIN 7601 Changing Health Behavior 3
KIN 7602 Social Ecological Influences on  Physical Activity and Health 3
KIN 7603 Stress Management and Emotional Health 3


Approved Electives/minor specialization* 25 Credit hours
Approved Electives/minor specialization* 25 Credit hours
KIN 9000 Dissertation Research 12
Degree Total 75 Credit Hours


* Electives and Minor: Electives and/or the selection of a minor will be chosen on the basis of agreement between the student and the student’s advisor. Courses required for the minor will be based on agreement between the student and the student’s minor professor. Each of these agreements is subject to approval by the student’s PhD committee.

*** This is a list of suggested courses and should be viewed as a model program rather than a required course list. Students should consult with faculty advisor(s) as to the coursework plan  will prepare them to meet their goals. Courses taken in an approved master’s program may be used to fulfill degree requirements.

Contact Us

Senlin Chen
Phone: 225-578-7995



Program Area Faculty


Senlin Chen