A kinesiology faculty member gesturing at a diagram on a computer screen

Kinesiology: Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in Education

With a personalized program focused on close student-faculty mentorships, the School of Education and Human Development's Ph.D. in Kinesiology program prepares graduates to pursue a range of careers both in and out of academia.

At a Glance

Program Results

Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Kinesiology, with a focus in one of three areas

Career Objective

Faculty positions in accredited Athletic Training or Physical Therapy programs, university settings, and/or administrative and advocacy positions for local, state, and national organizations. 

Program Type

  • Full Time


  • In-Person

Estimated Length

3-5 years

Application Deadline

December 1



About This Program

This program of study is designed to prepare graduates for college or university positions in the disciplines of  Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities, and Sports Medicine, or for positions within research organizations with specific areas of curricular expertise. The program includes coursework, research and/or clinical apprenticeships, and practical experiences to prepare graduates to produce original research that contributes to the knowledge base in the science of kinesiology.

The primary purpose of the Ph.D. program is to prepare highly qualified scholar-researchers who will be able to take a variety of positions in higher education settings (both public and private). Graduates will be well prepared for employment as research scholars, clinicians, and faculty members in higher education or clinical programs.

Program Overview

There are three focus areas in the Ph.D. in Kinesiology program. The program requires a minimum of 72 credits including regular coursework, research mentorship credits, and credits related to the dissertation research study. Students must complete at least 54 credits of coursework which includes content courses and research methodology courses, and up to 3 credits of research apprenticeship per semester. At least 36 course and apprenticeship credits must be completed after admission to the program. Students work with primary advisors and research mentors to determine specific core courses in conjunction with students’ areas of professional interest and career pathways.

Admission Requirements

This program requires the submission of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores as part of the application process. GRE scores must be less than 5 years old. Visit our Graduate Admission page for the full graduate admission process.


Additional admission requirements that apply specifically to this program are listed below:

  • Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities Focus Area: Doctoral applicants should possess a Master's Degree in physical education or related discipline from an accredited college or university and a minimum of two years teaching experience.
  • Sports Medicine Focus Area: Preference is typically given to applicants who are certified athletic trainers (ATC) or licensed physical therapists. Applicants must also provide a writing sample (5-10 pages), a goal statement (1-3 pages), and 2 letters of recommendation with at least one from a faculty member.

Graduate Admission

Application for admission is made to the School of Education and Human Development Office of Admission & Enrollment. For more information about the graduate admission process, please visit our Graduate Admission page.

Exercise Physiology Focus Area

The Exercise Physiology focus area is designed to prepare students to conduct original research in aspects of Exercise Physiology and Physical Activity and Nutrition Intervention, and interpret and communicate the results of this research as authors, university faculty, and/or governmental or research agency officials.

The program allows students to develop unique, individualized areas of study under the direction of an advisor in Exercise Physiology and a faculty Doctoral committee. The emphases within Exercise Physiology program include aspects of human exercise physiology, measurement and etiology of physical activity, dietary intake and nutrition, and clinical and community-based interventions. Students are expected to take an active role in a productive, comprehensive exercise physiology program.

Sports Medicine Focus Area

The Sports Medicine focus area is designed to prepare graduates for academic careers in athletic training, physical therapy, or other disciplines related to the study of musculoskeletal and other sports injuries. The program is research-intensive and includes formal course work and research intensive experiences in preparation for completing the dissertation. Students work with primary Sports Medicine-focused faculty as well as several other faculty members in kinesiology, orthopedics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and other units across the University.

Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities Focus Area

The focus area is designed to prepare future college/university professionals and public officials in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities. The emphasis at this level is on developing research skills and applying these skills to current questions in the field. Past graduates of the program have had an impact on Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities through employment in higher education in the United States and abroad as well as in public school administration.


Departmental fellowships and assistantships are provided to a select number of applicants each year. A typical funding package includes funding for nine months in a combination of wages and stipends, tuition and all mandatory fees, and funds to cover student health insurance costs. The University also offers a limited number of competitive fellowships for which students enrolled in Ph.D. programs may apply.

Visit the Fellowships, Scholarships, and Awards page for additional funding opportunities.

Program Faculty

Jason David Allen

Jason David Allen

  • Professor
Siddhartha S Angadi

Siddhartha Angadi

  • Assistant Professor
Martin Block

Martin E. Block

  • Professor
David A. Edwards

David A. Edwards

  • Associate Professor
  • Director of Undergraduate Program
Jay Hertel

Jay Hertel

  • Chair, Department of Kinesiology
  • Joe Gieck Professor in Sports Medicine
Sibylle Kranz

Sibylle Kranz

  • Associate Professor
Chris Kuenze

Chris Kuenze

  • Associate Professor
Jacob E Resch

Jacob E. Resch

  • Associate Professor
Curriculum Vitae Susan Saliba

Susan Saliba

  • Professor
Damon Swift

Damon Swift

  • Associate Professor
Arthur L Weltman

Arthur L. Weltman

  • Professor of Kinesiology
  • Professor of Medicine

Exercise Physiology Focus Area Contact

Sports Medicine Focus Area Contact

Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities Focus Area Contact

Department of Kinesiology News


The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Graduate Record represents the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=55&poid=7295.