Ph.D. FAQs

What’s the difference between Rackham Graduate School and the School of Kinesiology?

The School of Kinesiology is one of the 19 schools and colleges at U-M. Our graduate program is co-administered by the Rackham Graduate School. Rackham oversees the requirements and procedures and certifies the admission recommendation as appropriate.

Should I come visit?

Visiting U-M and the School of Kinesiology is a good idea so that you can get a feel for the faculty and students, as well as the Ann Arbor area. Please set up appointments with faculty you wish to meet before you come to Ann Arbor.

What if I don't have a faculty advisor for my Ph.D. studies?

Unfortunately, we cannot admit you without an advisor. It’s your responsibility to seek out an advisor with whom you wish to conduct research as you pursue your degree here. Spend some time on our website learning about faculty research interests, and then contact the relevant faculty member to see if there is potential to work with him/her during your studies here.

Do you have a GPA or GRE minimum requirement?

We don’t have minimum GPA or GRE scores – we look at all areas of the application equally and holistically. The recommended GRE scores are 155 Verbal, 160 Quantitative and 4.5 Analytical Writing. We also prefer at least a 3.4 GPA. Please keep in mind that your entire application package is taken into consideration.

Do you have minimum requirements for the TOEFL test scores?

Your Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score should be at least 84. We also accept International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores in place of the TOEFL. The minimum IELTS is 6.5. We require a TOEFL or IELTS from all applicants whose native language is not English, regardless of their educational background.

Can I transfer credits toward my doctoral program?

No, you cannot transfer credits into the doctoral program.

How do I view my admissions decision?

You can view application decisions on line by following directions found on the Admissions page on the Rackham website.

Does the University of Michigan offer distance learning for the graduate program?

No, we do not offer distance learning for any of our graduate programs.

Are assistantships available?

Yes, we have Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) assistantships available for doctoral students

How do I go about applying for a Kinesiology GSI Assistantship?

All Ph.D. applicants are considered for our open GSI positions – there is no separate application. The number of open positions we have varies from year to year. Please make sure we have your completed application by January 15 prior to the fall you’ll be beginning your program.

How can I find a place to live?

Previous graduate students have found the University Housing website helpful.

If your question isn't answered on this page, check the Rackham FAQs or email us at