Ph.D. in Movement Science

The Doctoral program leads to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.), the highest degree awarded by the School of Kinesiology and the University. The program seeks to develop scholarly and research competence, and culminates in an original doctoral dissertation that adds to the body of knowledge in Kinesiology. The program is designed for those students who intend to make their careers as scholars, teachers, researchers, and professionals in exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, and allied fields.

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Top 5 reasons
to Get a Doctoral Degree in Movement Science
Diverse community of outstanding students from across the U.S. and around the world
The University of Michigan is one of the greatest research universities in the world
Opportunity for collaboration with other U-M schools and colleges
Funding available in the form of graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships
Internationally-recognized faculty advisors
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Ph.D. Program


Program Overview

Ph.D. students choose from a set of core courses in Kinesiology, as well as cognate courses from other units, and complete a minimum of 30 pre-candidacy credits beyond the master's level. Qualifying examinations must be passed before advancing to candidacy, after which the student completes an original doctoral dissertation. A minimum of 50 credits including pre-candidacy and candidacy work must be completed to graduate.

All Ph.D. students work closely with a faculty advisor from the beginning of their degree program. Working with the student and advisor, a Guidance Committee, Qualifying Examination Committee, and a Dissertation Committee provide advice and evaluate progress at successive stages of the program.

A principal goal of doctoral training is the achievement of competence as an independent scholar. This entails not only proficiency in research but in the dissemination of knowledge. An important component of knowledge dissemination is guiding the learning of others. Each student’s program will be tailored to develop skills in knowledge dissemination.

Alumni Spotlight

Jessica Deneweth Zendler (Ph.D. 2013)
Adjunct Research Associate Professor

U-M School of Kinesiology

Jessica Deneweth Zendler

I was drawn to the School of Kinesiology by the opportunity to work with researchers who are leaders in their field.  Beyond the excellence of research that I found in Kinesiology, the flexibility of its academic program, the myriad collaborative opportunities, and the extensive resources have allowed me to advance substantially towards my goal of becoming a successful independent researcher. I am pleased to say that the doctoral program in Kinesiology has more than exceeded my high expectations.

Sean Newsom (Ph.D. 2012)
Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Colorado Denver

I came to the School of Kinesiology to work with a mentor that was using gold standard techniques to address questions that are of great interest to me. But, it did not take long for me to realize that my resources and opportunities for learning extend far beyond the walls of my own lab.  It is great to know that as a doctoral student, my success is limited only by my desire to take advantage everything this School and the University has to offer.

Leah Ketcheson (Ph.D. 2014)

Research Fellow, University of Michigan

Throughout my Ph.D. in Kinesiology, I have always felt well supported and mentored. The School of Kinesiology is big enough to have access to all the resources we need and small enough to maintain a true sense of community. The professors are genuinely concerned about your success as a student and have a way of making you feel like their only student. However, what is most unique about Kinesiology is that the professors continue to mentor and advocate for their students long after graduation. Among students there is a culture of collaboration, where relationships continue well beyond graduation.

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The courses you take will vary, depending on your educational goals. All courses taken for graduate credit carry the KINESLGY program code.

Browse only KINESLGY courses in the Course Catalog

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