Our doctorate program is the right path for you if you intend to build a career as a scholar, researcher, teacher, or industry professional in the science of human movement, kinesiology, or other allied health fields or biomedical science settings.
Students pursuing a PhD in Movement Science develop scholarly and research competence, culminating in an original doctoral dissertation contributing to the body of knowledge in kinesiology. The program is designed for students who intend to make their careers as scholars, teachers, researchers, and professionals in exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, and allied fields.
Each doctoral student works closely with a faculty advisor from the beginning of their degree program. Under their faculty advisor’s guidance, they are expected to take relevant coursework, engage in relevant research experiences (lab rotations, independent study projects, etc.), generate research ideas, and complete a research dissertation prior to graduation.
A principal goal of doctoral student training is achieving competence as an independent scholar. This entails not only proficiency in research but in the dissemination of knowledge. To achieve this, students learn to guide the learning of others as a Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) or Graduate Student Instructor (GSI).
Doctoral students and their faculty advisors will form a Guidance Committee, Qualifying Examination Committee, and a Dissertation Committee to provide advice and evaluate student progress at successive stages of the program.
Movement Science PhD Curriculum
PhD 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.
The courses you take will vary, depending on your educational goals. Courses taken for graduate credit will carry MOVESCI or KINESLGY program codes, and are numbered 500 and above.
Movement Science Graduate Faculty
Our Movement Science graduate faculty are leaders in their fields, and have a variety of interests and specialties. Here's a list:
- Steven Broglio, PhD: Sports medicine: mild traumatic brain injury prevention, biomechanics, assessment, and treatment, postural control.
- Susan Brown, PhD: Motor coordination, Aging, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Rehabilitation.
- Greg Cartee, PhD: Exercise, diet, and age effects on insulin signaling and glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle.
- Weiyun Chen, PhD: Innovative and technology-enhanced physical activity interventions; determinants of developing physically active habits; impact of physical activities on physical and psychosocial health and brain cognitions.
- Natalie Colabianchi, PhD: The role of environments and policies in facilitating physical activity behavior in children and adults. She is also interested in physical activity measurement, including accelerometry and direct observation.
- Deanna Gates, PhD: Biomechanics, rehabilitation, prosthetic and orthotics, control of repetitive movements, nonlinear dynamics.
- Erin Giles, PhD: joins us for Fall 2022.
- Melissa Gross, PhD: Biomechanics; expression of emotion and mood disorders in body movements; impact of action-based learning activities on student learning outcomes.
- Rebecca Hasson, PhD: Causes and consequences of childhood obesity in multiethnic populations.
- Jacob Haus, PhD: Protein metabolism and skeletal muscle function with aging, as well as glucose and lipid metabolism with obesity, diabetes, and aging.
- Jeff Horowitz, PhD: Regulation of fuel mobilization and oxidation and the impact of this regulation on human health.
- Dominique Kinnett-Hopkins, PhD: The implementation of evidence-based physical activity and exercise interventions for persons with chronic conditions; multiple sclerosis; lupus; qualitative research.
- Adam Lepley, PhD: Neural Excitability, Neuromuscular Control, Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury and Reconstruction, Biomechanics, Muscle Inhibition.
- Lindsey Lepley, PhD, ATC: Therapeutic approaches to combat the negative neuromuscular effects that follow traumatic joint injury; effects of ACL injury on neuromuscular function in a rodent model; ability of exercise to promote muscle and joint health.
- David Lipps, PhD: Biomechanics; musculoskeletal imaging; injury mechanisms; upper extremity injuries; rehabilitation.
- Andrew Ludlow, PhD: Telomeres, telomerase, alternative splicing regulation, chromatin biology, miRNAs, RNA biology, diseases of aging, and cancer.
- Haylie Miller, PhD: Use of visual information to guide motor planning, execution, and modification of movement in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related developmental conditions; health disparities among underrepresented groups in the ASD community; symptom manifestation in ASD with versus without co-occurring conditions; use of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills in academic, professional, and clinical contexts.
- Riann Palmieri-Smith, PhD, ATC: Neuromuscular consequences of joint injury relating to arthrogenic muscle inhibition; mechanisms of post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
- Lori Ploutz-Snyder, PhD (professor and dean of the school): Integrative exercise physiology. Physiologic adaptations to long term disuse including spaceflight, bed rest and deconditioning, exercise training to maintain physical function in astronauts and clinical populations, fitness thresholds required for optimal physical task performance.
- Laura Richardson, PhD: Exploring subjectivity centered on obesity stigmatization and fat bias among fitness professionals. Raising awareness for weightism and breaking barriers for improving physical activity adherence with chronic health conditions.
- Leah Robinson, PhD: 1) Assessment of motor performance and physical activity along with the implementation of evidence-based interventions to maximize physical activity, motor skills, and physical health and development in pediatric populations; 2) The effect of evidence-based interventions on school/academic readiness and cognitive outcomes.
- Brian Umberger, PhD: Biomechanics, energetics, computer modeling and simulation, optimal control.
- Eleanna Varangis Burns, PhD: Mild traumatic brain injury; cognitive neuroscience; aging; magnetic resonance imaging.
- Michael Vesia, PhD: Cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive science.
- Ron Zernicke, PhD, DSc: Functional adaptation of bone to physiological stimuli (exercise, disuse, diet, and disease); joint injury and post-traumatic osteoarthritis; biomechanical mechanisms underlying control of normal and pathological movements.
Forms & Bulletins
The Graduate Bulletin contains a wealth of information, including requirements for admissions, coursework, doctoral candidacy, and more. The Policies and Procedures page includes a wider selection of Bulletins, plus forms required for progress towards your PhD degree.