PhD Admission Requirements

Want to know more about the PhD application process? On this page we outline what you will need to meet the Kinesiology requirements for applying to the doctoral program in Movement Science or Sport Management.

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Faculty Advisor

The first step in applying to the PhD program in Movement Science or Sport Management is to contact a Kinesiology faculty member who has research interests similar to yours. All applicants must have a Kinesiology faculty advisor willing to work with them during their studies. 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.

Funding Deadline
PhD Program

How to Apply

Rackham Graduate School and the Kinesiology Graduate Program team up to manage the application review process. As an applicant, you will be interacting with both offices.

Applications must be submitted online via the U-M Rackham School of Graduate Studies website. Program codes to use in the application may be found below:

  • Movement Science PhD: 02156
  • Sport Management PhD: 02158

Demographics and other data on our current and past PhD students can be found under Kinesiology, on the Rackham website.

To be considered for funding, applications for Fall admission to the doctoral program are due December 1. All other PhD applicants should apply by March 1.

1. GRE and TOEFL

  • GRE scores are required for all applicants. TOEFL scores are required for all applicants whose native language is not English, regardless of your educational experience.
  • The University of Michigan code for the GRE and the TOEFL is 1839. (The department code is not necessary, since GRE and TOEFL scores are automatically added to applicant records as long as name and birth date can be matched.)
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), prepared and administered by the Educational Testing Service, is required as part of the application for admission. The GRE is administered throughout the United States and many other countries throughout the year.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all non-native speakers. The University of Michigan requires a minimum TOEFL score for admission: 84 for the Internet Based TOEFL. (For other English test minimum scores, please refer to the Rackham website.)

2. Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters of recommendation in support of the student's application must be submitted. These letters should ordinarily be from professors at the student's last degree-granting institution. Recommenders must complete their recommendations online. When the applicant registers the recommenders' names in the Rackham application, an email is automatically sent with a link to enter the recommendation online. Applicants should check the status of their recommendations on the Rackham website status page.

3. Transcripts

Scanned copies of official transcripts should be uploaded with the application online. Official transcripts from degree-granting institutions only should be mailed to Rackham Admissions; see Instructions for Submitting Transcripts. Send the Academic Records/Transcript Submission Form with your official transcript so that it is quickly associated with your application. Be sure to include your University of Michigan ID number.

4. Academic Statement of Purpose

The Academic Statement of Purpose should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic preparation, practical experience, and/or research background related to the area(s) within Kinesiology that you’re interested in studying. It should also include your career goals and how Kinesiology's graduate program will help you meet your career, and educational objectives.

The following information is required on the header of your Academic Statement of Purpose:

  • The title "Academic Statement of Purpose"
  • Your name
  • The name of the graduate program
  • Your 8 digit U-M ID (if known)

5. Personal Statement

The personal statement should address how your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, have motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. Please do not repeat your Academic Statement of Purpose.

The following information is required on the header of your Personal Statement:

  • The title "Personal Statement"
  • Your name
  • The name of the graduate program
  • Your 8 digit U-M ID (if known)

Application Checklist

1. Submit and/or upload to Rackham website:

  • Application
  • Recommender names and email addresses
  • Transcript (scan of official or unofficial transcript for degree-granting schools only)
  • Academic Statement of Purpose
  • Personal Statement
  • Résumé or CV

2. Send to Rackham Admissions Office:

One set of official transcripts from degree-granting institutions only to:

Rackham Graduate School
Attn: Transcripts/U-M ID# (if known) or Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
915 E. Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

Information about Rackham's transcript policy may be found on their website.

3. Do NOT send anything to the School of Kinesiology:

Materials sent to the School of Kinesiology will NOT be reviewed with your application.

4. Completing and Submitting Your Application for Admission

Submit your online application via Rackham's website. Be sure to check the list of required materials before you continue to the online application.

How to Check your Application Status and/or Accept Admission

Wolverine Access is the University's web portal and it's your first stop for most of the things you’ll need to do. Prospective students will check their application status and accept admission here. To create a "friend account" for Wolverine Access, follow the instructions found at: Set Up a Friend Account for Guest Access to U-M Computing Resources.


Our PhD FAQ page and the Rackham Life section of the Rackham Graduate School website have a wealth of information about housing, health care, transportation, child care, and more.

If you have any additional questions about the doctoral program admissions requirements or application process, contact the manager of Graduate Student Affairs at