Exercise Science Programs - Ph.D.


Admission to the program is competitive and based on the student’s prior academic record, graduate record exam (GRE) scores, recommendations, and research interests. Minimum requirements include a GRE score (verbal + quantitative) of 1000, an undergraduate grade point average of 2.6 (master’s) or 3.0 (doctoral), a graduate grade point average of 3.5 (doctoral) and, in the case of foreign students, a score of 213 on the Internet Based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. Applications from minorities are encouraged. Preference is given to students who have strong basic and exercise science backgrounds, and who have research interests compatible with one of the faculty advisors. Students not accepted into the M.S. program may qualify for admission into the M.Ed. program in clinical exercise physiology. For students interested in an assistantship, admission applications should be completed before February 1.


Assistantships are available on a competitive basis that require working in the Exercise Physiology Laboratories (teaching and research), or Fitness Center (fitness program), or teaching in the Basic Physical Education Program. Graduate School research assistantships and out-of-state tuition waivers are also available to highly qualified applicants.

General Requirements

The M.S. and Ph.D. in Kinesiology are programs designed to provide an opportunity to pursue research and advanced scholarly activity in specialized areas of kinesiology. The M.S. programs are designed for students who want an in-depth research experience that involves completing a thesis. Completing requirements for the M.S. prepares a student to pursue a Ph.D. or to pursue a career that involves a background in research. Requirements for the M.S. are provided in the Graduate School Bulletin. In addition, the Department requires that the program of study for the M.S. include a course in research methods (KINS 7150 or equivalent) and one additional research course (a course in statistics or qualitative research methods) appropriate for the student’s research.

The Ph.D. programs are designed to provide the opportunity to pursue research and scholarly activities beyond the point possible in master’s degree programs. These programs prepare students for careers involving research in colleges and universities, government, or business and industry. Requirements for the Ph.D. are provided in the Graduate School Bulletin. In addition, the Department has the following requirements for its Ph.D. programs:

Advisory Committee:

A doctoral student’s doctoral advisory committee shall consist of a minimum of three graduate faculty members including the student’s major professor who will serve as the chair of the committee. For Exercise Science programs two of the faculty must be in the Department of Kinesiology and, if all three members are in the Department of Kinesiology, they cannot be in the same specialization area (biomechanics, exercise physiology, exercise psychology, measurement).

KINS 8990 Research Seminar in Kinesiology:

Research seminars in the individual specializations are required one or two (Fall, Spring) semesters each year providing a minimum of four credit hours earned.

Research Tool Requirement:

Doctoral students in Kinesiology must complete a two-course sequence at the 8000-level or above in statistics (e.g., ERSH 8310 and 8320, or equivalent) or qualitative methods (e.g., QUAL 8400 and 8410, or equivalent). If the student has the equivalent of these courses, higher level courses can be taken. At least the second course in the sequence, or a course for which it is a prerequisite, must be taken on this campus. A grade of “B” or better must be obtained in the second course or course for which it is a prerequisite.

Program of Study:

The program of study is determined by the major professor and doctoral student, based on the student’s background, interests, and career goals. It must be approved by a majority of the advisory committee. For the Ph.D., a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work not including work done for a master’s degree is required (see residence requirement above). The total number of hours required may vary, depending on the number needed to achieve the necessary proficiency in research, breadth and soundness of scholarship, and thorough acquaintance with a specific field of knowledge as determined by the major professor and advisory committee.

Research Experience in Lieu of Master’s Thesis:

If a student is admitted to the Ph.D. program with a master’s degree but without having completed a master’s thesis, or admitted to the Ph.D. program with bachelor’s degree but no master’s degree, the student must conduct, or contribute in a substantial way (planning, data collection, data analysis, writing manuscript) to a research study prior to approval of the dissertation prospectus, to provide an initial, in-depth research experience. A manuscript based on the research must be submitted to a scholarly publication.

Laboratory Facilities

The Department of Kinesiology has well-equipped Aging and Physical Performance, Biomechanics, Metabolism and Body Composition, Exercise Psychology, Exercise Vascular Biology, Cognition and Skill Acquisition, Athletic Training, and Neruromusular Physiology Laboratories that are actively involved in applied and basic exercise physiology research. A separate Fitness Center conducts Adult Fitness, Cardiac Rehabilitation, and Senior Adult programs for University faculty/staff and the Athens Community.


Prerequisites for the specialization include a background in physical and biological science, including, physics, chemistry through organic, biology and physiology. Math through integral calculus is recommended. Students are expected to have an undergraduate or master’s degree in exercise science or an appropriate related field. Under most circumstances a Ph.D. applicant will have completed a master’s degree and thesis or equivalent before being admitted. Alternatively, a Ph.D. applicant can be admitted with a bachelor’s degree if he/she meets the following Graduate School criterion: undergraduate GPA x 1000 + GRE verbal + GRE quantitative > 4300.

Program of Study

The program of study is developed by the student and a three-person advisory committee based on the student’s background, interests, and career goals. A minimum of 30 semester hours of course work is required. The program is designed to provide in-depth knowledge in the area of specialization and proficiency in designing and conducting research. Students are expected to be involved in research throughout their Ph.D. program. The program requires approximately three to four years for those who have previously completed a master’s degree.

Course work required of all Ph.D. candidates in the Exercise Science Department includes: 4 hours of research seminar (KINS 8990), statistics (ERSH 8310 and 8320), and a minimum of 3 hours of doctoral dissertation (KINS 9300D). Courses taken as part of the master’s degree can be used to fulfill requirements.

Courses commonly taken in addition to those listed above are typically selected from:

KINS 6090 Exercise Physiology II
KINS 6300 Exercise Epidemiology
KINS 6320 Physical Activity and Aging
KINS 6600 Measurement and surveillance of Physical Activity
KINS 7000 Master’s Research
KINS 7140 Current Problems in Exercise Science
KINS 7310 Adult Fitness and Cardiac Rehabilitation
KINS 7330 Metabolic and Cardiorespiratory Aspects of Exercise
KINS 8300 Advanced Topics in Exercise Physiology
KINS 8320 Evaluation of Human Neuromuscular Performance
KINS 8410 Neuromuscular Mechanisms in Exercise
KINS 8420 Muscle Energetics and Oxygen Transport During Exercise
KINS 9000 Doctoral Research
KINS 9630 Directed Reading in Exercise Science

VPHY 6090 Comparative Mammalian Physiology
VPHY 6100 Comparative Mammalian Physiology
PHRM 8000 Advanced Cardiovascular Physiology
PHRM 8420 Cardiovascular Pharmacology
VPHY 8010 Mammalian Cell Physiology
VPHY 8120 Renal and Fluid-electrolyte Physiology
CBIO 6737 Endocrinology
VPHY 6050 Animal Physiological Chemistry
PHRM 6050 Laboratory Techniques in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
GRNT 6010 Physical Aging
FDNS 6400 Advanced Macronutrients
ERSH 8510 Multivariate Methods

Descriptions of these courses may be found in the Graduate School Bulletin.


Dr. Ellen Evans, Dr. Kevin McCully, Dr. Michael Schmidt and Dr. Lesley White are advisors for students in the program. Dr. Evans research involves study of the effect of habitual physical activity and nutrition on body composition and health, and the effect of aging on women’s health. Dr. McCully’s research involves the effects of aging and disease on muscle metabolism and functional capacity, including the relationship among oxidative metabolism, oxygen delivery, and blood flow. Dr. Schmidt is a physical activity epidemiologist whose research focuses on: the prevention and health consequences of obesity, especially in childhood; improving methods to measure physical activity in diverse populations; and, the effects of physical activity during pregnancy on maternal and child health. Dr. White’s research involves studies of the effects of resistance training on functional performance and secondary disease risk in clinical populations.

Dr. Ellen Evans

Dr. Kevin McCully

Dr. Michael Schmidt

Dr. Lesley White

Department of Kinesiology
University of Georgia
300 River Rd.
Athens, GA 30602-6554