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Get a Doctorate in Kinesiology

PhD & EdD In Exercise Science

Enroll for July 2024. Become an expert in your field with a doctorate in kinesiology.

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Why Choose PhD in Exercise Science?

Our PhD in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science is designed to prepare you for a career in academia or research. Graduates will be prepared to publish their own work and collaborate with other researchers, as well as teach at the post-secondary level.

The PhD program features additional courses beyond those of the EdD program since there is a stronger focus on research. Doctoral students will complete 55 hours of core courses and research coursework, independent study, and complete 12 hours of dissertation.

Why Choose EdD in Exercise Science?

Our EdD in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science is designed to help you apply research to solve real-world problems. Graduates will be prepared to pursue leadership roles within corporate wellness, higher education, professional sports organizations, and more, in addition to teaching at the post-secondary level. Those pursuing an EdD typically work firsthand with clients, rather than working primarily with other scholars.

Our EdD program features 49 credit hours of coursework and 12 hours of dissertation.

coach or therapist helping someone

The Value of CSP Global’s PhD in Exercise Science

CSP Global offers a Doctorate in Kinesiology with an Exercise Science emphasis to students interested in health sciences. Our program offers easily transferable credits from past educational institutions, 100% online learning, no required GRE/GMAT or comprehensive exam, and opens up the door to many career opportunities. Graduates can expect to complete the program having gained not only textbook knowledge but real-world experience to set them up for their future careers.

CSP Global’s unique dissertation process sets students up for success by giving them a head start from the beginning with engaging and stimulating project opportunities. With a PhD in Exercise Science from CSP Global, graduates can engage in real-world research, work in healthcare settings, become athletic coaches, and more.

Program Outcomes: EdD Or PhD In Exercise Science

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of exercise principles, strength and conditioning concepts, and nutritional influences on the body’s physiological adaptation to exercise.
  • Design and conduct safe exercise testing and create exercise prescriptions focused on health, disease prevention, and chronic disease management.
  • Apply motivational and effective communication strategies as a leader within professional industry interactions. (Kinesiology version: Apply psychological approaches to working with individuals in an exercise and sport capacity.)
  • Evaluate ethical dilemmas, make informed decisions, and demonstrate a commitment to ethical behavior in professional practice.
  • Critically evaluate, create, and advance new trends and issues as leaders in the exercise science industry.

For PhD students, you will:

  • Develop expertise in a variety of research methods, including experimental design, data analysis, and statistical techniques, while also critically evaluating existing research and designing and implementing original research projects that make significant contributions to the field of kinesiology.

For EdD students, you will:

  • Develop advanced research skills, including the ability to design and implement rigorous, practical research projects that address real-world problems in kinesiology.

Career Outcomes

The successful completion of CSP Global’s PhD in Exercise Science can open many doors. Graduates may pursue career advancement in education, research, and health and wellness, often in leadership positions. Please note some positions may require additional education, experience, or certification.

  • Consultant
  • Program coordinator
  • Dietician or nutritionist
  • Health educator
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Health, research or sports scientist
  • Post-secondary biometrics
  • Exercise science teacher
  • Nutrition teacher
  • Public health professional
  • Professor
  • Researcher

Our Unique Dissertation Process

CSP Global has adopted a unique dissertation process for our PhD in Exercise Science that follows the Carnegie Model for applied research. This approach will allow you to complete your dissertation process faster while engaging in industry-relevant projects.

You won’t have to complete all coursework before you begin your dissertation. We embed the dissertation process early in coursework through four seminar courses:

  • KHS7900 Seminar 1: Drafting the Dissertation Introduction
  • KHS7901 Seminar 2: Drafting the Dissertation Literature Review
  • KHS7902 Seminar 3: Drafting the Dissertation Methodology
  • KHS7903 Seminar 4: Finalizing the Written Dissertation Prospectus

These one-credit courses get you thinking about and working on your dissertation topic from the beginning of your educational journey at CSP Global.

By the time you complete all coursework and enroll in dissertation courses (KHS7950 for the EdD and KHD8000 for the PhD), you’ll be well on your way to completing your dissertation and earning your doctorate.

Frequently Asked Questions

The expected salary for someone with a PhD in exercise science can vary based on the role they pursue. According to Payscale.com, common average annual salaries for roles that someone with a PhD in exercise science might hold can range from $54,709 to $123,623.

Degree requirements are as follows: 61 credits for the EdD in Kinesiology and 67 credits for the PhD in Kinesiology. Students can graduate in as little as 3 years with most graduating in 4 years. Time to graduation depends on transfer of credit and class schedules.

A full-time PhD in exercise science program can be rigorous and challenging for most students. Doctoral students are expected to show dedication and put a strong effort into getting the most out of their education. There is a fair amount of academic research required for PhD programs, no matter the field, and students are typically required to complete a dissertation in order to graduate.

While getting a PhD in exercise science is not easy, it is extremely rewarding and sets you up for a successful career in the field of kinesiology.

There are many different paths someone with a PhD in exercise science can take on their career journey. After graduation, many people find work at universities as professors, gyms or fitness centers as personal trainers, high schools or colleges as sports conditioning coaches, and some even pursue starting their own fitness businesses.

With a degree in exercise science, there is a world of possibilities for career paths. Some people become wellness or health coaches, and others become sports facility managers. Still more find work as health educators or even military fitness instructors.

The field of exercise science is most certainly growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of exercise physiologists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.” The demand for roles in exercise physiology is growing as the healthcare industry continues to place more emphasis on preventative care to help patients recover from or avoid cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases. The field of exercise science encompasses a wide range of employment opportunities and continues to grow year after year.

After receiving your PhD in exercise science, you can work for a private or public research facility to continue your knowledge in the field. If research particularly interests you, you could consider becoming a professor at a college or university to teach undergraduate or graduate students. Teaching also commonly comes with the requirement or encouragement to conduct your own research to further the field of exercise science.

You could pursue research opportunities in rehabilitation methods, sports conditioning, preventing diseases, and more.

There are several hands-on careers people with a PhD in exercise science can pursue. These include but are not limited to:

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Rehabilitation Therapist
  • Sports Coach
  • Conditioning Coach
  • Personal Trainer
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Sports Medicine Physician
  • Fitness Instructor

Important Dates

Application Deadline: June 17, 2024
Next Start Date:
July 1, 2024

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Curriculum

Core (10 credits)

KHS7000 Issues and Trends in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7030 Professional Ethics and Program Management in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7900 Seminar 1: Drafting the Dissertation Introduction (1)
KHS7901 Seminar 2: Drafting the Dissertation Literature Review (1)
KHS7903 Seminar 3: Drafting the Dissertation Methodology (1)
KHS7903 Seminar 4: Finalizing the Written Dissertation Prospectus (1)

Exercise Science (27 Credits)

KHS7010 Medical Aspects of Exercise and Disease Prevention (3)
KHS7020 Exercise and Health Behavior Change (3)
KHS7100 Advanced Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise (3)
KHS7120 Advanced Exercise & Sport Nutrition (3)

KHS7130 Advanced Exercise and Sport Psychology (3)
KHS7200 Advanced Biomechanics in Exercise Science (3)
KHS7210 Advanced Exercise Physiology (3)
KHS7220 Advanced Mechanisms of Skilled Neuromuscular Behavior (3)

KHS7230 Advanced Exercise Prescription (3)

Research Methods and Statistics (12-18 Credits)

For the PhD (18 Credits)
KHS7820 Research Methods in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7830 Advanced Research Seminar in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7550 Qualitative Research in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7600 Quantitative Research in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7650 Mixed Methods in Research in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7700 Statistics in Kinesiology (3)

For the EdD (12 Credits)
KHS7800 Action Research in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7810 Applied Measurement and Evaluation Techniques in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7820 Research Methods in Kinesiology (3)
KHS7830 Advanced Research Seminar in Kinesiology (3)

Dissertation (12 Credits)

For the PhD in Exercise Science
KHS8000 Dissertation (12)

For the EdD in Exercise Science
KHS7950
Dissertation (12)

Total Credits for EdD = 61
Total Credits for PhD = 67

Additional Program Information

KHS7000: Current Issues and Trends in Kinesiology: This course prepares students to analyze current problems, issues, and trends impacting kinesiology professions. The emphasis is on selecting and discussing emerging and controversial topics from research and everyday experiences that lead to action. Leadership principles will be examined as students develop and identify leadership strategies, tools and applications to successfully implement a personal mission and vision statement.

KHS7010: Medical Aspects of Exercise and Disease Prevention: This course utilizes an epidemiological approach to examine the relationship between physical activity and health and/or disease outcomes. Emphasis is on the role of exercise in preventative medicine. Topics include the impact of exercise on various diseases, and the effect of various medical conditions on the ability to participate in vigorous exercise and competitive sports.

KHS7020: Exercise and Health Behavior Change: Advanced analysis of theoretical health behavior models and their application to physical activity behavior. Includes practical techniques, tools and interventions (e.g., counseling skills, motivational interviewing) to enhance exercise adherence and motivation across the lifespan.

KHS7030: Professional Ethics and Program Management in Kinesiology: This course examines ethical and socio-cultural issues that kinesiology students will face during their training and professional practice emphasizing conceptual frameworks needed to articulate concerns and engage in meaningful dialogue with others. Topics include the application of ethical program management, financial management, legal issues, and evaluation and planning.

KHS7100: Advanced Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise: This course examines the effects of acute and chronic exercise on the cardiovascular system, with an emphasis on understanding the regulatory mechanism that controls the cardiovascular system at rest and in response to aerobic and resistance exercises.

KHS7120: Advanced Exercise & Sport Nutrition: This course examines the role of nutrient selection, metabolism, and timing play in supporting and improving health and human performance. Topics include nutrient bioenergetics, optimizing nutrient timing, micronutrients and macronutrients, ergogenic aids, thermoregulation, fluid balance, and weight management.

KHS7130: Advanced Exercise and Sport Psychology: This course is designed to prepare students to apply practical and theoretical psychological principles to individuals participating in exercise and sport. Emphasis is placed on theory and research on motivation, personality, cognition, self-efficacy, leadership effectiveness, attributions, attitudes, and group dynamics.

KHS7200: Advanced Biomechanics in Exercise Science:  This course examines qualitative and quantitative elements and physics of human movement. Content areas include the structural mechanics of bone physiology, muscle mechanics, and connective tissue principles. Sport techniques and environmental conditions (e.g., friction, air, and water resistance) are also explored. Biomechanical implications of sport and fitness skill performance will be analyzed for mechanical efficiency and effectiveness.

KHS7210: Advanced Exercise Physiology: The physiological responses to exercise performance and the effects of physical activity on the body’s functions are examined in theory and application.

KHS7220: Advanced Mechanisms of Skilled Neuromuscular Behavior: This course examines the integration of thought processes with the human body to produce skilled motor performance. Theoretical perspectives and mechanisms of motor behavior are examined and applied to significant systems involving gross motor learning and control in sport and exercise.

KHS7230: Advanced Exercise Prescription: This course focuses upon the design of individualized exercise programs and prescriptions in health and disease. Knowledge of skills necessary for safe and effective application of these prescriptions for members of diverse populations as well as the prevention and maintenance of chronic disease will be emphasized.

KHS7800: Action Research in Kinesiology: This course is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to design, conduct, and evaluate action research projects within the field of kinesiology. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of action research and its use in promoting change and improvement in a variety of settings, including physical activity and exercise programs, sport organizations, and health promotion initiatives.

KHS7810: Applied Measurement and Evaluation Techniques in Kinesiology: This course develops skills for the selection, development, and implementation of various types of instruments and techniques for measuring and evaluating health and human performance interventions. Evaluation of these interventions includes general health behaviors, health related fitness, nutritional and dietary intake, body composition, and other areas related to an individual’s quality of life.

KHS7820: Research Methods in Kinesiology: This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the research process in the field of kinesiology. Emphasis will be placed on real-world examples of how research is effectively accessed, interpreted, and used in professional kinesiology settings.

KHS7830: Advanced Research Seminar in Kinesiology: This course builds on the previous course, but with an intentional focus on the dissertation topic of interest for each student.  In-depth research strategies, data reliability and credibility, and the IRB process are discussed and completed during this course. Students schedule the dissertation proposal during this course.

KHS7900: Seminar 1-Drafting the Dissertation Introduction: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a faculty mentor. Special focus on selecting the dissertation topic, forming the committee. and drafting an introduction.

KHS7901: Seminar 2-Drafting the Dissertation Literature Review: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on an annotate bibliography drafting the literature review.

KHS7902: Seminar 3-Drafting the Dissertation Methodology: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on drafting the methodology.

KHS7903: Seminar 4-Finalizing the Written Dissertation Prospectus: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on drafting a dissertation prospectus.

KHS7950: Ed.D. Dissertation: The dissertation is an independent, scholarly work of research completed by the doctoral candidate, under the guidance of a dissertation committee. A dissertation demonstrates a candidate’s ability to undertake scholarship in his or her field through intellectual endeavor and the application of research skills. The completion of a dissertation requires a scholarly mindset involving ongoing evaluation, analysis, and synthesis of previous, relevant research as well as one’s own work. A dissertation involves exploring an important problem that warrants investigation due to its centrality to issues of practice and application.

KHS7000: Current Issues and Trends in Kinesiology: This course prepares students to analyze current problems, issues, and trends impacting kinesiology professions. The emphasis is on selecting and discussing emerging and controversial topics from research and everyday experiences that lead to action. Leadership principles will be examined as students develop and identify leadership strategies, tools and applications to successfully implement a personal mission and vision statement.

KHS7010: Medical Aspects of Exercise and Disease Prevention: This course utilizes an epidemiological approach to examine the relationship between physical activity and health and/or disease outcomes. Emphasis is on the role of exercise in preventative medicine. Topics include the impact of exercise on various diseases, and the effect of various medical conditions on the ability to participate in vigorous exercise and competitive sports.

KHS7020: Exercise and Health Behavior Change: Advanced analysis of theoretical health behavior models and their application to physical activity behavior. Includes practical techniques, tools and interventions (e.g., counseling skills, motivational interviewing) to enhance exercise adherence and motivation across the lifespan.

KHS7030: Professional Ethics and Program Management in Kinesiology: This course examines ethical and socio-cultural issues that kinesiology students will face during their training and professional practice emphasizing conceptual frameworks needed to articulate concerns and engage in meaningful dialogue with others. Topics include the application of ethical program management, financial management, legal issues, and evaluation and planning.

KHS7100: Advanced Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise: This course examines the effects of acute and chronic exercise on the cardiovascular system, with an emphasis on understanding the regulatory mechanism that controls the cardiovascular system at rest and in response to aerobic and resistance exercises.

KHS7120: Advanced Exercise & Sport Nutrition: This course examines the role of nutrient selection, metabolism, and timing play in supporting and improving health and human performance. Topics include nutrient bioenergetics, optimizing nutrient timing, micronutrients and macronutrients, ergogenic aids, thermoregulation, fluid balance, and weight management.

KHS7130: Advanced Exercise and Sport Psychology: This course is designed to prepare students to apply practical and theoretical psychological principles to individuals participating in exercise and sport. Emphasis is placed on theory and research on motivation, personality, cognition, self-efficacy, leadership effectiveness, attributions, attitudes, and group dynamics.

KHS7200: Advanced Biomechanics in Exercise Science:  This course examines qualitative and quantitative elements and physics of human movement. Content areas include the structural mechanics of bone physiology, muscle mechanics, and connective tissue principles. Sport techniques and environmental conditions (e.g., friction, air, and water resistance) are also explored. Biomechanical implications of sport and fitness skill performance will be analyzed for mechanical efficiency and effectiveness.

KHS7210: Advanced Exercise Physiology: The physiological responses to exercise performance and the effects of physical activity on the body’s functions are examined in theory and application.

KHS7220: Advanced Mechanisms of Skilled Neuromuscular Behavior: This course examines the integration of thought processes with the human body to produce skilled motor performance. Theoretical perspectives and mechanisms of motor behavior are examined and applied to significant systems involving gross motor learning and control in sport and exercise.

KHS7230: Advanced Exercise Prescription: This course focuses upon the design of individualized exercise programs and prescriptions in health and disease. Knowledge of skills necessary for safe and effective application of these prescriptions for members of diverse populations as well as the prevention and maintenance of chronic disease will be emphasized.

KHS7550: Qualitative Research in Kinesiology: This course provides an in-depth examination of qualitative research, including research designs, data collection strategies, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation methods.

KHS7600: Quantitative Research in Kinesiology: This course provides an overview of quantitative research, including research designs, data collection strategies, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation methods.

KHS7650: Mixed Methods Research in Kinesiology: This course provides  students with an in-depth understanding of the advantages and limitations of different research methods in kinesiology, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. This course will cover the principles of research design and data analysis, with a focus on the development and implementation of mixed methods research studies.

KHS7700: Statistics in Kinesiology: This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of statistical analysis techniques and their application in the field of kinesiology. This course will cover a range of topics, including descriptive statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and non-parametric methods. Students will learn how to apply these techniques to analyze data from various kinesiology studies, including studies of physical activity, exercise, and sport performance. They will also gain experience using statistical software to perform data analysis and interpret results. Throughout the course, students will work on real-world data sets and case studies, and will engage in interactive discussions and group projects that encourage critical thinking and problem solving.

KHS7820: Research Methods in Kinesiology: This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the research process in the field of kinesiology. Emphasis will be placed on real-world examples of how research is effectively accessed, interpreted, and used in professional kinesiology settings.

KHS7830: Advanced Research Seminar in Kinesiology: This course builds on the previous course, but with an intentional focus on the dissertation topic of interest for each student.  In-depth research strategies, data reliability and credibility, and the IRB process are discussed and completed during this course. Students schedule the dissertation proposal during this course.

KHS7900: Seminar 1-Drafting the Dissertation Introduction: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a faculty mentor. Special focus on selecting the dissertation topic, forming the committee. and drafting an introduction.

KHS7901: Seminar 2-Drafting the Dissertation Literature Review: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on an annotate bibliography drafting the literature review.

KHS7902: Seminar 3-Drafting the Dissertation Methodology: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on drafting the methodology.

KHS7903: Seminar 4-Finalizing the Written Dissertation Prospectus: This course provides students the opportunity to make progress on their dissertation in collaboration with a dissertation advisor and advisory committee. Special focus on drafting a dissertation prospectus.

KHS8000 Ph.D. Dissertation: The dissertation is an independent, scholarly work of research completed by the doctoral candidate, under the guidance of a dissertation committee. The dissertation will create knowledge and/or test a theory through the demonstration of scientific inquiry, investigative skills, methodological and analysis skills, scientific writing and presentation skills, and ethical behavior.

Concordia University, St. Paul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

As part of our doctoral program, you will not have to take a comprehensive exam.

There is no testing requirement to apply for our doctorate in kinesiology program. We consider your past performance as the best indicator of your future success. We’ll look at your prior college transcripts and request a writing sample showing that you can complete college-level writing.

View tuition page for more information.

CSP Global offers a variety of sources to help you pay for your education, including state and federal loans, payment plans, and scholarships for those who qualify. Many students also receive tuition reimbursement from their employers.

1. Online Application

2. Official College Transcripts

  • Submit official transcripts from an accreditor recognized by the US Department of Education stating the conferral of a Master’s degree or higher with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 system.
  • To be considered official, transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the institution or through secured electronic delivery.

3. Writing Sample

  • Those seeking admission into the Doctorate in Kinesiology program should submit a Master’s-level scholarly work that includes APA in-text citations and references. A sample of work from a previous Master’s program and/or professional doctorate will be acceptable.

4. Letters of Recommendation

  • Students seeking admission to the Doctorate in Kinesiology program should arrange to have two letters of recommendation completed by professionals who can speak to their greatest strengths and successes. It is recommended that these letters speak specifically to the applicant’s work ethic, disposition and academic ability.

5. Current Resume and Professional Goal Statement

  • Provide a copy of your resume and a brief statement detailing your motivation for pursuing a doctorate in kinesiology and your persistence toward achieving long-term goals.

Charting Your Course: An Inside Look at the EdD and PhD Kinesiology Dissertation Process

This special webinar features two professors alongside several students, providing an inside look at the EdD and PhD dissertation process. You’ll gain invaluable insights and hear firsthand experiences from current doctoral students, successful graduates, and knowledgeable staff, all committed to guiding and supporting aspiring kinesiology doctoral candidates like you.

Core Program Faculty

Dr Buns Headshot

Dr. Matthew Buns

Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science
Director of the Doctorate in Kinesiology

Dr. Buns’s research examines the mechanisms of expertise in sport and the psychological and cognitive factors associated with motor skills. Dr. Buns has published more than 25 scholarly articles in sport and exercise science and is the founding editor of the Track and Cross Country Journal. Learn more about Dr. Buns here.

Dr Katie Fischer Headshot

Dr. Katie Fischer

Associate VP for Academic Affairs and Strategic Program Development

Dr. Fischer’s background in higher education includes administration of in-class and online programs, development of new programs, and collaborative programming. Her academic focus includes public health, epidemiology, leadership, and program administration. Learn more about Dr. Fischer here.

Dr Lana Huberty Headshot

Dr. Lana Huberty

Dean of the College of Kinesiology, Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Health Sciences

Dr. Huberty brings with her a wealth of industry practice in both private and public sport and recreation settings. Research interests and publications focus on sport marketing and sponsorship, gender diversity within sport management, and sport leadership. Learn more about Dr. Huberty here.