Online PhD in Kinesiology

Enroll for May 2024. Become an expert in kinesiology with CSP Global’s doctoral programs.

PhD in Kinesiology Program Overview

  • 100% online
  • 55 hours of coursework
  • 12 hours of dissertation

4 Concentration Options

male in scrubs assessing female with kinesiology tape on her knee.

Why Earn A PhD In Kinesiology?

Earning a PhD in Kinesiology can be a rewarding and valuable pursuit for individuals interested in the field of exercise science, human movement and physical education. Here are several reasons why someone might choose to become a kinesiology doctoral student.

Research Opportunities

A PhD program in kinesiology offers doctoral students extensive opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research. This allows individuals to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in areas such as exercise physiology, sports nutrition, strength and conditioning and exercise science. In their graduate studies, students will learn advanced research methods that they can continue to use in the field after graduation.

Career Advancement

A PhD can open up various career paths in academia, research institutions, healthcare settings and the sports industry. It can also lead to higher-paying positions and increased job opportunities compared to individuals with only a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Expertise and Specialization

Doctoral programs provide the chance for PhD students to develop deep expertise and specialization in a specific area of kinesiology, allowing graduates to become experts in their chosen fields.

Benefits Of Getting Your PhD In Kinesiology Online


Online programs, like those offered by CSP Global, allow students to create a flexible schedule that fits their existing commitments. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who are working professionals, have family responsibilities or live in remote areas, as it enables them to balance their studies with other aspects of their lives.

Location Independence

With an online PhD, you can choose a program from anywhere in the world, eliminating the need to relocate. This opens up opportunities to access top-notch programs and esteemed professors, regardless of your geographic location.

Cost Savings

Online PhD programs often come with reduced tuition fees compared to on-campus options. Additionally, you can save on commuting, housing and other associated expenses, making it a more cost-effective choice for many students..

Career Outcomes For Kinesiology PhD Programs

Earning a PhD in Kinesiology prepares students for a wide range of career opportunities in both academia and various sectors of the industry. Here are some potential career outcomes for individuals with a PhD in Kinesiology:

  • University Professor/Researcher: Many PhD graduates choose to pursue a career in academia. With a PhD degree, they can become professors in kinesiology or related departments, conducting research, publishing academic papers and educating the next generation of professionals in the field.
  • Clinical Researcher: Kinesiologists with a PhD can work in clinical research settings, conducting studies to improve healthcare practices, rehabilitation techniques and sports performance. They often collaborate with hospitals, medical centers and research institutions on top of their independent research.
  • Sports Scientist: Sports organizations and teams hire PhD graduates to optimize athlete performance, prevent injuries and design training programs. They may work with professional athletes, Olympians or college sports teams.
  • Exercise Physiologist: PhD holders in kinesiology can work as exercise physiologists, developing personalized exercise plans for individuals with medical conditions or those seeking to improve their fitness levels. They often work in healthcare settings, wellness centers or private practice.
  • Biomechanist: Biomechanists study the mechanics of human movement, which is crucial in sports, rehabilitation and ergonomics. PhD graduates in kinesiology can specialize in this area, working in research, product development or consulting roles.
  • Public Health Specialist: Kinesiologists with a PhD can contribute to public health initiatives by designing and implementing programs to promote physical activity, combat obesity and improve overall community health.
  • Corporate Wellness Director: Many large companies have wellness programs to promote employee health and well-being. PhD graduates can lead these programs, designing strategies to reduce workplace stress, improve fitness and enhance overall employee productivity.
  • Rehabilitation Specialist: Kinesiologists can work in rehabilitation centers, helping patients recover from injuries, surgeries or medical conditions. They develop and oversee exercise programs tailored to the individual’s needs.
  • Consultant: PhD graduates in kinesiology can offer consulting services to sports organizations, fitness centers, healthcare facilities and government agencies. They provide expertise in areas such as injury prevention, performance enhancement and program evaluation.
  • Government Policy Advisor: Kinesiologists can work as advisors to government agencies and policymakers, influencing health and fitness policies, guidelines and regulations.

Overall, a PhD in Kinesiology offers a diverse range of career paths, allowing graduates to make a significant impact on individuals’ health and well-being, sports performance and scientific understanding of human movement. The specific career choice often depends on individual interests, expertise and professional goals.

Our Unique Dissertation Process

CSP Global has implemented a distinctive approach to the PhD program in kinesiology, following the Carnegie Model for applied research. This innovative method accelerates the research dissertation process, enabling you to engage in industry-relevant projects sooner.

Unlike traditional programs, you won’t have to complete all coursework before starting your dissertation. We integrate the dissertation process early on, spanning four seminar courses:

  • KHS7900 Seminar 1: Crafting the Dissertation Introduction
  • KHS7901 Seminar 2: Formulating the Dissertation Literature Review
  • KHS7902 Seminar 3: Developing the Dissertation Methodology
  • KHS7903 Seminar 4: Refining the Dissertation Prospectus

These one-credit courses immerse you in your dissertation topic right from the outset of your academic journey at CSP Global. By the time you finish all coursework and enroll in KHD8000, you’ll be well on your way to completing your dissertation and earning your PhD.

Important Dates

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



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)
KHS7902 Seminar 3: Drafting the Dissertation Methodology (1)
KHS7903 Seminar 4: Finalizing the Written Dissertation Prospectus (1)

Exercise and Sport Nutrition Emphasis (27 Credits)

KHS7010 Medical Aspects of Exercise and Disease Prevention (3)
KHS7020 Exercise and Health Behavior Change (3)
KHS7120 Advanced Exercise and Sport Nutrition (3)
KHS7210 Advanced Exercise Physiology (3)
KHS7501 Nutrition for the General Population (3)
KHS7511 Vitamins and Minerals (3)
KHS7521 Nutrition Assessment and Analysis (3)
KHS7531 Nutrition and Weight Management (3)
KHS7541 Dietary Trends and Special Populations (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
KHS8000 Dissertation (12)

For the EdD
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.

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.

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.

KHS7501: Nutrition for the General Population: This course will introduce students to the biochemical, physiological, and microbiological basics of general human nutrition. Students will gain an understanding of the relationship between nutrition and health by reviewing topics such as the nutritional needs of special populations, sociocultural influences of nutrition, community nutritional applications, and major public health concerns related to nutrition. Students will learn how to evaluate nutritional information or misinformation to create goals and apply publicly available guidelines or tools to dietary plans.

KHS7511: Vitamins and Minerals: This explores the metabolism of vitamins and minerals essential for health throughout the lifespan. Specific topics will include nutrient bioavailability, absorption, and proper micronutrient intake. The health effects of inadequate or excessive micronutrient intake will be covered along with methods to estimate nutrient requirements and upper limit levels.

KHS7521: Nutrition Assessments and Analysis: In this course, students will gain an understanding of the methods and approaches to conducting nutrition assessments of individuals throughout a lifecycle. Students will learn best practices and applications in evidence-based dietary, biochemical, and anthropometric assessments. An in-depth overview of the rationale of use, advantages, disadvantages, and validity of each assessment will be completed.

KHS7531: Nutrition for Weight Management: This course will review current evidence-based strategies to manage overweight and underweight individuals. The genetic, metabolic, and psychological factors affecting weight management will be covered. Students will gain knowledge and skills in assessment techniques, treatment options, and prevention strategies.

KHS7541: Dietary Trends and Special Populations: This course will provide students with an understanding of the ever-changing aspects of nutrition science, including emerging diets and controversies such as fad diets and supplementation. Additionally, students will learn about nutrition applications for special populations such as athletes and those with infectious or chronic diseases. Students will develop skills in the evaluation and interpretation of nutrition-related claims in both popular media and scientific studies.

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 (, 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.