Sep 27, 2023  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 

Doctor of Philosophy - Kinesiology

Plan Description

The Ph.D. program is designed specifically for professionals who desire tenure-track research, teaching, and administrative positions in postsecondary education. The Ph.D. program offers academic concentrations in Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, and Motor Behavior.

Learning Objectives

  1. Kinesiology Content Knowledge: demonstrate a broad conceptual knowledge of the Kinesiology field of study and develop related disciplinary content knowledge expertise in Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, or Motor Behavior.
  2. Effectively communicate knowledge in the discipline: Demonstrate the ability to write and speak about current scholarship and issues of the discipline to peers, practitioners, and the public.
  3. Research Design: understand concepts pertinent to experimental research design relative to controlling internal and external threats to validity.
  4. Research Methods: understand and applying sound scientific methodology to pursue a research question.

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

Admission to doctoral study will be granted to qualified applicants based on a combination of the following:

  1. A master’s degree from an accredited college or university
  2. Official copies of all postsecondary transcripts
  3. Professional vita or resume
  4. Evidence of writing ability with appropriate examples including excerpt from a master’s thesis, professional paper, or published article
  5. Three letters of recommendation from previous instructors and/or professional colleagues attesting to the applicant’s ability to complete a doctoral program of study
  6. A detailed statement explaining why the student desires admission to the program
  7. A personal interview with the department graduate faculty.
  8. Satisfactory GRE test scores (taken within five years from the date of application for admission)

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Admission Process

  1. Contact the Department of Kinesiology prior to applying for admission.
  2. Applications for the Ph.D. program will be considered once per year and deadline for receipt of application is March 1.
  3. The online admissions application, fees, and transcripts should be submitted to the Graduate College. Further admission and application information may be obtained from the UNLV Graduate College website at:
  4. Three letters of recommendation, professional resume or vita, GRE scores, official copies of all college transcripts, evidence of writing ability (e.g., excerpt from masters’ thesis, professional paper or published article), a detailed statement explaining why the student desires admission, and a statement demonstrating evidence of professional/ educational compatibility with program goals should be submitted through the online application system.
  5. As a final step in the admission process, a personal interview with the graduate faculty will be conducted.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Plan Requirements

Total Required Credits: 66

Course Requirements 

Content Knowledge Courses – Credits: 18

Complete 18 credits from the following course, or other advisor-approved courses.

KIN 747 - Graduate Seminar  

Cognate Area Courses – Credits: 18

Select two advisor-approved cognate areas and complete 9 credits of coursework in each area.



KIN 615 - Introduction to Forensic Kinesiology  

KIN 656 - Biomechanics of Endurance Performance  

KIN 736 - Biomechanical Applications in Kinesiology  

KIN 737 - Biomechanics of Strength  

KIN 743 - Research Techniques in Biomechanics  


Motor Behavior

KIN 614 - Enhancing Mental and Motor Abilities  

KIN 760 - Motor Skill Learning and Performance  

KIN 761 - Human Motor Control  

KIN 762 - Motor Learning Applications  


Exercise Physiology

KIN 605 - Sports Nutrition  

KIN 657 - Physiology of Endurance Performance  

KIN 691 - Exercise Physiology  

KIN 692 - Clinical Exercise Physiology  

KIN 738 - Human Physiology  

KIN 739 - Evaluation of Physical Working Capacity  

KIN 740 - Advanced Exercise Physiology  

KIN 744 - Thermoregulation During Physical Work  

KIN 745 - Human Energy Metabolism  


Sports Medicine

KIN 695 - Sports Medicine  

KIN 730 - Organization and Administration of Athletic Training  

KIN 731 - Orthopedic Assessment in Sports Medicine  

KIN 733 - Psychological Aspects of Sport and Rehabilitation  

KIN 734 - Therapeutic Intervention in Sports Medicine  

KIN 735 - Sports Medicine Rehabilitation Principles and Practices  


Research Methodology Courses – Credits: 15

Complete 15 credits from the following list of courses, or other advisor-approved courses.

KIN 751 - Selected Application of Statistical Techniques I  

KIN 752 - Selected Application of Statistical Techniques II  

Prospectus Course – Credits: 3

KIN 789 - Dissertation Prospectus

Dissertation – Credits: 12

KIN 799 - Dissertation  

Degree Requirements 

  1. Completion of a minimum of 66 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 3.00.
  2. Scholarly Product Requirement – each student must satisfy a scholarly product requirement. This requirement can be met in one of two ways:
    1. Students may submit a research study to a refereed journal for publication.
    2. Students may submit a proposal for presentation of research at an annual conference of a national organization.
  3. Student Advisory Committees - Students are required to select a graduate advisory committee by the end of their second semester.
    1. Advisory committees must consist of three Kinesiology graduate faculty members (one of which can be an associate graduate faculty member) and a graduate college representative from outside of the department.
    2. The chair of the advisory committee must be a graduate faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology.
    3. Advisory committees should be informed prior to the student’s completion of 16 credit hours.
    4. The committee oversees the student’s progress, including the comprehensive exams.
    5. A temporary advisor is assigned until the student becomes acquainted with the faculty and selects his/her advisory committee.
  4. Comprehensive Examination – the student takes the comprehensive examination during the semester immediately preceding enrollment in dissertation.
    1. The comprehensive examination consists of six questions in which the student is allotted two hours per question. Questions are constructed and scored by the student’s advisory committee.
    2. Students must file intent to take comprehensive examinations, adhering to timelines cited for other graduate programs scheduled by the Graduate College and the Department of Kinesiology. Students may petition the Kinesiology Graduate Faculty for permission to take comprehensive examinations pending approval of the advisory committee.
    3. The questions on the comprehensive examination address elements of content knowledge, research methodology, and related discipline electives. The student’s advisory committee provides general parameters from which questions are selected. “Take-home” examinations, in whole or in part, are not allowed. Students may use college provided technology for word-processing. Grading consists of two categories: Pass and Fail.
    4. Upon receiving a passing grade for the written comprehensive examination, students will be required to pass an oral examination by their respective advisory committees. Students must successfully complete the written and oral comprehensive examinations before enrolling in dissertation hours.
  5.  Dissertation Proposal and Defense
    1. Following the successful completion of the written and oral comprehensive examinations, the student must submit a dissertation proposal to the Doctoral Advisory Committee and submit the accompanying “Dissertation Prospectus Approval” form from the Graduate College. The Doctoral Advisory Committee will determine the acceptability of the prospectus.
    2. Upon approval of the prospectus, the student must obtain approval for the study from the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects.
    3. Upon completion of the dissertation, a defense will be scheduled and conducted in accordance with the Graduate College’s policy for dissertation completion. Students should obtain The Graduate Study Guide and the Guide to Preparing and Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation from the Graduate College web site.

Plan Graduation Requirements

  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her dissertation by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. The student must submit his/her approved, properly formatted hard-copy dissertation to the Graduate College, and submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest by the posted deadline.