Kinesiology PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology

The Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is a full-time program that prepares researchers in the areas of Movement Sciences and Kinesiology for research-intensive positions at Research I Universities and Academic Medical Centers. Study is directed toward preparing the current and the next generation of researchers in the study of movement. Graduates assume professorial and full-time researcher roles in research-intensive universities and academic medical centers.

The Ph.D. program is a research-intensive degree, and students are expected to engage in full time study, which includes a series of approximately 3 successively independent research projects or the equivalent (such as a large intervention or multi-year study) during their program. Preliminary studies may be published prior to graduation, but the final study may be published only after the awarding of the degree. Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy are expected to have high quality research experience in movement and exercise sciences, including a written document such as a Master’s Thesis or research article as the primary author prior to admission to the program. Students without prior research experience should apply to the Ed.D. Program.

Research may be completed in the research laboratories at Teachers College. Work may also be completed in an outside clinical/research setting if the work is done under the direct and primary supervision of a full-time faculty member in Movement Sciences. All Ph.D. students are expected to write grants to provide funding for their research under the mentorship of their primary advisor.

We offer three areas of concentration with the Ph.D.:

  • Applied Exercise Physiology
  • Motor Learning & Control
  • Physical Education (The Physical Education program is not taking students for the 2023-2024 school year.)
Teachers College Building
A group of students converse in a study group at Teachers College.

Admissions Information

Displaying requirements for the Spring 2024, Summer 2024, and Fall 2024 terms.

Doctor of Philosophy

  • Points/Credits: 75
  • Entry Terms: Fall

Application Deadlines

Entry Term AvailablePriority DeadlinesFinal DeadlinesExtended Deadlines
FallDecember 1, 2023December 1, 2023N/A

Select programs remain open beyond our standard application deadlines, such as those with an extended deadline or those that are rolling (open until June or July). If your program is rolling or has an extended deadline indicated above, applications are reviewed as they are received and on a space-available basis. We recommend you complete your application as soon as possible as these programs can close earlier if full capacity has been met.

Application Requirements

 Online Degree Application, including Statement of Purpose and Resume
 Transcripts and/or Course-by-Course Evaluations for all Undergraduate/Graduate Coursework Completed
 Results from an accepted English Proficiency Exam (if applicable)
 $75 Application Fee
 Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
 Academic Writing Sample

For more information about special application requirements, program description and degree program requirements for the Ph.D. program in Kinesiology, contact Professor Gordon at

Students in the Applied Physiology concentration can expect to complete at least the minimum course requirements outlined for the Ed.D. degree as part of their individually program designed in consultation with their primary faculty sponsor (advisor).

Requirements from the TC Catalog (AY 2023-2024)

Displaying catalog information for the Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 terms.

View Full Catalog Listing

We offer a full-time PhD in Kinesiology with students specializing either in motor learning and control, applied physiology, or physical education. The Ph.D. program requires a full-time commitment to graduate studies and students should not expect to hold outside employment during their studies. This commitment will ensure that advisement, research activities, and course work can be completed to the degree of competence that is expected in a research-intensive degree program. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy emphasizes research and intensive specialization in a field of scholarship.

The minimum requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Kinesiology are: satisfactory completion of a planned program of 75 graduate points beyond the Baccalaureate; submission of a statement of the total program indicating periods of intensive study subsequent to the first year of graduate study which accompanies the program plan of study; satisfactory performance on a departmental Certification Examination; and preparation and defense of a research dissertation. In addition, doctoral students in Kinesiology are expected to complete a sequence of three research studies, or the equivalent, to meet degree requirements. Relevant courses completed in other recognized graduate schools to a maximum of 30 points, or 45 points if completed in anotherCollege or School of Columbia University, may be accepted toward the minimum point requirement for the degree. Each degree candidate must satisfy departmental requirements for the award of the M.Phil. degree prior to continuance in the Ph.D. program. These degree requirements are specified in the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Bulletin, obtainable from the Office of Doctoral Studies. Each student and his or her advisor develop a plan of study  that will help the student meet his or her goals and successfully complete the series of studies that meets the research requirements of the program.

For more information about special application requirements, program description and degree program requirements for the Ph.D. program in Kinesiology, contact Professor Andrew Gordon at For students electing the Applied Physiology concentration of the Kinesiology program, please contact Professor Carol Ewing Garber for more information at

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