Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi

Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology


The Ph.D. in health and kinesiology degree program prepares students for university teaching and research positions. Also, the degree prepares students for research careers in industry and medicine that include the study of health, exercise, sports/recreation, and analytics (aka, measurement and evaluation). The program has three emphasis areas: 1) exercise science; 2) health behavior; and 3) sports/recreation. In addition to their emphasis areas, students can choose an analytics* cognate.



All Ph.D. students must complete a minimum of 63 credits beyond a master’s degree program in directed research, professional seminar, research methods and statistics, and specialization course work.


Directed Research (24 credits)

  • HK 797 – Dissertation (18 hours)
  • HK 751 – Advanced Independent Study (3 hours)
  • HK 752 – Advanced Independent Study (3 hours)

Professional Seminar (6 credits)

  • HK 750 – Seminar in Health and Kinesiology (1 hour repeated six times)

Research Methods & Statistics (12 credits)

Course credits to be selected in consultation with adviser.

Specific course recommendations include:

  • HK 710 – Meta-Analysis (3 hours)
  • HK 711 – Measurement Theory & Practice (3 hours)
  • NHM 726 – Applied Regression Analysis (3 hours)
  • Phad 780 – General Linear Models (3 hours)
  • Phad 781 – Applied Multivariate Analysis (3 hours)
  • Psy 703 – Quantitative Methods I (3 hours)
  • Psy 704 – Quantitative Methods II (3 hours)
  • SW 705 – Applied and Inferential Statistics (3 hours)

Emphasis Area Course work (21 credits)

Course credits to be selected in consultation with adviser.

*Analytic cognate requires students to take HK 710, HK 711, and HK 752 and participate in the Health and Sports Analytics lab (e.g., biweekly meetings, statistical workshop, statistical consulting, etc.) for a minimum of one year.


The student also must complete written and oral comprehensive exams before undertaking the prospectus and dissertation.


Admission Considerations

Our doctoral program operates under the mentorship model. To gain admission to the doctoral program, a prospective student must match himself or herself with a faculty member who agrees to accept the applicant as a student. The process typically begins with the student becoming familiar with the research interests of our department’s faculty. An overview of our current faculty interest can be obtained below:

The next step would be for the prospective student to contact one of the faculty members whose area of research is of interest to the student. This initial contact could be by phone, e-mail, or letter. The prospective student and potential faculty member would then enter into discussions about the possibility of the student being accepted by the faculty member as a doctoral student. If a faculty member agrees to accept a student, then the student can proceed with the formal admission process through the University’s Graduate School.


Students will have the opportunity to work in six state-of-the-art laboratories dedicated to 1) exercise physiology, 2) exercise psychology, 3) blood chemistry, 4) body composition, 5) applied biomechanics, and 6) motor control.

Departmental Financial Support

Graduate assistantships are offered by the Department to doctoral students on a competitive basis. A tuition waiver is included with the assistantship. Assistantships are typically offered starting with the fall semester and run through the spring semester. Doctoral students may typically receive support as a graduate assistant for three years, contingent upon satisfactory performance. The deadline for submission of an application to the Department for a graduate assistantship is March 1. The application can be found at the following link.

The other major source of departmental level financial support for master’s students comes in the form of research assistantships associated with grants awarded to departmental faculty. The number of such assistantships varies from year to year.



The department of Health, Exercise Science & Recreation Management is a member of the American Kinesiology Association.