Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi

Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology

Description: The Ph.D. in health and kinesiology has two emphasis areas: Health Behavior and Promotion and Exercise Science. Admission is competitive, limited in number, and dependent upon availability of faculty mentors. All students must complete written and oral comprehensive exams before undertaking the prospectus and dissertation

Emphasis in Health Behavior and Promotion

Description: The emphasis in Health Behavior and Promotion prepares students for university teaching and research, and positions in public, private and international health.

Course Requirements: The requirements for the Health Behavior and Promotion emphasis are as follows: 12 hours of major course work, 9 hours of advanced research methods and seminar, 9 hours of statistics and research design, 9 hours of supporting coursework, and 18 hours of dissertation. Additional coursework will be required for students who do not enter the program having completed a master’s level degree in health promotion, health education, public health or closely related discipline.

Emphasis in Exercise Science

Description: The emphasis in Exercise Science 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 exercise.

Course Requirements: The requirements for the exercise science emphasis are as follows: 18 hours in an exercise science specialty area (selected from either exercise physiology or neuromechanics); 9 hours of research methods and statistics; 12 hours of supporting course work; and 18 hours of dissertation. Additional coursework will be required for students who do not enter the program having completed a master’s level degree in exercise science or closely related discipline. The specific courses used to satisfy the above requirements must be approved by a student’s adviser.

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.