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PhD in Kinesiology (Exercise Psychology)

Undertake in-depth studies and original research into how the body responds to human movement and study ways to encourage habitual exercise and physical activity across the lifespan with a Ph.D. in Kinesiology specialization in exercise physiology.

You will work with esteemed faculty in our well-equipped laboratories to complete your dissertation and prepare for research-intensive careers in university, government, or private sector settings.


  1. Three- to four-year program for those who have completed a master’s degree
  2. Kinesiology doctoral program ranked in top 10 by the National Academy of Kinesiology
  3. Access to well-equipped research laboratories
  4. Engage in research throughout the course of the program


Through this specialization, you will undertake advanced scholarly study and research into exercise physiology.

Through a minimum of 30 hours of coursework, plus research and a dissertation, you will build in-depth knowledge in your area of specialization as well as proficiency in designing and conducting research. You will also engage in active research throughout the course of the program in our well-equipped research laboratories.

You will work with an advisory committee to design a course of study based on your background, interests, and career goals. All students, however, must complete the following:

  • Four hours of a research seminar, including a one-hour seminar for new doctoral students
  • Two courses in statistics
  • A minimum of three hours of doctoral dissertation work
  • You may use courses taken as part of your master’s degree to fulfill requirements

Coursework commonly includes:

  • Advanced exercise psychology
  • Grant writing
  • Research design
  • Statistical analysis

At the culmination of the program, you will demonstrate proficiency in research, scholarship, and knowledge in your field to your major professor and advisory committee through the successful completion of a dissertation.

Our faculty have expertise in a range of subjects, with faculty members who serve as advisors to students in the exercise physiology emphasis:

How to Apply

The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at the University of Georgia, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.

Start A Graduate School Application

In most cases, you should already have completed a master’s degree and thesis in exercise science or a related field. In some cases, we admit candidates with only a bachelor’s degree if they meet the following formula: undergraduate GPA x 1000 x GRE verbal + GRE quantitative = 4300. You should also have a background in behavioral and biological sciences including biopsychology, chemistry, biology, and physiology.

Admission to the program is competitive and considers a number of factors. We give preference to students with strong backgrounds in biopsychology and exercise science who have interests compatible with our ongoing research. At a minimum, you must have:

  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • A graduate GPA of 3.5

International students must score at least 213 on the Internet-Based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.

Prospective Graduate Student Application Checklist

The following should be uploaded to the Graduate School’s application:

  • Unofficial transcripts from each institution of higher education attended
  • Statement of Purpose
    • Statement of Purpose should summarize your career goals and how the degree program would help you attain those identified goals.
    • If applying to a MS-thesis or Ph.D. program, ensure you describe your research interests and how your interests fit with a specific faculty member within the Department of Kinesiology.
  • A CV or resume
  • Contact information for three references

Deadline To Apply

January 10

Log Into Existing Application

Additional Resources

Please use our online form if you have any questions for the department. Please be as specific as possible so that we may quickly assist you.

Faculty and Advisors

The College’s programs are taught by dedicated faculty who are experts in a range of areas and are passionate about helping students succeed both in their programs and professionally.

Meet the Faculty

Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.

Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Tuition Rates   Browse Financial Aid

Student Life

You will take classes in the Ramsey Student Center for Physical Activities, the nation’s largest on-campus facility for recreation and fitness.

Gain hands-on experience in our many well-equipped research laboratories, primarily the exercise psychology and cognition and skill acquisition labs. Pursue collaboration or interdisciplinary research through other labs including metabolism and body composition, athletic training, exercise vascular biology, and muscle biology.

See for yourself how much UGA College of Education has to offer! Schedule a tour of campus to learn more about the UGA student experience.

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