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Students and faculty in the lab

Option in Health and Human Performance

The PhD in Health, Leisure and Human Performance, option in Health and Human Performance has two emphasis tracks: exercise physiology and health education and promotion. Our doctoral students strive to advance health, prevention, physical activity and sport performance through relevant clinical- and performance-based research and instruction. Graduates go on to serve as faculty at higher education institutions or enter the workplace as scholar-practitioners.


The program requires 60-credit hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree:

  • Research and Statistics — 9 hours
  • Common Core — 9 hours
  • Option — 24 hours
  • Dissertation — 15 hours

Course information

Research and Faculty

Our mission is to perform high-quality research that is both innovative and impactful. Our labs use state-of-the-art technology to investigate physiological changes with aging, training, fatigue, disease and more. We also study proactive health behaviors that can help avoid negative health outcomes, including what influences those behaviors. Research areas include:

  • Motor control
  • Proprioception
  • Sensory-motor integration
  • Fall prevention 
  • Muscle hypertrophy & atrophy
  • Neuromuscular function
  • Exercise prescription & training methodologies
  • Sexual health
  • Athletic or military performance
  • Tactical training performance 
  • Brain behavior & plasticity
  • Muscle quality
  • Exercise metabolism
  • Nutrition & dietary supplementation
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic disease
  • Preventative health

Research Labs and Facilities:

Meet our health and human performance faculty

Meet our public health faculty

College research initiatives



Applications to the program are accepted on a rolling basis. To apply to the PhD in Health, Leisure and Human Performance, option in Health and Human Performance program, complete the following: 

Student hooked up to equipment in the lab

  • Graduate College application
  • Transcripts from all previously attended institutions (3.5 minimum graduate GPA required) 
  • Current resume/vita
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Professional goal statement (approximately two pages, double-spaced)
  • Professional writing sample (scholarly paper, thesis, report or other publication within the last 10 years)

*If you have not completed a master’s degree prior to admission, you must complete all master’s-level prerequisites in addition to the doctoral requirements. 


Graduate student resources


Cost & Assistance

Full-time students may be eligible for graduate assistantships in the School of Kinesiology, Applied Health and Recreation, either as a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) or a Graduate Research Associate (GRA). These positions are highly competitive and typically awarded in the spring semester. Those granted assistantships are eligible to receive a tuition waiver, health insurance and stipend. Please contact for more information. 

Currently enrolled students are also eligible for scholarships offered through the College of Education and Human Sciences. 





Financing graduate school

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