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  Dec 15, 2017
 
2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Physical Education, Ph.D.



The doctoral program in physical education is designed to prepare individuals for academic positions in departments of physical education and/or kinesiology at universities and colleges. Concentrations are offered in physical education pedagogy and motor behavior. Individuals who complete the doctoral program should be prepared to assume leadership roles in physical education teacher education or motor behavior. This document provides information about the expectations for doctoral study, sample programs of study, and other required experiences for doctoral degree in physical education.

Learning Outcomes

  • Cultural Competence. Advanced program candidates demonstrate a high level of competence in understanding and responding to diversity of culture, language, and ethnicity.
  • Knowledge and Application of Ethical Principles. Advanced program candidates demonstrate in-depth knowledge and thoughtful application of the Code of Ethical Conduct and other guidelines relevant to their professional role.
  • Communication Skills. Advanced program candidates possess a high level of oral, written, and technological communication skills, with specialization for the specific professional role(s) emphasized in the program. For programs for the advanced preparation of teachers, candidates meet ISTE standards. For doctoral programs, candidates are prepared to publish and present at conferences.
  • Mastery of Relevant Theory and Research. Advanced program candidates demonstrate in-depth, critical knowledge of the theory and research relevant to the professional role(s) and focus area(s) emphasized in the program.
  • Skills in Identifying and Using Professional Resources. Advanced program candidates demonstrate a high level of skill in identifying and using the human, material, and technological resources needed to perform their professional roles and to keep abreast of the field’s changing knowledge base.
  • Inquiry Skills and Knowledge of Research Methods. Using systematic and professionally accepted approaches, advanced program candidates demonstrate inquiry skills, showing their ability to investigate questions relevant to their practice and professional goals.
  • Skills in Collaborating, Teaching, and/or Mentoring. Advanced program candidates demonstrate the flexible, varied skills needed to work collaboratively and effectively with other adults in professional roles.
  • Advocacy Skills. Advanced program candidates demonstrate competence in articulating and advocating for sound professional practices and public policies for the positive development and learning of all students.
  • Leadership Skills. Advanced program candidates reflect on and use their abilities and opportunities to think strategically, build consensus, create change, and influence better outcomes for students, families, and the profession.

Specialized Competencies

  • Advanced knowledge essential to the field
  • Application of professional knowledge in teaching/clinical settings
  • Advanced knowledge of professional knowledge and standards following graduation
  • Human growth and development/human learning

Admission Requirements

In addition to completing the Graduate School’s application, individuals applying for admission for the doctoral program in physical education must submit the following information:

  • a sample of expository writing to include future goals and specific research interests
  • a current curriculum vitae.

Applicants recently accepted for admission scored a minimum of 146 verbal and 140 quantitative scores on the GRE, had acceptable undergraduate and graduate grade point averages, had positive letters of recommendation, and demonstrated competence in English. Most applicants had prior professional experience and visited with faculty on the Columbia campus prior to admission and/or enrollment.

Degree Requirements (60 Post Masters Hours)

1. Total hours required:


Minimum of 60 hours beyond the master’s degree; the degree must be completed in six years.

2. Qualifying assessment:


Written and oral assessment that must be successfully completed prior to the completion of 18 hours of 700- and 800-level course work.

3. Required course work:


Students are expected to complete a minimum of 60 credits beyond the masters degree. The program of study committee may decide that more than 60 credits are necessary for an individual student to meet minimal expectations based on prior experiences and future professional goals. There are at least five categories within which students will complete courses to successfully receive a Ph.D.

These five areas include the following:

  1. Courses in the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training;
  2. Research Methods;
  3. Cognate;
  4. Research Practica.
  5. Dissertation

All doctoral students follow a similar template for selection of required course work with a focus on either physical education pedagogy or motor behavior. This template is presented below. Specific programs of study are determined by the program of study committee.

Cognate (9-12 Hours)


4. Foreign language:


Students are required to meet competency in a foreign language or in computer and/or technology skills.

5. Comprehensive Exam:


Students are required to successfully complete a written comprehensive examination and an oral examination.