Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology (Adapted Physical Activity)


The School of Health Promotion and Kinesiology (SHPK) offers a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Adapted Physical Activity designed to prepare students to conduct high-quality research in physical activity, fitness, health, and sport for individuals experiencing disability or impairment. 

Doctoral students are expected to work closely with faculty to develop the skills and competencies required to become independent, ethical, and skilled researchers, leaders, and educators. As the Ph.D. is a research degree, interested applicants must first identify and contact a potential graduate faculty advisor with whom research interests and goals align before applying. 

The School of Health Promotion and  Kinesiology personnel will review all application materials to select applicants for an interview. Final admission decisions will be determined upon review of all application materials, successful interview completion, program capacity, and availability of graduate faculty mentorship. 

Marketable Skills

Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."

  1. Successfully utilize evidence-based practices in research that promote full and active participation to positively impact health outcomes and quality of life of individuals experiencing disability or impairment.

  2. Successfully translate research outcomes into school- and community-based physical activity, recreation, and sport settings to bridge the gap between research and practice.

  3. Lead and facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations to conduct holistic research studies that reduce health disparities.

  4. Engage in meaningful advocacy activities to promote systems, environments, and policies that support inclusion across diverse settings.

  5. Develop the professional knowledge and skills necessary to obtain adapted physical activity credentials (e.g., CAPE, CIFT, CARSS, CDSS).


All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.

The academic program may have additional admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the program's website.

Degree Requirements

Total Semester Credit Hours Required

96 semester credit hours, including approved semester credit hours from master’s level work and 6 semester credit hours for dissertation.

Required Courses: SHPK Core
KINS 5033Applied Statistical Principles (Research tools)3
KINS 6043Statistical Inference (Research tools)3
KINS 6113Seminar3
KINS 6143Research Design in Kinesiology (Research tools)3
HSC 6831Integration of Theory and Research in Health Sciences1
KINS 6983Dissertation (I)3
KINS 6993Dissertation (II)3
Total SCHs19

 Adapted Physical Activity Emphasis

KINS 5603Growth and Perceptual Motor Development for Individuals with Low Incidence Disabilities3
KINS 5853Assessment in Adapted Physical Education3
KINS 5793Pedagogy I: Behavior Management in APE Environments3
KINS 5863Pedagogy II: Instructional Strategies in APE Environments3
KINS 5843Pedagogy III: APA and the APENS Theory to Practice3
KINS 5963APA I: Disability Sport and Fitness3
KINS 5883APA II: Disability Sport and Fitness3
KINS 6611College Level Instructional Design and Delivery in Kinesiology (Taken a minimum of 3 times)3
KINS 6711Advanced Research in Adapted Physical Activity Doctoral Seminar (Taken a minimum of 3 times)3
KINS 6813Advanced Research in Kinesiology3
Minor, Related Studies, or Electives (As approved by Advisory Committee)24
Appropriate Courses from Master's Degree (As approved by Advisory Committee)23
Total SCHs77

Required Courses

13 semester credit hours.


77 semester credit hours, depending on the emphasis area and recommendations of the Advisory Committee. Includes Minor, Related Studies, Electives, and Appropriate Coursework from Master's Degree in consultation with the Advisory Committee.


6 semester credit hours of dissertation work with the committee chair. The first 3 credit course focuses on the development and oral defense of the research proposal. The student enrolls in a second 3 credit course to conduct the dissertation study, analyze results, and present findings. Both courses may be repeated, but only three hours of credit count toward the degree for each course.

Research Tools

The student, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, will determine 12 semester credit hours designated as research tools.

Qualifying Examination

Candidates for the doctoral degree must pass a qualifying process and comprehensive examination ascertaining a student's:

  1. breadth and depth of knowledge requisite to perform successfully within the profession,
  2. understanding and application of a discipline's foundational literature, and
  3. readiness to complete a dissertation.

The exam is comprised of four written sections covering selected areas of the student’s emphases and an oral defense of written responses. It may be repeated once. Students are eligible to begin the comprehensive exam process during their final semester of coursework and after completing all prerequisites (if admitted conditionally), all research tools, and all core courses. The exams may be repeated only once. A student who fails a second comprehensive exam attempt will be removed from the Kinesiology doctoral program.

Final Examination

The Dissertation Committee conducts an oral examination of the candidate’s research after the dissertation is completed. At the committee's discretion, the examination may be repeated only once.