Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology)


Exercise physiologists typically work with two different clients: those who are healthy and are trying to improve their fitness and strength levels, and those who need to improve their health and fitness levels to fight diseases, obesity, or other chronic conditions. TWU provides hands-on learning to our students. We combine lectures with applied exercises in the lab. You will get experience reading and analyzing data output from state-of-the-art equipment.

As a doctoral student, you perform research of interest to you, with opportunities to collaborate with faculty in other TWU programs, such as biology, nutrition, and public health.

This program requires 96 credit hours, including credit hours from graduate-level work and six semester credit hours for dissertation.

Six undergraduate hours in Exercise Physiology are required for this program. You also must select a minor in a related research interest area such as biology, chemistry, nutrition, or public health.

You can graduate with your Ph.D. in three years, if you attend full-time and have a master's degree in Exercise Physiology (or a related field). Without an Exercise Physiology or related master's, it will take you at least five years to earn your doctorate.

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. Conduct appropriate statistical methods and research design to data related to exercise science.
  2. Evaluate the influence of varying environments with exercise responses and training.
  3. Identify risk factors related to metabolic diseases and interpret how exercise may reduce relevant risk factors.


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

This 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
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

Exercise Physiology Emphasis

KINS 5553Advanced Exercise Physiology3
KINS 5573Graded Exercise Testing3
KINS 5583Hormonal Responses during Exercise3
KINS 5613Cardiovascular Response to Exercise3
KINS 5683Exercise Evaluation and Prescription3
KINS 6821Research in Exercise Physiology (Taken 3 times)3
KINS 6813Advanced Research in Kinesiology (Taken 3 times)9
Minor or Related Studies (As approved by Advisory Committee)15
Elective or Appropriate Work from Master's Degree (As approved by Advisory Committee)35
Total SCHs77

Required Courses

13 semester credit hours.


77 semester credit hours, depending on emphasis area and recommendations of the Advisory Committee. Includes Minor or Related Studies and/or 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.

Special Requirements

At least nine semester credit hours of coursework must be taken outside the major.

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 over selected areas of the student’s emphases and an oral defense of written responses. 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

Oral examination conducted by the Dissertation Committee over the candidate’s research after the dissertation is completed. May be repeated at the discretion of the committee.