College of Education

Education Sciences in Physical Education - Graduate

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Searching for a physical education graduate school to best fit your interests? Customize our physical education doctorate program (Ph.D.) to follow your passions. You will gain an understanding of the full spectrum of physical education, along with in-depth knowledge of one specific area or disciplines such as comprehensive school physical activity programs, behavior management in activity settings, and motivating individuals to be active. 

In the physical education doctorate program (Ph.D.) at the University of Kentucky, you will: 

  • participate in guided research projects designed to prepare you for conducting your own research;
  • conduct independent research as you develop scientific expertise;
  • gain teaching experience at the university level, preparing bachelor’s and master’s students for careers in physical education and health teaching;
  • write and publish research in high-quality journals;
  • collaborate with faculty on research and service projects; and
  • network with physical education teacher educators from across the country and around the world.

You will develop extensive subject-matter expertise and discover potential research topics in courses covering physical education, physical activity promotion, epidemiology, sociology, behavioral science, and public health.

With small class sizes in our physical education graduate programs, you will receive individual attention. We have a thriving graduate program in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion and place the highest value on ethics, professionalism, and interdisciplinary work. 

Number of Hours: 36-42+

Number of Courses: 12-15+

Length of Program: 3-5 years

Program Type: This Ph.D. program can be completed on campus or in our fully online option.


Application Requirements 

  1. A master’s degree or 30 semester hours of approved graduate course work with a 3.0 GPA.
  2. CV
  3. Personal Statement
    • Submit a statement of your professional aspirations and explain how you believe graduate study at the University of Kentucky will enhance your ability to achieve those professional goals. In your statement, provide information about your background, research skills and experiences, personal and professional achievements, and educational, work or life experiences that influenced you and your life goals.
  4. Writing Sample
    • ​Students who have not written a Master’s level thesis will be required to submit an example of their research writing. A literature review or project from a completed class are acceptable examples. Special circumstances will be considered at the discretion of the applicant’s designated potential advisor.
  5. Three letters of recommendation
    •  At least two must be from a person with direct knowledge of your academic capabilities (e.g., instructor, research supervisor, advisor, etc.).

The GRE is not required for admission to this program.


Application Deadlines

Priority deadline for upcoming academic year: January 15

Fall: July 15 (international students: April 15)

Spring: Contact program faculty for availability