Apply Now!

Program application may be made online at or by contacting the Graduate School at (414) 229-4982.

Pay For School

The PhD in Kinesiology Program is looking for dynamic graduate students to support in our Doctoral Degree Program. There are a number of opportunities for financial assistance during your graduate work.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching assistants support delivery of undergraduate curriculum at UWM. Appointments begin in mid/late-August and are for one academic year (9 months), renewable and dependent on funding. These part-time graduate assistantship positions provide a modest stipend and an excellent experience working closely with faculty.

Learn more about teaching assistantships at UWM.

Research or Project Assistantships

Research assistantships (RA) or project assistantships (PA) may be available pending individual faculty funding cycles. Only students admitted to Health Sciences Graduate Programs will be considered for a RA or PA appointment.

Please contact the faculty member you are interested in working with to learn more information about available RA or PA positions.

Learn more about research assistantships at UWM.

Financial Support Offered Through the Graduate School or Other Sources

Fellowships and Other Awards

Kinesiology CGSA Student Eligibility

  • Graduate students are newly-admitted or continuing students
  • GRE verbal scores over 150 and quantitative scores over 150
  • GPA above 3.0 or “good standing” if continuing graduate student
  • Meets all admission criteria for the program; not eligible if admitted on probation
  • Student commits to completing a master’s thesis
  • Enroll in a minimum of 6 graduate credits/semester
If re-applying for a CGSA

Prior to award renewal, student/faculty advisor must submit the following to the RGPC for review:

  • Updated student CV
  • Updated transcript (to determine required credit load and good standing)
  • Updated timeline demonstrating progress on/completion of identified goals, projects, etc.
  • Any tangible outcomes resulting from the award, for example IRB protocol approval, abstract acceptance, grant proposal, etc.

To be considered for any of the above teaching assistantships, fellowships or awards, you must complete the Kinesiology Graduate Assistantship Application and return it by January 15 to:

Stephen C. Cobb, PhD, ATC, CSCS
Associate Professor
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Kinesiology, Exercise Science & Health Promotion (ESHP)
College of Health Sciences
(414) 229-3369

Contact Us

For specific questions about the PhD Kinesiology Program, please contact
Stephen C. Cobb, PhD, ATC, CSCS
Graduate Program Coordinator
(414) 229-3369 •

Our increased focus on health and wellness has resulted in kinesiology becoming one of the fastest growing undergraduate majors in the US. And the need for PhD-trained faculty to educate these future professionals is strong. Working toward a PhD in Kinesiology, you’ll gain the training you’ll need to become a successful scholar and be able to conduct independent research in applied and academic settings.

Fundamental to the curriculum is area coursework and a doctoral dissertation based on original research. Supporting this is a core curriculum that includes research methodology and design, critical analysis, ethical conduct of research, professional development, and teaching and learning coursework.

This is your opportunity to become a successful scholar with a strong ability to ask and study relevant research questions in a dynamic world resulting in a positive impact on health and society.

Why choose us?

  • UWM’s College of Health Sciences is widely known for its excellent teaching and student learning environment, innovative research programs, community engagement and service to various health care professions.
  • As the only Kinesiology PhD program in the Greater Milwaukee area, we offer an urban, research-intensive experience at a fraction of the cost of private schools.
  • Guaranteed personalized attention from our award-winning faculty who, as skilled educators and inventive scholars, integrate life experiences and active research projects into the classroom.
  • You’ll work closely with our research faculty to select an area of concentration, and design and complete independent research and a dissertation that will move the fields of human movement and health sciences forward.
  • You’ll be able to contribute to cutting-edge research in one of our many laboratories, such the Body Weight & Shape Research Lab, Human Performance & Sport Physiology Lab, Sport Psychology & Performance Excellence Lab, Neuromechanics Lab, Pediatric Neuromotor Lab, Photomedicine Research Lab, Physical Activity & Health Research Lab and Visuomotor Lab.
  • A rich and collaborative learning environment that includes the opportunity to learn with other graduate students at the College of Health Sciences.
  • All of our graduates have found employment within their chosen field, going on to a variety of faculty positions, post-doctoral fellowships and industry jobs.

What can you do with a PhD in kinesiology?

The PhD in Kinesiology provides students with excellent research training for academic and professional careers that require theory-driven basic and/or applied research skills, such as:

  • Faculty and/or administrative positions within colleges and universities
  • Careers in nonprofit service and research organizations
  • Policy-making positions in government agencies and institutions
  • Careers in for-profit businesses

Mission & Vision

Mission & Vision

Mission of the Department of Kinesiology

To pioneer innovative research in the Human Movement Sciences inspiring student learning through transforming our laboratories, classrooms, & communities into living-learning environments.

PhD Kinesiology Program Vision

To foster the development of leading scholars who have the ability to create, evaluate, apply and advance knowledge at the intersection of the human movement and health sciences.



The Department of Kinesiology welcomes students from other academic areas at UW-Milwaukee, as well as students transferring to UWM from other institutions.

To apply to the PhD Kinesiology Program, you must first meet the admission requirements of the UWM Graduate School.

In addition to UWM Graduate School requirements, those applying into the PhD in Kinesiology Program must meet the following minimum departmental requirements:

  1. Possess, or be in the process of completing, a MS degree in Kinesiology or closely related field. In exceptional cases, applicants with a BS degree in Kinesiology or closely related field who demonstrate significant involvement in research and exceptional academic achievement may be considered for admission.
  2. Submit a curriculum vitae (CV) that includes all academic institutions attended, degrees achieved, and academic and professional accomplishments, such as publications or presentations.
  3. Submit verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing scores from the GRE General Test taken within 5 years of the application date.
  4. Demonstrate, through submission of official transcripts from all institutions attended, a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for the highest degree program in which the student enrolled and/or completed. Particular attention will be paid to grades in classes that are relevant to the selected area of emphasis for the PhD in Kinesiology program. Applicants currently enrolled in a baccalaureate program must demonstrate a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
  5. Solicit 2 confidential letters of recommendation from previous university instructors and/or faculty advisors. These letters should be sent directly from the letter writer to the program director.
  6. Submit a writing sample from a research project in which the applicant was involved. Acceptable writing samples include, but are not limited to, submitted/published manuscripts, submitted/published abstracts, review of literature, report of a completed research project, research proposal, etc.
  7. Submit a letter of intent that addresses the applicant’s research interests (including intended area of emphasis and advisor at UWM) conducted research, ongoing research and career goals.

The final admission decision is contingent upon the availability of a faculty member to serve as primary advisor for the student.

If you are considering UWM for Graduate School, please consult the College of Health Sciences Office of Student Affairs as early as possible.

Office of Student Affairs
College of Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Northwest Quadrant Building B, Room 6425
Milwaukee, WI 53201
(414) 229-2758

Get Involved

Get Involved

Kinesiology Graduate Student Association

Enriches the experience of its students by supporting opportunities for academic advancement and encouraging the application of knowledge and skills to improve the awareness of sport and exercise principles throughout UWM and its surrounding communities.


Nora Miller
Faculty Advisor
Associate Researcher
(414) 229-4114

Volunteer Service

The Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research provides the UW-Milwaukee campus with different opportunities to volunteer throughout the city and beyond. Each week of the year there are opportunities to make a real difference in Milwaukee and beyond by working to improve the environment, mentoring local kids, stocking shelves at a food pantry, serving breakfast to Milwaukee’s homeless community, engaging in an alternative spring break, and helping older adults.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities at

Course of Study

Course of Study


The program requires students to complete a minimum of 58 graduate credits beyond the master’s degree, or a minimum of 79 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. The curriculum is comprised of 5 components:

  1. Core curriculum
  2. Area of emphasis curriculum
  3. Cognate
  4. Electives
  5. Dissertation

All coursework will be decided upon and approved by the student and their PhD committee.

Credit Distribution

 Students entering with a MSStudents entering with a BS
Total Credits:5879
Core Curriculum16 credits22 credits
Area of Emphasis Curriculum1521

All credits listed are minimum required credits for the program.

Area of Emphasis

Students pursuing the PhD in Kinesiology will propose an area of emphasis in consultation with their advisor and take an array of courses, offered within and outside the Department of Kinesiology, that explore the main dimensions of that area.

The academic area of specialization within kinesiology will be identified prior to the student’s entry into the program. The student’s doctoral committee will be charged with reviewing their program of study to ensure that sufficient doctoral level coursework will be/has been completed.

For information regarding the graduate curriculum and for course descriptions, see UWM’s Graduate School website.

Timeline to Completion

Timeline to Completion

In addition to formal coursework, students are required to successfully complete a preliminary examination, a dissertation proposal, and a dissertation defense. The completion of a dissertation, consisting of original research, will be the final step in earning a PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

It is expected that this degree will take an average of 4 to 5 years for a full-time student to successfully complete.

Additional information can be found at the UWM Graduate School Website.