The increased focus on health and wellness has resulted in kinesiology becoming one of the fastest growing undergraduate majors in the US. The need for PhD-trained faculty to educate these future professionals is strong. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) PhD Kinesiology Program trains you to become a successful scholar, able to ask and study relevant research questions that have a positive impact on health and society.

Why choose us?

  • You will contribute to, and lead cutting-edge research that will move the fields of human movement and health sciences forward.
  • You will have opportunities to teach and mentor other students.
  • You will receive mentoring from our award-winning faculty who, as skilled educators and inventive scholars, integrate life experiences and active research projects into the classroom.
  • You will experience a rich and collaborative learning environment that includes the opportunity to learn with other graduate students in 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.
  • As the only PhD Kinesiology Program in the Greater Milwaukee area, we offer an urban, research-intensive experience at a fraction of the cost of private schools.


To apply to the PhD Kinesiology Program you must apply to the UWM Graduate School.

Guide to the application process (PDF)
Graduate student funding application (PDF)



For the most up-to-date information, visit the UWM Enrollment & Financial Services website . Be sure you are viewing the Graduate Fee Schedule for the appropriate semester.

UWM offers the following Tuition Reduction Programs for out-of-state residents:

Mandatory/Segregated Fees

These funds are earmarked for the support of certain student services. See the Mandatory/Segregated Fees document for the appropriate semester on the UWM Enrollment & Financial Services website .

Additional Course Fees

There may also be additional course fees that could include differential tuition, distance education fees, or special course fees. To see if your courses have additional fees, go to web.uwm.edu/registrar/tools/fee .


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 an 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/project assistantships at UWM .

UWM Fellowships & Awards

UWM & CHS Scholarships

Complete the FAFSA then go to the UWM Panther Scholarship Portal . Sign in using your PAWS credentials and complete the General Application and the CHS application. You may save your work and return to the portal at a later time. Additional information can be found at uwm.edu/scholarships .

State & National Scholarships/Awards

UWM Emergency Grant

The UWM Emergency Grant is funded by several private contributions and is available to students when they have unforeseen circumstances that may negatively influence their academic success. You can be awarded up to $1,000 for non-academic expenses (e.g., car repairs, medical bills, rent, utilities, child care, food, etc.). Learn more at uwm.edu/emergencygrant .

Other Financial Support



Program Vision

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.



You must first meet the admission requirements of the UWM Graduate School . In addition to UWM Graduate School requirements, you must be prepared to meet the following 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 you enrolled and/or completed. Particular attention will be paid to grades in classes that are relevant to your selected area of emphasis for the PhD Kinesiology Program. If you are currently enrolled in a baccalaureate program, you must demonstrate a minimum 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 you were 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 your 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 your primary advisor.

Course of Study

Course of Study


You are required 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 you and your PhD committee.

Credit Distribution

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

All credits listed are minimum required credits for the program.

Area of Emphasis

You will propose an area of emphasis in consultation with your advisor and take an array of courses that explore the main dimensions of that area. The academic area of emphasis within kinesiology will be identified prior to your entry into the program. Your doctoral committee will be charged with reviewing your program of study to ensure that sufficient doctoral level coursework is completed.

For information regarding the curriculum and for course descriptions, visit the UWM Academic Catalog .

Get Involved

Get Involved

Kinesiology Graduate Student Association

The Kinesiology Graduate Student Association enriches your experience 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 surrounding communities.


Jinsung Wang, PhD
Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director

Volunteer Service

The UWM Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research provides the campus with different opportunities to volunteer throughout the city and beyond. There are opportunities to make a real difference 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 at uwm.edu/community/students .

Timeline to Completion

Timeline to Completion

In addition to formal coursework, you 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 your degree.

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

Additional information can be found in the UWM Academic Catalog .

Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff