PhD in Kinesiology, Exercise Nutrition, and Health Promotion

Over the last 20 years, there has been an increased research focus on the role of exercise and nutrition on health, performance, and disease. There has also been an increased interest in identifying strategies to reduce risk to chronic diseases through behavioral modification and wellness intervention programs. The goal of this research has been to identify ways to optimize health and quality of life. Clinically-related research on preventive and rehabilitative health represents one of the strongest areas for private and public funding. There are also significant resources available to implement community-based fitness, recreation, and wellness education programs particularly to under-served communities. Historically, research in this area has been conducted in a multidisciplinary manner through the collaborative efforts of scientists trained in exercise physiology, nutrition, rehabilitation, health, psychology, chemistry, molecular biology, nursing, and/or medicine. While this collaborative approach has been successful, there has been a well-recognized need to develop doctoral programs that integrate exercise, nutrition and health promotion so that researchers are better prepared to conduct multidisciplinary health science research. Our program is one of few designed to train specialists in the areas of kinesiology, nutrition, and health promotion.

Emphasis Areas

•Athletic Training
•Exercise Physiology
•Exercise Nutrition
•Health Promotion
•Motor Behavior
•Sport Pedagogy

Program Description

The program is uniquely designed to train researchers to conduct multidisciplinary clinical research evaluating the role of exercise and nutrition on health, disease, rehabilitation, and performance. Ph.D. Students are required to take a minimum of seventy-two (72) hours for the degree including 6 hours of professional development and professional ethics, and a minimum of 12 hours in research methods and statistics courses. To form their 9 hour KENHP core, students will be required to take one course in three of the four following areas:

•Exercise physiology/nutrition in HHPR
•Nutrition in Family and Consumer Sciences
•Motor Behavior/Biomechanics
•Health promotion in the HHPR MPH program

In addition to these 27 hours of coursework, students must complete 15 hours of directed research (generally 3 hours per semester) and 12 hours of dissertation. The remaining 18 hours of coursework will consist of graduate courses in HHPR and FCS (minimum of 9 hours) or relevant coursework in other departments/programs (e.g., business, educational psychology, biomedical engineering, psychology, etc.).

Department Admission Requirements

• An equivalent of a masters degree in a related area of exercise physiology, nutrition, health, sports medicine, physical therapy, nursing, or medicine OR appropriate undergraduate degree work that would suggest that the student could be successful in the program
• Samples of writing or copies of representative publications (articles and abstracts)
• Three letters of reference from mentors who have insight regarding potential for success in the doctoral program
• An appropriate and acceptable score on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE (50th percentile in each section or combined)
• Willingness of an applicant-identified mentor to supervise the applicant’s doctoral training

Graduate Assistantships

Depending on funding availability, we typically accept 2-3 new students per year into this program. Since the program is a 3 or 4-year program, this means that we will typically have about 10-12 doctoral students in the program at a given time. Doctoral students are typically funded to work on Baylor Laboratories for Exercise Science and Technology grants, research, or assigned as TA's.

Laboratories and Facilities

The primary research facilities that will support this program are housed in the Baylor Laboratories for Exercise Science and Technology  and the Exercise Biochemical Nutrition Laboratory.  (more about the labs) With the University's support and external funding, these labs have developed into some of the best research facilities in the United States.


Application Process

If you are interested in applying to the Doctoral program in KENHP and an assistantship in the Department of HHPR, please:


Apply to Graduate School

         Other materials to include:

  • Letter of intent, including a description of your academic preparation, degrees earned, interests in the doctoral program, professional goals, research skills, and teaching/work experience.  In the letter, you must indicate a potential faculty mentor you wish to work with. 
  • Resume
  • Submit any pertinent samples of writing or copies of representative publications (articles and abstracts)
  • Three letters of reference from individuals with insight on your potential in doctoral level pursuits

Submit to HHPR

*Review of completed applications will begin as soon as received.

Application Deadline - January 13