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KENHP Program Description

Program Requirements
A minimum of seventy-two (72) hours is required for the Ph.D. Students will be required to take 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: 1) exercise physiology/nutrition in HHPR; 2) nutrition in Family and Consumer Sciences; 3) biomechanics or motor behavior/performance, and; 4) 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.)

Admissions Committee
An admissions committee will be formed, consisting of one representative from each active emphasis area. The admissions committee will determine if the applicant should be recommended for acceptance. If so, the requested mentor will be consulted and it will be determined whether an interview should be pursued, and/or whether more information is needed. The committee will then make its final determination based on the mentor's input.

Prerequisite Courses
Although most applicants will have backgrounds in appropriately-related fields, the possession of degrees in these fields is not required for admission. It should be recognized, however, that applicants with deficiencies in academic backgrounds will be determined by the student's mentor and remedial course work prescribed. In general, such remedial course work cannot be counted toward the credit hours required for the degree.

Transfer Course Credits
For those students with appropriate graduate level coursework from a prior degree or program may be eligible for up to 12 credit hours of transfer credits to be applied within their doctoral program course of study. Any transfer credits will be planned and discussed with the student’s program mentor/advisor and must be approved in writing by the Graduate Program Director and the Department Chair. Only those hours in which a student has achieved a grade of B or better will be considered for transfer. Any transfer credits into the KENHP doctoral program from prior coursework and must comply with the general Baylor University doctoral program transfer requirements as noted in the graduate catalog (related to graduate level, graduate transcript, completed within 5 years of matriculation, grade achievement, and course content).

Departmental Supervision
Potential students will need to identify a mentor upon application to the program. Students will not be admitted unless there is a faculty mentor willing to serve as their mentor. The mentor will serve as the student's academic advisor throughout the program and will serve as their dissertation chair. In rare cases, students may elect to change mentors, but only with the current mentor, prospective mentor, and graduate program director's approval.

Program Course Sequence
The program is designed to consist of 2-3 (fall, spring, and summer sessions) of coursework and 1 year of dissertation research. During the first year, students will take a core of statistics and research methods courses designed to provide a strong multidisciplinary background in conducting kinesiology, exercise, nutrition, and health promotion research. During the second and third years, under the guidance of their mentor, students will take emphasis area coursework and electives to provide research specialization. During both the first and second years, with consultation and/or guidance from their mentor, students will take directed research hours. For these research hours, students will be required to have collected data from an independently-led or collaborative research project resulting in manuscript submission to a peer-reviewed journal and presentation at a national/international conference before being allowed to take preliminary exams and progressing to doctoral candidacy. The fourth year is dedicated to dissertation research. Students must be registered for at least one semester hour of graduate credit during the semester of intended graduation. The maximum time limit for the doctoral degree is described in the Baylor University Graduate Catalog (

Preliminary Examination
Students will take an examination upon completing all course work or within 6 hours of completing their course work. With the consultation of the student's mentor, the student will form an advisory committee that will serve to administer the preliminary exam and consult on the dissertation research (see dissertation supervision section below). At least three faculty members will serve on the advisory committee, the composition of which will be approved by the Graduate Program Director. The preliminary examination consists of written and oral testing by the student's advisory committee. The primary purpose of the preliminary examination is to assess the student's understanding of the broad body of knowledge in a field of study. The examination also affords the advisory committee an opportunity to review the student's understanding of research methods and literature in the chosen field. The student will schedule separate written examinations with each advisory committee member. Each written examination will be evaluated by the committee member who provided the questions and graded as pass, pass with stipulation, pass with distinction, or failure. Committee members will convey the student's results to the mentor and, together with the mentor, determine if the student is prepared to take the oral portion of the preliminary exam. The oral portion of the preliminary examination should be conducted within two to four weeks after the successful completion of the written examinations. Each member of the advisory committee will vote to determine if the student has passed the exam. This determination will be based on the overall performance on both the written and oral portions of the exam. The student becomes a candidate for the doctoral degree on successful completion of the preliminary examination. If the preliminary examination reveals deficiencies in any of these areas, the advisory committee may recommend remedial work or re-examination. Two or more votes to "fail" a student will constitute failure of the exam. Students who fail this examination may re-take their examinations no sooner than four months after, and within one year of the initial written preliminary examinations. After two failures of the exam, either in its whole or part form, the student will not be allowed to continue in the doctoral program.

Admission to Candidacy
Students are recognized as candidates for the doctoral degree only after they have passed the preliminary examination, completed all departmental requirements (except the dissertation), and received approval by the Graduate School of their formal application for admission to candidacy. An application for admission to candidacy must be filed with the Office of the Graduate School upon successful completion of the above requirements, but should be filed no later than five months prior to the date on which the degree is conferred.

Dissertation Supervision
The dissertation advisory committee is determined by the student and mentor under general guidelines. The committee will be composed of the following members:
•The student's primary mentor from HHPR (The mentor will serve as chairperson of the committee and must be a member of the graduate faculty)
•Two additional HHPR faculty members
•At least one faculty member from a department other than HHPR, preferably from whom the student has taken an elective course and/or will serve in a useful consulting capacity for the student's dissertation work
•One additional faculty member from inside or outside HHPR
NOTE: One of the committee members must be a full Graduate Faculty member who is not affiliated with the program in which the student is studying.

A dissertation is required of all candidates for the degree of doctor of philosophy. The dissertation must give evidence that the candidate has pursued a program of research, the results of which reveal scholarly competence and a significant contribution to knowledge. The candidate conducts the research and prepares the dissertation under the direction of the mentor and in consultation with the dissertation advisory committee. The candidate will develop a dissertation proposal for approval by the dissertation advisory committee. The candidate will conduct the dissertation work and prepare and submit a dissertation draft for committee approval. The candidate will arrange for a final oral examination, a defense of their dissertation work, on committee approval of the dissertation draft. The candidate will make any final revisions to the dissertation, according to the directions of the dissertation advisory committee, and complete all remaining Graduate School requirements to successfully complete their doctoral studies. Candidates should acquire the Guidelines for Preparing the Dissertation and Thesis and other necessary forms and materials for graduation under the "Current Students" tab on the Baylor Graduate School webpage ( The "Current Students" tab includes semester calendar and deadlines, directions for completing the dissertation, and an explanation of fees associated with the dissertation and graduation process. Additional degree completion materials not available on the Graduate School webpage are provided to students when they file for graduation.