Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology

The main objective of the PhD program in Kinesiology is to provide graduate students with a highly integrated and multidisciplinary approach to the examination of issues involved with physical activity, sport, exercise, health, and physical education. The program is primarily research oriented and graduate students work in close collaboration with faculty members to gain advanced expertise in their specific areas of study, conduct an independent program of research, communicate research findings to a variety of audiences, and cultivate respect for and awareness of the field of kinesiology.

Additional Information
Admission Requirements

For admission to the PhD program in Kinesiology at Laurier, applicants must hold a Master's degree in Kinesiology/Physical Education (or its equivalent) from a recognized university, with normally at least an A- average in all graduate work. A student with a Master's degree in a different field may be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, individuals admitted under these conditions may be required to complete qualification courses as suggested by the graduate coordinator in consultation with the graduate committee and proposed supervisor.

Applicants are expected to submit a statement of research interests. Applications must be accompanied by official transcripts and be supported by at least two letters of recommendation from faculty members who are qualified to assess the applicant's potential for graduate training. Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee, which considers all prior university grades, the research interests (including fit with the program and potential supervisor), the academic writing sample, research background and experience, and other evidence of academic excellence/potential as reported in the curriculum vitae and letters of recommendation.

Transfer to Doctoral Program

The transfer option is for exceptional students who, through at least two terms of registration in a Master's degree program at Laurier, have demonstrated superior academic credentials and outstanding research promise. The policy on transferring to the doctoral program is outlined in the Graduate Calendar's Admission Requirements.

Program Requirements

The PhD in Kinesiology is research intensive and, as such, course requirements in most areas are minimal. The minimum requirements are as follows:

A total of at least 6 courses at the graduate level (including both Master's and PhD)

  • 2 courses must be completed while registered in the PhD in kinesiology program (excluding KP801 - Seminar in Kinesiology, KP891 - Comprehensive Examination, or KP899 - Doctoral Dissertation). These courses can be completed through the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education or other departments as deemed necessary.
  • Additional courses at the discretion of the Doctoral Advisory Committee.
  • KP801 - Seminar in Kinesiology. Registration for a minimum of four terms is required; however, doctoral students are generally expected to attend the seminar for the duration of their period of study (i.e., until graduation). Periodic exceptions to this general expectation are permitted on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the supervisor and KPE graduate coordinator.
  • KP891 - Comprehensive Examination. The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to allow students an opportunity to demonstrate their competence in their area of research and two additional related areas. The student's dissertation advisory committee (DAC) guides the student in preparation for the comprehensive examination. The DAC determines the area in which the student is examined and provides the student with a reading list outlining the information to be examined.
  • KP899 - Doctoral Dissertation. An original doctoral dissertation provides the primary evidence of the candidate's academic competency. The regulations governing the doctoral dissertation from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are directly adopted.

Comprehensive Examination

The PhD comprehensive examination focuses on the student's area of specialization and at least two additional cognate areas. This examination includes both a written and oral component. The comprehensive examining committee includes the student's advisor and three other members, one of whom will be from outside of the program. At least two members of the comprehensive examining committee must be members of the Wilfrid Laurier Kinesiology and Physical Education graduate program. The examination will normally be completed by the end of the third term of registration in the doctoral program. A candidate has only two opportunities to successfully complete the comprehensive examination (pass/fail evaluation). After the first unsuccessful attempt, the examination committee will identify areas of improvement and the method of improvement that the student must complete prior to re-examination. The student must complete the second examination within one term following the initial exam.

Doctoral Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation is an original research contribution consisting of a major study or series of studies focused on one area of specialization. All regulations and procedures governing the dissertation and its evaluation follow those outlined by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Progress Reports

In April of the first year of registration and once a year thereafter, a student is required to complete an annual progress report detailing the achievements of the previous year and the objectives for the next year.  The report must demonstrate satisfactory progress, and must be signed with comments by the supervisor and department's Graduate Coordinator, and filed with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Failure to submit a satisfactory report may result in the student being required to withdraw from the program.

Typical Progression

Fall Winter
Year 1
KP801 - Seminar in Kinesiology
1st KPE elective
Advisory committee formed
KP801 - Seminar in Kinesiology
2nd KP elective
KP891 - Comprehensive Examination
Year 2
KP801 - Seminar in Kinesiology
KP801 - Seminar in Kinesiology
KP899 - Doctoral Dissertation
Year 3
KP899 - Doctoral Dissertation
KP899 - Doctoral Dissertation
KP899 - Doctoral Dissertation
Year 4
KP899 - Doctoral Dissertation
KP899 - Doctoral Dissertation
KP899 - Doctoral Dissertation