Physical Culture and Sport Studies

Doctoral Program

Department of  Kinesiology and Health Education

Pursue a Ph.D. in Physical Culture and Sport Studies to prepare for an academic career as a faculty member in Kinesiology and Health Education or another academic field with a research focus in sport and physical culture history, sport policy, and/or sport management. This program brings together the disciplines of sport history, history of physical culture and exercise science, sport and international relations, and sport economics. 

Students admitted to the doctoral program take the basic core courses for the degree and then choose additional courses to develop the research methods and subject knowledge needed to become an academic expert in their research area.

The relationship between you and your doctoral advisor is crucial to your success as it is expected that you will be engaged in research during your time in the program. Finding an advisor who understands and can assist you with your research interests is, therefore, important. Our PCSS faculty have slightly different skill sets and research interests so please take a look at our faculty profiles and publications before contacting us about pursuing this degree. Faculty members Jan ToddThomas M. Hunt and Brian Mills all direct doctoral students. You are welcome to email all of us or to direct your query to only one of us. Please include

  • a brief statement of research interests
  • GRE scores (if taken)
  • undergraduate and master’s GPA 
  • your major(s)
  • a brief description of other kinds of post-undergraduate academic work such as law school or other professional or military training

We encourage you to write and discuss your interests even if you have not yet taken the GRE. You do not have to have a completed master’s degree to apply.  

Doctoral students are expected to work closely with their adviser and other core faculty on research projects that enhance our understanding of sport history, physical culture history, sport management, Olympic studies, cultural studies, sport sociology, race and gender studies, law, political science, and ethics/philosophy. Access to the archival and book collections at the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center provides students with unparalleled resources for primary research in sport and physical culture studies.

Before Applying

Program Overview

Program of Study


Affiliated Faculty

Program Resources

Additional Resources

At a Glance

Program Starts: Fall

Deadline to Apply:
Priority: December 1
Final: May 1

Credit Hours Required: 66

Program Location: On Campus

GRE Required? No

How to Apply

Find out information about the admission process and application requirements.

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