Physical Culture and Sport Studies

Associate Professor Thomas Hunt with Ph.D. students in the Stark Center

Program Directors

Pursue a Ph.D. in Physical Culture and Sport Studies to prepare for an academic career with a focus in research. This program brings together related fields of sport history, the history of physical culture and exercise science, and the history of doping and human enhancement. Students are encouraged to choose coursework from multiple areas within the University that fit their academic interests. These subjects relate to sport often include law, politics, ethics, culture, and philosophy.

Students work closely with their adviser and other core faculty on research projects. Their studies integrate historical methodologies with Olympic studies, cultural studies, sociology 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.

Applicants are encouraged to contact either Jan Todd or Thomas M. Hunt by email before completing the official on-line application. Applicants should include in that email a brief statement of research interests, GRE scores, undergraduate GPA and major. They should also describe any post-undergraduate academic work (master’s, law school, etc.) and GPA. Applicants should also indicate if they require financial assistance to pursue doctoral work at UT. Students who have not yet taken the GRE are also encouraged to write and discuss their interest in the program.


Photo of Conor Heffernan, Kinesiology and Health Education faculty member

Conor Heffernan

Assistant Professor of Instruction

Studies the historical, philosophical, sociocultural, and political dimensions of sport and physical culture.

Photo of Thomas Hunt

Thomas Hunt

Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor

Examines the intersection of sport and international political history.

Photo of Brian Mills, Kinesiology and Health Education faculty member

Brian Mills

Associate Professor

Studies managerial economics in sport relating to the market power of pro sports leagues under three primary branches: industrial organization, labor markets, and public policy and economic development.

Photo of Jan Todd

Jan Todd


Specializes in the history of strength and conditioning, doping, women and sport, and physical culture; directs the Ph.D. program in Physical Culture and Sport Studies and the Masters program in Sport Management.

Affiliated Faculty

Photo of Kim Beckwith

Kimberly Beckwith

Assistant Professor of Instruction

Teaches courses focusing on physical and strength training as well as sport history and culture.

Photo of John Fair

John Fair

Adjunct Professor

Focuses on the history of sport culture, particularly Olympic weightlifting, and its impact on society.