Program Overview

The Physical Culture and Sport Studies (PCSS) program is designed for students who are interested in:

  • Sport history
  • Physical culture studies
  • Sport law
  • Sport and politics
  • Sport philosophy
  • Related subject areas

Our Ph.D. students come from a diverse background of education. Doctoral students have traditionally drawn from History, American Studies, Public Affairs, Law, Women and Gender Studies, Higher Education Administration, Exercise Science, and Sport Management in their degrees.

Coursework and Research

The PCSS Ph.D. Program includes coursework from at least two (and often three) academic departments across the University of Texas. Courses and areas of specialization are chosen based on the student’s research interests and proposed dissertation topic.

A five-member faculty committee (three must be from Kinesiology) determines the student’s program of work and administers comprehensive exams at the completion of the student’s coursework. The members of this committee may or may not be members of the student’s dissertation committee.

Research is another main focus of the Ph.D. program. Students will work closely with faculty on developing a dissertation. It is important that doctoral Candidates’ research interests align with those of the PCSS faculty. Our current students’ research showcases some areas of interest our program covers.  

Candidates 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.

Program Resources

The H.J Lutcher Stark Center

Students have access to unique resources available for studying sport and physical culture. The H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports includes the largest and most complete archive in the field of physical culture in the world. In addition, the Stark Center is recognized as an official Olympic Studies Center by the International Olympic Committee. This is one of only two in the United States and also has extensive sport holdings.

The Stark Center is also the official repository of the UT Intercollegiate Athletic Department Media Relations Archives. It provides a unique opportunity for scholars interested in intercollegiate sport to examine a comprehensive history of university athletics.

Additional Libraries and Museums

The holdings of the general libraries at the University of Texas are among the best in the world. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History contains the archives of the University Interscholastic League and the records of the women’s physical education program at UT among other athletic resources.

The LBJ Presidential Library, the Jamail Center for Legal Research, the Harry Ransom Center and the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection are also located on the UT-Austin campus and provide additional research opportunities.