Human Performance Ph.D.
The Ph.D. in Human Performance program is designed to train doctoral-level students to become effective educators within a rapidly changing education and public service environment and to produce and publish scholarly research. Specializations are offered in exercise science, health, kinesmetrics, leisure studies, and physical education. The program is primarily for students with a master’s degree in one of these areas, but other applicants may be admitted by completing prerequisite courses and meeting other entry criteria. MTSU’s Center for Sport Policy and Research provides a distinctive academic research and instruction center where practical solutions for sport can be explored, researched, and implemented. The Center for Physical Activity and Health in Youth promotes childhood physical activity to improve youth fitness levels and to help physical functions of youth with health impairments. The kinesmetrics laboratory also offers measurement and statistical consulting services.
Research being conducted at the MTSU Exercise Science laboratory is helping people with paralysis to walk again! Individuals with spinal cord injuries who are training in an underwater treadmill are able to stand and support themselves and are taking steps toward a new beginning. “We have participants who have come to MTSU from other states because there is nothing similar,” says Dr. Sandy Stevens, an assistant professor who oversees the treadmill program. “If one thing has consistently changed throughout the course of treatment, it is that hope has been restored. When the participants see their legs moving, they believe that anything is possible.” Walking in water produces greater blood flow for people with severe spinal cord trauma and increases cardiovascular activity. “It’s much easier to give somebody a glass of water, to give some help; it’s much harder to give some hope,” research subject Andriy Ogorodink says. MTSU students earlier used the 270-gallon fiberglass tank of water to help children with cerebral palsy increase muscle strength and improve mobility.
Preparation is invaluable to any student. Brad Camp, a Ph.D. candidate in Human Performance with an emphasis in Leisure Studies, chose MTSU for that exact reason. Camp experienced firsthand the unique assistance that he and fellow classmates have received. “MTSU has a proven track record of getting Ph.D. students hired across the nation. I have watched office mates and colleagues go out and have success obtaining employment.” His keen interest in the importance of leisure as a way to maintain a healthy, well-established society persuaded Camp to continue on to a doctorate. He also believes faculty are indispensable to the program, providing both support and mentorship. "Dr. Gray truly cares about her graduate students, and she prepares them to become professionals once they leave ... Dr. Dunlap has introduced me to a wide variety of scholarship. He is incredibly well read, and he constantly encourages me to read new things.” Camp’s dissertation focuses on the impact of urban-built environments on social interaction.
The Ph.D. in Human Performance is offered for the purpose of developing doctoral level expertise in research (both applied and theoretical) and as preparation for teaching at the collegiate level. Some positions currently held by alumni from the doctoral program include
Dr. Vaughn W. Barry
Dr. Don Belcher
Dr. Jennifer L. Caputo
Co-Director of Exercise Science | Professor
Dr. John M. Coons
Dr. Rudy Dunlap
Dr. Steve Estes
Dr. Richard S. Farley
Co-Director of Exercise Science | Professor
Dr. Joey Gray
Dr. Tina Hall
Dr. Colby Jubenville
Dr. Minsoo Kang
Dr. Yun Soo Lee
Dr. Don W. Morgan
Dr. Andrew Owusu
Associate Professor | Program Coordinator
Dr. Dawn Shelar
Dr. Sandra L. Stevens
Dr. Norman L. Weatherby
Professor | Health Graduate Program Coordinator
Dr. Doug Winborn
Bethany Ann Wrye
MTSU’s doctoral program leads to the Ph.D. in Human Performance degree, with the following specializations:
Applicants holding only a bachelor’s degree will complete the requirements for an M.S. (thesis option) in addition to the Ph.D. requirements.
Three Master of Science degrees are available in the Department of Health and Human Performance: an M.S. in Health and Human Performance, with concentrations in Health and in Physical Education; an M.S. in Exercise Science; and an M.S. in Leisure and Sport Management, with concentrations in Sport Industry and in Recreation and Leisure Services.
Undergraduate majors in the department can attain a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Athletic Training; Exercise Science; Health Education (concentrations in Community and Public Health or Health Education and Lifetime Wellness); Leisure, Sport, and Tourism Studies; or Physical Education. Both a B.S. and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree are available in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
The department offers undergraduate minors in Athletic Coaching and Officiating, Driver and Traffic Safety Education, Communication Disorders, Health, Health and Physical Education, Health and Human Performance, Recreation, and Somatic Movement Education.
For more information on the Ph. D. in Human Performance, click here.
Kinesmetrics, widely known as measurement and evaluation, is a discipline to develop and apply measurement theory, statistics, and mathematical analysis to the field of human performance. The doctoral degree in Human Performance with a specialization in kinesmetrics is designed to produce well-trained measurement specialists who will make positive impacts in research, higher education, and industry.
The Ph.D. requires 60 hours of coursework including: 10 hours of pedagogy and teaching practicum, 15 hours of research tools, 23 hours in Kinesmetrics specialization, and 12 hours of dissertation research.
Kinesmetrics specialization courses and research tools are taken from:
(The list of courses is subject to change)
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