• Faculty mentors help students prepare for their chosen professions
  • At MTSU, Human Performance students choose from five specializations
  • Doctoral graduates are hooded by their major professors
  • The Kinesmetrics Lab offers a consulting service to HHP students and faculty

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.

Treadmill exercise helps overcome paralysis

Treadmill exercise helps overcome paralysis

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.

Student impressed by mentors, Ph.D. job placement

Student impressed by mentors, Ph.D. job placement

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

  • Athletic trainer
  • Behavioral sleep medicine specialist
  • College athletics head coach
  • Physical education teacher
  • Strength and conditioning coach
  • University professor 


Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Bowling Green State University
  • BYU—Hawaii
  • Columbus State University
  • Cumberland University
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Endicott College, School of Sport Science and Fitness Studies
  • Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Kansas State University
  • Lipscomb University
  • Mesa State University
  • Montana State University—Northern
  • National Basketball Association/Brooklyn Nets
  • Roanoke College
  • Syracuse University
  • Taylor University
  • Tennessee Technological University
  • Texas Tech University
  • Trinity Elementary School
  • Troy University
  • University of Tennessee—Martin
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • West Virginia University
  • Western Kentucky University

 

Dr. Vaughn W. Barry
Assistant Professor
vaughn.barry@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Denise Bates
Associate Professor
denise.bates@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Don Belcher
Associate Professor
don.belcher@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Helen Binkley
Associate Professor
helen.binkley@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Jennifer L. Caputo
Co-Director of Exercise Science | Professor
jenn.caputo@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Scott Colclough
Associate Dean
scott.colclough@mtsu.edu

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Dr. John M. Coons
Assistant Professor
john.coons@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Rudy Dunlap
Assistant Professor
rudy.dunlap@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Martha Jo Edwards
Director of Center & Human Services
martha.edwards@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Steve Estes
Department Chair
steven.estes@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Richard S. Farley
Co-Director of Exercise Science | Professor
richard.farley@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Joey Gray
Associate Professor
joey.gray@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Tina Hall
Associate Professor
tina.hall@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Colby Jubenville
Professor
colby.jubenville@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Minsoo Kang
Professor
Minsoo.Kang@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Yun Soo Lee
Assistant Professor
yunsoo.Lee@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Don W. Morgan
Professor
don.morgan@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Andrew Owusu
Associate Professor | Program Coordinator
andrew.owusu@mtsu.edu

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Brian George Ragan
Associate Professor
Brian.Ragan@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Dawn Shelar
Professor
victoria.shelar@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Sandra L. Stevens
Assistant Professor
sandra.stevens@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Norman L. Weatherby
Professor | Health Graduate Program Coordinator
norman.weatherby@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Doug Winborn
Associate Professor
john.winborn@mtsu.edu

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Bethany Ann Wrye
Assistant Professor
Bethany.Wrye@mtsu.edu

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Graduate

MTSU’s doctoral program leads to the Ph.D. in Human Performance degree, with the following specializations:

  • Exercise science researches physical activity and metabolism.
  • Health researches questions that deal with community and public health, school health, and lifetime wellness education.
  • Kinesmetrics researches measurement theory, statistics, and mathematical analysis in the field of kinesiology—the study of human movements.
  • Leisure studies researches leisure and sport organizations, methods of support in the expansion of leisure and sport industries, and other research that advances the understanding of leisure and sport in society.
  • Physical education researches pedagogical skills regarding how individuals learn and teach physical activity as part of the development of each individual.

Applicants holding only a bachelor’s degree will complete the requirements for an M.S. (thesis option) in addition to the Ph.D. requirements. 

Other degree programs offered by HHP

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 TrainingExercise ScienceHealth 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.

Health and Human Performance

HHP 6100 - Qualitative Writing Workshop in Health and Human Perfor
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: HHP 6620/HHP 7620, SOC 6720, SPSE 7100, or permission of department. Explores the theoretical, ethical, and practical issues involved in transforming qualitative data into a written research report. Student will write representations of data they have already collected.

HHP 6610 - Research Methods in Health and Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Location of information, methods of research, methods of collecting data, application of the computer in analyzing data, and preparation and presentation of a research paper.

HHP 6620 - Foundations of Qualitative Inquiry in Health and Human
3 Credit Hours
Exposes students to the disciplinary and conceptual origins of qualitative inquiry in the social sciences while exploring various methods of data generation and analysis in the field of health and human performance. Students will be exposed to conventional methods of data generation and analysis as well as more recent, unconventional qualitative methods. Provides preparation to consume, critique, and design research projects using some of the tools offered by qualitative inquiry.

HHP 6700 - Data Analysis and Organization for Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Pertinent skills needed to analyze and organize research data through introduction of concepts, principles, techniques, and activities that lead to the appropriate organization and analysis of research data collected for health and human performance.

HHP 6999 - Comprehensive Examination and Preparation
1 Credit Hours
Open only to students who are not enrolled in any other graduate course and who will take the master's comprehensive examination during the term. The student must contact the graduate advisor during the first two weeks of the term for specifics regarding the details of this comprehensive examination preparatory course. Credit may not be applied to degree requirements.

HHP 7020 - University Leadership in Health and Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Provides administrators and professional students with a broad base of workable leadership principles and guides.

HHP 7030 - Research Seminar in Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Current problems, issues, trends, and research in human performance; selected lectures, reports, and class discussion.

HHP 7060 - Research Practicum in Human Performance
1 to 6 Credit Hours
Research experience under the direct supervision of a graduate faculty member resulting in the submission of a manuscript to a refereed journal or a grant to a funding agency.

HHP 7080 - Professional Preparation in Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Review of the current trends within the academic scope of teaching research and service.

HHP 7100 - Qualitative Writing Workshop in Health and Human Perfor
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: HHP 6620/HHP 7620, SOC 6720, SPSE 7180, or permission of department. Explores the theoretical, ethical, and practical issues involved in transforming qualitative data into a written research report. Students will write representations of data they have already collected.

HHP 7300 - Current Measurement Issues in Health and Human Performa
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: HHP 6610 and HHP 6700 or equivalent. Advanced applications of measurement theories (i.e., item response theory), test construction, statistical techniques, and computer software for measurement research in the area of health and human performance.

HHP 7600 - Teaching Practicum in Human Performance
3-6 Credit Hours
Teaching experience under the direct supervision of graduate faculty member in a 3-credit undergraduate course within the student's area of specialization.

HHP 7620 - Foundations of Qualitative Inquiry in Health and Human
3 Credit Hours
Exposes students to the disciplinary and conceptual origins of qualitative inquiry in the social sciences while exploring various methods of data generation and analysis in the field of health and human performance. Students will be exposed to conventional methods of data generation and analysis as well as more recent, unconventional qualitative methods. Provides preparation to consume, critique, and design research projects using some of the tools offered by qualitative inquiry.

HHP 7640 - Dissertation Research
1 to 6 Credit Hours
Assignment by department or chair of candidate's committee. Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of dissertation. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral research each semester until completion. S/U grading

HHP 7700 - Advanced Data Analysis and Organization for Human Perfo
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: HHP 6610 and HHP 6700 or equivalent. Skills and understanding necessary to read, conduct, report, and interpret advanced data analytical techniques using data from HHP. Practical and written assignments, presentations, examinations, and projects will furnish doctoral student with tools necessary for data analysis associated with dissertation requirement.

HHP 7710 - Experimental Design in Human Performance
3 Credit Hours
Prerequisites: HHP 6610 and HHP 7700 or equivalent. Skills and understanding necessary to evaluate designs used in HHP research literature. Practical and written assignments, evaluation of current research, examinations, and projects; knowledge and skills for planning appropriately the design for future research projects.

HHP 7720 - Advanced Research Methods in Health and Human Performan
3 Credit Hours
Examines the types of research methods, designs, and procedures that are required to conduct scholarly research in health and human performance. Students will read, interpret, and critique scientific research articles that are published in scholarly journals, and improve their skills in conducting and reporting their research in written and oral form.

HHP 7740 - Meta-Analysis
3 Credit Hours
Designed to provide students with the theory and application of meta-analysis for quantitative analysis and review of scientific literature. the conceptual and statistical bases of meta-analysis are reviewed, selected meta-analysis articles are critiqued, and basic skills of meta-analysis are applied. Students will be required to conduct and report a meta-analysis in areas of interest to students.

HHP 7999 - Comprehensive Examination and Preparation
1 Credit Hours
Open only to students who are not enrolled in any other graduate course and who will take the master's comprehensive examination during the term. The student must contact the graduate advisor during the first two weeks of the term for specifics regarding the details of this comprehensive examination preparatory course. Credit may not be applied to degree requirements.