Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences

Programs in the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences (HSES) offer undergraduate and graduate degrees preparing students to work in health, sport, and exercise-related fields. HSES graduates apply their knowledge to serve as teachers, researchers, clinicians, managers, administrators and other professionals in academic, private, and public settings. 

Doctoral students may pursue the Ph.D. degree with a major in Physical Education in the following specialization areas:

·    Exercise Physiology

·    Health Education & Psychology of Physical Activity

·    Sport Management

Graduate Admission to the School of Education

Graduate programs in education are open to students with acceptable baccalaureate and graduate degrees whose academic records indicate that they can do successful work at the graduate level. Regular admission requires a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in prior degrees. Individual departments may require additional information and may have more stringent admission requirements.

Some departments may offer special provisional admission categories to students who may not qualify under regular admission criteria. Departments that offer provisional admission require a grade-point average of at least 2.5.  Applicants must provide evidence of ability to work successfully at the graduate level, including experience in and commitment to the profession. Exceptions to established policies must be sought individually by petition to the Graduate Division of the School of Education.

See Admission in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog for more information.

Each department in the School of Education sets its own application deadlines.  Prospective graduate students should contact their departments for more information.

Admission Requirements for the Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences

Supporting documents that should be sent to the university:

  1. One official copy of your academic transcript from each college or university attended sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies (313 Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS  66045.   Note: A final degree transcript will also be required if you submit your application before you graduate from your undergraduate or master’s program. (example: submit in March, graduate in May).
  2. Official transcripts from an international university must include an English translation of all documents in addition to the official transcript in the original language, or documentation that the University’s mode of instruction is English.
  3. GRE scores need to be sent directly to us from the Educational Testing Center (KU Institution code 6871, Department code 3909)

Supporting documents to upload to your application:

  1. Your personal statement
  2. Your resume
  3. Three letters of recommendation - You will submit the names and email addresses when you apply.  The system will automatically email referees and request that they upload their letter to your online application.

Minimum Admission Requirements (Ph.D.)

  • Earned masters degree
  • GPA requirement for regular admission - 3.5 GPA in your masters degree.  Provisional admission: 3.0 - 3.49 GPA in your masters degree.
  • GRE requirement for regular admission - 153 on the GRE verbal section, 144 on the GRE quantitative section, and 4.5 on the GRE written analytical section.

Students applying for Ph.D. programs must contact a faculty member in their specialization area for a required interview.

International Applicants

International applicants also need to provide:

  • Official transcripts from an international university (must include an English translation of all documents in addition to the official transcript in the original language, or documentation that the University’s mode of instruction is English.)
  • English Proficiency exams score, such as TOEFL or IELTS. There will be no exceptions. Acceptable exams are TOEFL written score of 570 with all sections 57 or above; TOEFL computer score of 230 with all sections 23 or above and 40 on the essay or TOEFL internet score of 88 with all section 23 or above and 19 on essay; or IELTS with a band copy. Test scores should be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies (address above).

Deadlines for Exercise Physiology and Health and Psychology of Physical Activity

  • March 15 for Fall admission
  • October 1 for Spring admission
  • March 15 for Summer admission

Deadlines for Sport Management

  • Apply before Nov. 1 to begin the following Fall Semester (Priority Admission Deadline)
  • Apply before Mar. 1 to begin the following Fall Semester (Standard Admission Deadline)
  • Apply before May 1 to begin the following Fall Semester (Late Admission Deadline)
  • Apply before Nov. 1 to begin the following Spring Semester

*Sport Management does not admit during the Summer Semester.

Submit your graduate application online. All supporting application materials should be uploaded to the online application.


The University of Kansas

HSES Graduate Admissions
1301 Sunnyside Ave., Room 104
Lawrence, KS 66045

Ph.D. Degree Programs

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is offered with emphases in exercise physiology, health education and psychology of physical activity, and sport management. Students must interview with a faculty advisor in the intended emphasis before admission.

Pre-aspirant status requires the prospective doctoral student to earn a grade-point average of at least 3.5 in the first 12 credit hours.

With the advisor, each student develops a plan of study consistent with the student’s needs and the faculty’s expertise. This includes:

- A minimum of 36 hours of major courses is required, excluding credits used to fulfill Research Skills and the Dissertation requirements.  The HSES Core may be included as part of the major if it is consistent with the student's area of study and if doing so is supported by the student's department and doctoral committee.  50% of the student's major must be at the 800-level or above.  The program must include at least 6 credit hours outside of the student's home department - not including courses required to fulfill the student's research component or the HSES Core.

-A minimum of 12 hours of research skills is required.  At least 9 of the 12 credit hours must be 800-level or above.  The 12 credit hours cannot include EPSY 715 or it's program equivalent.  Up to 6 hours of the required 12 may be waived by research coursework completed as part of a prior master's degree.  If not taken as a part of the student's master's degree, EPSY 715 must be taken during the student's first enrollment in doctoral study.  This course does not count toward any doctoral requirement.  Students must have completed all research skills courses before they are allowed to take the comprehensive examination.

-HSES Core Course - This requirement is met by students taking HSES 998, Doctoral Seminar.

-Responsible Conduct of Research - Student will work with their advisor to fulfill this 3 credit hour requirement.

-College Teaching Experience - Documentation of supervised college teaching experience (completed during the student's doctoral program) is required  Programs may require that a student enroll in HSES 996, but these credits may not be used to fulfill credit hour requirements in the student's major.

-Comprehensive Exam - In HSES doctoral programs, students do an alternative comprehensive exam. In this format, the student completes a research manuscript that is suitable for a mid-tier journal in their chosen field. Additionally, they complete a dissertation length literature review of the topic of interest. An oral defense is conducted after these two documents are deemed to be of a passing quality.

-Dissertation - A minimum of 18 credit hours of dissertation is needed for the doctoral degree.  These credits cannot be applied to the student's major.

Students should obtain specific instructions and guidelines for graduate degrees from the department and also from the School of Education graduate regulations section of the catalog.