Doctoral Degree Program

Improve lives through movement

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Study the effect of movement on the body

In the Oregon State University’s kinesiology doctoral program, you’ll focus on the theoretical and practical study of human movement for the promotion of optimal health and disease prevention.

You’ll work alongside knowledgeable, welcoming and nationally recognized faculty who are contributing exciting discoveries to the field, while improving the quality of life for individuals, families and communities in Oregon and beyond.


Choose your area of concentration

Although your chosen concentration determines the focus of your studies, we value the benefits of interdisciplinary learning and provide ample opportunity for you to collaborate with faculty and peers.

You can select one of the following concentrations:

Biophysical Kinesiology

Includes subdisciplines such as biomechanics, exercise physiology and/or motor control.

Students in this concentration generally conduct their research in one the following laboratories: Biomechanics, Human Performance, Physical Activity and Public Health, Translational Metabolism Research Laboratory, or Sports Injury Prevention Research Group.

Psychosocial Kinesiology

Includes subdisciplines such as motor development, sport and exercise psychology and/or sociology of sport.

Students in this concentration generally conduct their research in one the following laboratories: Children & Youth with Disabilities, Physical Activity and Public Health, Psychosocial Physical Activity (2PLAY), Social Mobility, or Sport and Exercise Psychology.


Graduate student handbook

Detailed information about degree requirements and coursework

Kinesiology research

As a kinesiology doctoral student, you will apply the specific skills and knowledge you gain in coursework to projects conducted under the direction of faculty members with whom you share research interests.

Faculty study a broad range of areas, including the effect of exercise on insulin resistance, movement in children with disability, neuroendocrine regulation of body weight and bone metabolism, temporal relationships between disability onset and chronic conditions, and the psycho-social and socio-cultural aspects of health and physical activity.

Faculty contact information and a detailed description of the kinesiology research being conducted at Oregon State may be found on each laboratory’s webpage.

Kathy McCarty, MA, CPT, CIFT

Kathy is pursuing a Ph.D. in kinesiology with the adapted physical activity option. Her dissertation is focused on equity and access in collegiate sports for students with disabilities including efforts to create a national, Title IX-mirroring policy for disability.

Kathy is also a Health Policy Research Scholar with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she is learning to bring critical and intersectional lenses to her work and life, as well as social and policy change.

Tuition and funding

Graduate assistantships are available in teaching and research to highly qualified candidates.

Annual support ranges from $9,595-$22,176 based on assignment (and also includes a waiver of graduate tuition).

More information about how to apply for funding and deadlines:

Add the adapted physical activity option

By pursing the adapted physical activity option you’ll learn to respond to the motor and physical fitness needs of people with disabilities. This option is available to students in the kinesiology major and will appear on your transcript. Learn more


Careers in kinesiology

After completing the Doctor of Philosophy in kinesiology, you will be able to synthesize and communicate knowledge in your field of study; identify central issues, problems and research priorities in your field of study; and design, conduct, interpret and communicate original research.

Most graduates seek employment at public and private universities known for research and teaching, while others seek a career path in federal and state agencies or the private sector.

Associate Professor Marc Norcross, Ph.D., ATC

“Our students work alongside faculty with a range of expertise and use social, psychological, physical and biological approaches to address physical activity-related public health issues in diverse populations.”

We’re here to help

We’re happy to connect with you by email, phone or virtual meetings.


For questions about the application process and requirements, contact College of Health graduate admissions.


For academic or professional information specific to the kinesiology doctoral program, please contact the program director William Massey, Ph.D.