Comprehensive details for the Doctoral Program in Kinesiology.
Academic Core Requirements
The following classes are mandatory for all Ph.D. (Kinesiology) students in HHP
Principles of Scientific Inquiry (3 hours)
Doctoral Residency Seminar (3 hours)
HHP Research Seminar (3 hours)
Applied Multivariate Statistics (3 hours)
Applied Statistical Models in Health Research (3 hours)
Programming and Proposal Writing (3 hours)
Candidacy Project Research (6 hours)
Journal club (3 hours for each full-time semester the student is enrolled)
Contemporary Issues in Health and Human Performance (6 hours)
All Ph.D. (Kinesiology) students are required to register for residency during their first full academic year of entering the program (Fall and Spring semesters).
During this residency period, a student must be registered as a full-time student (i.e. 9 hours of academic classes per semester) for both the Fall and Spring semesters of their residency period.
During the Fall semester, each student in residency shall register and successfully complete the designated departmental residency class, Principles of Scientific Inquiry.
During their residency period students will be introduced to “professional activities” including research experiences, journal club, seminar attendance, attendance at thesis/dissertation defenses, and other experiences that are applicable to continual professional development.
All designated electives must be considered applicable for a doctoral course of study and normally be at the 7000/8000 academic level. These courses are to be taken under the direction and approval of the student’s advisor.
For those classes not at the 7000/8000 level, but deemed necessary to the professional preparation of the student by the advisor, approval of such classes for inclusion in the student’s degree plan in the designated elective area must be obtained from the Graduate Research Degrees (GRD) committee in the department via petition.
Final approval for inclusion of such non-7000/8000 level classes in a doctoral degree plan lies with the Dean's office as evidenced by approval of the petition.
Elective classes can be taken within the department, other departments within the University of Houston and other universities that UH has inter-institutional agreements with (for more information contact your advisor and the registration office).
Elective classes in support areas can be taken at the University of Houston and other universities that UH has inter-institutional agreements with (for more information contact your advisor and the registration office). These classes MUST be approved by the advisor and normally be at the 7000/8000 level. If a class is not at the 7000/8000 level then it must be approved by the GRD committee following the guide-lines listed above.
Ph.D. (Kinesiology) Qualifying Exam
At the end of the first academic year a student is enrolled in the Ph.D. (Kinesiology) program (i.e. at the end of the Spring Semester) and successfully completes the first year’s coursework, each student will be required to take a Qualifying Exam. This assessment will consist of a written examination administered within the department based on a book and/or a number of short essays. These readings will be communicated to the student at the beginning of the semester in which they sit the examination.
This examination is designed to assess the critical thinking and critical writing skills of the student, skills that the student will develop as part of the educational experience of the first year doctoral coursework and continue to self-develop during the period they have to review the reading(s).
The questions posed in the examination are based on general conceptual themes identified by the departmental GRD committee and external examiner. The examination will be evaluated by the external examiner and the GRD will determine a PASS/FAIL decision.
A student must receive a PASS grade in their Qualifying Exam to continue in the doctoral program.
Any student that does not receive a PASS grade on the first attempt will be given the opportunity to retake the qualifying examination in the summer semester after being supplied an additional reading. The second examination attempt will be administered in the same manner as the initial attempt. A student that receives a FAIL grade on their second attempt of the Qualifying Exam will be immediately dismissed from the doctoral program.
Student Annual Review Process
Annual reviews are formative and are performed annually.
Reviews are performed by the advisor in partnership with the student and may include:
- Review of academic performance in class
- Details of involvement in research projects
- Student feed-back on their perception of the progress they are making in the program.
- Advisor’s assessment of the student’s progress.
- Advisor-generated decision on whether or not the student is making “adequate progress” towards completion of the degree.
The information generated is then reviewed by the departmental GRD Committee for a final decision on whether or not a student is making adequate progress towards the degree.
After review of the information supplied by the advisor and student by the GRD committee, there are four potential outcomes of the annual review process.
- Adequate progress (student continues in the program)
- Adequate progress with warning
- Academic probation (student continues in the program with remedial action determined by the GRD committee)
- Termination from the program (failure to satisfy remediation plan set during probationary period)
Graduate Student Advisor Change
A student wishing to transfer advisors within the graduate program must submit a General Petition for “change of advisor” to the GRD committee for approval. An advisor who wishes to terminate her or his service as a student’s advisor without the student’s consent must explain the decision to the GRD committee. The student will have one semester to work with the GRD to find a new advisor. Should no other faculty members agree to serve as their advisor, the student will be terminated from the program.
Candidacy Paper Requirements
Each doctoral student is required to complete a candidacy paper, which is a scientific article based on a study designed and carried out by the student while enrolled in the doctoral program under the guidance of a member of the GRD committee. The article will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal following recommendation of the candidacy paper committee. The student’s advisor serves as the candidacy paper committee chair, and is responsible for identifying two or more independent readers for the student’s candidacy paper committee. Readers need not be members of the GRD, but non-members must be approved by vote of the GRD committee. Fulfillment of candidacy paper requirement consists of providing evidence of the manuscript’s submission to a peer-reviewed journal and that the student has first authorship. This evidence will be submitted to the committee by the student’s advisor. The advisor and two independent readers will examine the candidacy paper. A decision on whether or not a candidacy paper fulfills the requirements for acceptance is ultimately the responsibility of the GRD committee who will vote on the issue once a recommendation has been communicated to the GRD committee by the student’s advisor.
A student may begin work on the research that will form the basis of their candidacy paper immediately upon entry to the Ph.D. (Kinesiology) program, and is eligible to submit their candidacy paper to the GRD committee after passing the Qualifying Examination.
Doctoral Comprehensive Examinations
A student is eligible to sit for comprehensive examinations after the candidacy paper has been submitted and at least 36 hours of coursework including all of the core courses have been completed. Each doctoral student is required to pass a comprehensive examination, which is a written exam representing the knowledge and skills in their area of specialization and practical knowledge as an independent researcher. A student’s advisor will be responsible for the process of collecting questions from each faculty member tasked with writing comprehensive examination questions, collecting the graded examination, compiling the final grade for the examination and communicating this grade to GRD committee. The GRD committee (based on the information supplied by the advisor) will have final authority to recommend a PASS or FAIL grade on the exam.
A student’s advisor will be responsible for the process of collecting questions from each faculty member tasked with writing comprehensive examination questions, collecting the graded examination, compiling the final grade for the examination and communicating this grade to GRD committee. The GRD committee (based on the information supplied by the advisor) will have final authority to recommend a PASS or FAIL grade on the exam.
PASS/FAIL decisions on all comprehensive exams are ultimately the decision of the GRD committee. the Chair of the GRD committee will formally notify the student of the outcome in writing. The student’s advisor is authorized to informally notify the student of the outcome following the GRD committee vote.
If a student fails the comprehensive doctoral examination, then the advisor must submit a remediation plan for that student for approval by the GRD committee. The contents of this plan are the responsibility of the advisor. Once approved, the advisor must document that the student has reviewed and understood the remedial course of action. If a student fails to complete the remedial plan within its specified time frame or fails the second attempt at the comprehensive examination, the student will be considered ineligible for a Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology at the University of Houston and be immediately dismissed from the program.
Advancement to Candidacy
To be eligible for advancement to candidacy, students must have completed the candidacy project, successfully defended their candidacy paper, passed the comprehensive examination, and successfully defended their dissertation proposal.
Formation of Doctoral Dissertation Committee
A student is eligible to form a Doctoral Dissertation Committee after the student has passed the comprehensive exams
A student’s faculty advisor will serve as the Chair of Doctoral Dissertation Committee. The Chair will be responsible for identifying Committee members for their student’s dissertation committee. The student is encouraged to plan the composition of the student’s research committee with the Chair of the Dissertation Committee.
Approval of the composition of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee by both the GRD committee and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and requires the presence of expertise in the substantive area and in the necessary methodology for the proposed dissertation.
The Dissertation committee should be composed of at least four members which must include:
- The Chair of the Dissertation Committee;
- At least two additional faculty members from the Department of Health and Human Performance,
- A committee member who is outside of the department who can be either a full-time or adjunct faculty member at the University of Houston, or can be an individual who does not hold faculty status at the University of Houston.
If a dissertation committee member is not a full-time/adjunct faculty member of the University of Houston, the Dissertation Committee Chair will require the potential member’s C.V. and approval from the GRD Committee for that individual to serve as a dissertation committee member.
Notification of any changes to the composition of committee (i.e. reconstitution or resignation) should be made in writing to the GRD committee and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. All changes to the composition of committee once formally approved should be approved by the GRD committee and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
Development of a Research Proposal
A student is encouraged to begin the development of their dissertation research area in conjunction with their advisor as early in their doctoral education as possible.
A dissertation proposal defense cannot be scheduled until after the student’s Doctoral Dissertation Committee has been approved by the GRD.
The student is responsible for developing a dissertation proposal document under the supervision of their advisor and with the assistance of the dissertation committee members.
Dissertation Proposal Defense
In collaboration with their advisor, a student is responsible for preparing an abstract of their dissertation proposal of not more than two pages, securing the signatures of all dissertation committee members on the abstract, and distributing the abstract electronically to the faculty of the Department of Health and Human Performance. Instructions for electronic distribution of the dissertation proposal abstract can be obtained by contacting the Chair of the GRD Committee.
At least ten (10) working days must elapse between the electronic distribution of the abstract and the student’s oral defense of the dissertation proposal.
In consultation with the advisor, the student must notify the faculty of the Department of Health and Human Performance of the date, time and location of the oral defense at least ten (10) working days prior to the defense.
Students are required to provide a complete copy of the dissertation proposal to committee members at least ten (10) working days prior to the proposal defense.
The dissertation proposal may not be approved if more than one member of the committee is absent at the time of the student’s oral defense.
The committee may approve the proposal as is, suggest changes, or disapprove the dissertation proposal. For the project to move forward, all committee members must approve the dissertation proposal and must indicate their approval by signature on the proposal document face page.
The student is responsible for ensuring that the dissertation document is prepared correctly with regard to type setting, format, and paper requirements prior to submission of the dissertation. The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences maintains guidelines for dissertation formatting.
In conjunction with their advisor, a student is responsible preparing an abstract of their final dissertation document and distributing the abstract electronically to the faculty of the Department of Health and Human Services before the oral defense. Instructions for electronic distribution of the final dissertation abstract can be obtained by contacting the Chair of the GRD Committee.
At least ten (10) working days must elapse between the electronic distribution of the final dissertation abstract and the student’s oral defense of the dissertation.
In conjunction with their advisor, a student is responsible for scheduling a room for the final defense in a public forum.
In consultation with the advisor, the student must notify the GRD Committee and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences of the date, time, and location of the final defense of the dissertation at least ten (10) working days prior to the defense.
Students are required to provide a complete copy of the final dissertation to committee members at least ten (10) working days prior to the final dissertation defense.
The oral defense of the dissertation may not take place if more than one member of the committee is absent at the time of the student’s defense. The quality of both the dissertation document and the candidate’s oral defense will be evaluated. The dissertation must be approved by the dissertation committee with no more than one dissenting member and this member’s name shall not appear on the final dissertation face page.
If approved, the student is responsible for securing the signatures of all committee members and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences on at least three copies of the dissertation face page and delivering at least three copies of the completed dissertation to the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences for binding.
Students are required to complete a minimum of 6 hours of dissertation credit. Students may not enroll in dissertation credit hours until they have advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.
Once enrolled in dissertation hours, students are required to maintain continuous enrollment (i.e. a minimum of 3 hours per semester) until completion of their degree. The student must enroll in summer semesters if working on the dissertation utilizing faculty time or university facilities during the summer.
If a student has completed a minimum of 6 hours of dissertation credit, successfully completed their dissertation proposal defense in a semester in which they were enrolled for 6 hours of dissertation credit, but will conduct their dissertation defense within 30 days of the beginning of the following semester, they will be required to register for only 1 hour of dissertation credit in the semester they graduate.