Programs by Campus


Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

Departmental E-mail: hper [at] indiana [dot] edu

Departmental URL:



Degrees Offered

Doctor of Philosophy in health behavior,  leisure behavior, and human performance. There are five emphases under human performance: Adapted Physical Education, Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, Motor Learning/Control, and Sport Management. In addition, the School of Health, Physi­cal Education, and Recreation offers the following graduate degrees: Master of Science in Applied Health Science, in Kine­siology, and in Recreation; and Master of Public Health. For full information see the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Bulletin.

Program Information

The Ph.D. is a research degree especially designed to prepare graduates for careers in fields devoted to the study of health behavior, human performance and leisure behavior. Specific emphases currently available in human performance include adapted physical education, biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor learning/control, and sport management. Other areas of study are also available for graduate degrees offered through the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.

Special School Requirements

(See also general Graduate School requirements.)

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Ph.D. in health behavior, human perfor­mance, or leisure behavior must possess at least the equivalent of an undergraduate minor in the field of study to be pursued. Appropriate academic background in the physical, biologi­cal, and social and behavioral sciences is required. Prescribed deficiency work ordinarily cannot be counted among credit hours required for the degree. Other admission criteria are grade point averages earned in all undergraduate and gradu­ate work, scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test, and letters of recommendation from professors or others who are able to evaluate the applicant’s potential for success in advanced graduate study. Admission applications can be completed online at

Course Requirements

A minimum of 90 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, of which at least 30 credit hours must be in the major area of emphasis. The remaining credit hours are to be distrib­uted among the minor(s), supportive electives that include a substantial amount of work in statistics and research methodol­ogy, and dissertation (20-30 credit hours). Fifteen (15) credit hours excluding courses taken to complete the research and languages requirement are required outside of the student’s major department.

Elective or minor course work must clearly support the devel­opment of research competency in the major field. Frequent involvement in research projects (with or without academic credit) is essential to the program. Deficiencies in course work must be removed during the first year of study.

All Ph.D. students must present T590 and T591, or their equiva­lents, as prerequisites to the major work.


All doctoral students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 (B). Grades of C- (1.7) and below will be calculated in the student’s grade point average, but courses in which such grades are earned cannot be counted toward degree require­ments.


At least one minor in a supporting area outside the major department is required, which must be in a discipline related to, but distinct from, the major field(s) of study. The number of required credit hours is determined by the unit in which the minor is taken (usually 12-15).

Foreign Language/Research-Skill Requirement

A minimum grade of B (3.0) required in each course used to meet this requirement.

One of four options:

  1. reading proficiency in two languages;
  2. proficiency in depth in one language;
  3. reading proficiency in one language plus an approved research skill;
  4. other approved combination of research skills (9 credit hour minimum).

The option pursued must clearly enhance the student’s ability to pursue research in the specific field of study and must have the approval of the student’s advisory committee and the as­sociate dean of academic program administration.
Research skills may be selected from, but are not limited to, areas such as computer science, mathematics, electronics, engineering, chemistry, and statistics.

Qualifying Examination

Written and oral; may not be taken until the student is within one course of completing all prescribed course work and the foreign language/research-skill requirement has been complet­ed. Examination periods are regularly scheduled for September, February, and June. Applications must be filed at least 30 days in advance.

Research Proposal

The proposal meeting will be open to faculty and students in the university community. During the first portion the student will formally present her/his dissertation proposal in an open forum. Committee members and visitors will have the opportu­nity to ask questions. Visitors will leave after the formal presen­tation. The remaining time will be determined by the student’s research committee.

Final Examination

Oral defense of the dissertation.

Ph.D. Minor

Doctoral students in other departments can complete a minor in a specific emphasis by satisfactorily completing 15 credit hours of graduate-level course work which has been approved by the minor field representative on the doctoral advisory com­mittee. A qualifying examination is required.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.