Graduate Academic Programs

Doctoral Degree Program (PhD)

Leisure Behavior Major

Description of Program

This Ph.D. program prepares candidates for research and teaching careers in the areas of research methodology and leisure behavior. The emphasis is on research related to a specific area of leisure behavior and on developing an in-depth understanding of a cognate field. Studies have a philosophical and scientific orientation and emphasize theoretical research. The program is individualized to meet each student's personal career goals.

Degree Requirements

Courses required for this degree are prescribed by an advisory committee for each individual student. Degree requirements include:

  • A minimum of 90 graduate-level credits beyond the bachelor’s degree are required.
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.
  • A minimum grade of C is required in each course used to satisfy the major, minor, and elective requirements of the course prescription.
  • A minimum grade of B is required in each course used to satisfy the research skills requirement of the course prescription.

Public Health Foundations Requirement for the Ph.D. in Leisure Behavior degree

All Ph.D. degree students in the School of Public Health-Bloomington, who have not completed an MPH degree, are required to complete the following requirement:

  • Public Health Foundations Requirement (0 credits) All School of Public Health graduate students must complete the Public Health Foundations online course no later than the end of their first semester of graduate study. Complete details and registration information for this course can be found at the following website:

Common Course Prescription Components

The elements of the course prescription for all Ph.D. degree students in the School of Public Health are arranged as follows:

  • Research Skills (9 credits minimum). A minimum of 9 credits of coursework providing required skills to conduct research, such as advanced courses in biostatistics. These credits count toward the 90 credits for the degree. Courses counted in this area require a minimum grade of B.
  • Major Area of Study (30 credits minimum). A minimum of 30 credits in the major area of study. These courses must be taken within the School of Public Health-Bloomington. Courses transferred from previous graduate work outside the School of Public Health-Bloomington, if within the major area of study, can be used to fulfill the major areas of study requirement, contingent upon the committee’s approval.
  • Minor Area of Study (9 credits minimum). A minimum of 9 credits of coursework in a designated area outside the department in which the major is being pursued.
  • Electives (0 to 28 credits). Elective credits may range between 0 and 28. An optional second minor may be included in the elective credit hours.
  • Dissertation (20 – 30 credits)
Special Opportunities

Graduate academic appointments are available for students pursuing graduate studies in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies. Selection criteria for a graduate assistantship or associate instructorship include scholarship records, experience, previous graduate work, and letters of recommendation. Duties for a student academic appointment may involve assisting faculty with teaching, research, or other departmental duties; teaching classes; or working in the Division of Recreational Sports. Other special assignments may also be made.


The degree program is designed for graduate students wishing to pursue careers in management and administration, teaching, research, or administration in higher education.

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