Doctor of philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Kinesiology is not just the study of movement. We are the length and breadth of the human condition, from the joy of competition, to the steps taken by cancer patients on their road back to wellness. We are in schools encouraging healthier habits and in labs researching the mysteries of why one child becomes obese while another doesn’t. Our graduate students are mentored by some of the top professors and researchers in the field in their original investigations, with the goal to advance the study of kinesiology, and to create leaders whose work will have an impact on society. Sharing knowledge is vital, and we work closely with other faculties, like the biomedical researchers in the Schulich School of Engineering and the mental health researchers in the Cumming School of Medicine.

Completing this program

  • Courses: Topics may include nutrition for performance, applied exercise physiology, statistical techniques, muscle mechanics and more.
  • Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original thesis.
  • Candidacy: Students will submit a research proposal and complete both oral and written candidacy exams.


  • Biomechanics
  • Exercise & Health Physiology
  • Health, Exercise and Sport Psychology
  • Innovation in Pedagogy and Sport Performance
  • Neuro-Motor Psychology & Motor Learning
  • Nutrition, Metabolism & Genetics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Socio-Cultural Aspects of Sport & Physical Activity
  • Sport History
  • Sport Injury Epidemiology
  • Sport Medicine


Academia, Research career, teaching (secondary and post-secondary), health care, health coach consulting, research associate, sporting careers (administration, coaching, sport psychology, strength and conditioning coach), injury prevention and rehabilitation, community/municipal programming.

A PhD in kinesiology is usually considered a final degree.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four year full-time; six years maximum


A supervisor is required, and must agree to oversee the student's research before admission will be granted

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

Explore the University of Calgary’s (UCalgary) Kinesiology complex from anywhere. Experience all that the Kinesiology program has to offer for interested prospective graduate students. Explore one of the top Kinesiology programs in North America without physically being on campus. Discover the buildings, student services and available programs all from your preferred device.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. William Bridel_2020

    William Bridel

    Socio-Cultural Studies of Sport, Physical Activity, and the Body
  2. S Nicole Culos-Reed

    S. Nicole Culos-Reed

    Exercise and Cancer Survivorship
  3. Dr. DB

    Dr. Patricia (Tish) Doyle-Baker

    Accepting Inquiries
    Menstrual Health Biomarkers and Biosensors; Sport Science; Female Athletes
  4. Headshot of Dr. Brittany Edgett from the shoulders up smiling in a green business casual top.

    Brittany Edgett

    Accepting Inquiries
    Exercise Physiology, Energy Metabolism, Erythropoiesis, Sex Differences
  5. W Brent Edwards

    W. Brent Edwards

    Accepting Inquiries
    Musculoskeletal Biomechanics
  6. Carolyn Emery

    Carolyn Emery

    Accepting Inquiries
    Injury Epidemiology, Injury Prevention, Concussion, Pediatric Rehabilitation
  7. Leigh Gabel

    Leigh Gabel

    Accepting Inquiries
    Growth and Development
  8. Walter Herzog

    Walter Herzog

    Accepting Inquiries
    Neuro-Biomechanics, Biomechanics
  9. Matt Jordan

    Matt Jordan

    Exercise Physiology, Neuromuscular Control, Resistance Training, Sport Injury, Sport Performance
  10. Sarah Kenny

    Sarah Kenny

    Dancers as Artistic Athletes, Benefits of Dance for General Population

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

A four-year undergraduate degree and completion of a thesis based masters degree.

Work samples



Written confirmation of external funding in accordance with policies of the Faculty of Kinesiology Graduate Program

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency (ELP)

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements.


For admission on May 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Mar. 1 application deadline
  • International students: Mar. 1 application deadline

For admission on July 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: May 1 application deadline
  • International students: May 1 application deadline

For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jul. 1 application deadline
  • International students: Jul. 1 application deadline

For admission on January 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Nov. 1 application deadline
  • International students: Nov. 1 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Kinesiology graduate program

Kinesiology B, Room 139B
2500 University Drive N.W.
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit their website


Faculty of Kinesiology

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit their website

Learn more about UCalgary by taking a virtual tour