Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Recreation and Leisure Studies - Aging, Health and Well-Being

The program information below was valid for the fall 2016 term (September 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016). This is the archived version; the most up-to-date program information is available through the current Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.

The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.

  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus
  • Length of program 
    • Normally the doctoral program will be three-four years (9-12 terms), which is consistent with other PhD programs in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. The University time limit for completion is four years (12 terms). Students must obtain permission from the Department Graduate Committee and the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, to continue registration beyond this 12 term limit.  
  • Program type 
    • Collaborative
    • Doctoral
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
    • Part-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Minimum requirements 
    • Normally a Master’s degree with a minimum 75% average in a field that is relevant to the area of aging, health and well-being (normally kinesiology, recreation and leisure studies or health studies and gerontology, but other degrees in life and social sciences could be suitable as well).
  • Application materials 
    • Résumé/Curriculum vitae
      • Indicating past academic and professional experience.
    • Supplementary information form
    • Transcript(s)
    • Writing sample
      • Students must submit a copy of previous academic work, such as a term paper, published manuscript or master's thesis.
  • References 
    • Number of references:  3
    • Type of references: 


  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)

    Thesis option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • Students must obtain credit for each of the courses listed below. They will normally complete a minimum of 4 half (0.50 credit) courses, consisting of a core/fundamentals course, a graduate level statistics/research methods course, and 2 electives which will be related to aging, health, and well-being. In addition, students will participate in the doctoral research seminar in aging, health, and well-being.
      • Fundamentals of Aging, Health and Well-Being
      • Graduate level statistics/research methods course
      • 2 electives related to aging, health, and well-being
      • Aging, health, and well-being seminar
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Academic Integrity Workshop
  • PhD Comprehensive Examination
    • The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to ensure that doctoral students have a broad and comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the field of Recreation and Leisure Studies, including: (1) different epistemological, methodological, and analytical approaches used within the field, and (2) one or more of the broad substantive areas of leisure studies. The process is designed to enable candidates to develop/acquire a solid grounding in and understanding of leisure studies. This process then provides a foundation for the critical analysis demanded by the dissertation proposal and final defence.
    • The comprehensive examination process normally will be completed over a period of six months. It involves both a written and an oral component. The comprehensive examination must be completed before submitting a thesis proposal. A comprehensive examination committee is comprised of at least three faculty members selected by the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee in consultation with the candidate.
    • Students will complete the comprehensive examinations as required by their home department. At least one of the comprehensive examination committee members will be appointed from a department other than the home department but within the collaborative program in Aging, Health, and Well-Being. The comprehensive examinations will normally occur on completion of the students course work and will begin during the fourth term of their program.
  • PhD Thesis
    • A PhD thesis proposal is required of all PhD students after passing the comprehensive examinations, and before proceeding to data collection. The proposal should contain a detailed statement of the research problem and its significance for a body of leisure-related theory, a precise account of the methodology or research techniques to be employed, plus a detailed outline of the proposed data analyzes. The candidate will be required to present and defend this proposal before the thesis committee. The final thesis report based on the completed research must also be successfully defended to satisfy the thesis requirement. The PhD thesis advisory committee is comprised of the supervisor and two committee members who normally will be drawn from faculty members of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. The proposal will be defended before the thesis committee; however, upon completion of the thesis, the final document will be defended before a five person Examination Board made up of the supervisor, three other members of the University community (two of whom are normally the advisory committee members and one other individual from outside the home department), and an external examiner.
    • The thesis will be on a topic in an area relevant to Aging, Health, and Well-Being.
  • Other requirements 
    • Student evaluation: a review of each student's progress takes place during the month of May each year. Students are evaluated on several criteria, including performance in courses, progress with regard to the comprehensive examination and thesis work and, where appropriate, reports submitted by the students regarding their research and teaching assistantship activity. A grade average of at least 75% must be maintained.