Information for

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Kinesiology

Residency/Time limit, proposal and thesis requirements

All students should meet with their graduate supervisor early during the first term to complete a Degree Requirements & Proposed Program of Study Form.

A minimum residence of 9 terms from Honours Bachelor's degree, or 6 terms from Master's degree, registered as a full‑time student, is required.

All requirements for the PhD degree in Kinesiology must normally be completed within the following time periods (beginning with the term of initial registration).

  • Full-time from Master’s level: 12 terms (4 years);
  • Part-time: 21 terms (7 years)

When nearing degree time limits; you will receive notification from the Kinesiology Graduate Coordinator.

You are required to submit a Petition for Extension of Program Time Limit Form (PDF) and obtain approval from both your advisor and the Kinesiology Associate Chair (Graduate) for the first 3 terms of degree time limits extension.

After these 3 terms, you will also require approval from the Applied Health Sciences Associate Dean (Graduate) and be required to submit a Progress Report and Detailed Plan for Completion of Degree Program along with the extension form. The progress report must be signed by you, your thesis supervisor and ALL committee members.

If the petition is not approved, you will be discontinued from your program. 

Students who fail to submit a petition form will be deregistered and will have a Required to Withdraw decision applied to their academic record and must reapply (to a future term).

Petition submission and approval deadlines in departments are: 

  • Fall – September 15
  • Winter – January 15
  • Spring – May 15


Each student has been assigned a graduate supervisor to help in getting oriented in the program, selecting courses, and serving on thesis committees. Students who wish to consider a change in supervisor should speak to the Kinesiology Associate Chair (Graduate). Students who change supervisors must fill out a Change of Supervisor Form (PDF)

Degree requirements

Thesis option:

Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)


  • Since students' backgrounds are expected to differ considerably, course requirements will vary. However, a minimum of 3.00 units of graduate courses (e.g., 6 courses each at a 0.50 unit weight) beyond an Honours Bachelor degree is required. Of these, at least 0.50 units must be related to quantitative or qualitative analysis, such as research methods, modelling, mathematics, or statistics. The course requirements will be determined in consultation with the candidate's supervisor and Advisory Committee. All graduate courses must be assigned a numerical grade. Students must obtain an average of at least 75% in the set of courses which they present in fulfilment of course requirements. Unsatisfactory academic performance in any one course will result in a review of the candidate's status by the Department Graduate Committee. If a student with a failed course is permitted to continue, additional work may be required to clear the failure in that course or an additional course may be required to replace the failed course. Alternatively, the student may be required to repeat part or all of the program.
  • Students must also complete both seminars:
    • KIN 670A Seminar I (Fall)
    • KIN 670B Seminar II (Winter)

Link(s) to courses

Academic Integrity Workshop

PhD Professional Development Seminar

  • Students are required to complete a series of professional development seminars and workshops throughout their program of study.

PhD Comprehensive Examination

  • Each student is required to write a comprehensive examination and complete an oral examination on selected aspects of the written examination.
  • The comprehensive examinations will normally occur on completion of the student’s coursework and will begin during the fourth term of their program.
  • Students should consult the Department of Kinesiology Associate Chair for Graduate Studies for details concerning the administration procedure for this examination. When the written and oral examinations have been completed, the PhD comprehensive Examination Committee must arrive at one of the following decisions:
    • Accepted (Passed)
    • Accepted Conditionally
    • Decision Deferred (Re-examination)
    • Rejected (Failed)
  • If the decision is "Decision Deferred (Re-examination)", students must complete this requirement no later than the end of the term following the term in which they initially attempted the comprehensive examinations. Re-examination does not necessarily imply a re-examination of both the written and oral aspects of the examination. If the decision is "Rejected (Failed)" the candidate is required to withdraw from the program.

PhD Thesis

  • Thesis Proposal: Following successful completion of the comprehensive exam, each student will be required to compete a PhD thesis proposal. The proposal involves a written document related to the student’s thesis area. The thesis project and proposal are developed in consultation with the supervisor. Each student must orally defend the thesis proposal to the Advisory Committee consisting of the supervisor (or co-supervisors), and two other members (one of which must be from the home Department). A chair to oversee the oral thesis proposal defense will be appointed by the Department.
  • Thesis Defence: Each student is required to submit a thesis embodying the results of original research carried out under the direction of an Advisory Committee headed by the supervisor. The candidate defends the thesis before an Examining Committee approved by the Department Graduate Committee. The Examining Board should consist of the Advisory Committee (see thesis proposal above), an additional member that is external to the Department (referred to as the internal-external), and finally an additional member that is external to the University (referred to as the external examiner).

Other requirements 

  • Student evaluation: A review of each student's progress by both the supervisor and Department Graduate Committee takes place each year. Students are evaluated on several criteria, including performance in courses, progress towards course and milestone completion, thesis progress, scholarly activity, and research and teaching assistantship activity.

For details see PhD comprehensive exam.

PhD thesis proposal

For details and related procedures, see PhD Kinesiology thesis proposal.

PhD thesis defence

The PhD thesis defence is coordinated and conducted by the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Associate Dean (Graduate) office.

For details, see Planning for your doctoral thesis defence.