Creating a healthier future at the University of Waterloo
As the world's first Department of Kinesiology, we continue to ignite an interdisciplinary approach to optimize health, prevent injury and illness, and extend the years of high quality life.
Our nationally and internationally recognized and respected doctoral program provides the opportunity to understand cellular to societal implications of physical activity, nutrition and lifestyle - preparing you for careers in a wide range of health fields.
Program overview | Tuition fees
In the Doctor of Philosophy program, you'll complete graduate level courses including cross-disciplinary seminars and specialized graduate research seminars, complete comprehensive examinations, conduct research, and submit your work to peer reviewed presentations and publications. Course work and research is focused in three specialization areas: Biomechanics, Neuroscience, or Physiology and Nutrition.
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.
- Full-time from Master’s level: 12 terms (4 years);
- Part-time: 21 terms (7 years)
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).
Our students are known for achieving high levels of autonomy in design, conduct and interpretation of their research topics. As a graduate, you'll be well-positioned for a career in teaching, research, or industry.
Tuition is based on a four-month term, and is subject to change on an annual basis.
See the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs study and living costs page for full details
Application deadline for fall enrolment is February 1.
Applications will be accepted after this deadline, however please contact potential supervisors.
The study of kinesiology spans the breadth of cellular, biophysical, and psycho-social parameters which affect and effect movement in the realm of sport, work, play, dance, exercise, and disease.
Applicants to the master or doctoral program apply to study in one of three areas: biomechanics, neuroscience, or physiology and nutrition. Within these areas, there is a strong emphasis on aging, injury and disease prevention, health promotion and rehabilitation.
Given the multidisciplinary nature of Kinesiology, undergraduates and graduates students with an interest in biology, physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, anatomy, engineering, systems design, physics, health studies, sociology, social psychology, or psychology are encouraged to apply.
Awards and funding
Funding your education
Kinesiology offers competitive funding for our graduate students. Financial support is available from many sources: graduate research studentships from supervisors’ grants, teaching assistantships, federal and provincial government scholarships, institutional scholarships, bursaries, and loans provided by the government of Ontario.
Graduate student resources
Comprehensive Exam | PhD thesis proposal | PhD thesis defence
- The Comprehensive exam determines whether a student has a broad knowledge of their field.
- The PhD thesis proposal tests the student's knowledge of issues directly related to their thesis topic.
- The PhD thesis defence is required to demonstrate achievement in a program of research in their field of expertise.