Graduate Programs

Doctor of Philosophy

Our Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is a rigorous program with an emphasis on creating new knowledge and research leading to a thesis. The Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation PhD program prepares graduates to be independent scholars, inspirational teachers, internationally competitive, and highly qualified leaders in their academic and professional careers. This degree prepares graduates to pursue the wide variety of career possibilities in academics, government/policy, health, kinesiology, and sport.

Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Faculty

Our professors actively collaborate in relevant interdisciplinary research. This provides PhD candidates with the opportunity to engage in rich avenues of inquiry, and to extend your professional and academic relationships beyond the faculty. 

As a PhD student you will:

  • Engage in high quality, rigorous research related to your area of interest
  • Expand your understanding of concepts, theories, and practices in your discipline
  • Learn the knowledge base and analytical skills to evaluate and influence programs, policies, issues, and environmental/organizational structures as they relate to applied health sciences
  • Enhance your ability to apply and disseminate new knowledge and practices to colleagues, practitioners, policy makers/analysts, and other professionals in applied health sciences
  • Gain in-depth training, knowledge and research experience while also benefiting from the program’s cross-disciplinary approach and partnerships
  • Have the opportunity to participate in a Dual Doctoral Degree Program with Yonsei University, located in South Korea. See the UAlberta-Yonsei Dual Doctoral Degree Program page for more information

PhD Program Requirements:

This is a rigorous research degree and emphasis is on research leading to a thesis, rather than on coursework. Full time registration is required. Part-time and distance education degrees are not offered at this time. Thesis based students who are admitted and register full-time must register full-time for the remainder of their program (FGSR Graduate Program Manual; Section 6.10). Courses are decided by the supervisor and student in preparation for conducting independent research in an area which will create new knowledge. The choice of course(s) depends on student's previous academic preparation and area(s) of study.

  • 9 credits per Fall/Winter term; can be a combination of courses and thesis.
  • 6 credits of thesis registration per Spring/Summer term
  • PERLS 685 - Doctoral Research Seminar (3 credits) to be completed in year 2: mandatory for students admitted 2013 onward.
  • Graduate Ethics and Integrity training (8 hours); mandatory for all students
  • Professional Development Requirement (8 hours of Professional Development Activities and Individual Development Plan [IDP]); mandatory for all students admitted September 2016 and onwards.
  • All program requirements (coursework, candidacy exam, ethics and professional development requirements), other than the thesis, must be completed within 3 years of the commencement of a student's program
  • The Faculty’s residency requirement is 2 years (September - August) of full-time registration; after 2 years students have the option to register in off-campus thesis research

PhD FAQs