Students develop a plan of study with their academic advisor and committee directed toward appropriate academic preparation and their research interests. Your program of study will incorporate courses from both inside and outside of the department. The primary goal is to identify a course of study which would best fit your research interests and development as a professional.

Please review our Graduate Overview prior to application and enrollment.

Courses and Plan of Study

The Department of Kinesiology incorporates courses from various departments related to science and medicine at the University of Connecticut. Some of our faculty members also hold joint appointments in the Departments of Physiology & Neurobiology, Nutritional Sciences, and the School of Medicine.

Your advisor will inform you of any courses required by the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. To fulfill these requirements, students typically complete at least one course in statistics at the master’s level, two at the doctoral level, and thesis or dissertation credits. Please discuss your preferences for courses with your advisor. There is room for flexibility, but your advisor will always seek to ensure that you have taken the necessary courses to allow for a strong background in the field.

Sample courses may include:

  • Exercise Metabolism (KINS)
  • Scientific Instrumentation (KINS)
  • Research Techniques and Experimental Designs in Exercise Science (KINS)
  • Thermal Physiology (KINS)
  • Muscle Physiology in Exercise and Sport (KINS)
  • Exercise Endocrinology (KINS)
  • Mammalian Endocrinology (PNB)
  • Fundamentals of Physiology (PNB)
  • Biostatistics (STAT)

For more information on our department’s courses offerings, please see the Graduate Catalog

Academic Standards

According to university guidelines, students with assistantships enroll and successfully complete at least 6 credits each semester if funded. Students without funding enroll in at least 9 credits. Students must maintain a minimum of a B average or above.  Students may not count any course in which they receive a letter grade of “C” or lower towards their plan of study or graduation credit requirements.

All students must submit their plan of study to the Graduate School and formally apply for graduation online.

Credit Requirements and Program Length

Graduate students in the Department of Kinesiology meet or exceed all requirements of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources and the University of Connecticut. Master’s students meet or exceed the requirements for a Plan A degree. Doctoral students meet or exceed the requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy. Courses in statistics fulfill University requirements for coursework outside of the department. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for requirements for each degree. The Plan of Study is available at:

On average, master’s students complete their degree in two years. Doctoral students typically complete their degree in four years (beyond the master’s degree). The length of time is more often a factor of proficiency in their research area than fulfilling credit requirements alone. As stated in the graduate catalog, “The degree will be conferred only after the advisory committee and the Graduate Faculty are convinced that the student has developed independence of judgment and mature scholarship in the chosen field.” Please see our Graduate Overview for more information.

The minimum requirements for a master’s degree, as stated by the University of Connecticut, is 15 credits of academic courses and 9 credits of thesis work. Master’s students typically are asked to take one course in statistics (which fulfills the 3-credit requirement for coursework outside of the department). No more than six credits of undergraduate level (course numbers under 5000) may be applied to the Plan of Study.

The doctoral requirements for the University of Connecticut include 20 credits of academic coursework and 15 credits of dissertation work. Doctoral students typically are asked to take two courses in statistics (which fulfills the 6-credit requirement for coursework outside of the department). No more than six credits of undergraduate level (course numbers under 5000) may be applied to the Plan of Study. Doctoral students in the Department of Kinesiology typically exceed the University requirements and complete 36 to 40 (or more) credits of coursework prior to graduation.

Other Academic Requirements

All graduate students must complete a research project and defend either a thesis or dissertation prior to graduation. Prior to graduation, these projects must be submitted to the graduate school using the format and paper specified in their requirements. The final research project is expected to be at a caliber that is suitable for publication in a research journal.

Doctoral students typically sit for comprehensive oral and written exams at the end of their third year. After successfully completing these exams, doctoral students register for dissertation credits in their final year.

Residence Requirement

In the spirit of the requirements stated in the graduate catalog, all graduate students fulfill the demands of the graduate Kinesiology program “only by devoting a continuous period of time to concentrated study and patient research with a minimum of outside distraction or employment.” All students (at both the master’s and doctoral level) are expected to devote full-time effort to their studies and research. All semesters and summers must be completed in-residence.

The Residence Requirement of the University of Connecticut requires that a student devote “full-time effort to studies, without undue distraction caused by outside employment”. In addition, funded students may not work outside of their assistantship without prior approval from their advisor. According to this policy, your advisory committee may record and report a “description of the nature, extent, and period(s) of outside employment” to the graduate school as part of your Plan of Study. Please discuss your plans with your advisor in advance. We recommend that students inquire about loan programs available through Financial Aid to offset costs of attendance if necessary.

Please see our Graduate Overview for more information.

Training Module Requirements

New students: please see our FAQ page for how to approach initial training.

The Human Performance Laboratory has a series of core competencies for students in the laboratory.  Your advisor will inform you of these requirements.  In addition, there are several standard modules that all students must perform:


Who should I contact with additional questions?

We encourage you to fully explore the details of each program through this website and read more about the individual professors and their research.  Finally, please review the information on the How to Apply to Graduate Programs page to select an advisor who best matches your research interest.  Please contact that professor personally to express interest in their program. For questions about the degree program, please contact our Graduate Coordinator, Neal Glaviano ( For questions about admissions, please contact our Graduate Admissions Coordinator, Katrease Sharavolli (