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The Department of Food Systems, Nutrition, and Kinesiology offers a PhD in Exercise and Nutrition Sciences with options in 1) exercise nutrition, metabolism, and physiology and 2) biomechanics and motor control. This program emphasizes the integration of kinesiology and nutrition science for applied research aimed at human movement and health. This PhD will build on the existing MS in Exercise and Nutrition Sciences or related degree from another institution. These applied science options build on the foundational sciences of biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, anatomy, physiology, physics, and mathematics. Coursework for both options will focus on core content for exercise and nutrition sciences, research design and statistical analyses, and advanced coursework specific to each option. Additionally, each student will develop an academic portfolio that includes research (presentations, peer-reviewed publications, grant writing) and teaching (development of course materials, instruction, student mentoring). 

Research Laboratories

Program Learning Outcomes

Through required coursework and research requirements, successful Exercise and Nutrition Sciences PhD students will develop and demonstrate:

  1. Advanced ability to critically analyze research, identify gaps in knowledge, and develop research hypotheses.
  2. Advanced ability to design research strategies for hypothesis driven research.
  3. Mastery of scientific writing for both grant proposals and peer reviewed journal articles.
  4. Technical knowledge and laboratory skills to carry out cutting-edge research.
  5. Advanced skills in data analysis and presentation, for example, tables and figures.
  6. Ability to design and deliver college-level courses.
  7. Advanced oral communication skills, including development and delivery of high-quality research presentations.

Admission Requirements

Master of Science in one of the following areas: exercise science, kinesiology, biomechanics, motor control, nutrition science, related disciplines, or consent of faculty.

Application Requirements

  1. Completed application from the Graduate School
  2. Curriculum vita
  3. Completed application proposal form
  4. Three letters of recommendation with at least one letter from the candidate's master's committee
  5. Academic transcripts from bachelor's and master's degree coursework

Program Requirements

  1. Completion of 60 credits including 24-28 dissertation credits
  2. Completion of comprehensive examination
  3. Completion of dissertation
  4. Completion of research portfolio including three or more manuscripts submitted to peer-reviewed journals, one or more submitted grant application, and three or more presentations at national or intrnational conferences


February 15 preferential application deadline; students start fall semester only.




Jim Becker

Assoc Professor

[email protected]

406 994.6854

338 Culbertson Hall

Mary Miles


[email protected]

406 994-6678

20 Herrick Hall

John Seifert


[email protected]

406 994-7154

205D Herrick Hall

Dawn Tarabochia

Department Head; Assoc Professor

[email protected]

406 994-2057

210F Herrick Hall