May 25, 2024  
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Movement Science

Department of Human Movement Science
433 Meadow Brook Rd  (map)
(248) 370-4041 • Fax (248) 364-8660 

Kristine A. Thompson, Associate Professor

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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Program description

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Human Movement Sciences is designed for physical therapists, exercise science and movement science professionals interested in obtaining the knowledge and skills to produce relevant research in human movement science.   

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

  • February 15 (early) April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester
  • International applicants     

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Applicants must have earned a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, exercise science, movement science, or related degree from a regionally accredited institution or proof of a U.S. equivalent degree for foreign educated applicants.
  • Applicants should have a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0. (B)
  • Professional vitae or resume
  • One-page narrative goal statement outlining academic and professional goals as well as a detailed description of research plans including a potential dissertation topic and a HMS faculty committee chair
  • Applicants who meet admission requirements may be asked to meet with members of the Admissions Committee to explore potential dissertation topics and a HMS faculty committee chair

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 (B) with the appropriate academic background and strong letters of recommendation may be considered for admission with limited standing. Applicants who qualify for this admission status must complete a minimum of 8 credits of graduate-level work, with a GPA of 3.0 (B) or above within the first year of their program, to be advanced to full admission

Admission review and assessment

A departmental admissions committee with representatives from the Physical Therapy program and the Exercise Science program will review and make recommendations for admission. Admissions committee members will assist interested applicants to meet with potential faculty who align with the applicant’s research interests.  Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate and graduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses, and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

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Academic advising

Students who are considering applying to the Doctor of Philosophy program may contact the program coordinator to review prerequisite and application requirements. Upon acceptance to the program, students are assigned a faculty adviser.

Degree requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in human movement science requires completion of 80 credits beyond a bachelor’s degree. Accepted applicants who have previously earned a qualified master’s degree from Oakland University or another regionally-accredited university  may be permitted to reduce the credits required for the doctoral degree up to 32 credits accepted applicants who have earned a qualified Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Oakland University or another regionally-accredited university may be permitted to reduce the credits required for the doctoral degree up to 36 credits.

With approval of the program coordinator and Graduate Study, accepted applicants who have previously earned credits as part of one of the Oakland University post-professional graduate certificates in the School of Health Sciences may apply those credits to the degree. The graduate certificate credits must be earned within the time limit for completing the doctoral degree.

Course requirements

Students will be required to take the core courses, a minimum of 34 credits, and to complete a graduate certificate, research concentration, and/or the approved set of related coursework will be determined by the program coordinator dependent on the student holding a master’s or doctoral degree upon admission to the program.  Credits required for the certificate, research concentration, and/or related set of coursework are as follows: Students entering the program without a master’s or doctoral degree are required to take 46 credits, student’s holding a master’s degree are required to take a minimum of 14 credits, and students holding a doctoral degree are required to take a minimum of 10 credits. 

a.Core requirements (34 credits)

b. Graduate certificate, research concentration, and/or related coursework (10 - 46 credits)

All students must complete a graduate certificate, a research concentration, and/or a set of related coursework.

Graduate Certificates

Students who wish to create a concentration that includes a graduate certificate program must apply for and be accepted into the graduate certificate program. A graduate certificate program, completed as part of the concentration, will be awarded concurrently with the doctoral degree.

* Student must complete the appropriate prerequisites.

Research concentration

This would include a combination of research courses, independent studies, and projects worth a minimum of 10 credits in an area of interest. A plan of study must be approved by the program coordinator.

Related coursework

May include a master’s in exercise science program, approved transfer credits or related coursework within the school or university that supports or complements the student’s plan of study and/or research focus. A plan of study must be approved by the program coordinator.  A master’s in exercise science degree, completed as part of the doctoral program, will be awarded concurrently with the doctoral degree.

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor SAP for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. Department requirements:  An overall GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher for all coursework taken in the professional program is required for graduation, and no grade below 2.7 (B-) may be applied toward this degree. For courses graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U), no coursework graded Unsatisfactory (U) may be applied to this degree.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with the program coordinator, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree program requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the program coordinator and submitted by the student to the Oakland University Graduate School.

Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

Doctoral Committee

The student, in consultation with the program coordinator, will form a doctoral committee by the end of the first year of study.  The committee will consist of a minimum of 3 members, with at least two members from the Department of Human Movement Science, one of whom is a tenured faculty member who will serve as chair of the dissertation committee. 

Comprehensive examination

The comprehensive examination is competency-based and involves the successful completion, as determined by the student’s dissertation committee, of the following activities and products: 

The comprehensive examination is competency-based and involves the successful completion, as determined by the student’s dissertation committee, of the following activities and products: 

  1. Research proposal and presentation:  The submission and presentation of a formal research proposal for the dissertation.
  2. Grant application:  The development and submission of a competitive internal or external research grant proposal.
  3. Teaching portfolio:  A portfolio consisting of a teaching philosophy and artifacts that reflect accomplishments teaching academic, clinical, and/or professional development course(s).  


A student writes a dissertation, following Graduate School policies and procedures, based on original research.  Under the guidance and approval of the dissertation committee, a student may elect to write either a traditional five chapter dissertation or use a format consisting of two to three publishable papers, with introduction, integrative, and conclusion chapters

Continuous enrollment

The continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students requires continuous registration of graduate students for at least 1 credit each semester in the academic year to maintain an active graduate student status. This includes semesters in which the comprehensive, preliminary, or qualifying examination is taken, defense, and each subsequent term (fall and winter) until the degree requirements are met and the dissertation is submitted to Oakland University Graduate School.

Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course-load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements of the Continuous Enrollment Policy (e.g., Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.

Time limits

 All doctoral students are expected to complete their degree within the time limit established by the University.  Students who are deemed inactive may be dropped from the program, although they may petition for reinstatement.

Transfer credit

The Oakland University transfer credit policy will be followed.