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Physical Education, Ph.D.

College of Education

Prepare for a career as a leader and researcher to help future teachers ensure children and adolescents find meaning and enrichment through a physically active lifestyle.

Graduates of the physical education doctoral program often secure faculty appointments at higher education institutions while others enter careers in the private sector as educators and researchers. Concentrations are offered in physical education teaching and motor behavior with opportunities to specialize further.

Program Highlights

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    Broad View

    Gain exposure through diverse courses in physical education, adapted physical education and motor behavior.

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    Custom Inquiry

    Develop a line of inquiry and conduct research with national and international research teams.

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    Valuable Experiences

    Enhance your professional career by gaining advanced statistical and grant writing skills.

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    Supportive Community

    Discover unique collaboration opportunities on research in the Physical and Developmental Disabilities Lab.

What You’ll Study

Courses cover historical and philosophical perspectives of physical education, research on teaching in physical education, motor learning, motor development, motor control, growth and development, curriculum, teacher education and sport psychology. Research methods include quantitative and qualitative methodologies and specialized techniques. A dissertation is required.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Data Analysis

    Examining and interpreting information to uncover insights and inform decision making

    Interpersonal Skills

    Communicating and interacting effectively in a variety of social and professional situations


    Gathering and analyzing information to increase knowledge or solve problems

  • Problem Solving

    Identifying, analyzing and resolving problems or challenges using creative and effective strategies

    Organizational Skills

    Planning, prioritizing and managing tasks and resources to achieve specific objectives


    Adapting to changing circumstances and being open to new ideas and approaches

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Faculty Member
  • Researcher
  • Educator
  • Leader
  • Trainer

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Assistant Professor
  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Associate Professor of Exercise Science
  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Average Alumni Salary

Five to 10 years after graduation without additional education $109,226

Workplace Settings

  • Education
  • Private Industry
  • Health Care

Employers of Alumni

  • University of South Carolina
  • College of Charleston
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • The Citadel
  • University of Arkansas
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association