Nov 30, 2022  
2021-2022 Springfield College Catalog 
2021-2022 Springfield College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Education

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Program Information

The major objectives of doctoral study at Springfield College are:

A. Professional Preparation

The curriculum provides a foundation through courses and other learning experiences for successful candidates to obtain a high degree of preparation in a chosen field of specialization. This includes:

  1. advanced knowledge and skills;
  2. critical examination of the assumptions underlying the knowledge and techniques in the field;
  3. re-evaluation of the techniques in light of increasing knowledge and in respect to the effect on humanity;
  4. creative contribution to the advancement of physical education, including exercise physiology and sport and exercise psychology;
  5. understanding of the relation of physical education, exercise physiology, and sport and exercise psychology to other fields of knowledge;
  6. awareness of ethical responsibility in the use of knowledge and skills for humane purposes.

B. Research

Through the doctoral program, successful candidates acquire new skills, an interest in the discovery of new knowledge, and the ability to carefully validate such knowledge.  The research portion of the program includes:

  1. the history, development and critical examination of the various methods of logical thought and the application of these to the discovery of new knowledge;
  2. understanding the scientific method including its assumptions and implications;
  3. learning new techniques of research: laboratory, clinical, statistical, and other;
  4. developing an intellectual approach toward development  and testing of hypotheses;
  5. conducting a piece of original research under the supervision of appropriate faculty.

C.  Humanics Orientation

Springfield College is dedicated to the education of the whole person - spirit, mind, and body.  The focus of education at Springfield College is not only imparting knowledge and the search for knowledge but also applying wisdom in the use of that knowledge in service to people.  This implies:

  1. wide gauged sophistication of the student and not merely a narrow specialization in any given field;
  2. achievement of an optimal balance of knowledge, skill, attitude and purpose;
  3. attainment of a personal integration of thought, feeling, and action in terms of a philosophy of life.

The desired data stated above are not matters that can be fully measured by tests and examinations.  In the doctoral program, there is an atmosphere that emphasizes these values and stimulates the student to achieve a personal system of values.  One purpose of the doctoral preparation is to produce professional persons who add the goal of serving humankind to scholarly and scientific interests.

D.  Accepted Standards

The doctoral program at Springfield College is distinctive in accordance with the overall objectives of the College and fully meets generally accepted standards for the highest professional attainment in graduate education in the United States.


The following sections of this document describe the specific requirements and procedures for the Ph.D., with specializations in exercise physiology, sport and exercise psychology, and teaching and administration.  The doctoral degree is awarded by the College, but the College must look to the faculty of the student’s field of specialization for high-level preparation in that field.

Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Physical Education Program

The objective of the Ph.D. program in Physical Education in harmony with the philosophy of the College is educating the whole person in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others.  It is concerned not only with imparting of knowledge and the search for knowledge but also with wisdom in the use of that knowledge in service to others. The Ph.D. program in Physical Education is designed to prepare individuals for positions in higher education in the areas of teaching and administration, exercise physiology, and/or sport and exercise psychology. Upon successful completion of the program, we expect individuals to be leaders in higher education in their chosen specialization.

Persons who wish to study toward the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Physical Education degree at Springfield College must submit a formal application at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which they wish to enroll. Application forms may be obtained on line from Graduate Admissions.

The requirements for admission are as follows:

  • Master’s degree with satisfactory record from an accredited institution. (Note: Students may apply into the PhD program but must have a minimum of 30 semester hours completed. The Master’s degree must be completed by the first year of admission in the doctoral program. Failure to complete this requirement would lead to suspension of all PhD coursework until the Master’s degree is conferred.
  • Evidence of personal and professional qualities that show promise of outstanding educational, scholarly, and social leadership in the applicant’s chosen specialization.
  • A personal interview, prior to acceptance, with the Program Coordinator of the applicant’s chosen specialization.
  • Submission of GRE scores taken within five years of the date of the application.
  • Official transcripts from all previous college/university work.
  • 3.0 graduate GPA
  • Three letters of recommendation - Recommendations should speak specifically to the candidate’s ability to succeed in the program and in the profession.
  • A curriculum vita
  • Students who have or will receive a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Springfield College are not eligible for the PhD without completing at minimum 30 graduate credits at another accredited institution of higher education.

International Applicants

Springfield College recognizes the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); International English Language Testing System (IELTS); Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB); and Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic as proof of English proficiency. Scores from other English language proficiency tests will be considered on a case by case basis.























Students who do not meet English language requirements may be eligible for a conditional acceptance. Students with a conditional acceptance are required to take English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes (which carry undergraduate credit), and may be awarded an unconditional offer upon successful completion of pre-approved ESOL classes, an acceptable score on an English language proficiency test, or upon recommendation from ESOL faculty.

More information regarding International applications can be obtained from the Doggett International Center’s homepage.


Doctoral Advisement for the Ph.D. Program

The process of advisement of doctoral students is as follows:

The department chair with consultation of the program coordinator, assigns each doctoral student to an academic advisor in his/her chosen specialization. The advisor is appointed during the first semester of the student’s attendance or not later than the completion by the student of nine semester hours of work. Once appointed, the advisor shall call a meeting with the student to discuss the student’s training and experience, strengths and weaknesses, and professional objectives. On the basis of this discussion, along with an evaluation of the student’s credentials and doctoral requirements, the advisor shall identify the specified requirements of the student’s doctoral program. A copy of this individualized program tracking sheet shall be given to the student, the Department Chair, Program Coordinator/Graduate Coordinator, and Registrar. The information from the individualized program tracking sheet will be included in the student’s degree audit which is the official program tracking record for the student.

Transfer of Credit

Graduate courses in which the student earned a grade of B or better from accredited institutions may be transferred and applied toward the Doctor of Philosophy degree provided that:

  • Such work fits into the student’s doctoral program
  • It falls within the acceptable time limit for doctoral credit or as otherwise approved with an extension of the default time period.
  • When determining transfer credit from a student’s master program, credits will only be accepted if it is determined that they would be considered valid for the entire length of the ten year time period (please refer to time limits for the Ph.D.)

General Program Requirements

The minimum residency requirement for the Ph.D. in Physical Education is one academic year in full-time graduate study at Springfield College. Residence for the master’s degree at Springfield College or elsewhere does not meet this requirement.  Students are expected to complete the minimum number of semester hours identified in their specialization area. All work toward the Ph.D. in physical education must be completed within 10 years of admission. Academic credit accepted for the master’s degree may be counted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the doctorate provided it fits into the student’s program and falls within the acceptable time limit for doctoral credit. For specific information regarding time limits, please refer to the Time Limits section for specifics. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) in all coursework. A grade of a C+ or lower on any 12 hours of graduate work will disqualify a student from the Ph.D. in physical education program.

Degree Information

Contact Information

I. Program Requirements (64 credits)

The Ph.D. program in Physical Education is designed to provide broad based preparation in the field of physical education and it offers students the opportunity to design a program of study to meet their educational goals. The intent of the program is to expose students to various sub-disciplines in the field from which they will build a specific area of research study. This preparation ensures a more holistic and inclusive view of physical education than is found in many programs where specialization in one area is the emphasis.

This approach to graduate education is in concert with the mission of the College, which advocates the education of the whole person in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to humanity. Graduates will have the necessary research expertise to continue as lifelong researchers and contributors to the body of knowledge in physical education. They will be prepared to teach in their research area as well as the various sub-disciplines at all educational levels. Graduates who have focused their studies in administration will be qualified to lead and develop programs in the private and public sectors. The completion of the program is viewed by the College as the first step taken by its graduates in assuming positions of leadership in the field of physical education.

Program of Study

The Ph.D. program in physical education consists of courses and learning experiences in the following areas:

Physical Education/Athletic Administration/ General Studies. This is the student’s field of professional specialization. A program of study provided by the physical education and health education, and exercise science and sport studies faculty will help the student attain a thorough preparation of high quality. The program includes course work in pedagogical content knowledge and issues in higher education designed to prepare Ph.D. students for entry to a higher education teaching career.

Research. Theory and practice in research are to include problems of logical and critical thinking, the scientific method, and techniques of research, as well as a piece of original research, the doctoral dissertation, conducted under faculty supervision. The dissertation is the crowning achievement of doctoral study. The problem selected should grow out of the candidate’s personal and professional interests. The dissertation may be an original contribution to knowledge or an original application of existing knowledge to the solution of a practical problem in the field.

General Education. Consistent with the Humanics philosophy, the educational program at Springfield College, both undergraduate and graduate, prepares students not only in their field of professional specialization, but also with liberal education, and personal growth and awareness of the surrounding social scene.  Consequently, the program includes a series of non-professional courses as an integral part of the program to help the student develop as a sensitive and growing person, as a sophisticated citizen, and as an educator with wide interests and goals. A minimum of six semester hours of exclusively graduate (600-level) general education courses are designated specifically in the college offerings as “Core courses”.

Preparing Future Faculty Series. Modeled after the preparing future faculty program designed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, this series of coursework introduces students to academia; exposes students to the teaching, service, and scholarship responsibilities of faculty members; supports development of pedagogical skills and higher education settings; and aids the transition from doctoral student to faculty member.

Dissertation area. Where the general nature of the intended dissertation can be identified sufficiently early in a student’s program, course work and other registrations are recommended to enhance the student’s qualifications to conduct the dissertation.

Electives. Selection of electives provides effective support of the total Ph.D. program and results from consultation between the student and the advisor.

The actual number of semester hours is likely to be more than the minimum stated. Flexibility is encouraged to provide for the particular educational needs of each student. The requirements in each case will be determined not only on the extent of graduate credit accumulated, but with a view toward optimum preparation for the student in the intended field of service.

The allocation of semester hours of credit in the areas is as follows:




Concentration area (Physical Education, Athletic Administration, General Studies 






Preparing Future Faculty Series


Minimum Total


Concentration Requirements (24 credits)

Students select from one of the following concentration areas:

Cognate Studies (6 credits)

Select a minimum of six credits from one of the following areas:

Time Limits for the Ph.D.

In view of the present rate of expansion of knowledge and the general desirability of completing the requirements for the Ph.D. within a definite period of time, the following time limitation will be observed:

The default time period for a PhD in Physical Education is ten years from the date of acceptance into the program.

When determining transfer credit from a student’s master program, credits will only be accepted if it is determine that they would be considered valid for the entire length of the ten year time limit.  If credit is accepted toward the doctoral program that would only be considered valid for a period of time less than the ten years, then the time period should be adjusted accordingly.

Graduate academic work, to be given full credit toward the requirements for the Ph.D., whether in transfer or completed in residence, must have been secured within ten years prior to the date of one’s candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. In special circumstances, credit for work completed beyond the ten-year limit will be recognized, but only upon special recommendation of the student’s advisor and approval by the Program Coordinator/Graduate Coordinator.

All requirements for the Ph.D. degree, including the dissertation must be completed within a period of five years after the student has passed the qualifying examinations and has been matriculated as a candidate for the degree. Failure to complete the requirements within the time limit stated above will mean that the student will be expected to repeat the qualifying examination in order to reestablish candidacy.  Following requalification, a maximum of three years of additional candidacy is prescribed. A student who does not complete all requirements by the end of this three-year period is subject to dismissal from the doctoral program.


Plagiarism is defined as the appropriation of, and use as one’s own, the writings and ideas of another. Intent to deceive does not have to be present for plagiarism to occur. Students should be cautious when “borrowing” material from other sources. Rewording (paraphrasing) of an author’s ideas does not absolve the student from giving credit and making the appropriate citation. Students who plagiarize are subject to dismissal from the graduate program.

Per APA Rule 6.02 “Self-plagiarism refers to the practice of presenting one’s own previously published work as though it were new” (p. 170). “The core of the new document must constitute an original contribution to knowledge, and only the amount of previously published material necessary to understand that contribution should be included, primarily in the discussion of theory and methodology” (p. 16). “Avoid charges of self-plagiarism by familiarizing yourself with the ethical standards regarding duplicate publication and the legal standards of fair use (see also section 1.10)” p. 170.

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