KPE graduate department announces name change, direct entry option to PhD program - Updated July 28


Effective September 1, 2020, the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education will introduce two significant modifications to its graduate program. Along with a name change to its graduate department, it will create a direct-entry option in the PhD program. 

The name of the faculty’s graduate program is being changed from Graduate Department of Exercise Sciences to Graduate Department of Kinesiology to better align with the inter- and multidisciplinary research interests and expertise of the faculty, which cuts across the physical/behavioural and social sciences/humanities. 

“The name exercise sciences no longer adequately reflects the depth and breadth of sport, exercise, physical activity and health-related research conducted by graduate students,” says Ashley Stirling, associate professor and vice dean of academic affairs at KPE. “We’re also expecting the name change will help attract the attention of a wider and more diverse pool of applicants across Canada and internationally.”

The direct entry option will allow for eligible students to apply directly from a bachelor’s degree to the PhD. Students in this option will be required to successfully complete 2.5 full course equivalents (FCEs), write a comprehensive exam, defend a PhD proposal and complete an original dissertation. The program length will be five years, with the extra year providing direct-entry students with additional opportunities to develop research, writing, presentation and other professional development skills.

“The creation of a direct-entry option in the PhD program will allow our faculty to recruit top-level national or international undergraduate students into its PhD program, and will also provide a pathway for eligible students who have completed, or are completing a non-thesis-based master’s program, to apply to the PhD program, without doing a second research-stream master’s,” says Professor Michael Atkinson, director of the faculty’s graduate program.

“These students have the requisite research and professional skill set of late stage master’s students, but cannot currently be admitted to the PhD. The new direct-entry option will allow the Faculty to attract these exceptional students to its PhD program.”

It is expected that a maximum of two students per year will be admitted with this background. This will be the first formalized direct-entry PhD program in kinesiology in the province of Ontario. Other kinesiology programs in the province and country offer transfers from a master’s program to a PhD on a case-by-case basis.

The direct-entry PhD option will include a guaranteed base funding package equivalent to $17,750 plus tuition and incidental fees for years 1-5 of the full-time direct-entry PhD program. 
Admission of these students will not lower target PhD numbers or guaranteed funding packages in the four-year doctoral program.

Previous Messages

Update on fall 2020 from Dean Jacobs (July 20)

Update on KPE academic planning for fall 2020 from Dean Ira Jacobs (May 20) 

"Looking ahead to September 2020", message from U of T President Meric Gertler (May 19)

This is U of T, video message to the community, from U of T President Meric Gertler (May 9)

Message from Dean Ira Jacobs to graduating KPE undergraduate and graduate students and KPE academic program community (April 3)

U of T memo offers guidelines for faculty members and researchers required to come to campus to conduct their COVID-19 related research and time-sensitive critical projects (March 31)

Message from U of T President Meric Gertler regarding Convocation (March 31)

Update for U of T Community (March 25)

Update regarding operations at the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education (March 17)

U of T cancels in-person classes on all three campuses due to COVID-19 outbreak (March 13)