PhD in Kinesiology and Nutrition

Advancing the field through cutting-edge research

The mission of the PhD program in Kinesiology and Nutrition at the University of Illinois Chicago is to prepare students from diverse backgrounds to become national and international leaders in research and scholarship in the broad fields of Kinesiology and Nutrition.

To that end, the program has three goals:

  1. Train students in specific areas of Kinesiology and Nutrition, leading to an in-depth theoretical understanding and practical application of the relevant conceptual frameworks and experimental approaches.
  2. Provide training in quantitative and qualitative research methods, as appropriate to each student’s area of investigation.
  3. Support comprehensive training in professional skills, including responsible conduct of research and scientific writing.

By the time they graduate, students enrolled in the Kinesiology and Nutrition PhD program will be prepared to pursue career options in academia or industry that involve a range of competencies, which include but are not limited to:

  1. Critically appraising the relevant scientific literature.
  2. Formulating questions and hypotheses related to key scientific issues.
  3. Generating research proposals that are competitive for funding.
  4. Designing and implementing creative, transparent, rigorous, and ethical experimental approaches.
  5. Quantitatively and/or qualitatively analyzing data.
  6. Skillfully communicating scientific expertise orally and in writing for diverse audiences across a variety of settings, including the classroom.
  7. Relating their specific project to wider issues, interpreting their work through the lens of social responsibility.

We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, so that students from diverse backgrounds, including those that have been traditionally underrepresented in Applied Health Sciences, can pursue excellence in a safe and nurturing environment. Our program commitment is embedded in the values and initiatives at the department, college, campus, and university levels.

Your career

A PhD is kinesiology and nutrition leads to careers in academic research, teaching, government research or industry. Our graduates are actively publishing articles, giving talks at national and international conferences, obtaining independent funding for their work, and securing prestigious post-doctoral fellowships upon graduation.

Learn from the best

  • Tim Koh

    Tim Koh

    Studying tissue repair and healing at the organism, tissue, cellular and molecular level

  • Kharma Foucher

    Kharma Foucher

    Dedicated to patient-centered biomechanics research and improving outcomes

  • Eduardo Esteban Bustamante head shot

    Eduardo Bustamante

    Focused on physical activity interventions to promote health among children and families in urban poor communities

Understanding by doing

Our mentor-driven program model allows you to determine your individual course of study and pursue a broad array of topics in kinesiology and nutrition. You’ll perform at least 32 hours of research in your focus area, but you won’t do it alone. With your faculty advisor, you will work through specific areas of investigation aligned with their expertise and contribute to breakthroughs in exercise physiology, exercise psychology, health promotion, human nutrition, integrative pathophysiology or muscoloskeletal biomechanics.

In most cases, doctoral student advisors are the heads of research teams and labs in their particular area of expertise. In addition to formal lab settings, you’ll have a variety of opportunities for research in clinical and field settings. Our PhD candidates work and study in many settings, including the following:

Content Section

Giamila Fantuzzi head shot


Still wondering what a Ph.D. in kinesiology and nutrition can do for you? The best first step on your road to doctoral study is to contact faculty whose expertise matches your own interests. For general questions, call or email Giamila Fantuzzi, director of graduate studies in kinesiology and nutrition.

You can contact Giamila at: