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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

Information for specific audiences:

Ph.D. in Physical Education

The doctoral program in physical education is designed to prepare individuals for academic positions in departments of physical education and/or kinesiology at universities and colleges.  Concentrations are offered in physical education pedagogy and developmental foundations.  Individuals who complete the doctoral program should be prepared to assume leadership roles in physical education teacher education or motor behavior.    The following information is intended to provide prospective students with more information about the expectations for doctoral study, admission requirements, sample programs of study, and other required experiences in the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training.  Specific details are outlined further in this document.

Admission requirements

Individuals applying for admission for the doctoral program in physical education must submit the following information to the University of South Carolina Graduate School.  Applications can be taken made through the internet at http://gradschool.sc.edu/prospective/apply.asp?page=apply  Required information will include:

1. A recent (within 5 years) Graduate Record Exam. Scores of 146 verbal and 140 quantitative are the minimum scores on the GRE to be considered for admission. Applicants recently accepted for admission scored a minimum of 290 on the GRE (combined verbal and quantitative score).
2. Transcripts of all previous college/university work.
3. Two letters of recommendation.
4. A sample of expository writing to include future goals and specific research interests.
5. A current curriculum vita.
International students are also required to obtain an appropriate visa and demonstrate competence in English.  Competence in English can be demonstrated by obtaining an advanced degree at an institution in the United States or a satisfactory score on a test of English used by the USC Graduate School.
Admission decisions are based on the portfolio of information listed above.  The faculty also encourages, but does not require, doctoral students to visit the USC campus and discuss the doctoral program with faculty prior to admission.

Assistantship Applications

The Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training offers graduate assistantships to support full time graduate study of doctoral students. Students receive a stipend and tuition assistance for performing duties for the department. These responsibilities may include some or all of the following: assisting faculty in undergraduate classes, assisting with research, teaching physical activity classes, supervising students in practicums, and other departmental duties as assigned.
Applications for assistantships can be found on the departmental web page at http://www.ed.sc.edu/pe/graduateprograms/application.asp. Assistantships can only be awarded to students who are fully admitted to the doctoral program. Thus, to be considered for an assistantship, students must submit a formal application to the doctoral program through the USC Graduate School.
All entering doctoral students who are awarded an assistantship must attend a workshop sponsored by the University of South Carolina Graduate School during the week prior to the beginning of classes in the fall semester. Usually, this workshop is held near the middle of August.

General program requirements

A minimum residency of one calendar year of full time study is required. All work toward the Ph.D. must be completed within 10 years of admission. Students must maintain a minimum grade point average 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 for a graduate degree. General regulations regarding graduate study will be consistent with regulations governing graduate study in the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training with the regulations specified by the University of South Carolina Graduate School.

Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training Requirements

Doctoral programs in physical education provide experiences in four related areas: (1) Formal course requirements; (2) Assistantship experiences; (3) Other research experiences of both formal and informal nature; and (4) Other teaching experiences of both formal and informal nature.

Course work

Students are expected to complete a minimum of 60 credits beyond the masters degree. The program of study committee may decide that more than 60 credits are necessary for an individual student to meet minimal expectations based on prior experiences and future professional goals. There are at least four categories within which students will complete courses to successfully receive a Ph.D. These four areas include the following: (1) courses in the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training (including dissertation credit); (2) Research Methods; (3) Cognate; and (4) Electives. At least 9 hours must be taken within the College of Education but outside the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training (may be satisfied under courses in research, cognate, or electives).
All doctoral students follow a similar template for selection of required course work. This template is presented below. More specific sample programs of study are designed for particular specializations under the direction of the faculty. Sample programs of study are presented later in this document.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION CONTENT

Physical Education (18 hours minimum from the following determined by program of study committee)

PEDU 731 (3) Mechanisms of Motor Skill Acquisition

PEDU 730 (3) Educational Psychology of Physical Education

PEDU 732 (3) Analysis of Instructional Behavior in Physical Activity Programs

PEDU 829 (3) Cognitive Factors in Motor Skill Acquisition

PEDU 830 (3) Development of Skilled Sport Performance

PEDU 840 (3) Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Study of Teaching and Instruction

PEDU 841 (3) Seminar in Research on Teaching in Physical Education

PEDU 850 (3) Research, Theory, and Practice of Teacher Education in Physical Education

PEDU 860 (3) Advanced Curriculum and Philosophy in Physical Education

Dissertation (12 hours)

PEDU 899 (12) Dissertation

Research Methods (15 hours from the following courses)

EDRM 710 (3) Educational Statistics I

EDRM 711 (3) Educational Statistics II

EDRM 740 (3) Qualitative Research in Education

PEDU 770 (3) Research Methods in Physical Education

EDRM 840 (3) Methods of Ethnographic Description

EDRM 816 (3) Correlational and Multivariate Methods

EDRM 810 (3) Design and Analysis of Experiments

Cognate (9-12 hours)

Electives (6-9 hours)

Assistantship and Other Teaching Experiences

All doctoral students are expected to gain valuable skills through assistantship assignments and other teaching experiences. The expectations for students in assistantship assignments and other teaching experiences are presented under separate areas of concentration to illustrate different possible assignments and expectations.

Other Research Experiences

It is expected that candidates in the doctoral program in physical education will be a named author on at least one project completed during the doctoral program of study that is accepted for presentation or publication. The intention of this expectation is for students to participate in the process of the formulation of questions, creation of appropriate data collection strategies, data collection, data analysis, interpretation and write-up for presentation. Candidates will have a variety of opportunities to meet this expectation, but, these experiences may be unique to any given year.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that candidates would be shortsighted to view meeting this minimal expectation as sufficient to achieve a well-rounded preparation for work in higher education. Hence, students will be expected to be involved in a variety of projects that may result from class projects, independent work, working with faculty members, group projects with faculty and/or other graduate students, contribution to the data collection process of other graduate students, and so on.

Students who have met only this minimal expectation of being a named author on at least one project that is accepted for presentation or publication are at risk of receiving less than the high quality of a doctoral experience that is available. In addition, they risk receiving a poor recommendation upon graduation. Students who exceed these formal expectations, will be well prepared and strongly positioned to enter the field as a contributing professional.

Normal Progress for all doctoral students regardless of specialization

Outlined below is an approximate schedule designed to indicate the anticipated sequence of major events that should lead a candidate completing this program in three years.

First Year

Fall
6 to 9 hours
Other experiences

Spring
6-12 hours
Qualifying exam
Program of Study meeting
Other experiences

Summer
0-6 hours
Other experiences

Second Year

Fall
6-12 hours
Dissertation topic
Pre-proposal

Spring
6-12 hours
Formal proposal
Other experiences

Summer
0-6 hours
Data collection
Comprehensive exam

Third Year

Fall
6-12 hours
Data Collection
Job Search
Other experiences

Spring
6-12 hours
Write dissertation
Job Search
Other experiences

Summer
0-6 hours
Job Search
Oral Defense
Other experiences



Sample Program of Study in Physical Education Pedagogy


Students who pursue the concentration in physical education pedagogy are prepared to assume positions in teacher education in physical education at institutions of higher education.

Physical Education Pedagogy - 30 hours

Prerequisites:
PEDU 722 (3) Curriculum Development in Physical Education
PEDU 729 (3) Study of the Teaching of Physical Education

Required:
PEDU 731 (3) Mechanisms of Motor Skill Acquisition
PEDU 732 (3) Analysis of Instructional Behavior in Physical Activity
PEDU 840 (3) Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Study of Teaching and Instruction
PEDU 841 (3) Seminar in Research on Teaching in Physical Education
PEDU 850 (3) Research, Theory, and Practice of Teacher Education in Physical Education
PEDU 860 (3) Advanced Curriculum and Philosophy in Physical Education
PEDU 899 (12) Dissertation

Research Methods - 15 hours

This core of courses is to give the candidate sufficient skill in research methods to adequately match appropriate investigative techniques to successfully complete a doctoral dissertation. In addition, students are prepared to continue a line of research at another institution after completion of the doctoral degree.

Required:
EDRM 710 (3) Educational Statistics I (or approved equivalent)
EDRM 711 (3) Educational Statistics II (or approved equivalent)
EDRM 740 (3) Qualitative Theory (or approved equivalent)
EDRM 840 (3) Qualitative Data Collection (or approved equivalent)
PEDU 770 (3) Research Methods in Physical Education

Cognate 9-18 hours

The intent of the courses taken as a cognate is to give the candidate an opportunity to develop expertise in a field of study that will support the candidates professional aspirations. A minimum of 6 hours must be completed outside the department.

Electives 6-12 hours

The intent of this collection of courses is to give the candidate an opportunity, with the advice of the Program of Study Committee, to explore other areas that may enrich the candidate's preparation.

Assistantship Experiences

Candidates pursuing a Ph.D. in Physical Education Pedagogy will participate in each of the methods courses in the undergraduate professional preparation program (PEDU 340, 341, 360, 361, 440, 462). This participation is part of the paid assistantship duties for students who receive assistantships; however, their experience is invaluable as a type of practicum because candidates will leave with valuable experience and resources as preparation to offer quality teacher preparation experiences in the future. Consequently, students who are attending the university without teacher certification in physical education or the benefit of an assistantship in the department will be required to complete the methods sequence as students taking the courses for credit, as prerequisite (i.e., not part of the minimum of 60 hours beyond the master's degree). Students making satisfactory progress in their academic course work, carrying a minimum of 6 hours of courses per semester, and performing satisfactorily in assistantship duties will be guaranteed support for a minimum of three academic years.

Additionally, candidates will be called upon to make contributions to the department as needed and where individual expertise permits. These additional contributions will typically involve teaching various activity courses to students majoring in physical education. There may be additional responsibilities (i.e. supervising labs, ensuring research and teaching equipment is in working order, etc.) that may make up a full load for assistantships. A full assistantship will translate into approximately a 20 hour commitment per week.

Other Teaching Experiences

Candidates completing this degree may find employment in any one of a variety of different types of institutions. Candidates may be asked to provide a diverse range of instructional services in their future job. Hence, candidates are strongly encouraged, at the very least, to collect syllabi from instructors of various courses within the program. Candidates wishing to go the extra mile may also choose to assist in courses where they have an interest and expertise, and/or, audit courses where there is an interest but a lack of expertise. These types of experience will allow candidates to enhance their overall appeal to prospective employers. Furthermore, the resources gained will contribute to the future creation of new syllabi and facilitate more personalized comments on letters of reference.

Sample Program of Study for Concentration in Developmental Foundations(Motor Learning/Development)

Individuals who pursue the concentration in developmental foundations are prepared to assume academic positions in departments of physical education and kinesiology at institutions of higher education.  Students are expected to develop a core body of knowledge in sport psychology, motor learning, and motor development and acquire sufficient skills in research to continue to pursue scholarly activities beyond graduation.

Motor behavior requirements 18 hours

PEDU 731      (3)        Mechanisms of Motor Skill Acquisition
PEDU 730      (3)        Educational Psychology of Physical Education
PEDU 829      (3)        Cognitive Factors in Motor Skill Acquisition
PEDU 830      (3)        Development of Skilled Sport Performance
PEDU 790      (3)        Independent Study

PEDU 841      (3)        Seminar in Research on Teaching in Physical Education
Or
PEDU 850      (3)        Research, Theory, and Practice of Teacher Education in Physical Education

Dissertation 12 hours

PEDU 899      (12)      Dissertation

Research Methods 15-18 hours

This core of courses is to give the candidate sufficient skill in research method to adequately match appropriate investigative techniques to successfully complete a doctoral dissertation.  In addition, students are prepared to continue a line of research at another institution after completion of the doctoral degree.

Required:

EDRM 710     (3)        Educational Statistics I (or approved equivalent)
EDRM 711     (3)        Educational Statistics II (or approved equivalent)
EDRM 740     (3)        Qualitative Theory (or approved equivalent)
PEDU 770      (3)        Research Methods in Physical Education

Choose hours from the following:

EDRM 840     (3)        Qualitative Data Collection
EDRM 816     (3)        Correlational and Multivariate Methods
EDRM 810     (3)        Design and Analysis of Experiments

Cognate 9-12 

Students concentrating in developmental foundations take a cognate of courses from experimental psychology and educational psychology. 

Electives         6-9 hours

Assistantship duties and Other Teaching Experiences

Students in developmental foundations would normally be assigned to teach physical activity courses, assist in faculty research, grant projects, and other departmental jobs as needed by the Department.  Opportunities to assist in instruction of undergraduate courses in motor learning, motor development, and coaching effectiveness will be made available for doctoral students to gain experience in teaching these courses.


Sample Program of Study for Concentration in Elementary Physical Education Pedagogy, Cognate in Motor Development

Students working toward a concentration in physical education pedagogy with a cognate in motor development usually are preparing to enter academic positions in elementary physical education.  Many institutions of higher education hire individuals to teach elementary methods classes to physical education majors and classroom teachers.  In addition, it is common for individuals in these positions to also have the responsibility of teaching motor development to undergraduate and graduate students.

Physical Education Content 30 hours

PEDU 731      (3)        Mechanisms of Motor Skill Acquisition
PEDU 829      (3)        Cognitive Factors in Motor Skill Acquisition
PEDU 840      (3)        Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Study of Teaching and Instruction
PEDU 841      (3)        Seminar in Research on Teaching in Physical Education
PEDU 850      (3)        Research, Theory, and Practice of Teacher Education in Physical Education
PEDU 860      (3)        Advanced Curriculum and Philosophy in Physical Education
PEDU 899      (12)      Dissertation

Research Methods 15 hours

Required:

EDRM 710     (3)        Educational Statistics I
EDRM 711     (3)        Educational Statistics II
EDRM 740     (3)        Qualitative Research in Education
PEDU 770      (3)        Research Methods in Physical Education

Choose 3 hours from the following:

EDRM 840     (3)        Methods of Ethnographic Description
EDRM 816     (3)        Correlational and Multivariate Methods
EDRM 810     (3)        Design and Analysis of Experiments

Cognate 9-12 hours

Electives 6-9 hours

Assistantship Experiences

Candidates pursuing a Ph.D. with concentration in physical education pedagogy with a cognate in motor development (elementary physical education) will assist in the methods courses in the undergraduate professional preparation program (PEDU 340, 341, 360, 361, 440, 462).  This participation is part of the paid assistantship duties for students who receive assistantships; however, their experience is invaluable as a type of teacher education practicum because candidates will leave with valuable experience and resources as preparation to offer quality teacher preparation experiences in the future.  Consequently, students who are attending the university without teacher certification in physical education or the benefit of an assistantship in the department will be required to complete the methods sequence as students taking the courses for credit, as prerequisite (i.e., not part of the minimum of 60 hours beyond the master's degree). Students making satisfactory progress in their academic course work, carrying a minimum of 6 hours of courses per semester, and performing satisfactorily in assistantship duties will be guaranteed support for a minimum of three academic years.

Additionally, candidates will be called upon to make contributions to the department as needed and where individual expertise permits.  These additional contributions will typically involve teaching various activity courses to students majoring in physical education.  There may be additional responsibilities (i.e. supervising labs, ensuring research and teaching equipment is in working order, etc.) that may make up a full load for assistantships.  A full assistantship will translate into approximately a 20 hour commitment per week.

Other Teaching Experiences

It is common for institutions to advertise positions in elementary physical education.  Very often the institution will expect the candidate to be able to teach a variety of courses in physical education pedagogy, a physical education course designed for classroom teachers, movement education activities, and motor development.  Candidates would be wise and will be encouraged to audit the undergraduate movement education series (PEDU 194, 195, 196), PEDU 226, and PEDU 575.  Employers who advertise elementary physical education positions expect job applicants to have this knowledge and skill.  Unless candidates have a strong background in movement education and elementary preparation prior to entering the doctoral program and/or gain these skills in classes at USC, the faculty can not provide strong letters of recommendation for employment as an elementary specialist.

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