Excel in Research, Assessment and Teaching

UNC’s sport pedagogy Ph.D. program has an international reputation for excellence. You’ll work with exceptional faculty who are recognized for their groundbreaking research and innovative ideas. The program offers comprehensive training in research, pedagogy, academic writing and college-level teaching. You’ll enter the academic job market with a prestigious degree and an extremely well-rounded skill-set.

Colorado has a wide variety of recreational opportunities and an active and fit population, making it an ideal location for research in sport pedagogy. You’ll find excellent opportunities to partner with schools, nonprofits, public health agencies, and other organizations involved in the teaching and promotion of physical activity. Graduates of our Ph.D. program in sport pedagogy have earned faculty appointments at colleges and universities across the United States.

Degree Details

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Degree Option

Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Science: Sport Pedagogy

The Sport and Exercise Science Ph.D. program with Sport Pedagogy emphasis requires 65 to 68 total credits, including a doctoral dissertation based on original research. You’ll develop proficiency in theoretical and research foundations, teaching, communication and professional service. Diverse concentration areas are available, including community health, educational theory and physical activity leadership.

Take the next step! Explore courses, contact information and admission requirements.

Greeley Campus Program

Your Future in Sport Pedagogy

Sport pedagogy is rapidly evolving, creating a broad range of frontiers for new and groundbreaking research. In particular, the “active schools” movement has generated strong interest, both inside and outside of academia, in the development of physical education policies and programming that supports broad educational goals. You’ll find maximum opportunity to explore those opportunities at UNC. Our national reputation, community partnerships, and track record of innovative research enable you to develop top-notch skills and a resumé that puts you in line for top faculty jobs.

Consider UNC's Ph.D. in Sport Pedagogy if you want to:

  • Obtain a faculty appointment in sport pedagogy
  • Collaborate with nationally recognized researchers
  • Conduct applied research that gets used by physical educators
  • Focus on assessment, instruction, program development or another specialty

You’ll learn:

  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • College-level instruction
  • Assessment of learning outcomes
  • Pedagogy and policies in physically active schools

Sample courses:

  • Analysis of Teaching in Physical Education
  • Curriculum in Physical Education
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Research in Sport and Exercise Science
Megan Babkes Stellino


Megan Babkes Stellino, Ph.D.

Moving to Address Childhood Obesity

Taking a close look at the factors surrounding childhood obesity and its stigmas, UNC researchers like Megan Babkes Stellino, Ph.D., are taking steps to help children get fit. Read more in UNC Magazine.

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Beyond the Classroom

The University of Northern Colorado offers a wide range of opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. Faculty and graduate students in our Sport and Exercise Science department are active in multiple research niches, which frequently overlap. In addition, our faculty and students collaborate routinely with colleagues from other UNC departments and colleges, including nursing, public health and education.

Where can your degree take you?

  • College or university faculty position
  • Educational outcomes assessment
  • Applied research related to pedagogy and physical education

Leaders in the Field, Bringing Innovation to Education

Making the Case for a School-wide Movement: The Science Behind Physical Activity and Learning in Schools

Russell “Russ” Carson, Ph.D., studies and advocates for physical activity in schools, and is associate professor of Sport and Exercise Science at UNC.

Read full article

Making a case for a schoolwide movement

What You Need to Know Right Now