Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can students complete the PhD in Biokinesiology Program on a part-time basis or as part of a distance-learning program?

    No. Students are required to be full-time students in residence at USC to complete the PhD program.

    What degree should I hold in order to enroll in the PhD in Biokinesiology Program?

    A Bachelors degree or higher with a science major (or equivalent) is needed to enroll; however, a research-based Master’s degree is highly recommended. It is permissible to apply before the bachelor’s degree is completed, but enrollment in the program will not be allowed until the bachelor’s degree is completed.

    Does the Division provide Teaching or Research Assistantships for students enrolled in the PhD in Biokinesiology Program?

    Yes. The Division guarantees a teaching or research assistantship for students enrolled in the PhD program. The assistantships are typically provided for the nine-month academic year and provide full tuition support, health and dental insurance and a monthly stipend of approximately $2,500. PhD students typically begin with teaching assistantships within the DPT program. After 2-3 years, most PhD students make the transition to research assistantships for which they are required to assist with funded research.

    When is the Application deadline?

    The Application deadline for a Fall semester start date is November 1.

    Do I need to be a Physical Therapist to apply to the PhD program?

    No. Biokinesiology is inherently interdisciplinary, and we welcome applicants with backgrounds in various fields.

    What is Biokinesiology?

    Biokinesiology integrates the study of movement at the molecular, cellular, organ and systems level, giving students a unique, interdisciplinary perspective of the biological basis of normal and disordered movement.

    What areas of study are offered within the PhD program?

    Areas of study offered within the program include Motor Control and Learning, Muscle Physiology, Biomechanics, Neurophysiology and Exercise Physiology.

    How long is the PhD program?

    Students typically complete their degree in 4-5 years.

    Are interviews a required part of the application process?

    Yes. Personal interviews are a required part of the application process for the PhD program. Interviews can be arranged through the Admissions Coordinator, Virginia Orcasitas ( (323) 442-2890). Prospective students are encouraged to contact faculty members with whom they are interested in working prior to submitting an application.

    Is Financial Aid available for International Students?

    Governmental financial aid is not available for International Students; however, international students are eligible for teaching and research assistantships. More information about financial aid can be found here.

    What is the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) for Admissions?

    The minimum GPA to apply is 3.0. Competitive Applicants typically have GPA’s of 3.5 or higher.

    What is the minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score for Admissions?

    The minimum GRE score required to apply is 300 (Verbal & Quantitative combined). Competitive Applicants typically have GRE scores that are 308 and higher.

    What is the minimum TOEFL score for International Students?

    There is no minimum TOEFL score requirement for International Students; however, students admitted with a TOEFL score below 600 (paper-based exam) or 237 (computer-based exam) will be required to take an English proficiency course.