Doctor of Philosophy in Biokinesiology
The graduate program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Biokinesiology is designed to prepare candidates for research and teaching at the university level. Actual programs of study will be designed with a degree of flexibility directed toward individual students who seek to become independent scholars.
Admission RequirementsApplicants must meet all general admission requirements of the university. Admission requirements include a superior grade point average in cumulative undergraduate and graduate course work (if applicable). In addition, applicants should score at least 600 in each area of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and have some research experience. Students admitted for the Master of Science degree are not automatically admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy program. The Master of Science is not required as a prerequisite to the Ph.D. but may be advised.
Applicants must have a personal interview with the program faculty. A student can be considered for admission only when a member of the full-time Ph.D. faculty has agreed to serve as the student's Ph.D. advisor. Three letters of recommendation and duplicate transcripts must be sent to the department for preliminary evaluation, although final acceptance is based upon the official USC application procedure.
Prerequisites (Ph.D. Program)The prerequisite for applicants to the Ph.D. program in biokinesiology is either: (a) a bachelor's degree or higher with a science major or equivalent; or (b) a bachelor's or master's degree in physical therapy with appropriate basic science content. Courses completed at the time of application must include work (with appropriate laboratory study) in chemistry, calculus, physics and biology. Highly recommended is course work in anatomy, physiology, histology, cell biology, exercise physiology, kinesiology, biochemistry, neuroscience, trigonometry, analytical geometry and computer programming.
Candidates should be computer literate. International applicants will be considered upon evaluation of credentials by the USC Office of Admission.
Students deficient in certain prerequisites may be admitted subject to completion of requirements within two years after admission. An additional year may be granted upon review of the student's program by a faculty committee. Work in any prerequisite subject will not be part of the required 60 units for the Doctor of Philosophy.
Screening ProcedureA screening procedure will be offered twice each year for qualified students. It must be taken prior to the completion of 24 units at the 500-level or higher. The purpose of the screening procedure is to assess the progress of the Ph.D. student and to determine whether that progress is sufficient to continue in the Ph.D. program. Passing the procedure is a prerequisite for continuation in the Ph.D. program.
Course RequirementsA minimum of 60 units is required for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
|Required course work||Units|
|BKN 550||Neurobehavioral Basis of Movement||4|
|BKN 551||Musculoskeletal and Biomechanical Basis of Movement||4|
|BKN 552||Physiological Basis of Voluntary Movement||4|
|BKN 794abcdz||Doctoral Dissertation||2-2-2-2-0|
|PM 510L*||Principles of Biostatistics||4|
|PM 511aL*||Data Analysis||4|
Ph.D. students must complete three core courses (BKN 550, BKN 551, BKN 552) before participating in the screening procedure. Substituting a course for one of the core courses may be allowed after receiving approval from the Biokinesiology Committee prior to the beginning of the course.
Other course requirements (to complete 60 units) will vary according to the specific needs of each student. Course work other than departmental offerings is encouraged and may be required by the student's guidance committee.
|Courses available for M.S./Ph.D. students||Units|
|BKN 559||Readings in Biokinesiology||1-4, max 8|
|BKN 561||Independent Study in Electrophysiological Measurement||4|
|BKN 566||Neurobiology of Locomotion||2|
|BKN 567||Advanced Topics in Biomechanics||2|
|BKN 568ab||Objective Measurement of Physical Performance||3-3|
|BKN 573ab||Advanced Dissection Anatomy||2-2|
|BKN 575||Principles of Musculoskeletal Imaging||2|
|BKN 585||Systematic Research Writing||3|
|BKN 587ab||Physiological Correlates of Therapeutic Exercise||4-4|
|BKN 588||Physiology and Biomechanics of Resistance Exercise||4|
|BKN 590||Directed Research||1-12|
|BKN 593||Behavioral Basis of Motor Control and Learning||3|
|BKN 594abz||Master's Thesis||2-2-0|
|BKN 599||Special Topics||2-4, max 8|
|BKN 615||Principles of Skeletal Adaptation||4|
|BKN 617||Modeling the Motor System: An Introduction||2|
|BKN 618L||Modeling the Motor System: Laboratory||1|
|BKN 621||Electromyography in Research and Practice||3|
|BKN 623||Neuroplasticity and Neural Repair||3|
|BKN 672||Advanced Independent Study in Biokinesiology||1-4, max 8|
|BKN 794abcdz||Doctoral Dissertation||2-2-2-2-0|
Foreign Language RequirementThere is no foreign language requirement.
Guidance CommitteeUpon successful completion of the screening examination the student and the major advisor will select a guidance committee for continuing course work and independent study. The guidance committee comprises five members: three to four full-time faculty from the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, one whom serves as committee chair, and one or two faculty members outside the department.
The guidance committee will recommend course work, independent study and readings in the major and cognate areas.
Qualifying ExaminationThe Ph.D. qualifying examination is offered during the fall or spring semesters. The qualifying examination concentrates on the student's ability to demonstrate knowledge in the major academic area chosen and its relation to other areas of study offered in the department. The qualifying examination has both written and oral components. A student failing any part of the examination may be allowed one additional opportunity to pass that portion at the discretion of the guidance committee, within the regulations of the Graduate School governing the repetition of qualifying examinations.
Dissertation CommitteeAfter the qualifying examination has been passed and a dissertation topic approved, the guidance committee shall be known as the dissertation committee and may be reduced to three members upon unanimous recommendation to the dean of graduate studies. One of the three members must be from outside the major department. The chair of the dissertation committee will be the principal research advisor.
Dissertation and Oral DefenseAn acceptable dissertation based on original investigation is required. The dissertation must show technical mastery of a special field, capacity for independent research and scholarly ability.
The dissertation and the defense or final oral must have the unanimous approval of the dissertation committee. The dissertation should be complete within three years of the date the proposal is approved.
Doctor of Philosophy in Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy
The graduate program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy offers an opportunity for highly qualified students to prepare for careers in academic health care. The curriculum is designed for individuals who envision a career that combines training for physical therapy practice and scholarly research.
Admission RequirementsApplicants must have earned a bachelor's degree with a superior grade point average as well as Graduate Record Examinations scores. A personal interview with program faculty is required. Prerequisite course work must include: four courses in the biological sciences with labs (including human anatomy, human physiology and cell or molecular biology); one year of college physics with lab; one year of college chemistry with lab; one semester of college mathematics; two courses in psychology; one course in composition and writing; one course in literature or history. Courses that are highly recommended include: biochemistry, calculus, kinesiology, exercise physiology, neuroscience, genetics and a cross-cultural course in sociology.
Application for admission to the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy requires submission of two sets of materials: special departmental application and university application forms. Students are admitted for study in the Ph.D. in Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy program beginning in the fall semester of each academic year. Both sets of applications must be submitted by December 1 of the previous year. At the time of admission to the program, the student must identify a faculty member who will serve as an advisor throughout every phase of study.
Degree RequirementsThis degree is under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Refer to the Requirements for Graduation section and the Graduate School section of this catalogue for general regulations.
|Years 1, 2 - required courses||units|
|PM 510L||Principles of Biostatistics||4|
|PM 511aL||Data Analysis||4|
|PT 507||Professional Practice: Therapist Perspective||2|
|PT 509||Cellular and Systems Physiology||3|
|PT 514L||Musculoskeletal Anatomy||4|
|PT 516||Principles of Disease||2|
|PT 521L||Basics of Patient Management||4|
|PT 529||Life Span Motor Control||3|
|PT 536||Pathology of Cardiopulmonary Disease and General Medical Conditions||3|
|PT 539||Clinical Pharmacology||1|
|PT 547||Professional Practice: System Perspective||2|
|PT 549L||Clinical Exercise Physiology||4|
|PT 551L||Therapeutic Applications of Physical Agents||2|
|PT 554L||Analytical Anatomy||3|
|PT 557||Professional Practice: Patient Perspective||2|
|PT 566||Disorders of the Musculoskeletal System||3|
|PT 569||Fundamentals of Neuroscience||4|
|PT 571L||Clinical Management of Cardiopulmonary Dysfunction||4|
|PT 574||Clinical Biomechanics||3|
|PT 581L||Clinical Management of the Patient with Neurological Dysfunction||5|
|PT 582||Mechanics of Human Gait||2|
|PT 583L||Clinical Electrophysiology||3|
|PT 600abcdez||Clinical Clerkship||1-3-1-1-3-0|
|PT 621L||Clinical Management of the Patient with Musculoskeletal Dysfunction||5|
|Years 3, 4, 5 - required courses||units|
|Year 6 - required courses||units|
|PT 630||Integrated Management of the Upper and Lower Extremities||3|
|PT 631||Integrated Management of the Axial Skeletal System and Related Movement Disorders||3|
|PT 632||Integrated Patient Management Seminar||5|
|PT 660||Advanced Clerkship with Academic Integration||5|
|PT 665||Advanced Clinical Clerkship||8|
A minimum of 116 units is required for completion of this program.
Estimated Calendar of Study
Basic and Clinical Science Foundation Courses (Years 1, 2)The student will enroll in all required course work and clinical experiences excluding BKN 790, BKN 794abcdz, PT 630, PT 631, PT 632, PT 660, PT 665.
Qualifying Exam (Year 3)The student will select a guidance committee and begin preparing a research proposal (register for BKN 790). During this time, the student is encouraged to enroll in key elective courses, both inside and outside the department, which will enhance research proposal development. The expectation is that the student will sit for the qualifying exam and achieve doctoral candidacy at the end of year three.
Research and Dissertation Preparation (Years 4, 5)The student will complete the research project and prepare a dissertation (register for BKN 790 and BKN 794). The expectation is that the student will successfully defend the dissertation by the end of year five.