Program Information

Next Start Date: March 14, 2022
Delivery Format: 100% Online
Application Deadline: February 28, 2022

GRE requirement is currently waived due to COVID-19


Cost Per Credit Hour: $775 (beginning fall 2020)
Technology Fee: $16 (per credit hour)
Books & Materials: $1,500 (approx.)
Estimated Tuition & Fees: click here to learn about costs

The PhD in Leadership – Health & Human Performance is an interdisciplinary degree program designed to prepare students to pursue academic, clinical, leadership, and/or research roles in the fields of health promotion, exercise science, kinesiology, human performance and other related disciplines. This 100% online doctorate program has a strong research orientation and aims to develop outstanding scholars and researchers who create and disseminate new knowledge about issues arising out of the intersection of physical activity, health promotion, and human performance.

The 66 or 67 credit hour program, which varies based on research course selection, includes coursework in leadership, health, exercise science, research, statistics and a 9 credit hour dissertation requirement.


Your tuition is guaranteed to not increase while you study*


Get to know your peers & professor with only 15 students per class


You can get started as soon as you would like. You don’t have to wait

What’s the difference between an EdD & a PhD? Which is right for you? Check out our infographic to learn more.

Additional Program Information

  • 100% online
  • Asynchronous (you don’t have to log-on at a certain time)
  • 3-year tract or 4-year tract available
    • 3-year is 2 classes per term allowing you to finish your course work in 2-years with a year for your dissertation
    • 4-year is 1 class per term allowing you to finish your course work in 3-years with a year for your dissertation

Health and Human Performance Specialization Courses 30 Credit Hours

HHP 7000
Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise
This course examines cardiovascular adaptations to acute and chronic exercise. The course will provide an in-depth analysis of metabolic, systemic, and hormonal responses to the stress of exercise and the adaptive changes that occur with training, as well as the underlying mechanisms.
HHP 7010
Neuromuscular Responses to Exercise
This course examines neuromuscular adaptations to acute and chronic exercise. Students will engage in an in-depth analysis of neuromuscular structure and function, motor unit recruitment during different types of movement, and muscle adaptations to resistance and endurance training..
HHP 7030
Advanced Exercise and Sports Nutrition
This course examines the latest evidence-based principles and recommendations on meal, energy, and nutrient timing for optimal fueling and performance. Topics include principles of nutrient timing, regulation of metabolism by micronutrients and macronutrients and their role in weight control in athletes, safety and validity of supplements and ergogenic aids, and nutritional aspects of optimal performance.
GME 6300
Introduction to Grants
Provides an overview of key components of the grant process. Identifying priorities, utilizing grant databases and distinguishing various giving sources such as foundations, corporations, government agencies, and individuals. Strategies for proposal development, researching, identifying, and cultivating partnerships.
HHP 7050
Program Design in Physical Activity and Health
This course examines planning and organization of health programs. Students will investigate, contrast, develop, and evaluate a variety in intervention activities. Theories regarding techniques to enhance behavior change and instructional design strategies to meet the health needs of a diverse population will be explored.
HHP 7060
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
The course examines the process of disease prevention and control through the education and advocacy of health promotion. Students will examine the physiological and medical factors associated with common diseases/conditions including asthma, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and other metabolic disease states. Students examine various topics while utilizing methods of health communication for prevention/control of chronic diseases.
Cognate Elective
Students may elect graduate coursework in Health & Human Performance, exercise science, sports nutrition, human movement science, sports performance training, strength and conditioning, gerontology, and fitness.  Please contact us for a list of available courses.
up to 12

Research and Statistics  18 Credit Hours

RES 7900
Research Design
Principles of research theory, methods, inquiry, problem formulation, data collection, literature searches, and ethical considerations. Emphasis on how to design a doctoral-level research study.
RES 7605
Quantitative Analysis
An introduction to quantitative analysis of data. Statistical software will be used to explore descriptive and inferential statistics using both non-parametric and parametric techniques.
RES 7700
Qualitative Analysis
An examination and application of qualitative research approaches with a focus on research design, the role of the researcher, data collection and analysis, and writing from a qualitative perspective.
RES 7800
Mixed Methods Research
This course explores the theory, design, and application of mixed methods research.
RES 7620
Advanced Topics in Statistics
An introduction to advanced statistical concepts including multivariate analysis, linear models, hierarchical linear models, factor analysis, and data management. Students will use statistical software packages and will learn to write basic syntax for custom analysis.
RES 7710
Advanced Topics in Qualitative Analysis
This course will prepare students to utilize naturalistic inquiry in their own research, most immediately, the dissertation experience. Students will be able to reflect on choices of inquiry paradigms, the goodness of fit between the problem and the approach chosen to explore it, the selection of appropriate instruments, and the role of the writer in the presentation of findings.

Foundations/Philosophy/Ethics  12 Credit Hours

EDL 7141
Organizational Change Non-K12
This course is designed to address the importance of organizational change. The need for change, planning for change, implementing change, and evaluating change will be discussed from a variety of theoretical and practical perspectives.
FPR 7300
The Philosophy of Scientific Knowledge
This course provides an orientation to the nature, uses and limitations of science with the aim of achieving and understanding of the variety of approaches to research design and developing conceptual frameworks. With regard to the metatheory of knowledge, particular attention will be paid to the following topics: the relationship between theory and observations, the role of the researcher’s values in knowledge generation, how the research conceptualizes the relationship between researcher and subjects, the standards that are used to appraise theories, the theory of reality (ontology) and of how to know that reality (epistemology) that underlies critical theories, and how different methods of data gathering and data analysis influence the generation of scientific knowledge.
EDL 7210
Policy Analysis Non K-12
Educational policy-making at the macro (national, regional and state) and micro (local and institutional) levels. Selected educational policies.
HHP 7090
Ethical Issues in HHP
This course examines the ethical conflicts and challenges around autonomy, liberty, individual rights, and the common good in regard to healthful living and quality of life. Human rights, civil rights, influence of race, social class, and gender/sex will be examined in the context of health issues, such as social determinants of illness, health promotion and behavior modification, social justice, and research equity. Ethical considerations will center on the program design, evaluation, and research aspects related to Health and Human Performance with special attention to inclusion.

Dissertation/Comprehensive Exam  9 Credit Hours

COMP 7000
Comprehensive Exam
The comprehensive exam is a written exam in two parts that is administered in Blackboard. The purpose of the exam is to evaluate a) your content knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge to address a problem in the field, and b) your ability to formulate a scholarly argument based on a literature review on a topic of your choice.
DIS 7010-7040
Learn more about dissertations, here.

Cognate Electives Students may elect up to 12 hours as part of the Health and Human Performance Specialization Course Requirement

HHP 7020
Exercise for Disease Prevention and Management
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a framework for evaluating current
information on exercise recommendations for special populations. Students will engage in an in-depth analysis of the implications for exercise in preventing and managing obesity, coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma, neurological conditions and musculoskeletal conditions.
HHP 7100
Seminar in Health & Human Performance
This course is designed to provide an opportunity for the students to study a specific topic/area of interest within the field and develop an academically sound project with the aid of an advisor. Topics/ area of interest will be approved by the Program Director. Independent study should be related to specific program design of Health & Human Performance interventions, grant proposals for agency submission, or academic manuscript preparation for professional presentation and/or publication. This course will culminate in an independent study that will directly demonstrate program competencies.
HHP 7040
Measurement and Evaluation in Health and Human Performance
This course develops skills for the selection, development, and implementation of various types of instruments and techniques for measuring and evaluating health and human performance interventions. Evaluation of these interventions includes general health behaviors, health-related fitness, nutritional and dietary intake, body composition, and other areas related to an individual’s quality of life. Students will learn methods for developing/choosing psychometric and biometric tools, choosing appropriate evaluation designs, procedures for data collection, and describing evaluation results.
HHP 7070
The Professoriate
This course examines the roles and responsibilities of the professor in American colleges and universities. Topics will include teaching and advising strategies, job search strategies, academic research requirement, the tenure system, and issues facing women and faculty of color, and professional socialization.
AES 6200
Applied Exercise Physiology
Effects of exercise on the major systems of the human body, including cardiorespiratory, neuromuscular, glandular and digestive; with emphasis on optimizing human performance.
Prerequisite: B or higher AES-6050 Research Design and Methods in Exercise Science
AES 6300
Exercise and Sports Nutrition
Explores the relationships between nutrition, energy metabolism, and exercise and sport performance, with an in-depth analysis of dietary and nutritional supplementation.
Prerequisites: B or higher AES 6050 Research Design and Methods in Exercise Science & (AES 6200 Applied Exercise Physiology or AES 6250)
AES 6400
Principles of Fitness and Health Promotion
Examines a systematic approach to personal training using the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Optimum Performance Training model. The course provides an overview of evidence-based principles of fitness assessment, program design, balance, flexibility, strength, stabilization, and power. Designed to prepare students interested in becoming a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
AES 6500
Principles of Human Movement Science
Examines a systematic approach for identifying neuromusculoskeletal dysfunctions and the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Corrective Exercise Continuum. Designed to prepare students interested in becoming a Corrective Exercise Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
Prerequisites: B or higher AES 6020 Kinesiology I, & (AES 6030 Kinesiology II or AES 6040 Biomechanics), & AES 6050 Research Design and Methods in Exercise Science
AES 6600
Principles of Sports Performance Training
Examines a systematic approach to integrated performance training using the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Optimum Performance Training model. Designed to prepare students interested in 154 becoming a Performance Enhancement Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
Prerequisites: B or higher AES 6020 Kinesiology I, & (AES 6030 Kinesiology II or AES 6040 Biomechanics), & AES 6050 Research Design and Methods in Exercise Science
AES 6810
Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning
Explore the foundations of strength and conditioning as established by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Design and critique strength and conditioning programs based on NSCA guidelines. Designed to prepare students interested in becoming Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the NSCA.
Prerequisites: B or higher AES 6020 Kinesiology I, & (AES 6030 Kinesiology II or AES 6040 Biomechanics), & AES 6050 Research Design and Methods in Exercise Science
AES 6320
Vitamins and Minerals
Examination of the role and function of vitamins and minerals from physiological and clinical perspectives.
Prerequisites: B or higher AES 6300 Exercise and Sport Nutrition
AES 6420
Program Design in Fitness and Health Promotion
Explores program design principles for fitness and health promotion, with an emphasis on the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Optimum Performance Training model.
AES 6520
Program Design in Corrective Exercise
Explores program design principles for corrective exercise training, with an emphasis on the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Corrective Exercise Continuum.
Prerequisite: B or higher AES 6500 Principles of Human Movement Science
AES 6620
Program Design in Sports Performance Training
Explores program design principles for integrated sports performance training, with an emphasis on the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Optimum Performance Training model.
Prerequisite: B or higher AES 6600 Principles of Sports Performance Training
AES 6820
Advanced Strength and Conditioning Theory
Explore the principles of resistance training and periodization. Develop periodized programs based on foundational and current literature. Critique and justify programming selections.
Prerequisite: B or higher AES 6810 Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning
AES 6340
Nutrition and Exercise for Weight Management
Examines nutrition and exercise strategies for weight management with an emphasis on metabolic, physiological and psychological factors.
Prerequisites: B or higher AES 6320 Vitamins and Minerals
AES 6380
Special Topics: Seminar in Sports Nutrition
In-depth study of selected advanced topics in sports nutrition.
Prerequisites: B or higher AES 6340 Nutrition and Exercise for Weight Management
AES 6460
Bus Dev and Entrepreneurship in Fitness and Health
Interfaces between human resource management, operations, marketing, and entrepreneurship within the context of entrepreneurial, for-profit and nonprofit fitness and health promotion ventures.
AES 6560
Special Topics:
Seminar in Human Movement Science
In-depth study of selected advanced topics in human movement science.
Prerequisites: B or higher AES 6520 Program Design in Corrective Exercise Training
AES 6660
Special Topics:
Sports Performance Training
In-depth study of selected advanced topics in sports performance training.
Prerequisite: B or higher AES 6620 Program Design in Sports Performance Training
AES 6860
Seminar in Strength and Conditioning
In depth exploration and analysis of advanced topics in strength and conditioning. Evaluation of current industry trends and practices. Creation of personal strength and conditioning philosophy.
Prerequisite: B or higher AES 6820 Advanced Strength and Conditioning Theory
GERO 7820
Leadership, Applied Ethics, Aging & Global Change
Examines the ethical dilemmas of leadership, the foundations and context of moral choice, and the moral implications of decision-making as they relate to gerontological leadership. Considers the ethical challenges and decision criteria facing leaders, the role of politics and power in organizations and the leader’s ability to promote and infuse organizational ethics and integrity in an aging and globalized world.
GERO 7505
The Psychological Aspects of Aging
Presents a socio-cultural perspective on the aging process. This course examines social and cultural factors that influence aging and the nature of the integration of older adults into society, as well as the way in which population aging affects the larger society.
GERO 7000
Gerontological Theory
Reviews major types of gerontological theory within the context of theoretical paradigms. This course explores the differences and commonalities within the various theoretical strands of knowledge construction within gerontology.
GERO 7805
Issues in Aging Policy
Explores the development, implementation, and analysis of social policy in the United States on major issues affecting older people. Considers the determinants of aging policy. The policy making process and development of legislation are analyzed as factors related to the making of policy for older adults.
GERO 7800
Demography and Epidemiology of Aging
Explores fertility, mortality, and global aging; distribution of health and illness within a population; age based migration and its impact on locations of origin and destination; variations in health and mortality by gender, race, ethnicity, and social class; impact of health and mortality patterns for individuals, society and public policy.
GERO 7500
The Physiology of Aging
Presents an in-depth analysis of the biology of aging, building up from changes occurring at the molecular and cellular level and analyzing the consequences at the organism level. Examines the influence of these age-related changes in what are commonly considered a disease of aging.
GERO 7900
Diversity in Aging Societies
Explores how ethnicity, race, gender structures the lives of individuals throughout the life course and how other factors such as age, cohort, and class intersect with these realities. This course considers how the lives of people differ across diverse strata and how social policies shape individuals lives.
GERO 7810
Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Gerontology
Exploration and application of teaching and learning strategies for communicating gerontological knowledge. This course addresses teaching gerontology in classroom settings as well as in public settings to a variety of audiences in applied and policy settings.
GERO 6000
Perspectives in Gerontology
Introductory course for the masters of arts in gerontology program that provides students with a comprehensive overview of the multi-disciplinary field of gerontology. Involves several academic disciplines or professional specializations in an approach to gerontology. Substantive, conceptual, and methodological issues central to the study of aging and the life course are explored.
GERO 6160
Sociology of Aging
This course examines the impacts of aging on individuals and societies, including social, cultural, and individual reactions to the aging in the society and the diversity of reactions to aging. Theoretical frameworks for aging and involvement will be presented, examined, and integrated. Field trips may be required.
GERO 6045
Aging, Values, Attitudes, and Ethics
Provides an overview of ethics as they relate to aging and older adults. This course examines a variety of ethical and moral issues at the clinical, social, cultural, policy, and individual levels. Students explore key value issues that shape societal and individual perceptions about ethics and aging. This course considers the ethical implications of ageism.
GERO 6050
Adult Development and Aging
This course promotes integrity as students acquire attitudes and skills that promote the understanding of adult development with special attention paid to the aging process. It further promotes integrity as students learn to suspend judgment and draw various fields together in order to understand and provide quality care services to the aging population with sensitivity to cultural differences. Students obtain the knowledge of techniques and research while attaining competency in the timely use of various person-centered interventions. As knowledge and competency develop, a sense of confidence and leadership is cultivated.
GERO 6500
Public Policies and Aging
The course provides an overview and analysis of the policy making process and policy initiatives as these affect older adults in society.
GERO 6510
Diversity in Aging
This course focuses on the differences and diversity of the aging population from a national perspective. Topics include race, ethnicity, gender, social class, spiritual and economic issues.

The faculty at Concordia University can be found hard at work in the fields they teach-specialties in kinesiology and sports studies. At Concordia, we realize that a top-flight education in only possible with best-in-class instructors with real-world experience. We recruit passionate professionals from around the globe who are committed to helping you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Our faculty members are experienced and distinguished, combining years of hands-on clinic experience with extensive academic knowledge and teaching experience. Many of our faculty have the highest credential available in the field in which they teach. They demonstrate the highest degree of professional skills, and find unique ways to convey that knowledge in our remote online curriculum.  Read more about our faculty by clicking the links below:

Kristen Snyman, PhD, Program LeaderSandra Svoboda, EdD
William Torrence, PhDJames J. Tufano, PhD, CSCS*D
John Roncone, Ph.D., MSJeffrey M. McBride, PhD
Vanessa Cazás-Moreno, PhDDayna S. Alexander, Dr.P.H., MSPH, MCHES
Amy Jo Riggs, PhD, RD, LDBridget Melton, EdD
Sean Madden, PhDAyanna Lyles, PhD
Cory Smith, PhD 

Concordia University Chicago’s provides an affordable, high-quality educational experience with degrees that offers a strong job outlook and a variety of career paths.

In addition to this, all students receive our Tuition Guarantee.  Read more about our Tuition Guarantee here.

Tuition (Per Credit Hour)$775
Technology Fee (Per Credit Hour)$16
Books (Approximate)$1500

A variety of career paths are attainable with a PhD in Health & Human Performance.

Successful completion of a doctoral degree in health and human performance from Concordia University Chicago can open many doors in numerous fields.

Our health and human performance degree programs are 100% online, allowing students to achieve real-life success in their chosen profession, while advancing their careers.

Graduates in our graduate degree program in health and human performance go on to serve in a variety of capacities in fitness, wellness, sports management and leadership careers. Our students emerge from our programs with:

  • Increased earning potential
  • Job security
  • Job opportunities
  • Increased job satisfaction

Talk with your student advisor for additional information on which degree program is right for you. Many of our students pursue careers in exercise science fields such as these areas:

  • University Professor
  • Research Scientist
  • Exercise Science Educator
  • Physical Health Policy Advocate
  • Exercise Physiology Research Scientist
  • Biomechanics Specialist
  • Master’s Degree in Health Science, Exercise Science, or related field with a minimum of 3.0 GPA on 4.0 scale.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT), there is no minimum score requirement; however, the score is evaluated by the program coordinator during the application process. GRE or MAT must be taken within the past three years.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from former/current professors or employers.
  • Letter of application, including statement of career goals and research interests.
  • Writing Sample: the sample should be between five and ten pages.  A paper from your Master’s degree or other scholarly written paper is acceptable. Your paper will be reviewed for scientific writing skills; low scores will be subject to a self-paced course provided by Coursera. This sample needs to be in Word format, with you as the sole author, to be eligible for approval.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae.
  • Transcripts: provide official, sealed transcripts from all institutions where degrees were earned.

Spring 2 Start Date: March 14, 2022

Application Deadline: February 28, 2022



Dr. Michael Thomas currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Kinesiology at Missouri State University, in Springfield, Missouri. In addition to teaching at MSU, Dr. Thomas teaches online courses for Globe University, Bryan University, and Concordia University, Chicago.


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What Our Students Are Saying

I wanted to get a PhD to pursue a tenured-track position and perform research. The online courses have been highly engaging and have provided an outstanding learning experience preparing me to contribute as a scholar in my field of study.

Jason Menoutis

PhD Health and Human Performance

I love the curriculum and the ability to take one course at a time, along with the flexible payments that works with my salary. This degree will prepare me to work with other professors or medical doctors in the Exercise Science field to explore further research.

Nicholas Mortensen

PhD Health and Human Performance

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