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Please read carefully through the information below as you complete your application.  There is more important information on the application and our admissions process in our Graduate Admissions FAQ.

General Notes on the Application

  • Application to the Ph.D. or M.S. programs in Kinesiology is made by applying to the Graduate School at Penn State using the Graduate School's online application.
  • The application requires that you submit transcripts for all post-secondary institutions you have attended.  These transcripts may be unofficial in your initial application.  Once you have been offered admission and accepted the offer, official transcripts will be required by the Graduate School.  See below for important notes regarding transcripts and other documents that are not in English.
  • Please ensure that your application is complete, including letters of reference.  Only complete applications will be reviewed.
  • There is an application fee that is currently US$65.  This fee is non-refundable and may be paid by credit card, check, or money order.  When your application is complete, you should click on “Submit Application”.  You will then answer a few questions, and then choose your method of payment.
  • If you have questions about your application, please contact Ms. Shari Grassi, Administrative Support Assistant for the Graduate Program (email:; voice: 814-863-0847).   

Kinesiology-Specific Parts of the Application

Some parts of the application are specific to the Graduate Programs in Kinesiology.  These include:

  • (Optional) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores.  Please use school code 2660 to have ETS send your scores to Penn State. GRE scores are now optional for the Department of Kinesiology.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation for those applying to the doctoral program, and two (2) letter for those applying to the master’s program. These letters should come from academic referees (professors and research supervisors). Your referees will receive an email from the Graduate School, requesting they complete an online recommendation letter.
  • A personal statement of your background and professional goals, including your specific research interests.
  • (Optional) You may choose to include a CV/resume and a writing sample.
  • The names of any prospective research mentors among our faculty. In our mentor-based program faculty members are instrumental in admissions decisions. Your application will be routed directly to the faculty members you list. Please be selective in identifying possible faculty mentors, however, because conveying a lack of scholarly focus or purpose may negatively affect your chances for admission.

Instructions for International Applicants

  • All international applicants whose first language is not English or who have not received a baccalaureate from an institute in which the language of the instruction is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The Department requires international applicants to submit TOEFL scores even when the applicant has a degree from an English speaking institution.  Please use school code 2660 to have your scores sent to Penn State.
  • For the TOEFL internet-based test (iBT), the Graduate School requires minimum total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section.  The Department of Kinesiology has a higher standard, requiring a total score of 100 with a 22 on the speaking section.  Applicants with TOEFL scores falling between the Graduate School and Department thresholds who are recommended for admission by a faculty mentor will by interviewed by video conference (e.g., Skype or Zoom) by the prospective mentor and by the Professor-in-Charge of the Graduate Program. 
  • When the Department sends a letter of admission and information concerning an assistantship to an international applicant, this information will also be forwarded to the Graduate School.  Once the Graduate School has reviewed and approved the applicant's eligibility, they will notify the University Office of Global Programs, who will contact you if more information is needed before issuing documents necessary for a visa application.
  • After international applicants have accepted an offer of admission, they will be contacted by the Directorate of International Student and Scholar Advising (DISSA) to gather materials required for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility for an F-1 visa, (Forms I-20 or DS-2019). During peak periods (March-June) it may take four weeks for DISSA to review an applicant's file and clear the applicant to register or issue an I-20 or DS-2019.