For Prospective Graduate Students
This information was compiled to assist students interested in studying in the Psychology of Movement and Sport program with Dr. Conroy. It may not all be applicable for students interested in other areas of study or with other faculty mentors.
Graduate Program in the Psychology of Movement and Sport
The graduate program in the Psychology of Movement and Sport is a part of the Department of Kinesiology. The Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees are offered. The graduate program is mentor-based and prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact potential faculty mentors prior to submitting their application. Admissions are determined by student qualifications and compatibility with a faculty mentor. Minimum requirements for admission include a verbal and quantitative GRE scores above the 50th percentile and a GPA in excess of 3.0. In recent years, the middle 50% of students admitted to the graduate program in Kinesiology had GRE scores ranging from the 58th-82nd percentile (verbal) or 59th-86th percentile (quantitative), and a GPA between 3.1 and 3.7. Needless to say, the applicant pool is extremely competitive and a limited number of students are admitted to work with a particular faculty mentor each year.
Thanks to the work of Professors Dorothy Harris, Dan Landers, and John Lawther (among others), Penn State has a rich tradition of training students who have gone on to contribute to the field. A few examples of notable alumni from the MS and PhD programs include: Drs. Heather Barber, Stuart Biddle, Larry Brawley, Linda Bump, David Collins, Deb Feltz, Bruce Hale, Brad Hatfield, Douglas Jowdy, Robert Singer, and Sue Ziegler. Recent alumni from the Sport Psychology Lab have gone on for graduate study in top programs at the Arizona State University, California State University at Fullerton, Michigan State University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Tennessee. Graduates also have taken positions in industry as well as on the faculty at institutions such as Georgia Southern University and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
About Penn State
The Pennsylvania State University is among the largest universities in the United States. The university places a high priority on interdisciplinary scholarship that addresses real-world problems. The nature of Penn State as a Research I institution dictates a strong research emphasis in campus-wide graduate programs and the graduate program in Kinesiology is no exception.
If you wish to be considered for funding, please ensure that your application has been received in the Kinesiology Graduate Program Office and is complete before January 15 (for fall admission). If you are interested in admission for the spring semester, please contact me to discuss this possibility.
Funding for Students
Students working under my supervision have been funded in three ways:
**Graduate assistantships from the Department of Kinesiology require a 20-hour/week commitment with responsibilities in the lab and as a teaching assistant (10 hours/week each).
**Research assistantships supported by grant funding require a 20-hour/week commitment with responsibilities exclusively in the lab.
**Graduate fellowships have no formal work responsibilities per se; however, fellows are expected to immerse themselves in their research for the term of the fellowship.
All of these mechanisms include a stipend and tuition waiver. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue funding for their own work, and I am happy to help with grant and fellowship applications. Incoming students should especially consider applying to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
The Personal Statement
For students interested in working under my supervision, please include the following information in your personal statement: motivation for graduate study, relevant previous experience (e.g., research, teaching, coaching), career goals (e.g., educational goals, post-graduation employment goals), and specific research interests for graduate school.
I place a lot of weight on students' personal statements when making admissions decisions. A fantastic essay on the personal statement appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Bast, 2004). There is no recipe for a perfect personal statement because each is individualized but I encourage you to invest some time and thought so yours represents you well and accurately.