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Points of Pride

Home of the Kinesiology Department, which has a 95% acceptance rate for its graduates in allied health science professional schools nationwide.

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College News

New MSU kinesiology doctoral program begins with fall semester - February 18, 2015 -

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Leaders agree, Mississippi State's new doctoral program in kinesiology represents the long-anticipated extension of the university's most popular undergraduate major.

The College of Education's inaugural doctorate-level courses in the study of human movement begin in August with the 2015 fall semester. Before the introduction of this program, the highest academic level the kinesiology department offered was a Master of Science degree with concentrations in exercise physiology, sport administration or sport pedagogy.

"The new Ph.D. program in kinesiology will strengthen a department that already is strong and growing," said Jerry Gilbert, provost and executive vice president. "We expect to see additional graduate students as well as increased grant funding and research productivity as the new graduate program is implemented.

"It will be a great addition to the doctoral programs of the university," Gilbert emphasized.

MSU's official 2014-15 enrollment totals more than 20,100. More than 6 percent of undergraduate students--approximately 36 percent of College of Education majors--are pursuing bachelor's degrees in kinesiology.

Those high numbers explain why the university's addition of the doctoral degree was the natural next step, said department head Stanley Brown.

"This Ph.D. program will create a new visibility on campus, the state, region, nationally and internationally," he said. "There will be even more research being conducted, which will enhance the program as a whole."

According to college dean Richard Blackbourn, kinesiology is one of the fastest growing higher education disciplines. He said MSU's leadership in training doctoral-level researchers and instructors will further enhance the department's national reputation.

"As Mississippi State trains doctoral faculty and researchers who go on to work in other settings, we're going to have a program where our graduates will be very employable," Blackbourn said. "Our graduates will be the kind that represent Mississippi State very well on the national and international stage as we continue to spread our influence around the nation."

Graduate students interested in teaching or research careers may focus their doctoral studies in exercise science or sport studies, said Adam Love, associate professor of kinesiology.

"These two concentrations are quite different," he said. "The focus of the exercise science doctoral concentration is the scientific study of how biophysical aspects function during physical activity, exercise and sport, and the sport studies doctoral concentration encompasses such fields as sport management, sport pedagogy, sport sociology, and sport philosophy," he explained.

Whether they become postsecondary teachers or continue their work in research centers, kinesiology doctoral program graduates will contribute to the expanding understanding of health and human performance, Love said.

"With the growth and increasing numbers of students in the field--not just here at Mississippi State but also across the country--there's an increasing demand for people and programs to train those students at the doctoral level."

Information about the new kinesiology Ph.D. program at MSU is available at

MSU is Mississippi's flagship research university, available online at,,,, and

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ISWD Department Exhibits at Mississippi Educational Computing Association on February 3-4- February 6, 2015 - Read more on the Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development's site.

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Demonstration school seeks statewide impact- January 28, 2015 - The Dispatch has an article discussing the planned Grade 6-7 Demonstration School.

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MSU, new public school district announce plans for Partnership School- January 14, 2015 -

STARKVILE, Miss.--Officials of Mississippi State and the new Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District are taking the first joint steps toward the construction of a new school building for sixth- and seventh grade students.

The proposed facility will be called the MSU-Starkville-Oktibbeha CSD 6-7th Grade Partnership School. The need for an additional facility is a key component of a city-county consolidation plan developed last year to provide enhanced educational opportunities for all city and county students.

The consolidation plan calls for the continuance of four elementary schools in their current locations, moving all eighth- and ninth-graders to Starkville's Armstrong Middle School and establishing Starkville High School as the learning center for all city and county 10th-12th classes.

University and public school leaders have said that while the new sixth- and seventh-grade building to serve a projected 900 students is the immediate focus of the partnership, increased collaborations between the two educational entities will take place at all levels in the future.

"The Partnership School Mississippi State University is committed to continuing our active role as a powerful force for growth and development in Starkville and Oktibbeha County," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. "The vision of this proposed venture is one that will both improve student outcomes and elevate the teaching profession."

Lewis Holloway, Starkville School District superintendent, said the new school "represents an incredible opportunity for the district and Mississippi State to become stronger, while discovering the most effective educational techniques for students.

"Each teacher and administrator will benefit from this partnership, while Mississippi State faculty and students also will have the benefit of hands-on experience in a real school," Holloway added.

According to planners, a 43-acre site on the MSU campus near the state Highway 182 main entrance has been chosen for what will be designated The Partnership School. Funding to construct and equip the nearly 102,000-square-foot facility currently is being sought from the Mississippi Legislature, as well as other sources.

Keenum and Holloway also emphasized that the new school will become the keystone of a research center for rural teaching at the land-grant institution established 137 years ago that has grown to become the state's flagship research university.

For more information on the Partnership School, a fact sheet is available at

For additional information on the Starkville School District, visit For more information on Mississippi State University, visit

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