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PhD in Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction

Become a physical education teacher educator with the ability to conduct research in sport pedagogy as well as effectively teach undergraduate and graduate students in the field of PETE and sport pedagogy. Our program aims to provide doctoral students with a variety of experiences necessary to become independent scholars and teacher educators including (but not limited to): working on research and grant projects with the guidance of a major professor, teaching undergraduate courses in PETE, and supervising undergraduate students in field experiences.


Please contact Margie Chavez for assistantship information (277-5151 or

Click here for TA/GA application form.

Meet the PETE Faculty


Contact Us

Karen Gaudreault
Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor

Office: Johnson Center Room 162D
Telephone: 505-277-8173

Program Requirements

Applicants must have completed a master’s degree in Physical Education Teacher Education, Kinesiology, or a related field. Contact Dr. Karen Gaudreault to discuss your interests and professional goals.

See Physical Education, Sports, and Exercise Science (C&I Concentration) Ph.D. Survival Guide for program requirements.

Program Information

PhD Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science program from the UNM Catalog

Submitting Your Application and Documents

Graduate applications are now submitted online at All required documents and transcripts are submitted through the online application.


What it's like being a Physical Education PhD student

books laying open on a table

"I am pursuing doctoral studies to personally challenge myself, fill in gaps in the literature surrounding disability and physical activity, and to collaborate with other professionals to train and teach future teachers for rewarding careers delivering quality physical education." 

"I selected UNM because I feel that faculty understand my needs and can support and guide my future growth in research and pedagogy. I believe the relationship a student has with their major professor is critical to their success and I am confident that I have found that mentorship in Dr. Karen Gaudreault."

"UNM attracted me for a variety of reasons. First, I feel the program can be tailored to meet my individual educational needs and interests. Further, New Mexico is known for diversity and a rich native heritage which has the ability to provide me a new experience full of adventure and learning."

Alex Bocian

“I am pursuing doctoral work because my professional goal is to become a Physical Education Teacher Education faculty member at a university.” 

“I was first attracted to UNM because of the faculty. My first interactions with them were so genuine, kind, and welcoming. I felt as if I had known them a long time, rather than just a few minutes chatting on the phone. I selected UNM because I believe it is the program that will best help me to achieve my dream of becoming a professor. I was also impressed by the faculty being willing to help me pursue my research interests even though mine do not directly align with their specific niche. I look forward to growing as a student, teacher, and researcher through this program.”

Caitlin Olive

students writing and collaborating at a table

“I am pursuing PhD studies to accomplish my professional goal of becoming a Physical Education Teacher Educator. My goal is to prepare future physical education teachers to develop programs that will develop the skills, knowledge, and dispositions students need to be physically active as adolescents and adults. I want to further develop my research and pedagogical skills to better serve pre-service teachers in the future.”

“The impressive faculty and staff at UNM is what attracted me to the doctoral program. I firmly believe that the PETE faculty at UNM is up-to-date on the most current research findings in the field. When I visited campus, I had the opportunity to meet several of the faculty members. I immediately felt welcomed from the first moment I arrived. The faculty not only cared about my professional goals, but also my personal goals. UNM is located in beautiful Albuquerque, NM. The weather and geographical features of the area make it easy to be outdoors!”

Jason Edwards

What can you do with a PHD in PESES with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction?

  • Most PhD graduates move on to obtain a position as a PETE faculty member at a teaching or research institution
light bulb in front on chalkboard with thought bubble drawn around it
group of people with hands meeting in middle of circle

A program built for you!

  • Experienced faculty who are active scholars in the field
  • Research support in the Center for Collaborative Research at the College of Education
  • Involved mentoring from faculty who are focused on building relationships and supporting doctoral students in pursuing their own interests

Professional Licensure Disclosure

Our program has determined it meets professional licensure requirements in the state of New Mexico. It has not determined it meets professional licensure requirements in any other state.