UConn Kinesiology Department Rises in Prestigious National Ranking

The National Academy of Kinesiology once again recognized UConn’s Department of Kinesiology for its excellence as they rose to 2nd in the nation in a recent evaluation of doctoral programs

The National Academy of Kinesiology once again recognized UConn’s Department of Kinesiology for its excellence as they rose to 2nd in the nation in a recent evaluation of doctoral programs ()

UConn’s Department of Kinesiology continued to hold a top spot in a nationwide evaluation of doctoral programs conducted by the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK). Housed in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR), the department was announced as 2nd in the United States according to the NAK’s most recent Doctoral Program Evaluation (DPE), boosting the department from its previous 3rd place ranking for its exercise science program.

CAHNR 10th Anniversary of Health badgeIn celebration of the achievement, faculty, staff, and students from the department were honored during a recent women’s basketball game against Villanova at Gampel Pavilion. The recognition also comes as CAHNR celebrates the 10th anniversary of health being added to the College’s name.

“We are proud and delighted to have our department continue to be among the best in the country,” says Laurie Devaney, interim head of kinesiology and co-director of UConn’s Institute for Sports Medicine. “Our ranking directly reflects how hard the faculty and students work and the quality of the research we produce.”

The NAK is dedicated to educational and scientific advancements in the field, seeking to promote and enhance the study of kinesiology. The DPE program was started to share insights and support by compiling and aggregating data in a meaningful way through faculty and student indices. The results provide programs and institutions with benchmarks to reflect on accomplishments and recognize areas for improvement.

This latest DPE cycle, its fifth, examined three years of data from 2020-2023. Previous evaluations were conducted in 5-year periods. This most recent DPE evaluation was also notable due to the evaluation period spanning the start and peak of instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It speaks to the quality of our program and everyone involved that we not only weathered these turbulent years, but we grew and improved in many areas,” says Devaney.

The DPE faculty indices include productivity, funding, and visibility. Productivity is measured through journal publications, books, chapters, and invited/keynote presentations delivered at national and international conferences. Funding includes federal, non-federal, and internal grant sources. The criteria for visibility involved editorial positions, membership in fellowships, including the NAK, and scholarly citations.

The DPE student indices weighed undergraduate GPA at admission, graduate assistant support, publications, and employment following graduation.

Two rankings are created by the DPE committee based on these measures: one unadjusted and the other adjusted for faculty size. UConn placed second in the adjusted ranking.

Kinesiology department group photo
Members of the Department of Kinesiology and their families at the Women’s Basketball game on February 28, 2024. (Contributed photo)

“This is great news for UConn Nation,” says Douglas Casa, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and CEO of the Korey Stringer Institute. “The NAK placed us near the top of an esteemed group of graduate programs. The ranking is the result of super-talented professors and exceptional Ph.D. students working together to push research, teaching, clinical care, and public health initiatives forward at the highest level of quality.”

Casa and Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of kinesiology, Linda Pescatello, are both NAK Fellows.

With over 100 doctoral programs in kinesiology throughout the country, the ranking reinforces the department’s status and UConn as a top public research university.

“We are truly honored by the NAK ranking and tremendously proud of the work from everyone in the department, including former department head Lindsay DiStefano,” says CAHNR Dean and Director Indrajeet Chaubey. “This news gives us yet another reason to celebrate 10 Years of Health in CAHNR.”

This news relates to CAHNR’s Strategic Vision area focused on Enhancing Health and Well-Being Locally, Nationally, and Globally.


Follow UConn CAHNR on social media