Kinesiology is the study of movement, physical activity and sports as related to the general health and well-being of individuals, groups and society. It is an exciting field that prepares undergraduate for a number of career paths. Many of the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree students will continue their studies in specialized areas of health professions, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and medicine. Other undergraduates enter the profession of physical fitness or sports related occupations such as sports management or coaching. The University of Maryland at College Park offers a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and this program will certainly prepare you for what lay ahead.
The Study Program and Degree at UMCP
The University of Maryland at College Park has two undergraduate majors within its Department of Kinesiology. Undergraduates may choose between a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. Those who major in kinesiology are prepared for careers in health and physical activity. Undergraduates pursuing a B.S. in physical education will receive the qualifications to work in public schools.
The Department of Kinesiology is currently engaged in three main areas of research. Undergraduates have the opportunity to join a research program in cognitive motor neuroscience. Research studies use an interdisciplinary approach to study the applications of neural and higher level mechanisms used to plan, learn, initiate and execute movement, from infancy throughout the life span.
The Goal of UMD Research
Exercise physiology provides a number of opportunities for students interested in the genetic aspects of exercise, cell and molecular biology, cardiovascular physiology and metabolism, among other important studies. The research also entails the effects of various exercise interventions on risk factor modification and disease treatment and prevention.
The Physical Cultural Studies advances the theoretical analysis of physical culture. This richly textured research studies sports, exercises, health, dance and other movements related to activities. The goal of the research is to understand the expressions and experiences of physical culture in the social, political, economic and technological contexts of surroundings and what they simultaneously help to produce.
The UMD Department of Kinesiology’s Advantages
The Department of Kinesiology offers scholarships and awards to undergraduates pursuing a career in one of its related fields. There are also programs offering financial support. There is a high demand for professionals in physical activities and sports related studies. Obesity is at an all-time high among youth. The largest population is becoming elderly, with falls being their number one accidental injury.
There is a need for qualified professionals involving youth in sports, activities and exercise programs. Outpatient clinics, health centers and hospitals require physical therapists, occupational therapists and cardiac rehabilitation. Internships are widely available and considered a critical part of the student’s major. Undergraduates are encouraged to pursue an internship after completion of core classes in kinesiology and option courses. To apply for an internship program, students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher. In addition to its degree programs, the Department of Kinesiology offers two honors programs: Kinesiological Basis of Sports and Biophysical Aspects of Wellness.