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Kinesiology Degree Program Information

Majors Overview January 31, 2013

Students studying kinesiology learn about movement in the human body, including different mechanics and structures of the body and muscle function and muscle activity. Kinesiology degree programs are devised to launch graduates into different careers such as athletic training, physical education or coaching. Schools offer undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs in kinesiology.

Kinesiology Bachelor Degree

Many universities and colleges both public and privately owned, offer undergraduate degree programs in kinesiology. These programs usually span the duration of four to five years. Students are taught about human physical movements and programs are aimed at encouraging health and reducing illness or injury. Among other things, students learn are creating rehabilitation and fitness plans and identify injuries. Students who aspire to join medical school or pursue a career in allied health will certainly benefit from holding a kinesiology degree. To gain admission into an undergraduate degree course, students would need to possess a high school diploma or equivalent qualification.

Course Topics

Coursework in a kinesiology program has a broad range that allows aspiring students to select a concentration area in their undergraduate degree program that will help them customize the curriculum in accordance with their career objectives. Some majors include fitness management, physical education teacher and exercise science. Apart from classroom instructions, students can also get hands-on learning experience through internship programs. Common coursework includes subject areas such as Biomechanics, Fitness testing, Athletic injuries, Weight training, Human anatomy, Nutrition, Motor skills development, Emergency response care, Exercise physiology

Career Options

Students with undergraduate degrees can work in different occupations and setting. Career options include Physical education teacher, Coach, Personal trainer, and Sports manager.

Kinesiology Master Degree

Admission to a graduate degree program will allow students to further their kinesiology studies. Schools typically offer Master degree programs in kinesiology in non-thesis and thesis degree options. Students enrolling into these programs will complete more advanced and specialized coursework in the application and theory of body movement. Physical activity of all types is examined; these include movement that relates to work, sports, fitness and daily life. Majority of programs spans duration up to two years.

Education Prerequisites

A master degree program typically requires an applicant who is applying for admission to hold an undergraduate degree. Some schools insist on undergraduate degree being in a major relevant to the kinesiology field. Students who have completed a bachelor degree in a concentrated area other than kinesiology or a related area may be required to complete specified courses before they are allowed admission into a graduate program.

Course Topics

Graduate students can choose specialized areas of concentration. The courses offered are extremely flexible, and a proper selection of majors can help students achieve specific skills associated with such career option, it may also help them satisfy professional certification norms. Research methods are also taught, which students can apply toward a research or thesis project. Coursework could also include internships, teaching assistantships and laboratory training. Common coursework includes subject areas such as Aging physiology, Advanced exercise physiology, Advanced teaching methods, Sports psychology, Qualitative motion analysis, Statistics and Advanced nutrition.

Kinesiology Doctoral Degree

Students aspiring to become researchers or teachers at the university-level within a specialized concentrated area of kinesiology need to seek admission to kinesiology doctoral programs. A doctoral program in kinesiology usually takes four years to complete.

Education Prerequisites

An undergraduate degree is the minimum requirement for admission into a Ph.D. program; however, some institutions may prefer students who hold graduate degrees. If the major of the undergraduate degree is not kinesiology or a related concentration area, students would be required to complete the necessary programs before being allowed admission.

Course Topics

Students attend classroom lectures relevant to their majors and undertake research work in settings such as labs. They are taught more advanced research methodologies and are required to present a dissertation that would be used to determine their research capabilities at the end of the program.  Subject areas include Pedagogy basics, Grant writing, Research and professional ethics, Motion Analysis, Kinesiology research and Energy metabolism.

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

Job growth of fifteen percent has been predicted for postsecondary teaching positions during the period from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ( This optimistic outlook is based on the assumption that there will be a need for teachers with the increase in students seeking admission to college. However, schools that depend on government funding will not grow beyond the limits allowed by their budgets. It is easier to attain non-tenured and part-time positions than the more desired tenured positions. Post-secondary teachers’ salary can vary depending on the subject taught, the school employed in and the location of the school. In May 2010, those teaching fitness studies, including kinesiology earned an average annual salary of $63,760 (source: BLS).

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