What Is Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is the science of human movement, and it involves study of biology, exercise and athletics. Earning a degree in kinesiology can lead to a variety of job opportunities. To learn more about what types of programs and careers are available in kinesiology, read on. Schools offering Fitness & Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Kinesiology

Kinesiology involves the study of human movement and brings together a number of different fields, including physiology, neuroscience, fitness and exercise science. Kinesiologists explore how people of different ages and fitness levels use their motor skills. Kinesiology knowledge can be applied to everything from sports management and fitness to physical education and rehabilitation programs for people with diseases, disabilities or injuries.

Educational Options

Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs are available in kinesiology. These interdisciplinary programs are science-intensive and tend to be career-focused.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Typical programs have you take foundational kinesiology courses followed by specialized career-related courses that are often part of a concentration. Foundation courses may include anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, sports psychology and biomechanics. Some career-oriented concentrations found at the undergraduate level are physical education, pre-physical therapy, sport business and exercise science.

Master's Degree Programs

Several master's programs in kinesiology are directed toward professional development rather than scholarly research. Following core courses in advanced kinesiology studies, you select electives based on your professional field. Some examples include sport pedagogy, adapted physical activity, rehabilitation and sports management. Professional internships may be incorporated into your graduate program. These programs typically culminate with a final project, or you may opt to write a thesis.

Doctoral Degree Programs

If you want to pursue research and teaching, you may consider pursuing a Ph.D. program in kinesiology. As a doctoral candidate, you will likely take courses in statistics, research methods and experimental design to support your dissertation research. Doctoral programs typically have concentration options, as well, which may include cognitive motor neuroscience, physical cultural studies, exercise physiology and exercise psychology, among others.

Career Information

Kinesiology leads to several career options in fitness, education, research, rehabilitation, sports and business. Some of the following careers may require additional training:

  • Athletic trainer
  • Sports medicine practitioner
  • Public school teacher
  • Recreation director
  • Coach
  • Sports marketer and promoter
  • Sports media consultant
  • Adapted physical educator
  • Sports manager
  • Physical therapist

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides career information for a few of those jobs. For coaches, exercise physiologists and athletic trainers, much faster than average job growth is expected between 2012 and 2022. As of 2012, the median annual salary for coaches was $28,360 and that of athletic trainers was $42,090. The 2012 median salary for exercise physiologists was $44,770.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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