Kinesiology Major Requirements and Career Information

Kinesiology majors are typically offered a small portion of a larger degree program in sports medicine, physical therapy or a similar area. However, there are a few universities offering 4-year degree programs that focus specifically on [kinesiology|] or the study of human movement.

Essential Information

Such programs may lead to a career in the rehabilitative sciences or may act as a precursor to graduate studies in physical therapy, occupational therapy and sports medicine. Kinesiology majors may be required to take courses in biomechanics, motor learning, exercise physiology, human anatomy, nutrition, sports physiology, fitness testing and more. Some programs require that students choose a particular area of focus, such as exercise science or fitness. Most programs also require that students complete a semester-long internship at a local health clinic, fitness facility or rehabilitation center. An undergraduate degree in kinesiology may lead to careers in the fields of exercise science, personal training, sports training and rehabilitation.

  • Program Levels in Kinesiology: Bachelor's degrees
  • Kinesiology Program Fields: Exercise Science, Personal Training, Sports Training and Rehabilitation
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma, satisfactory ACT or SAT scores, high grades in natural sciences and mathematics
  • Other Requirements: Internships
  • Experiential Learning: Laboratory work

Bachelor's Degree Programs in Kinesiology

Courses combine classroom lectures with laboratory experience. Most students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and fitness centers. Some typical courses are listed below:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Physiology of exercise
  • Psychology of sport
  • Motor development and control
  • Exercise and body composition
  • Assessment methods for kinesiology

Employment Prospects and Salary Info

There are several careers available for graduates of an undergraduate program in kinesiology. Many kinesiology students opt to earn a graduate degree in fields of rehabilitation and sports medicine. Others segue into entry-level positions in fitness and health science. Some popular career options are listed below:

  • Personal trainer
  • Fitness instructor
  • Massage therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Athletic director
  • Athletic trainer
  • Strength conditioning coach
  • Exercise physiologist

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow 13% from 2012-2022. These professionals earned mean salaries of $39,410 as of May 2014, according to the BLS.

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