Online bachelor's degree programs in kinesiology are difficult to find; master's degree programs in the subject are more commonly found through distance learning. In order to engage in distance learning students may need to have access to a word processing program, digital video camera, microphone and video editing software.
Students may earn a Master of Science or a Master of Education, the latter of which can specifically prepare students for physical education teaching positions. Master's degree applicants need a bachelor's degree and may have to hold a teaching license prior to starting the program.
Face-to-face instruction may be required several times per academic year to supplement online coursework and provide practical training. Capstone projects or thesis projects may need to be completed, and individuals may have to hold coaching or teaching positions before they earn their degrees.
Master's Degrees in Kinesiology
These programs are designed for individuals who seek to better understand the mechanics of human motion, and students often pursue the degree to enhance their careers in sports- or fitness-related areas. The master's degree program in kinesiology offers appropriate further training to those who want to teach physical education in school settings or for those working in areas such as athletic training, coaching or sports management.
Information and Requirements
The master's degree in kinesiology can take anywhere from 14-24 months to complete. This degree program requires completion of 30-40 credit hours. Typically, students may choose from concentrations in coaching, physical education, sports management or athletic training. This degree is often the terminal degree in the study of kinesiology for educational purposes.
Students must have a bachelor's degree prior to enrollment in a master's-level program, and students may be required to have a teaching credential as well. In addition to a computer with Internet access and word processing programs, students may be required to use a digital video camera, microphone and video editing software. Some courses may require the use of other software as well; these requirements will be spelled out at the start of class.
Kinesiology degree programs include courses that focus on issues in kinesiology, research methods and analysis, coaching skills and sports psychology. Students may benefit from previous courses in psychology.
In classes on research methods, students learn to evaluate and use current research in physical education and athletic training. Students explore data analysis techniques and may be required to design their own research project during these courses.
Students learn what is necessary to be a professional coach, from coaching strategies to officiating skills. Some coaching programs require that a student have experience in coaching or prior coursework in coaching and officiating.
These courses teach students to apply techniques from psychology to enhance athletic performance. Topics covered include age-related issues, motivation, leadership and team unity. Some courses may also cover the psychological effects of injury and rehabilitation.
Individuals with graduate degrees in kinesiology may find employment as coaches, athletic trainers or physical education teachers. In school settings, teachers may also work as coaches.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median earnings of athletic coaches and scouts in May 2015 were $31,000; the top-paid ten percent earned more than $70,050 (www.bls.gov). In the same year, elementary school teachers (including school coaches) earned a median $51,640, while middle school teachers earned $55,860 and secondary school teachers earned $57,200, as reported by the BLS. Athletic trainers earned a median salary of $44,670 in 2015.
Whether wanting to work as a physical education teacher, coach or physical trainer, a master's degree in kinesiology offers the training needed to understand the mechanics of human motion. These hybrid programs feature online courses in research methods, coaching and sport psychology, along with in-person practical training requirements.