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Exercise Science and Kinesiology

Program Description

Just the Facts

Exercise Science and Kinesiology. A scientific program that focuses on the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and biophysics of human movement, and applications to exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation. Includes instruction in biomechanics, motor behavior, motor development and coordination, motor neurophysiology, performance research, rehabilitative therapies, the development of diagnostic and rehabilitative methods and equipment, and related analytical methods and procedures in applied exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

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Additional Information

Kinesiology students study how the human body moves. They specialize in one of four main disciplines: anatomy, biomechanics, physiology or psychomotor behavior.

People with kinesiology degrees may seek further training in medicine, physiotherapy or chiropractic, or go on to graduate school and become researchers.

Decide which branch of kinesiology interests you most and make sure you choose a school that offers it.

Jim Dowling, a professor of biomechanics, says students who take his courses usually want to go into medically oriented fields -- therapy, chiropractic, medicine, ergonomics, or prosthetics and orthotics.

In high school, focus on math and science.

"Calculus and physics are very helpful courses for biomechanics. Many students interested in kinesiology or physical education try to get by with biology and the easiest mathematics route possible, but this usually comes back to haunt them if they want a bioscience-related profession," says Dowling.

Nick Cipriano is the undergraduate coordinator for kinesiology at a university. He says the minimum admission requirement is a high school average in the mid-80s and one advanced credit in English and math. But that's just a minimum.

"We have found that a very large percentage of students include biology, chemistry and calculus as part of their advanced-level credits," he says.

Professors say sports are naturally beneficial activities for people who want to learn how the body moves.

"Those interested in clinical careers such as therapy should volunteer to assist with special populations or hospitals and clinics because it shows a long-term interest in helping others," says Dowling. "Those interested in prosthetics or orthotics should have a crafts background that shows that they are handy with building things."

A part-time job with a health club or public recreation program may also help.

There are generally not a lot of costs above tuition and books. There may be fees for individual lab courses.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Recreational Therapists

American Kinesiology Association
Thinking about pursuing a career in kinesiology?

Kinesiology Network
Lots of info here


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    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733