Kinesiology Major

major in kinesiology

Education Required for a Kinesiology Major

A Kinesiology major can be one of the most rewarding educational pursuits on any campus.

The education is filled with activity, interpersonal communication, and the study of the human body and psyche.

The post-graduate opportunities for a student completing a major in Kinesiology are vast.

In this article we will explore the joys, trials, educational requirements, and opportunities you can find with a degree in Kinesiology study.

The Three Levels of Kinesiology Education – Planning Your Educational Objectives

As in most specialties in college, there are four different degree levels to aim for in your Kinesiology major.  These three are:

  • Minor in Kinesiology
  • Bachelor of Kinesiology
  • Master of Kinesiology
  • PhD in Kinesiology

A Kinesiology major is a unique course of study with a variety of career opportunities.  In most cases the Kinesiology graduate programs to obtain a masters or PhD is aimed for students preparing to teach either at a high school level or as a college professor.  The minor in Kinesiology study is a great addition to a major in Education, or any sports related degree.

The Joys of Kinesiology Degree Programs

Studying for a degree in Kinesiology can be one of the most enjoyable curriculums on campus.  Do not misunderstand this as easy.   The coursework is filled with opportunities to be active and to interact with other people instead of the perpetual sitting through lectures.  Some of the very enjoyable courses you may undertake include:

  • Physiology of Exercise and Lab
  • Muscle Exercise Physiology
  • Therapeutic Exercise Treatment
  • Fitness Promotion
  • Exercise Psychology

Students talk about why they chose a Kinesiology Major

Even the non-Kinesiology classes can be great fun and help prepare you for a wide variety of  Kinesiology careers.   These courses can include:

  • Expressive Writing
  • Public Speaking
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • General Psychology
  • Information Technology

As you can see from these courses your major in Kinesiology study includes a variety of courses which prepare you to work in almost any environment.  It is not surprising to find a graduate with a Bachelor of Kinesiology to be highly successful working in Health Insurance management, Corporate Fitness management, Human Resources, Retail Management, or managing a sports team.

Unique Educational Opportunities in Kinesiology Masters Programs

Kinesiology MajorThere are some very interesting options if you desire to pursue a Masters Degree in Kinesiology.

If you have not already started your studies you may want to check at your local university to see if they offer a program similar to Kansas State University.

The K-State Kinesiology Department offers a unique accelerate BS/MS Degree program which allows you to complete all of your studies in only 5 years and graduate with your Masters degree.

Other schools offer other exciting options in Kinesiology Masters programs allowing you to study for your masters Kinesiology degree online.  These universities include:

  • University of Wyoming
  • University of Texas – Permian Basin
  • University of Texas – Tyler
  • Fresno Pacific University
  • University of Texas – El Paso

In all of these programs the exit requirements are very stringent.  This is due to the fact you are not on campus to participate in hands-on training.

Almost every major university offering a Bachelor of Kinesiology Degree in an on-campus setting offers a master’s program, also.

Advancing Your Education with a PhD in Kinesiology

Your choice of schools to obtain a PhD in Kinesiology narrows significantly.  Most states limit the number of public universities allowed to offer a PhD in any single course of study.  A few of the more popular and successful program in the country come from:

  • Arizona State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Texas Woman’s University

These programs usually take you from the aspect of understanding Kinesiology as a practice to apply into a research and scientific investigation phase.  This can be an exciting adventure into acquiring a deeper understanding of the human condition.

The Challenges of Your Kinesiology Major Education

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are trials you will face when pursuing a Kinesiology major.  Kinesiology study requires a wide variety of intensive scientific classes including biology, bio-chemistry, anatomy, and others.

These courses can be challenging for some individuals, where others find them intriguing and interesting.  When choosing Kinesiology as your area of study it is important to understand you are entering the science of the human body not just classes on exercise.

The other challenge you should expect to face is the weight of your Kinesiology books.  When you begin buying books on Biology, Psychology, Anatomy, and Chemistry you will discover they are thick, heavy, and expensive.  The good news, since you are studying proper use of your body you should be able to easily carry the weight.

As few of the Kinesiology books you may run into include:

  • Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System
  • Kinesiology:  The Mechanics and Pathomechanics of Human Movement
  • Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System:  Foundations for Rehabilitation

Many of your textbooks and courses will be focused on applying kinesiology in exercise and therapy, not just in the dry lecture and textbook study of the science of kinesiology.

The Career Opportunities with a Major in Kinesiology

Degree in Kinesiology Your Bachelor of Kinesiology may leave you a bit puzzled as you prepare to enter the workforce.

There are very few jobs which specifically call for this degree.  Most opportunities are hidden under the guise of exercise, sports, and therapy titles.

It is not uncommon to find a majority of graduates with Bachelors degree in Kinesiology to be working in totally unrelated fields.

The classes have prepared them for a wide variety of opportunities.

The Kinesiology major does not prepare you for a specific job title; it opens the door wide for you to explore many opportunities in both further education and career choices. A PhD in Kinesiology is almost certain to be found working in the education field or as a researcher.

Not surprisingly, one of the most common pathways for graduates with Kinesiology major is to continue their education into a, sports medicine career, Physical Therapy, or even to become a medical doctor.

Kinesiology Degree Online

online kinesiology degree

Launching Your Career with a Kinesiology Degree Online


A Kinesiology degree online is a fantastic stepping stone to a sports medicine career, the medical field, therapy, and the exercise industry.

A degree in Kinesiology can help you find opportunities in a variety of other career paths to, including careers in the insurance industry, pharmaceutical sales, management, and corporate wellness administration.

One of the fastest and easiest ways to get started is by pursuing a Kinesiology degree online.

An online Kinesiology degree is not going to be any less vigorous and intense then if you attended classes at the best Kinesiology Colleges.

You will discover the curriculum is very similar to what you will find on campus with the exception of many of the hands-on labs.  Many colleges offering online Kinesiology classes do have a requirement for minimal on-campus courses to complete your degree.  Be careful in your evaluation of programs to determine if this will be the case and where the courses are offered.

What Classes are Included in Online Kinesiology Courses?

Before we get to specific classes, let us define what is Kinesiology a little more carefully. Kinesiology is the study of anatomy, physiology, and the mechanics of body movements in humans. Technically the study can be extended to animals, but in most situations is limited to human study.

Learn About Getting A Kinesiology Degree Online

A degree in Kinesiology prepares you for Kinesiology careers in exercise, fitness, sports, rehabilitation, and the health industry. A Kinesiology major focuses around the study of the following areas:

  • Biomechanics
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Sport Physiology
  • Nutritional Science
  • Fitness Testing
  • Sports Psychology

In some Kinesiology Colleges settings you will find a choice of concentrations, or specialties, within the Kinesiology department usually between these two options:

  • Exercise Science – Targeted towards individuals moving into health careers.
  • Fitness and Human Performance – Targeted to students wishing to pursue careers in the sports and exercise industries.

Now is the time to give you a list of a few of the actual class names you may experience while pursuing Kinesiology courses online.  The classes could include:

  • Physiology of Exercise
  • Cardio-respiratory Exercise
  • Nutrition and Exercise
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Exercise and Mental Health
  • Body Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity
  • Gender in Sports and Exercise

Since the study of Kinesiology is based upon a well-rounded Bachelor degree program you can expect the following types of courses also:
Kinesiology Degree Online

  • Public Speaking
  • Philosophy
  • General Psychology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Biology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Information Technology

These lists of courses are far from complete but should give you a basic understanding of what to expect.  A degree in Kinesiology opens so many doors because of the well-rounded curriculum which exposes you to the human condition both physically and psychologically.

Choosing a Direction for Your Kinesiology Degree Online

One of the biggest choices you will need to make very early is whether you intend to pursue your entire degree online, or use a combination of on-campus, remote campus, and online classes.  By using a combination of classes your choices expand dramatically.

Many local Universities, private colleges, and community colleges provide a variety of classes online, but not their complete Kinesiology degree program.  By choosing to take Kinesiology classes online which are conducive to home study and then attending a campus environment for lab based classes is ideal.

The combination allows you the independence and freedom of studying at home but does not deny you the opportunity for the hands-on experience which is critical in Kinesiology.  This hands-on training becomes of even greater importance if you intend to pursue a career in Physical Therapy or another allied health career. Follow here for more information on sports medicine salary levels.

Masters Kinesiology Degree Online

Check with your local universities and in-state colleges to see what opportunities they offer for off-campus study.  You may be surprised to discover you can complete 50 to 75 percent of all your courses without ever stepping on the campus.

Finding an Online Kinesiology Degree without Stepping Out the Door

If your heart is set on doing your entire education without stepping a foot outside your front door your options will decrease.  This is not just a decrease in your number of college choices to acquire your online degree.  Kinesiology studies without hands-on experience could dramatically decrease your opportunities in moving forward into post-graduate studies in Radiology, Physical Therapy, or Medical School. 

All of these advanced degrees require a very hands-on approach.  When you have missed out completely on the physical experience it could deter these colleges and universities from accepting credits or even completely denying admission.

With that warning out of the way, your options for your Kinesiology degree online can be acquired from several very reputable schools including:

  • Ashford University
  • Walden University
  • ASU Online
  • American Military University

One thing to be aware of as you explore colleges.  The degrees from some Kinesiology Colleges are often masked under other titles like Health Sciences or Exercise Sciences.  You may need to contact the Kinesiology schools directly to determine the proper courses.

Kinesiology Career

Extending Your Existing Bachelors Degree into a Masters Degree in Kinesiology

There are other options for acquiring a Kinesiology degree online if you already have an existing Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree.  There are several universities offering an opportunity to earn your Masters degree in Kinesiology with online studies.  These schools include:

  • Fresno Pacific University – A 17-Month Program
  • University of Wyoming – Requires 3 courses, 12 hours of electives, and a research paper.
  • University of Texas – Requires a comprehensive exam or thesis at the conclusion of the course.
    (Note:  The University of Texas program is offered by outreach institutions at Permian Basin, Tyler, Pan American, and El Paso campuses.)

The Final Analysis of a Kinesiology Degree Online

The only negative to this path is as has been discussed.  It can lead to reduced opportunity for graduate studies and does not give you the hands-on experience desperately needed in this career.

In the final analysis, pursuing a Kinesiology degree online can reduce your time in classes, speed graduation, and reduce cost.

Kinesiology Careers

careers in kinesiology

Kinesiology Careers – Choices with a Degree


The choosing in Kinesiology careers is just the beginning of an interesting journey in a sports medicine career choice.

There are a wide variety of career opportunities with just your Kinesiology degree, and even greater opportunities using the degree as a stepping stone to higher education.

Today we will discuss a variety of Kinesiology careers, salaries, and opportunities which are opened with your degree.

Choices for Careers in Kinesiology

Kinesiology is a degree program which does not directly translate into many job positions.  What you will discover is most career choices use your education but do not include Kinesiology in the title.  These types of positions would include:

  • Corporate Fitness/Wellness Consultant
  • Dance Therapy Instructor
  • Exercise Test Technologist
  • Fitness Specialist
  • Health Fitness Management
  • Human Performance Trainer
  • Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Recreational Therapist
  • Aquatics Director

As you can quickly see, these career choices all leverage the education you receive in Kinesiology but are not directly connected.   The real power in Kinesiology careers is when you elect to continue your education into a more specialized field.  Kinesiology is considered one the best educations to help you move into graduate courses in the following professions:

  • Medical Doctor
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physician’s Assistant
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Physical Education Teacher
  • Chiropractic Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Physical Therapists Assistant
  • Radiologist

Using your  Kinesiology degree to launch your career into new directions will increase you earning power and increase your opportunities.

Kinesiology Careers – The Wide Range of Pay

We need to explore two interesting reports about Kinesiology Salary to get a better understanding of your career choice.  The first study done by Student Review reported Kinesiology Salaries in the following range:

Kinesiology Careers Physical Therapy

  • Starting Salary – $81,060
  • After 10 Years – $142,686

At first glance you would believe this indicates Kinesiology is an amazing career choice alone.  Then as you begin checking into the deeper information of the study you uncover these job titles associate with the Kinesiology graduates:

  • Office Manager
  • Customer Service Rep
  • Coach
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Patient Care Associate
  • Retail Management
  • Account Manager
  • Teacher
  • Personal Trainer

In this small study no graduates reported a career as directly in the field of Kinesiology.

In a study done for PayScale the numbers were quite different.  They reported persons with a degree in Kinesiology had an income range of $35,294 to $73,250 per year.  The PayScale study did not go into details of actual positions held by their respondents.

What does this all mean?  Your Kinesiology degree jobs are going to often be in a variety of areas.   This degree allows you to explore many career options with highly variable income opportunities.

Extending Your Opportunities with a Kinesiology Degree

The best path to a higher sports medicine salary with your Kinesiology degree is to use the degree to continue your education into an advanced degree with higher income.  Examples could include:

  • Kinesiology-Physical Therapy
  • Chiropractic-Kinesiology
  • Clinical-Kinesiology

In each of these disciplines you are extending your knowledge of the muscular and skeletal systems to become proficient in treating patients.  In becoming a Physical Therapist you will be able to leverage the knowledge you gained in your Kinesiology courses to treat patients more efficiently.  Your Kinesiology education will give you a definite advantage in understanding and learning the principles and techniques required in a Physical Therapy doctoral program.

The Chiropractic Kinesiology interplay is just as strong.  In some states there is an actual designation of a Chiropractic-Kinesiology practitioner and in other states the title of Applied Kinesiology.  In both cases these are considered advanced Chiropractors.  This would require you completing a course in Chiropractic medicine to supplement your Kinesiology degree.

Kinesiology Careers To Choose

Clinical-Kinesiology covers several different definitions, but the most commonly used is very similar to someone practicing Chiropractic Kinesiology.  The Kinesiology careers open the doors to very high incomes and a highly respected position in the community.

Understanding Kinesiology Degree Jobs and Opportunities

As you are learning, a Kinesiology degree by itself can launch you into a variety of careers.  Consider it the equivalent of many Bachelor of Arts degrees which do not directly translate into a career choice.  It opens doors into a wide variety of industries allowing you to pick and choose.

If your hopes and dreams have been to use the knowledge of Kinesiology in a medical setting you must be prepared to continue your education.   In Canada Kinesiology is considered a career path with treatment potential by itself, but in the USA there is currently no licensing or similar opportunity.

To work within the medical field will require you to continue your education, but your opportunities are great.  A Kinesiology major is considered an ideal course for entry into these medical studies:American Kinesiology Association

  • Orthopedic Surgeon
  • General Doctor
  • Radiologist
  • Chiropractor
  • Physical Therapist
  • Registered Nurse

The other professional pathway in Kinesiology jobs is in the field of education.  You could choose to continue your education to fill any of these positions:

  • High School or College Coach
  • Physical Education Instructor
  • High School Science Teacher
  • Professor of Kinesiology

Kinesiology Careers – A Field Filled with Opportunity for the Undecided

Many students enter college with no definite plans of what career path they hope to follow.  It is a time of exploration.  A Kinesiology degree online is one of the ideal courses of study for a student in this situation. Instead of creating limited choices as may be found in getting a Bachelor of Arts in Music, or Bachelor of Arts in English, the Kinesiology degree opens the doors to opportunity.

You are now an ideal candidate for management positions, sales, education, or advancing into many fields within medicine.  Your choice will help determine the level of Kinesiology salary you will earn, but as you can see, there is not much limit on your opportunity.

The education prepares you for not only understanding the human body, but human thought. You will discover your choice of Kinesiology careers is only limited by your own desires.