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The Breakdown

Why exactly is exercise so important and advantageous? How do we challenge our bodies but ensure we don’t push them over the brink? How do you inspire others to embrace a life of fitness? If you’re looking to answer these queries and blend your interests in health, athletics and biology, then kinesiology could be the perfect major for you!

As a kinesiology major, you’ll study the art and science of human movement. You will learn all about anatomy and how organs function at a cellular level. In turn, you’ll come to understand the body’s physiological and biomechanical responses to exercise. Additionally, you will learn how to promote fitness and a healthier, higher quality of life. Depending on the program, you might be asked to choose a concentration. Options could include exercise science, physical education, athletic training, health fitness, pre-med or physical therapy. Like most science-based curriculums, your coursework will involve both classroom and laboratory studies. Impressively, some labs will grant you access to biomedical research tools such as underwater 3D motion analysis systems and digital muscle strength testers. Pretty cool, right?

There’s no escaping the fact that kinesiology is a field focused on people. Therefore, you’ll quickly discover that solid communication and interpersonal skills are integral to success. Additionally, you will likely find it to your advantage if you practice a healthy lifestyle on your own and are, at minimum, somewhat athletic. Finally, we recommend knowing how to handle a barbell properly.

Nuts and Bolts

Kinesiology majors will certainly become intimate with the human body after taking classes such as: Biomechanics of Human Movement, Motor Learning, Exercise Psychology, Human Anatomy, Biochemistry of Exercise and Energy, Diet, Disease and Exercise, Physiology of Aging, Scientific Principles of Exercise Prescription, Introduction to Clinical Practice, Statistics and Evaluation, Sport in American Society, Epidemiology in Public Health and Motor Development.

Decisions, Decisions

With their interest in health and biology, undergrads who study kinesiology might also find themselves drawn to physical therapy, occupational therapy, biology, biochemistry, physical education, neuroscience, nutrition, nursing, sports management, pharmacy, physician assistant, psychology, recreation and leisure studies and gerontology.

What's Next

Kinesiology majors will find they have a wide variety of rewarding careers open and accessible to them. Certainly, many graduates become fitness instructors and personal trainers, helping clients to maximize workouts, meet fitness goals and improve their overall health and well being. Similarly, some majors find employment as fitness choreographers, designing and implementing exercise routines for clubs and videos. For other grads, kinesiology might lead to employment opportunities within education. Indeed, majors can find a range of jobs from coaching to managing intramural sports programs (at the K-12 or collegiate level). Many kinesiology majors also ultimately pursue advanced degrees and become physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, nurses, physician assistants or, of course, doctors. Regardless of your professional endgame, kinesiology is a great first step for those interested in entering any health-related field.


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Don Munce