Master of science (M.S.)

The master of science (M.S.) degree in kinesiology offers advance study in the science of human physical activity, particularly as movement, exercise, and sport apply to health promotion and disease prevention.

This degree is ideal for:

  • Students who wish to continue their education in a doctoral program.
  • Students who wish to continue their education in a professional school such as medicine or physical therapy.
  • Students who wish to combine a graduate degree and teaching licensure for physical education.
  • Students who simply want to learn more about the scientific process.


The M.S. is offered with a choice between a thesis and a non-thesis option.

  • Thesis: The M.S. with a thesis is for those who wish to engage in research and are considering or planning on pursuing a Ph.D. (Nearly all Ph.D. programs require completion of a master’s thesis.)
  • Non-thesis: This option prepares people for professional jobs by equipping them with knowledge of and providing them with an appreciation for the research process, so they can be a consumer of research. Students are required to complete a capstone project (called a "creative component").

You should specify your choice between these two options when you apply. You may change options during your graduate work, but only with the approval of your major professor.

Area of emphasis

Students may choose from several areas of emphasis:

  • Exercise physiology (including metabolic, cardiovascular, and immunology)
  • Exercise psychology
  • Biomechanics
  • Motor control
  • Physical activity and health promotion
  • Pedagogy
  • Physical activity epidemiology