When it comes to studying body movement, a kinesiology degree covers physiological, biomechanical, and psychology dynamic principles and mechanisms of movement. Becoming a kinesiologist isn’t a licensed or professional designation anywhere except in Canada, and the bachelor’s degree is often used as a stepping stone towards graduate work in biomedical research or medicine. On top of that, though, there are a number of careers and opportunities for graduates of kinesiology specifically.
Most commonly offered at the baccalaureate level, kinesiology programs are generally able to be completed in 4 years attending full time. Curriculums in this area of study run the gamut—if it involves movement, expect to take a class on it. Often programs begin with basics in biology, psychology, and sociology that lead into more focused courses on exercise science. Motor behavior, biomechanics, motor development and coordination, motor neurophysiology, performance research, development of diagnostic and rehabilitative methods and equipment, performance research, rehabilitative therapies, and more are likely available options in any program.
Careers for graduates with a bachelor degree in kinesiology include: Exercise Physiologist, Physical Educator, Athletic Trainer, Sports Manager, Dancer, Dance Instructor, Athletic Coach, Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Dance Therapist, Choreographer, Health Club or Spa Manager.
Reaching the Master’s in Kinesiology level generally results in choosing one of three concentrations: physical education, athletic training, or sports administration. An MA often leads to higher positions within the same industries as the baccalaureate. Alternatively, some students proceed from a bachelor’s in kinesiology to a master’s in occupational therapy or to become a physician’s assistant.
The final level in kinesiology is a PhD, which is more geared towards research, and often leads to becoming a professor at a university, usually simultaneously conducting research into improving movement training. Some students also use the bachelor’s in kinesiology to springboard into medical or chiropractic school.