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(Formerly Exercise Science)

Kinesiology | Courses | Faculty

110 Totman Building

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Contact: Frank Rife
Office: 109 Totman
Phone: (413) 545-2634

Chair of Department: Professor Patty Freedson. Coordinator of Undergraduate Curriculum: Associate Professor Rife. Professors Clarkson, Hamill, Kamen, Kent-Braun, van Emmerik; Associate Professors Braun, Caldwell; Assistant Professors Alhassan, Debold, Snook, Umberger, Witkowski; Research Professor Chipkin; Adjunct Faculty Belfroy, Frederick, Gabriel, Goodyear, Grow, Osganian, Riccio, Schwartz, Selbie.

The Field

Kinesiology is an interdisciplinary field focusing on the science of human movement. Its four basic elements—biochemistry, biomechanics, motor control, and physiology—can be integrated to allow kinesiologists to address a wide variety of questions. Some are basic: how are nerves, muscles and joints coordinated to accomplish complex movements? what regulates the mixture of fuels oxidized at rest and during exercise? Others have applications to health: how much of what we call aging is actually due to physical inactivity? how can physical activity be used to prevent and/or manage chronic disease and disability? Still others involve rehabilitation: what factors contribute to musculoskeletal injury and how can they be reversed? and exercise performance: what limits human performance and how can it be optimized? In recent years, the field of kinesiology has evolved toward less emphasis on sport and a much stronger focus on a basic understanding of human movement and the role of physical activity and exercise in health and disease. To those ends, kinesiologists use tools from molecular biology, neuroscience, engineering, medicine, and computer science to work on unique problems in a diverse array of settings that include laboratories, hospitals, health and wellness centers, and field environments.

The Major

Changes to the curriculum are under consideration. For the latest information, consult the department.
The major in Kinesiology builds on a foundation of basic science in the areas of biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, and statistics. Kinesiology courses apply these foundation requirements to the scientific study of human movement.


I. Requisite Courses (33 cr)
CHEM 111 and 112 General Chemistry for Science Majors I, II
CMPSCI Any course except COMPSCI 102
KIN 170/171 Anatomy and Physiology I (with lab)
KIN 172/173 Anatomy and Physiology II (with lab)
MATH 127 and 128 Calculus for the Life and Social Sciences I, II
PHYSICS 131/133 and 132/134 Introductory Physics I, II (with labs)

Notes on the above courses:
1. A grade of C- or better is required in each.
2. Four courses must be completed by the end of the first full calendar year in the major.
3. The remaining courses must be completed by the second full calendar year in the major. Students who must take prerequisites to MATH 127 may have one additional semester to complete the Calculus requirement.
4. KIN 170/171 or 172/173 must be completed by the end of the full year in the major.

II. Kinesiology Core Courses (24 cr)
100 Introduction to Kinesiology
110 Human Performance and Nutrition
350 Statistics and Measurement in Kinesiology
355 Writing Seminar in Kinesiology
430 Biomechanics
440 Wellness for All
460 Motor Control
470 Exercise Physiology

Notes on the above courses:
1. All courses must be completed in the department.
2. A grade of C- or better is required for each.
3. KIN 100 must be completed by the end of the full first year in the major.

III. Kinesiology Electives
Students must select 9 credits from the courses listed below.

215 Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
340 Exercise Testing and Programming
380 Diet, Supplements, and Athletic Performance
196-496 Independent Study
397A Principles and Practice of Personal Training
397B Principles and Practice of Strength Conditioning
397S Clinical and Public Health Implications of Obesity
497F/G Teaching Practicum
498Y Internship/Practicum
530 Mechanical Analysis of Human Motion
535 Muscle Mechanics and Modeling
540 Health Behavior Change
560 Exercise Neuroscience
565 Movement Coordination and Perception
570 Pediatric Exercise Physiology
571 Physical Activity and Women’s Health
580 Muscle Structure and Function
585 Energy Metabolism

Notes on the previous courses:
A passing grade of C- or better is required in all of these elective courses.

IV. Cognate Electives—Students must take at least 6 credits at the 200 level or higher in the following areas: Engineering, Mathematics, Nutrition, Psychology, Biology, Nursing, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Sport Management, Public Health, or other areas approved by the student’s adviser.

Career Opportunities

An undergraduate degree in Kinesiology is excellent preparation for pursuit of an advanced degree that will lead to a career in medicine, research science, physical therapy, or academia. Many kinesiologists also work in the health care system, especially in cardiac, pulmonary, and stroke rehabilitation. Increasingly, kinesiologists are providing their specialized expertise to the growing biotechnology industry, particularly in areas related to cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and metabolic health. Kinesiology majors are prominent in the health and fitness industry and work with manufacturers of sport and rehabilitative equipment. In any area of employment, Kinesiology majors will find their rigorous training in scientific method, critical thinking, and clear expression of ideas to be a lifelong advantage.

The Minor

The following Kinesiology courses comprise the minor:

100 Introduction to Kinesiology
110 Human Performance and Nutrition
430 Biomechanics
460 Motor Control
470 Exercise Physiology


A total of 15 credits (5 courses) are needed to satisfy the minor in Kinesiology. No substitutions are permitted. All courses must be taken on campus. A grade of C- or better is required in each of the five courses. Students are eligible to officially add the minor in Kinesiology after they have taken the above courses. Students are reminded that many of these courses have prerequisites. A student who wishes to minor in Kinesiology should see Dr. Frank Rife in the Kinesiology Department.

Exercise Science | Courses | Faculty