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Kinesiology Honors Program

The Department of Kinesiology Honors Program provides an opportunity for students to engage in challenging educational experiences related to the study of human movement, sport, and exercise. Students with strong intellectual interests and the ability to pursue those interests at a high level are eligible for this program.

  1. To recognize and encourage excellence among the Department of Kinesiology's undergraduate student population.
  2. To identify student leaders committed to the advancement of the Department of Kinesiology both on campus and beyond.
  3. To provide academically and professionally motivated students with comprehensive exposure to the breadth and depth of research being carried out with the Department of Kinesiology.
  4. To encourage, through intensive engagement with a faculty advisor, student to develop practical experience with a chosen area of Kinesiological research.
  5. To provide students with a variety of challenging and stimulating experience that will, in combination, assist them in realizing their future academic and professional goals.

The applicant must meet the following minimum requirements and is expected to participate in the Honors Program for a minimum of 3 semesters:

  1. An overall GPA of 3.50 on a minimum of 45 credits. (Exception: Students who are close to achieving a 3.50 GPA may submit additional materials to the Honors Committee for consideration.)
  2. Have a 3.50 GPA in courses taken within the Department of Kinesiology, to include at least 9 credits from the following courses: KNES 287, 293, 300, 350, 360, 370, 385. 
Participation in the Department of Kinesiology Honors Program requires completion of the following coursework requirements.

At least 12 credits of course work must be completed in Honors or Honors equivalent courses. This requirement may be met in the following ways:

  • 6-12 credits in 300 or 400-level H-section courses in the Department of Kinesiology* and/or
  • 3-6 credits in 300-level or above University or College Honors courses and/or
  • 3-6 credits of graduate courses ( In KNES; 600-level and above)
  • Note: in special circumstances (e.g., studying abroad), 3 credits of other coursework can be applied toward the honors requirement. The "honors requirement" for this coursework will be negotiated with the Director. In the case of students studying abroad, upon their return the next semester, students will submit a written evaluation of their abroad experience and present a 20-25 min. seminar of their experiences during the Honors Seminar for the honors credit.

In addition to taking the Honors Seminar throughout the program, students will take at least 6 credits of research/scholarship and thesis writing under the direction of a faculty member, culminating in a written thesis approved by the faculty member and the Honors Director. The student is also required to attend the KNES 478 Honors Seminar throughout their program and formally present an oral defense of the thesis.

The thesis requirement involves the following:

  • KNES 478- Honors Seminar (3-5 credits depending on number of semesters in program; 1 credit per semester). Note: Honors students can spend 3-5 semesters in the program and they must take KNES478 every semester they are in the program.
  • KNES 476- Honors Thesis Proposal (3 credits). A formal thesis proposal must be approved by the student's advisor and the Honors Director at least 1 semester prior to graduation. This course may be used as one of the "option" courses required for Kinesiology majors.
  • KNES 477- Honors Thesis (3 credits). KNES 476 and KNES 477 replace KNES 497 for Honors students in the Kinesiology Major.
  • Note: For students with an expected Fall semester graduation, KNES 476 and 477 are offered sequentially in the Fall and Spring semesters, respectively. Thus, students with a Fall graduation will be required to complete their thesis one semester early. In their final, Fall, semester, they would take KNES 478 and any remaining courses required for the Honors Program requirements.

Students must maintain an overall 3.50 GPA to remain in the program and to graduate with Honors. If a student's GPA falls below 3.50, he or she has one semester to meet the 3.50 standard or be dropped from the program. Students who have been dropped because of a low GPA may reapply to the Honors Committee when their GPA again meets the minimum criterion. Students must submit unofficial transcripts at the end of each semester (or beginning of the next semester) to demonstrate the GPA requirement.

Students previously admitted to the Honors Program may graduate with "Honors" or "High Honors" from the Department of Kinesiology by meeting the following requirements:

The following are the requirements for graduation with Honors:

  • Satisfactory completion of each of the honors coursework requirements, including the Honors Thesis.
  • Completion of the Bachelor of Science Degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.50, with at least 60 credits completed at UMCP.

The following are the requirements for graduation with High Honors:

  • Completion of each of the honors coursework requirements with grades A or B.
  • Completion of an Honors Thesis rated as "Outstanding" by members of the student's Honors Thesis Committee.
  • Completion of the Bachelor of Science Degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.70, with at least 60 credits completed at UMCP.

Enjoy these Benefits as a KNES Honors Student:

Average cohort size for students admitted to the program each year.
Ratio of student to faculty mentor as you work on your research project.

What current students say about their experience:

The Honors program provides the opportunity to work more closely with KNES professors, to learn more about research, and how to continue education past the undergraduate level. 

Rachel Black B.S. '22
Alyza Berzon, B.S. '22

The KNES Honors Program has challenged me to get out of my comfort zone, work closely with graduate students and collaborate with people of many different backgrounds. It has been extremely valuable to have so many professors share their stories about how their passions and experiences have led them to where they are now.