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Kinesiology Undergraduate Prospective Student Resources

Are you considering applying to the University of Maryland and majoring in Kinesiology?  Or are you already a University of Maryland student and you're thinking of changing your major to KNES or adding it as a double major? You have questions, and we hopefully have your answer! Review the Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more about our degree and the student experience.

Become a Kinesiology Major

Want to Learn More? Do you have questions about the program? Are you interested in "sitting in" on a class? We enjoy meeting prospective students to learn more about their interests and to ensure that our program is the best fit for you! Contact us at the bottom of the page.

Ready to Apply? As a first-semester freshman, a student may be granted admission into the Kinesiology (KNES) major upon admission to the University of Maryland. Freshmen can list KNES as their intended major on their application. The department does not participate in the admissions decision process. Visit the undergraduate admissions website to begin your application

Already Admitted? Congratulations! We encourage you to attend an Admitted Student Open House where we can meet you and provide you with more information.

Want to Learn More? Before declaring Kinesiology as your major, we recommend meeting with Pre-Transfer advising to review how your earned credit will apply to your degree at UMD. Visit their webpage to schedule a meeting with a pre-transfer advisor. 

Ready to Apply? Students interested in transferring to the University of Maryland need to apply for admission to the university, indicating Kinesiology (KNES) as their preferred major. Visit the undergraduate admissions website to begin your application. 

Already Admitted? Congratulations! Once you have been accepted, the next step is to attend an Orientation Program. At orientation, students will meet with academic advisors in the Kinesiology department and review how their transfer credit applies to their degree progress. Advisors will also assist with course selection and registration for the upcoming semester. Visit the Center for Academic Success and Achievement for additional information about preparing for orientation. 

Eligibility Requirements

Kinesiology is not a limited enrollment program, meaning there is no required coursework that has to be completed prior to entering our major. However, students who have already had two unsuccessful attempts at BSCI170/171, BSCI201, BSCI202, or our KNES Core courses need a Dean's exception to repeat that required course.

Step 1: Register for a Change of Major Workshop 

Students interested in changing their major to Kinesiology, or wanting to declare Kinesiology as a double major or double degree, must register for and complete our change of major workshop. Please be mindful that registration closes 48 hours prior to each workshop. If you do not see dates available, that may mean that workshops are full or have not yet been released. We recommend checking back in a few days.

Register for a Change of Major Workshop

Step 2: Complete all Workshop Modules

The first portion of the workshop will introduce Kinesiology and you will learn:

  • what careers you can pursue with a degree in Kinesiology
  • what courses are required for the Kinesiology major
  • how your previously completed credit applies towards your Kinesiology degree
  • recommended opportunities for student engagement

If you're ready to declare Kinesiology, advance to the next module and complete the Graduation Plan portion of the ELMS course. In this section, you will learn how to create and submit a graduation plan that outlines your remaining major, General Education, and elective requirements. 

Step 3: Determine if an Individual Appointment is Required

An individual meeting with a KNES advisor is not required for the change of major workshop. If you are an NCAA student athlete or on Academic Probation or Dismissal, you are required to meet with a CASA advisor. 

Visit the CASA change of major page for additional details.

Tips for Completing the Change or Addition of Major Process

Preparing for the workshop: The Kinesiology Change of Major Workshop is completed asynchronously through an ELMS course. By noon on the day of your scheduled workshop, you will receive an email from with important documents and directions to complete the workshop. You will also receive an invitation to join the "SPH - KNES Change of Major" ELMS course.

How long do I have to complete the modules?: Students have five business days from the time of your scheduled workshop to complete all modules and submit your graduation plan. Students who do not complete all modules within five days will be removed from the ELMS course and will need to sign up for another KNES Change of Major Workshop.

When will my major be updated?: Once the above steps are completed, the CASA advising office will review your Graduation Plan. You can expect your major to update in Testudo within 10-12 business days after you submit your plan.

If I register for a workshop, do I have to declare KNES?: Registering for a workshop does not commit you to declaring Kinesiology. The major change will only be processed if a graduation plan is submitted.  

Have more questions?: Questions about the change or addition of major process can be directed to the contact at the bottom of this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Physical therapy is a popular interest for our students and can help prepare you for a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. We have several courses that satisfy major requirements and help prepare students for PT school, such as KNES405: Principles & Techniques of Manual Muscle Testing, and KNES305: Principles & Application of Exercise Rehabilitation.  Please note that there are additional courses required as prerequisites for DPT programs that are not required for the major, such as Physics and Chemistry. This means you can take these courses as electives for your degree. The Reed Yorke Health Profession Advising Office is a campus resource available to help all students prepare for their Allied Health interests.

Since Kinesiology is an interdisciplinary field, our students have a variety of interests. Some popular interests include Medicine and Allied Health, such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Athletic Training, and Chiropractic Medicine. Other interests include fitness, health promotion and wellness, and sport. Alumni from our program have started their own fitness businesses and gyms, while others attend graduate programs in prosthetics and orthotics. The knowledge and skills they gain in our program are transferrable to numerous industries. To view job titles of recent graduates and a list of employers, we recommend reviewing the career guides available on UCC@SPH page.

Students do not declare a track or concentration, but the Upper Level Option courses provide a deeper exploration of the Kinesiology Core areas and an opportunity to customize their degree. Students can select Option courses from a similar content area, or continue to explore a broad variety of interests. Examples include: Motor Development and Fitness for Individuals with Disabilities, Sport Marketing and Media, Exercise Testing & Prescription for the Fitness Professional, Principles & Application of Exercise Rehabilitation, and Physical Activity and Disease Prevention and Treatment.

All students complete an academic plan in their first semester to visualize how they can complete their degree requirements. In general, most students will need about 30 elective credits (or 10 courses) in addition to their Kinesiology major requirements and General Education courses to complete their degree. These can be applied to a semester abroad, a double major, minor, and more! You can view a list of minors here, but some popular choices include Human Development, Neuroscience, Business, and Disability Studies.

Kinesiology students do not have an assigned advisor, rather the advisors work as a team to serve the students.  Some students choose to meet with the same advisor every time and some choose the advisor based on which meeting time works for their schedule. Either way works!  We strongly encourage students to meet with an advisor regularly to discuss course requirements, benchmarks, academic plans, internships, schedules, and career planning.

At orientation, advisors will assist new students with course selection and registration.  All freshmen take UNIV100 in their first semester which is taught by an advisor in the School of Public Health. Transfer students will have mandatory advising in their first semester.

Kinesiology students are encouraged to meet with an advisor regularly, but they will not have mandatory advising again until they earn 75 cumulative credits (typically their Junior year) and are required to complete a senior audit with an advisor. 

All students take General Education, Major Requirements, and Electives to earn at least 120 credits to complete their degree. Any courses required for a living-learning program will count as elective credit. Kinesiology students need approximately 30 elective credits to earn their degree.

If you are currently enrolled at a Maryland Community College, we recommend working with the Pre-Transfer Advising office. You can also use the Transfer Credit database to search for courses at your institution to know if they are equivalent to a course at UMD. In general, it is helpful to take courses equivalent to: 

BSCI170/171: Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology
BSCI201: Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BSCI202: Human Anatomy and Physiology II
MATH113, 115, 120, or 140: College Algebra and Trigonometry, Precalculus, or Calculus
STAT100: Elementary Statistics and Probability
KNES287: Sport and American Society
KNES293: History of Sport in America
Courses that satisfy General Education requirements for Fundamental Academic Writing (FSAW), Humanities (DSHU), and Oral Communication (FSOC)

Note: if you are earning your Associate's Degree from a Maryland Public Institution, you will be exempt from General Education requirements, except for Professional Writing.