Kinesiology Major

The Undergraduate Program in Kinesiology

The Kinesiology major is offered by the Department of Kinesiology. The program is designed to provide a well-rounded, scholarly understanding of the body of knowledge that is centered on human movement and physical activity. Instruction within the Department of Kinesiology addresses the historical, cultural, developmental and biophysical bases for quality participation in movement activities, with application to sport, physical activities, and wellness for people of all ages. Students are expected to develop an understanding of how human movement occurs, the factors that directly or indirectly influence movement, and the benefits of a movement-oriented lifestyle. A student handbook is available for the B.S. Degree in Kinesiology for the General Education program.

Mission Statement

The undergraduate educational mission of the Department of Kinesiology is to enable students to develop an interdisciplinary knowledge of kinesiology, value physical activity and its integration within the discipline, and understand how kinesiologists work to improve the health and well-being of individuals and society.

B.S. in Kinesiology Degree Competencies

At the completion of the B.S. degree in Kinesiology, students should demonstrate the following competencies: 

1. Students will interpret, synthesize, and critically analyze research underlying the kinesiological dimensions of physical activity and health.

2. Students will develop principled reasoning skills necessary to apply and extend kinesiology knowledge to address problems that are relevant to physical activity and the health of diverse populations.

3. Students will integrate, interrogate, and communicate the connection between the scholarship of kinesiology and the goals of public health. 

4. Students will engage in a diversity of physical activities both within and outside their formal curriculum.

5. Students will integrate their physical activity experiences with kinesiology sub-disciplinary knowledge.

What Graduates Do

The Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology prepares graduates for a variety of professional opportunities. Use this document to help plan how the degree can help you achieve different career paths. The majority of our majors are interested in careers related to fitness, medical fields, motor development and biomedical specializations. In addition, many students are interested in sports related careers such as sport management, sport history, sport psychology, public relations, sport journalism and sport sociology. Some students come into the program unsure of career goals, but the flexibility of the major permits development of many different and divergent career tracks. Some of the possible career tracks that can be pursued through this major include:

Fitness-related Fields corporate fitness, personal trainer, health fitness director, massage therapist
Medically-related Fields physician, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, cardiac rehabilitation, chiropractor, vestibular therapy, pharmaceutical sales, podiatry
Sport Industry sport management, sport marketing, sports information director, athletic director, events management, equipment sales, athletic trainer, strength and conditioning coach
Professional Options lawyer, occupational ergonomics, kinesiotherapist, forensic scientist, exercise physiologist

Degree Requirements

A total of 120 credits are needed to meet graduation requirements. These credits include 27 credits that comprise the University's General Education requirements, 15 credits that support the Kinesiology program, 32 elective credits, and 45 credits within the major. See suggested 4-year plans here:

Support Courses

Support courses includes course requirements of the program which serve as background (prerequisites) for major core classes. Some of these classes may fulfill a component of the General Education requirement thereby providing more flexibility among elective options. These other requirements total 15 credits andinclude the following courses:

BSCI 170/171
BSCI 201
BSCI 202
STAT 100, BIOM 301, BMGT 230, ECON 321, EDMS 451, GVPT 422, PSYC 200, SOCY 201

**Begining Fall12 MATH111 is not accepted towards the Statistics requirement.

Kinesiology Core Requirements

The program provides a hierarchical approach to the study of human movement. First, a “Major Core” of knowledge is recognized as being necessary for all students in the curriculum, regardless of career objectives. These seven courses (23 credits) form the essential sub-disciplines of human movement and are considered foundational to advanced and more specific coursework. For some of these courses students must take human anatomy and physiology courses as prerequisites. The Major Core and their prerequisites.

KNES 287 - Sport and American Society
KNES 293 - History of Sport in America
KNES 300 - Biomechanics of Human Motion

prerequisites: BSCI 201 and MATH 113*

KNES 350 - Psychology of Sport
KNES 360 - Physiology of Exercise
prerequisites: BSCI 201 and 202
KNES 370 - Motor Development
KNES 385 - Motor Control & Learning

*KNES majors are required to take MATH113 (MATH115, MATH220, MATH130 or MATH140 are also accepted) with a grade of "C-" or better. Students who have SAT/FM must have a math placement of MATH140 to fulfill the MATH requirement for the major.

Kinesiology Upper Level Option Requirement

The KNES Upper Level “OPTION” courses build on one or more of the KNES Major Core classes and give students an opportunity to customize their program. Students are encouraged to specifically choose courses germane to a particular career goal.

Document Matching KNES OPTION courses with Career Paths

Students must complete 12 credits or four courses from an expanding listing of courses. Currently students can choose four courses from the following classes:

KNES 332 (formerly KNES389G) Exercise Testing and Prescription for the Fitness Professional 
KNES 333 Physical Activity for Students with Special Needs
KNES 334 (formerly KNES 498L) Adapted Physical Activity, Recreation and Sports for People with Disabilities
KNES 355 Sport Management 
KNES 386 Experiential Learning 
KNES 389C Sport, Physical Activity, Health, and the City
KNES 389I Sport Economics
KNES 389P Strength and Conditioning of Athletes
KNES 402 Biomechanics of Sport
KNES 440 Psychology of Athletic Performance
KNES 442 Psychology of Exercise and Health
KNES 451 Children and Sport
KNES 455 Scientific Bases of Athletic Conditioning
KNES 457 Managing Youth Programs 
KNES 460 Physiology of Aging and the Impact of Physical Activity
KNES 461 Exercise and Body Composition
KNES 462 Neural Bases of Movement
KNES 463 Principles & Methods of Physical Activity Interventions
KNES 464 Exercise and Metabolism
KNES 466 Graded Exercise Testing
KNES 467 Genetics in Physical Activity & Sport 
KNES 483 Sport Marketing and Media
KNES 484 Sporting Hollywood
KNES 485 Sport and Globalization
KNES 498B Biomechanics Theory
KNES 498C Exercise and Brain Health
KNES 498E Coaching for Performance
KNES 498I Advanced Applied Physiology
KNES 498M Movement Disorders: Theory and Practice
KNES 498N Muscular Aspects of Exercise Physiology
KNES 498T Principles and Applications of Exercise Rehabilitation
KNES 498W Prosthetics for Limb Amputations
KNES 498X Neural Engineering of Human Movement

KNES498* Special Topics in Kinesiology

* Temporary letters are assigned for these courses until they become approved with a permanent course number. Please check Schedule of Classes on Testudo as the letter after 'KNES 498 may change for different semesters.

IMPORTANT: Non-academic courses and internships (KNES389E, KNES335, KNES389, KNES389K and KNES498) cannot be used to fulfill the Kinesiology Option requirement.

Physical Activity Requirement

To provide both breadth and depth of activities that allow students to experience and apply what they learn in their content classes, the Kinesiology program requires a student to take four courses of movement activity. These four courses must be different skill activities.

KNES200 (3cr)/KNES201 (1cr) In addition to the physical movement courses, either KNES200 or KNES201 is required to connect physical activities and content courses. KNES201 is expected to be taken concurrently with a physical activity course.

A wide variety of activity courses are offered at both the beginning and more advanced levels every semester (see the University of Maryland | Testudo | Schedule of Classes).

KNES400 - The Foundations of Public Health in Kinesiology

Kinesiology students are required to take KNES400 to provide a public health perspective to physical activity and sport.

Prerequisite: KNES287, Senior standing.
Prerequisite or corequisite: KNES360.

*Students who declared Kinesiology prior to Fall 2013 may use this course to fulfill one of the Upper Level Option Courses.

KNES497 - Kinesiology Senior Seminar

The program requires a cumulating experience or “capstone course” that is taken during the final semester of a student’s matriculation. The senior seminar course KNES 497 (3 credits), Kinesiology Senior Seminar, requires that a student explore and synthesize literature in the field. A senior thesis is produced as a result of this effort and students are expected to give an oral presentation of the findings that are made. Therefore, students are required to complete, as prerequisites, a statistics-related class and an advanced writing class prior to enrollment, as well as the Kinesiology Major Core courses, and two options courses as outlined above. This course fulfills one of the two Advanced Studies (AS) courses for University CORE. This course fulfills one of the two Scholarship in Practice (DSSP) courses for General Education.


An unusually large number of electives are available for students to take to complete degree requirements. Electives are approximately 32 credits, or more, depending on the number of courses that double count for CORE/General Education, and courses that are exempt because of SAT scores. Elective classes are typically used to meet admission requirements for professional degree programs and to supplement a student’s content knowledge in an area related to career aspirations.  Illustrations of how electives could be selected to meet the needs of specific career tracks are outlined in the section on Sample Career Plans.

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 would be eligible for this program. It is the goal of the Honors Program to nurture these students and encourage them to pursue their interests in a range of intellectual topics. The Honors Program in the Department of Kinesiology is primarily designed for junior and senior level students to encourage them to engage in scholarly independent study and discussions. The Honors Program has high, but reasonable, standards for admission and graduation. More specific information on the Department of Kinesiology Honors Program can be obtained at the Honors Program website.

Declaring or Changing Majors

Students interested in changing major to Kinesiology or declaring Kinesiology as a double major or double degree must attend a change of major workshop.

Click here to sign up for a Change of Major workshop. 

Transfer to UMD

Students interested in transferring to the University of Maryland College Park need to apply for admission to the University, declaring as their proposed major Kinesiology. Applications can be requested or submitted on-line at the Undergraduate Admission web site.

After the student has been accepted, he/she must attend the Pre-College Orientation Program, during which time the student will have the opportunity to meet with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator. At this meeting, transfer credits will be articulated and the student will be assisted with registering for courses to be taken during the upcoming semester.