Kinesiology Major

Improving the Activities of Daily Life

Penn State’s Kinesiology program is nationally recognized for helping students prepare for careers in health, wellness, and fitness.

Our central focus is the study of physical activity as it ranges from basic mechanisms of human movement to the complex dynamics of physical activity in the context of human health and well-being. In addition, the program explores other facets of human health, including the psychological and social aspects of wellness.

As an undergraduate student in the program, you will have the opportunity to become well versed in all of the sciences, including chemistry, biology, and physics.

Program Overview

A Kinesiology degree can provide a firm foundation for a wide variety of careers. This includes many allied health careers such as: physical therapy, medicine or nursing, occupational therapy, or chiropractic. Kinesiology is ideal for those interested in becoming exercise specialists. The program will help you prepare to work in a number of exercise-related or wellness careers in the fitness industry, rehabilitation facilities, sports camps, outdoor adventure businesses, or non-profits.

As you learn about the human body as a whole, you will also have the opportunity to understand how you can apply your knowledge and skills to develop solutions that can help others in a number of ways, whether in a rehabilitation facility, with a professional sports team, or in a corporate office.

A bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in Kinesiology helps you to prepare for a career in fitness, health, and wellness.

Kinesiology focuses on the study of physical activity as it ranges from basic mechanisms of human movement to the complex dynamics of physical activity in the context of human health and well-being.

The Movement Science option provides training in areas such as biomechanics, exercise physiology, sport psychology, neuroscience, and sport history to understand the use of movement for prevention and diagnosis of chronic disease, rehabilitation, and treatment.

The program is designed to help you prepare for careers in health-related fields such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, cardiac rehabilitation, or pre-medicine.

The Applied Exercise and Health Option (new option available fall 2016) provides applied interdisciplinary training in the foundations of the scientific understanding of exercise and health through the lifespan.

The completion of the Applied Exercise and Health Option will prepare students to work in the private or corporate fitness arenas, community-based fitness organizations, and university or hospital settings, or be Pennsylvania certified in health and physical education (K-12) and secure teaching positions in public or private schools.

Careers Overview

Medical

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the medical field or thinking of pre-med as a option, Kinesiology may be a good fit for you. You will have the opportunity to gain a firm foundation in all of the sciences in relation to the human body as a whole, such as biology, psychology, neuroscience, physics, and chemistry, which is an excellent fit if you are interested in becoming a nurse, a physician assistant, or a doctor.

Allied Health

Kinesiology will help you prepare to work in the field of allied health. The Kinesiology major offers you the opportunity to learn about the human body in relation to health, wellness, and fitness and is excellent groundwork for those interested in careers in physical or occupational therapy, cardiac rehabilitation support, or chiropractic.

Fitness and Wellness

As a successful student in Kinesiology, you may find that you would like to pursue a career in exercise, fitness, and wellness. If so, your knowledge and skill set may be well suited for a career as an exercise specialist, a personal trainer, or a strength and conditioning coach. Many of these careers can be found in private and commercial fitness facilities, professional sports teams, non-profit organizations, corporate wellness sites, sports training facilities, adventure and outdoor camps, and military and/or governmental sites.

Teacher Certification

Coursework in Kinesiology covers a common foundation for a broad understanding of exercise and health through the lifespan. Within the Kinesology major, a series of courses and student teaching leading to teacher certification. In order to qualify for the teacher certification track, students must meet the requirements mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Students choosing this option emphasis can be Pennsylvania certified in health and physical education (K-12) and secure teaching positions in public or private schools.