What Can You Do with a Kinesiology Degree?

The scientific study of human or non-human body movement is called Kinesiology.

Kinesiology addresses physiological, biomechanical, and psychological dynamic principles and mechanisms of movement.

Human kinesiology includes sport psychology, biomechanics and orthopedics; strength and conditioning; methods of rehabilitation (physical and occupational therapy), and sport and exercise.

Studies of human motion include behavioral and cognitive research techniques, like measures from motion tracking systems, electrophysiology of muscle and brain activity, various methods for monitoring physiological function.

The degree in kinesiology will prepare you for a wide range of career positions, including sports medicine, athletic training and coaching, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, and physical education.

The material in this article will cover the not only aspect of your kinesiology degree but also touch the array of similar, even interchangeable, programs of study.

Exercise Science, Physical Education or Athletic Training are considered as related to Kinesiology courses.

Getting a degree in kinesiology or any other related field will require your desire for fitness, curiosity to know the potential of the human body, and a wish to use your knowledge to make a good thing to others.

If the before mentioned sounds like the proper career for you, then read the article below to get more details.

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What Kind of Accreditation Should My Degree Program Have?

The Accreditation is a status of the educational institution or a separate program and means that the university or separate program or discipline matches to the standards and requirements set forth by the Department of Education.

Accreditation is also known as a stamp of approval, showing the high quality of education in a university or a high level of studying program or course, which is given by an accrediting agency.

Furthermore only accredited universities and schools can be financed from the state government.

There is no doubt that your employer will pay attention to the authority of your educational institution and the existence of required program accreditation.

The accreditation is given by the accrediting agencies that have competence from the Department of Education to approve the quality of education in educational institutions.

Two types of accrediting agencies, regional and national accrediting agencies, decide whether the universities and programs of study deserve the stamp of approval.

Typically, the approval of a regional accrediting agency is better for the university, as it assures the credibility and reputation of the latter.

Among the most reputable regional agencies to approve the quality of the study are:

  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Additionally, there are two kinds of accreditation; they are program accreditation and institutional accreditation.

Specific Program Accreditation is not required while getting a kinesiology degree.

However, exist some accrediting groups orientated on kinesiology and exercises health.

A stamp of approval from any of below mentioned accrediting groups will mean that the university or program sticks to a certain set of criteria and standards.

The approval may also be an indication of credibility and authority of the university, however, it is nor mandatory.

These groups include:

  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • The American Kinesiology Association
  • The Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (COAES)
  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)

What Kinds of Kinesiology Degrees Are There?

Associate’s Degree in Kinesiology

To get the basic knowledge about the kinesiology as a study of body movement you need to complete your associate degree in kinesiology.

Within the program, you will learn the basics of anatomy, biology, and basic health.

You will also take courses in first aid, exercise science and coaching.

The associate program takes two years to complete and requires 60 credits to get.

During the course, you will also take disciplines of general liberal arts and humanities.

The associate degree course will prepare you to work in the fields of fitness and certain health environment immediately after you finish it.

After you finish the course you can consider some popular career options, including personal trainer,

fitness instructor, athletics coach, and physical therapy aide.

To become an associate you will take such courses:

  • Nutritional Science
  • Introduction to Sports Medicine
  • Biomechanics
  • Introduction to Exercise Science
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Communication and Coaching

Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology

During the bachelor’s degree course in Kinesiology, you will take courses related to psychology, science, and practice of exercise.

Moreover, you will get profound knowledge in strength training, nutrition, conditioning, aging and the connection between motor skills and your body, and also the brain.

You will also take practice, involving hands-on with therapies, techniques, and medication.

In addition, you will enhance your skills in massage therapy, physical education, and sports management.

Your bachelor’s program will require 120 credits to get and 4 years to study.

After you get a degree, you will get a chance to provide athletic training support to a professional sports organization or separate sportsmen.

Also, you will get a chance to work in a clinical rehabilitation facility or instruct fitness.

You will take such courses as:

  • Advanced Biomechanics
  • Physical Culture and Sports
  • Pathology, Injury, and Rehabilitation
  • Health Promotion monad Behavioral Science
  • Exercise Science
  • The Business of Sports
  • The Science of Applied Movement
  • Sports Psychology

What’s the Difference Between a BA and a BS in Kinesiology?

A bachelor of arts (BA) degree combines disciplines targeted at liberal arts and humanities courses.

On the other hand, a bachelor of science (BS) program in Kinesiology will focus your attention to the advanced science topics.

Master’s Degree in Kinesiology

It will take you two years to complete the master’s degree program.

Such degree is an advanced degree orientated on athletic training, sports administration or physical education.

During getting of a master’s degree in Kinesiology, you will advance your knowledge and credentials in a professional area.

For most high positions in the sphere of sports and kinesiology, the degree of the master is essential.

Eventually, you will have an opportunity to work at the school, higher education, youth league, or even professional level.

Courses that you will take are named below:

  • Teaching Methodologies
  • Exercise Technology
  • The Psychology of Rehabilitation
  • Sports, Business, and Ethics
  • Athletic Talent Scouting
  • Evidence-Based Sports Medicine
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Sports Management and Administration

Ph.D. of Kinesiology

A Ph.D. in Kinesiology is a doctoral-level degree which gives you the chance to do research in kinesiology.

The Ph.D. program takes four years to complete, working in a laboratory and practical setting.

During the study, you will get a scientific understanding of human physical health, body movement, and athletic performance, and also many other potential areas.

Moreover, you will do research and work on the writing of a dissertation on any interesting topic.

You will get the opportunity to study and add new vision into any scientific subject like rehabilitation, sports psychology and ergonomics, and the others.

After you get the Ph.D. degree you will be able to teach students, instruct at the university level, or work for a private, government or non-profit research groups.

Within the courses you will study disciplines, named below:

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Sports Psychology
  • Healthcare Technology and Administration
  • Research Methods
  • Innovations in Sports Technology
  • Applied Research if Movement

What Kind of Licensing or Certification Do You Need?

The Certifications are quite important in kinesiology.

Although, there are some jobs in fields like coaching, fitness and health outreach, which you can do without a certification.

However, your opportunities for promotion and a high salary will also depend on the level of your education.

Moreover, a certification in Kinesiology will allow you to begin work at the rehabilitation, clinical level in physical therapy or healthcare settings.

To get a certification you will need to complete the bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, practice for one year and passing a licensing exam.

Some additional licenses or certifications may also be required, for example, in fields like physical therapy and physical education, occupational therapy.

Popular Degree Programs

What Can You Do With This Degree?

Your Kinesiology degree can be the threshold to a variety of careers which are related to fitness, health, and athletics.

There are a few of the top careers in the kinesiology field:

  • Athletic Trainers
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
  • Massage Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides
  • Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Physical Therapists
  • Recreational Therapists

How Much Can You Make With This Degree?

Your salary will depend on your professional concentration and your degree level.

There is a statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about  the earning potential for some of the jobs in that field:

  • Athletic Trainers—$45,630
  • Coaches and Scouts—$31,460
  • Fitness Trainers/Instructors—$38,160
  • Occupational Therapists – $81,910
  • Exercise Physiologists—$47,340
  • Physical Therapists—$85,400
  • Chiropractors—$67,520

What Professional Associations or Societies Should You Join?

A convenient way to make professional connections can be joining professional associations and societies.

Moreover, you can visit some valuable seminars or get reputable certifications.

There is a list of Kinesiology associations that will correspond with your professional concentration.

  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  • American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT)
  • National Athletic Training Association (NATA)
  • American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSMM)
  • American Coaching Association (ACA)
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSMM)


To conclude, kinesiology is a scientific study of human body movement.

If you get a degree in kinesiology, you will get numerous proposals from employers in the health and fitness areas.

We hope that our material was interesting and useful for your future education.

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