Houston Masters in Kinesiology Degree Programs

A Masters in Kinesiology degree program could help you develop an understanding of human motion and its affects on the body. Classes aim to do two things. First, they teach how a healthy body functions as whole and how to maintain it. Then courses switch their focus to different ailments athletes and others might experience from overworking their bodies. By combining these two areas of study, masters programs may help students gain an understanding of how healthy muscle upkeep could lead to better performance.

How to earn a masters degree in kinesiology

What Is a Masters in Kinesiology Degree?

Masters of kinesiology programs are typically 1 to 2 year graduate programs that explore advanced topics in human movement. These programs aim to prepare students to help alleviate stress put on the human body to improve overall health. A Masters Degree in Kinesiology is often applied to roles in kinesiology or exercise science. However it might also be put towards a variety of fields in sports medicine, such as the following.

  • Biomechanics
  • Orthopedics
  • Sports Psychology
  • Sports Related Physical Therapy

Depending on the school, Masters of Kinesiology degrees may be found under a few different names. The three most common options include Kinesiology Masters Programs, Exercise Science Masters programs and Exercise Physiology Masters programs. While they have different titles, their core curriculum is often similar. Most Masters of Kindesiology programs require students to complete 36 to 42 credit hours. For longer programs, 30 credit hours are usually devoted to core curriculum. The remaining 12 credit hours might go towards pursuing a concentration. Available degree programs and concentrations may differ by school. For more information, speak with your intended school.

EXPERT INSIGHT
We asked  Alexandra Allred how a Masters in Kinesiology can advance your career in truly meaningful ways:

"A Masters in Kinesiology allowed me to develop a training fitness/functional movement program for those living with disability. For the more than 650 million worldwide living with disability yet receiving so little attention and information when it comes to better health, there is so much more to be done! Beyond coaching or teaching, kinesiology can revolutionize how we care for those with disability and change the world's Alexandra Allred; Masters in Kinesiologyperception of what is able-bodied."

~ Alexandra Allred, M.S., Tarleton State University Graduate  

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Masters in Kinesiology Curriculum

Masters of Kinesiology courses focus primarily on studying the motor abilities of people of different ages. For example, as part of your studies, you could practice techniques designed for children, adults, and geriatrics. Specific courses could include some of the following.

  • Youth Fitness
  • Adult Fitness Programs
  • Biomechanics
  • Motor Learning
  • Aerobic and Anaerobic Training
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology

It’s important to note that classes may differ by school and depending on your program focus. Speak with a member of the department faculty or an admissions advisor for a complete course guide.

Potential Masters in Kinesiology Areas of Emphasis

Some Masters in Kinesiology programs allow students to choose an area of emphasis. This could allow you to explore a particular interest and focus your degree. Available concentrations vary by school, but the following are a few of the most common options.

Exercise and Sports Psychology

The exercise and sports psychology concentration offers courses that study the psychological principles of exercise. In short, how human behavior and understanding could affect exercise outcomes. Classes in this concentration could include subjects such motivational exercise strategies and exercise prescription.

Geriatric Exercise Science

Geriatric exercise science concentrations focus on the physical necessities of older adults. Courses in this track focus on strategies to modify exercise techniques to accomodate the unique needs of the elderly. For instances, classes could explore the physical effects of aging and ways to use exercise to address chronic injuries.

Sports Conditioning

The sports conditioning concentration highlights advanced training regimens for athletes. Students could study methods to better condition specific muscle groups necessary for different sports. Topics in this concentration could include muscular fitness development, speed and agility training, and metabolic conditioning.

Corrective Exercise and Rehabilitation

Corrective exercise and rehabilitation concentrations are designed to teach healthcare methods to address musculo-skeletal and movement dysfunctions. In short, courses instruct how to increase a person’s range of motion. Classes in this concentration could include human movement dysfunction, movement assessment and correction, and corrective exercise programming.

Adaptive Sports

The adaptive sports concentrations work with providing support for athletes with physical disabilities. Much like the sports conditioning concentration, courses teach ways to help Paralympic athletes develop and train the necessary muscles for their sport. Classes might include para-athlete assessment and comprehensive adaptive sport & activity analysis.

Kinesiology Masters Programs & Exercise Physiology Certifications

Many Exercise Science Masters programs may list that their curriculum is based on the material of exercise physiology certification exams. This may be important to note as some states do require exercise physiologists to take these exams for licensure.i Through an integrated curriculum, students could prepare for these tests while simultaneously working towards their masters degree.

There are two agencies that offer exercise physiology certification exams. Depending on your academic and professional goals, you may want to consider taking one of the following.

  • The American Society of Exercise Physiologists offer the Exercises Physiologist Certified (EPC) certification. Students may be required to have already earned a bachelors degree to become certified.
  • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) offers the Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP) exam for students who have earned a masters degree. To be eligible, students must also complete 400 to 600 clinical hours. This prerequisite could be completed as part of your Masters in Kinesiology program.i

Though they are separate exams, each typically covers similar material. The exams, and related coursework, could include some of the following topics.

  • Exercise physiology training
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Neuromuscular kinesiology
  • Metabolism
  • Sports biomechanics

Exam material changes each year. Be aware that not every school designs their curriculum around these exams. For more information, speak with a representative from your intended school to see if they offer exam prep as part of their core curriculum.

Applying to Masters in Kinesiology Programs

Kinesiology Masters programs aim to assess applicants previous exercise science experience, as well as their educational background. Typically, Masters of Kinesiology programs ask prospective students to submit a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, in addition to GRE or GMAT scores. Also, schools may require students to have already earned an undergraduate degree in kinesiology. Doing this might allow masters courses to focus more heavily on advanced exercise science material instead of the basics.

Additionally, schools may ask applicants to write a letter of interest to submit along with their application. This letter or short essay might outline why a particular program could help you achieve your academic, kinesiology goals. This helps potential programs see if that have faculty members that support your specific interest or concentration. It could also help you find out if a school aligns with your passions prior to you accepting.

Who Accredits Kinesiology Masters Programs?

Kinesiology Masters programs are often accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES). This accrediting agency establishes standards and guidelines to help the public easily evaluated kinesiology and exercise science programs. Accreditation may help prospective students judge if programs provide a certain quality of education.

In addition, CoAES reviews each program it accredits to offer further recommendations for their curriculum. For example, they may suggest including new kinesiology topics or technology. This may help ensure that students have access to up to date course materials while pursuing their degrees.

Other Kinesiology Masters programs may be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor of the health sciences professions. Similar to the CoAES, they assess programs on an ongoing basis to assure that they meet the standards and guidelines of a profession. In 2015, there were about 50 exercise programs with CAAHEP accredition.i

Types of Kinesiology Masters Programs

Kinesiology Masters programs are offered in a few different ways to accommodate a variety of students' needs. Depending on your current lifestyle and learning preference, you could consider pursuing one of the following program types. Be advised that program formats may vary by school. Check with an admissions advisor for more information.

On-Campus Kinesiology Masters Programs

On campus Kinesiology Masters programs could offer a hands-on experience for students. Literally! Students could have the chance to test their exercise science abilities on working anatomy models. Or, in some cases, they might even work with volunteer patients. In these cases, students could see the real-life applications of their field of study. In addition, these practical experiences might be a great way to practice creating exercise training plans.

Students may also have the chance to work with new exercise science technology on campus. Schools may have labs designed especially for kinesiology students. There, you could practice with machines and computer programs that are used to help treat movement issues. Not only could this help you in the classroom, but the experience might be a great asset as you pursue your future career.

Online Masters in Kinesiology Programs

Online Masters in Kinesiology programs may be a great option for those who need greater flexibility. Much of the kinesiology curriculum could be transferred to the digital classroom. Students may be able to log into classes as their schedule allows. This might be especially beneficial to students who are currently working and are unable to meet during typical class times. In addition, the online classroom eliminates the need to commute, allowing students to attend programs anywhere in the world. This might be useful if you are interested in a specific concentration or area of focus.

Students might also be able to access other school resources online in addition to coursework. For instance, many school make their libraries and online databases available to their distance learners. Or, schools might be able to stream lectures or guest speakers. This way, online students might be able to tap directly into the campus experience wherever they have internet access.

Hybrid Exercise Physiology Masters Programs

Hybrid Kinesiology Masters programs take aspects of the online and on-campus formats to create a holistic approach. The majority of classwork is conducted digitally like the online program. This way, students could still take advantage of the flexible scheduling.

Students may then come on to campus for certain practical classes. This provides hands-on experience and could offer an opportunity for students to work with advanced motion technology. Using these machines at home might be hard to do because of their high cost. The time on campus could be a chance to become familiar with the industry technology.

Typically, on site classes are conducted during the winter or summer semesters. By doing this, schools could offer shorter, condensed semesters that may have fewer conflicts with their students’ personal routine. Follow up with individual programs for details.

Potential Kinesiology Careers: Exercise Physiologist

Students who earn a Masters in Kinesiology degree might choose to pursue a career as an exercise physiologist. These professionals develop fitness programs for patients to address things like chronic diseases or to enhance their overall body composition. In 2016, exercise physiologists earned a median salary of $47,340. Additionally, the amount of available positions is projected to grow between 2014 and 2024 by 11%, which is faster than the national average.ii

While these positions may require a bachelors degree for entry-level roles, masters degrees are also common. This career may pull directly from masters curriculum. For example, courses like biology, anatomy, and clinical work could be useful.i

Additionally, some states do require exercise physiologists to earn licensure. To do this, you could take either the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) or American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certification exams. State requirements vary. Be sure to speak with possible employers or your school’s career center for more information.

Continue Your Search for a Masters in Kinesiology Program

Using this information as a base, you might be ready to start your search for a perfect Masters in Exercise Science program. To begin, browse the lists of programs on this page. Or, you could further refine this list by selecting your preferred program type from the menu bar.

To find out more about a specific program, click its link. This provides you with a brief description about the Kinesiology Masters program. While you’re there, you could also request more information from the school. This could be a great way to find out about admissions deadlines, available courses, and more. Or start speaking with admissions advisors about your potential future application.  

Why wait? Search for a perfect Masters of Kinesiology program today.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/exercise-physiologists.htm#tab-4 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/exercise-physiologists.htm

 

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