“Kinesiology is an academic discipline which involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society, and quality of life.” — American Kinesiology Association

The Master of Science degree in Kinesiology provides students with an understanding of how physical activity (including sport and exercise) impact and are affected by various physiological, mechanical, and psychosocial aspects of human health and performance.

The degree prepares students for careers in higher-education, research, and practice through didactic coursework in the areas of Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, Motor Behavior, Rehabilitation, Sport& Exercise Psychology, and Psychosocial Aspects of Health Behavior.

Knowledge and skills in research-related and discipline-specific coursework helps prepare students to address complex real-world health and performance issues and utilize critical thinking skills to generate knowledge and make sound decisions to support continued personal and professional development.

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.

Credits and Courses

The minimum degree requirement is 30 graduate credits for Options A (thesis), B (project or internship) and C (comprehensive examination). Option A students must take no fewer than 15 credits of core courses, 9 credits of elective courses, and 6 credits of thesis. Option B students must take no fewer than 15 credits of core courses, 9 to 12 credits of elective courses, and 3 to 6 credits of project or internship courses. Option C students must take no fewer than 15 credits of core courses and 15 credits of elective courses. Students must take elective courses from KIN courses at the 500-level or higher; 3 graduate credits may be taken from outside KIN courses.

Option A: Thesis Option

Competency Domains
Statistical Analysis
KIN 702Statistical Analysis in the Health Sciences3
Kinesiology Research Methods
KIN 703Research Methods in Kinesiology3
Biomechanics and Motor Behavior
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Biomechanics Research
Biomechanics of Athletic Performance
Investigating Motor Behavior in Health, Aging, and Disease
Exercise Physiology
KIN 530Physiology of Performance3
or KIN 531 Clinical Exercise Physiology
Sociocultural and Behavioral Aspects
Select one of the following:3
Multilevel Approaches to Changing Physical Activity and Eating Behaviors
Obesity and Weight Management
Sports Nutrition
Electives 19
Thesis6
Research and Thesis
Total Credits30

Students prepare a research thesis, which will earn 6 credits within the required 30 graduate credit minimum. Each student is responsible for initiating contact and dialog with the major professor to identify a thesis committee before completing 12 graduate credits. The thesis committee will consist of a minimum of three members. The major professor from the Department Kinesiology will serve as the committee chair. The remaining members may be UWM Graduate Faculty or individuals from outside the UWM Graduate Faculty that hold a doctorate and are actively engaged in scholarly inquiry in the field, or related field, associated with the thesis topic. An individual who is not a member of the UWM Graduate Faculty will be required to file a curriculum vita with the MS Kinesiology Program Director and be approved by the Kinesiology Graduate Faculty prior to serving as a committee member. The thesis committee approves a program of study designed to lead the student into the thesis research area. To make subsequent changes, the student must petition the departmental Graduate Faculty Committee prior to any intended change.

Option B: Project or Internship Option

Competency Domains
Statistical Analysis
KIN 702Statistical Analysis in the Health Sciences3
Kinesiology Research Methods
KIN 703Research Methods in Kinesiology3
Biomechanics and Motor Behavior
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Biomechanics Research
Biomechanics of Athletic Performance
Investigating Motor Behavior in Health, Aging, and Disease
Exercise Physiology
KIN 530Physiology of Performance3
or KIN 531 Clinical Exercise Physiology
Sociocultural and Behavioral Aspects
Select one of the following:3
Multilevel Approaches to Changing Physical Activity and Eating Behaviors
Obesity and Weight Management
Sports Nutrition
Electives 19-12
Project or Internship3-6
Capstone Project
Capstone Project
Total Credits27-33

Students prepare a capstone project or an internship, which will earn up to 3 or 6 credits (with 12 or 9 credits of electives, respectively), within the required 30 graduate credit minimum. Each student is responsible for initiating contact and dialog with the major professor about their capstone project or internship before completing 12 graduate credits. The major professor approves a program of study designed to lead the student into the capstone project or internship.

Option C: Comprehensive Examination Option

Competency Domains
Statistical Analysis
KIN 702Statistical Analysis in the Health Sciences3
Kinesiology Research Methods
KIN 703Research Methods in Kinesiology3
Biomechanics and Motor Behavior
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Biomechanics Research
Biomechanics of Athletic Performance
Investigating Motor Behavior in Health, Aging, and Disease
Exercise Physiology
KIN 530Physiology of Performance3
or KIN 531 Clinical Exercise Physiology
Sociocultural and Behavioral Aspects
Select one of the following:3
Multilevel Approaches to Changing Physical Activity and Eating Behaviors
Obesity and Weight Management
Sports Nutrition
Electives 115
Total Credits30

Students will take a comprehensive examination in the semester in which they apply for graduation. The comprehensive examination will be a 100 multiple-choice exam with 20 items from each core course the student took. Each student is responsible for requesting to take the comprehensive examination to the MS Kinesiology graduate program director by the end of the first week of the semester in which they will apply for graduation. The MS Kinesiology graduate program director approves a program of study designed to lead the student into the comprehensive examination.

Additional Requirements

Major Professor or MS Kinesiology Program Director as Advisor

The Graduate School requires that each student have a major professor to advise, supervise and approve the program of study before registering for courses. Each student in Option A and B will be assigned an advisor upon admission. Students in Option C will be advised by the MS Kinesiology graduate program director.

Thesis, Project, or Comprehensive Examination

The student in Option A (thesis) or in Option B (project) must pass comprehensive oral examination in defense of the completed project. The student in Option B (internship) must write a paper on a related question for the internship and give an oral presentation. The student in Option C (comprehensive examination) must pass the exam.

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.

Additional Requirements

Major Professor as Advisor

The Graduate School requires that each student have a major professor to advise, supervise and approve the program of study before registering for courses. Each student will be assigned an advisor upon admission based on the declared area of concentration.

Comprehensive Examination

The student must pass comprehensive oral examination in defense of the completed project.

Time Limit

The student must complete all degree requirements within seven years of initial enrollment.