How to Choose a Masters in Kinesiology Degree + Online Option

This article provides an overview of the masters in kinesiology degree program, some of the subjects and courses that the program covers, and why you may want to consider the degree for career advancement. It also presents an online masters in kinesiology program that you may want to consider.

What Is a Masters in Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is that branch of science that deals with the movement of the body. As such, the masters in kinesiology degree program is being offered by many schools with a number of specializations, such as:

  • Coaching
  • Wellness management
  • Physical activity and its physiological basis
  • Public health and physical activity
  • Clinical exercise

The program usually also requires students to take part in a practicum experience, laboratory courses, and may they have to complete a thesis.

Each school has set its own requirements for acceptance to the program, but most will look for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (preferably kinesiology or exercise science). GRE results and several letters of recommendation may also be needed.

There are numerous careers that are possible in the field of kinesiology, but to take on advanced roles, a masters degree is required. During the masters of kinesiology, students take part in extensive laboratory research based on the specialized and advanced topics that they will have completed during the first part of the program. Such topics include chronic heart failure, childhood obesity, physical activity intervention programs, and more. Other core courses that are commonly seen as part of this degree include:

  • Physiology of Coaching
  • Research Methods
  • Sports and Nutrition
  • Metabolism and Nutrition
  • ECG Interpretation
  • Fitness Assessment

Why Earn a Masters in Kinesiology?

Once you earn a master’s in kinesiology, there are a lot of avenues that you could decide to travel on. For instance, you could decide to continue your education and complete a Ph.D. in kinesiology, which will give you the opportunity to research a certain field of kinesiology and conduct an independent piece of research. You will need to complete a dissertation for this and defend it. Many students who complete the doctoral degree move into academia to teach the next generation of kinesiologists, although some will continue to perform research.

If you do not wish to move on towards getting a doctorate degree, you can apply the skills and knowledge you have learned in the workplace. Your degree program would have focused on topics that relate to nutrition and to sports alike, which you will have studied traditionally as well as through lab work. You may start to work as a wellness consultant, for instance, or a coach. Indeed, there is a huge variety of careers available for those who have completed the masters degree, possibly working in community centers, fitness clubs, research laboratories, and so on.

Because of the variety of positions that are available to those who have completed this particular degree, it can be difficult to find a proper job projection. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that coaches and scouts had a median salary of $31,460 per year as of May 2016. However, that is at the bachelor’s degree level. Those with a masters degree are more likely to be in the top 10% of earners, who can enjoy salaries of $71,940 per year or more. The BLS has also reported that there will be a 6% growth in demand for coaches and scouts from 2014 to 2024, which translates into some 14,800 new jobs.

Meanwhile, the BLS has also reported that exercise physiologists had a median salary of $47,340 per year as of May 2016. The salary, however, is for those who have a bachelor’s degree. Again, those with a masters degree are more likely to be in the top 10% of earners, who earn $74,330 per year or more. The BLS has also estimated that there will be an 11% growth in demand for exercise physiologists from 2014 to 2024, which will translate into some 1,500 new jobs.

Other occupations in the fitness industry that the BLS has reported on include fitness trainers and instructors, massage therapists, recreation workers, and more. This shows that the fitness industry is huge and it is showing no signs of slowing down in growth. The industry is truly unique, and those with experience and knowledge in the field of kinesiology have the opportunity to change the lives of others for the better.

Online Option for Masters in Kinesiology

AT Still University

One online program that you may want to consider is the Master of Science in Kinesiology offered by AT Still University. This is a post-professional program for those who already work in the health and fitness industry. The degree is expected to produce expert graduates who can lead the clinical field of health and fitness, exercise science, and kinesiology. The program is nothing short of exceptional and graduates are in high demand in communities for their extensive knowledge in exercise physiology, functional anatomy, behavior change, kinesiology, exercise program design, and functional assessment.

The degree program is offered at the College of Graduate Health Studies and it emphasizes evidence-based research. Clinicians would be able to instantly apply the things that they have learned in their practice. It has been designed to elevate exercise and fitness and sports medicine professionals by ensuring that they have the advanced skills, knowledge, and abilities required to maintain and design their programs. Graduates are in high demand as fitness department managers, coaches, club owners, educators, athletic organizations, or health professionals.

The program is delivered online, but the curriculum is based strongly on real life experiences. It consists of 42 credit hours, 12 of which are for the specialization tracks, with the following options:

  • Sports Conditioning
  • Exercise and Sport Psychology
  • Geriatric Exercise Science
  • Corrective Exercise and Orthopedic Rehabilitation
  • Adaptive Sports

Core courses include:

  • Evidence-Based Practice and Research Methods
  • Motor Control
  • Exercise Science
  • Functional Anatomy
  • Functional Biomechanics
  • Exercise and Sport Related Nutrition
  • Summer Institute
  • Advanced Fitness Nutrition
  • Advanced Exercise Prescription
  • Current Topics in Human Movement Science

Upon completing of the degree, career opportunities include:

  • Wellness consultant
  • Coach
  • Therapeutic recreation specialist
  • Community activities director
  • Sports equipment manager


As you can see, completing a master’s in kinesiology is a great way to advance your career. You will set yourself apart as a highly trained and knowledgeable professional in the field of kinesiology, sports medicine, nutrition, exercise and fitness, and more. You have a range of career opportunities available to you, and you are guaranteed to have a long and interesting career in which you can take a lot of professional pride.