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Kinesiology Major

Kinesiology refers to the study of movement and is a multifaceted field of study in which movement or physical activity is the intellectual focus. Physical activity includes exercising for improvement of health and fitness; learning movement skills; and engaging in activities of daily living, work, sport, dance, and play. It involves the general population as well as special groups such as children and older adults; people with disabilities, injuries, or disease; and athletes.

Career Outlook

So what can you do with a Kinesiology major? Majoring in Kinesiology opens the door for a career in everything from fitness-related industries, to teaching, coaching, and health-related fields like medicine, public health, and physical or occupational therapy.

Why UVa?

We understand the passion for health, fitness and sport performance. The satisfaction that comes with seeing an injured athlete recover, a patient use nutrition and exercise to improve his health, or a wheelchair-bound student learn to play tennis—it’s immeasurable. Regardless of where your passion leads you, our faculty will help to nurture and develop it.

Why Curry?

We’re big into hands-on experience at Curry. That means you’ll not only learn in the classroom, but on the field, in the lab, in the clinic, and with faculty. Together, we’ll prepare you for what comes beyond college—graduate school, medical school or a career in a variety of areas.

The blend of experiences you’ll receive as a Kinesiology major, especially the field and clinical practice, will prepare you in ways that other majors cannot. As a Kinesiology student, you’ll be working alongside some of the area’s finest in the wellness field.

What You'll Get

The Kinesiology major leads to a B.S.Ed. degree. If you have dual enrollment, AP and/or IB credits you can opt to accelerate your studies, earning a B.S.Ed. and M.Ed in five years. Accelerated study is available in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities and Health and Physical Education Teaching. You'll need to apply to one of the M.Ed. programs by October 15 of your fourth year. GRE scores are due before the end of fall semester. An admission decision is made before the beginning of spring semester.

Though you'll have a number of required courses, you'll also have opportunities to shape your coursework according to your career goals, including adding a second major or a minor inside or outside of the Curry School. A faculty member from kinesiology will serve as your academic advisor, assisting you with the selection of classes. Your advisor will also help you consider optimal settings for gaining hands-on experiences in clinical, athletic, or school settings.

Program Life

The Kinesiology major is a direct-admit program. Students from high school apply directly to Kinesiology through the University's Office of Undergraduate Admission. Once enrolled, students take courses both in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Curry School of Education. Students are expected to meet all general education requirements in their first two years, so they can concentrate on Kinesiology courses in years three and four. In addition to coursework, students in the Kinesiology major have a practicum requirement. 

If you are interested in visiting us and finding out more about our Kinesiology program, please contact David Edwards ( Tell him you are interested in attending one of the information sessions listed below. If for some reason none of the dates fit your plans, email him anyway and he'll see what he can do!  

Summer 2017 Open House Dates:
Friday, June 23rd at 2pm - Ruffner Hall Room 202
Friday, July 14th at 2pm - Memorial Gym Room 211
Friday, August 11th at 2pm - Memorial Gym Room 211

Once you have chosen a date, contact Prof. Edwards for directions and to RSVP.  

Also check out the tours offered through the undergraduate admissions office. The tour of grounds, taken together with our Kinesiology specific tour, should give you most of the information you need to decide if UVA is the right fit for you! Contact undergraduate admissions to make your reservations for their on grounds tour.

Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

High school students should have a strong GPA and competitive SAT scores. When completing the Common Application, they must be sure to indicate an interest in Kinesiology and adhere to application deadlines set by the University's Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Current UVa students who are interested in transferring to the Curry School can apply to the Kinesiology major by February 1. Space in the major is limited. Preference will be given to students who are taking/have taken Biology 2010, 2020 and 2040 and Biology 3410, are making good progress toward completing general education requirements, and performing at levels that will make them competitive for graduate schools in exercise science, medicine, and allied health fields. Current students can apply using the online application.

Students who have begun their third year of study are not eligible for the undergraduate Kinesiology major. However, they may qualify for one of the graduate programs in Kinesiology. 

Transfer applicants from other universities need to follow procedures outlined by the University's Office of Undergraduate Admission. Applicants must indicate an interest in Kinesiology on the Common Application. Preference will be given to students who are working towards the completion of the general education requirements, particularly science and physiology courses.

Application Due Date

High school students and transfer applicants from other universities must follow deadlines set by the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admission. Current UVA students must apply by February 1 to transfer into the major. Admissions decisions are typically made within 2-3 weeks after the application due date; admitted students begin their studies the following semester.

Degree Requirements

As an undergrad Kinesiology student, you’ll take general education courses in the humanities and natural and social sciences, and core Kinesiology courses—classes like anatomy, exercise physiology, motor development, biomechanics and contemporary health issues. Based on your own career goals, you’ll take additional prescribed courses and electives. You have the freedom to choose from a wide variety of courses and experiences so that you can be exposed to the many different aspects of the field.

  • if you plan to apply to Medical School or a Physician Assistant program, you will take additional science and clinical courses.
  • if you plan to apply to Physical Therapy School or a graduate program in Athletic Training, you will take additional electives in Sports Medicine.
  • if you plan to apply to graduate school in Exercise Physiology or Nutrition, you will take additional courses in exercise science and nutrition.
  • if you wish to pursue graduate training in Adapted Physical Education or Teaching School Health and Physical Education, you will take electives in those areas.

There are four sub-disciplines within the Kinesiology Program at the graduate level: Adapted Physical Education, Athletic Training/Sports Medicine, Exercise Physiology, and Health and Physical Education. Each of these sub-disciplines offers master’s and doctoral degrees.

37 credits General Education Liberal Arts Core

Students in the Curry School of Education must meet all general education requirements for the school. Students in specific majors within Curry may have additional general education requirements.

  • Humanities: 12 Credits. May include Literature, Fine Arts, or Moral Philosophical, Foreign Language and Religious Perspectives.
    • First writing requirement: ENWR 1510, 1507/1508, (or equivalent). Exemptions from the requirement include A) Score of 720 or higher on the Writing Portion of the SAT or B) Score of a 5 on the English Advanced Placement Test
    • Second writing requirement. All students must complete a Second Writing Requirement with a grade of C- or better. To meet the Second Writing Requirement, a class must:
      • Assign at least two writing assignments in English totaling 4,000 words (20 pages) or more independent of quizzes and final examinations
      • Be taught by a faculty member and extensive feedback is provided on a student's writing
      • Be taken at the University. Advanced placement credit, advanced standing, dual enrollment credit or credit transferred from another university will not satisfy this requirement.
      • Courses meeting this requirement can be found using the drop down menu on SIS in the Course Search
  • Social Sciences: 9 Credits. May include History, Anthropology, Economics, Politics, Psychology; Sociology, African American Studies, Linguistics and Studies in Women and Gender.
  • Natural Sciences: 9 Credits. Must include courses in 2 different departments. Includes Math, Statistics, Physics, Biology, Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, and Astronomy.
    • Required for KINESIOLOGY students only:
      • Biology 2100 , 2200 (8 credits) *This is a new class, students will also get credit if they have taken 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040.
      • Biology 3410 , 3420 (8 credits) 
      • Calculus (3 credits)


  • Cultural Literacy: 3 credits. May include courses in diversity in education, global studies or study abroad. Any course that the College of Arts and Sciences has identified as a "Non-Western Perspective" course may satisfy this requirement. Curry has approved EDLF 3500 for this requirement.
  • Statistics: Any STAT or course in a specific department that is designated as “statistics” including EDLF 5330 (Ed Stat 1) 

  • Residence Requirement: A recipient of a B.S.Ed. degree from the Curry School must have completed at least four semesters of full-time (12 credits) study at the University of Virginia while enrolled in the Curry School of Education. Exceptions for emergency situations may only be granted with the advisor's and dean's permission. In addition, all students must be full-time (12 credits minimum) during all semesters, except the final one (9 credits minimum). 



Kinesiology Major Curriculum for students ENTERING FALL 2015*Curriculum requirements for students prior to the FALL 2015 TERM.


Core: These 15 credits are required (ALL) 

  • KINE 2000 Introduction to Kinesiology
  • KINE 3600 Musculoskeletal Anatomy
  • KINE 3620 Biomechanics/Motor Control of Human Movement
  • KINE 3410 Exercise Physiology
  • KINE 3660 Neuroscience of Exercise 


Take a minimum of 6 credits from this list 

  • KINE 2100 Teaching Team Sports (2 credits)
  • KINE 2110  Teaching Lifetime Physical Activity & Fitness (2 credits)
  • KINE 2410 Group Exercise (3 credits)
  • KINE 2420 Intro to Personal Training (3 credits)
  • KINE 3630 Emergency Medical Care (3 credits)
  • KINE 3211 Kinesiology Disabilities Lab (1 credit)
  • KINE 3601 Musculoskeletal Anatomy Lab (1 credit)
  • KINE 4000 Practicum in Kinesiology (3 credits)
  • KINE 4130 Teaching School Health (3 credits)
  • KINE4601 Athletic Injuries Lab (1 credit)
  • KINE 2850 Medical Terminology (1 credit)


Take a minimum of 15 credits from this list (all 3 credit courses)

  • KINE 2200 Motor Development
  • KINE 3210 Kinesiology Individuals Disabilities 
  • KINE 3400 Nutrition 
  • KINE 3420 Contemporary Health Issues
  • KINE 4600 Athletic Injuries 
  • KINE 4670 The Art & Science of Sports Medicine
  • EDLF 3440 Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity
  • EDLF 3420 Athletics in the University
  • KINE 4400 Nutrition for Athletic Performance 
  • KINE 5100 Assessment in Kinesiology 
  • KINE 5110 Elementary Pedagogy
  • KINE 5120 Secondary Pedagogy
  • KINE 5230 Sports Recreation and Camping for Individuals with Disabilities
  • KINE 5250 KINES for Children with Severe Disabilities
  • KINE 5260 APE: Phys and Sensory Impaired
  • KINE 5430 Adv Exercise Physiology
  • KINE 5470 Metabolic Adaptations to Exercise 


The proposed course outline for KINE students is:

First Year:

First Writing
BIOL 2100-2200
Intro to Kinesiology
Humanities/social science courses


Second Year:

BIOL 3410-3420 (anatomy & physiology)
Second Writing
Cultural literacy
1-2 KINE courses (E.G. Emergency Medical Care, Disabilities, Motor Development, Contemporary Health Issues)


Third Year (Core):

MSK Anatomy
Exercise Physiology
Neuroscience of Exercise


Fourth Year:

Finish all requirements
Practicum or Focused Courses in KINE
KINE Electives
General Electives


Any student with pre-medical, pre-physical therapy, pre-physician assistant, etc. will have additional requirements.

Funding Opportunities

Students may apply for federal financial aid and work-study opportunities through the Office of Student Financial Services. There are also some paid positions for experienced students in practica sites. Check with your advisor about this option. Kinesiology is also participating in the USOAR program.

Typical Length of Study

Students must meet all undergraduate degree requirements in 8 semesters. Accelerated study and early entry into a relevant master’s degree program is possible.

Semester of Entry:

Admitted students enter the major one semester after their application is reviewed.

Full or Part Time:

This is a full-time program of study.

Course Overview

Students are encouraged to attend University Career Services Pre-Health Advising for information regarding planning for pre-requisites in various fields. For example, pre med and pre PA students will need Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry; pre-PT students will need Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. Although biology is required for the Kinesiology major, the other sciences are not and would be considered electives. Various schools change their requirements and it is important for students to be aware of requirements for course planning.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at

Student Spotlight

Andrew Paisley
5th year Kinesiology
M.Ed. Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology

I began with an interest in athletic performance. Now, I have experience in cardiac rehab, fitness & wellness, and research, and I feel prepared for medical school and a health care career.

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