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.
So what can you do with a Kinesiology degree? 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.
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.
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, Adapted Physical Education 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.
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 program have a practicum requirement. To learn more, come to one of our upcoming open houses!
2014 Information Sessions for Prospective Four-year UVA Students*
August by appointment
*Please contact: David Edwards firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the location and nature of the session of interest.
If you are already a UVA student and would like to transfer to the Curry School to major in Kinesiology, an online application will be available this fall.
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. To begin the application, click on the APPLY NOW button on the right side of the page.
Current UVa students who are interested in transferring to the Curry School can apply to the Kinesiology by the following deadlines: October 15 (for spring entry) and February 1 (fall entry). 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 should print out their advising transcript from SIS and attach it to the internal application for admission. The application can be accessed by clinking on the Intra-UVA Transfers button on the right side of this screen. Turn materials into Curry's Office of Admission and Student Services, Ruffner Hall.
Students who have begun their third year of study are not eligible for the undergraduate Kinesiology program. 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. Use the APPLY NOW button on the right side of the screen to begin your application.
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 program. Admissions decisions are typically made within 2-3 weeks; admitted students begin their studies the following semester.
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.
Majoring in Kinesiology means you'll take 37 credits of general education liberal arts core classes, 45 credits of Kinesiology major classes and 38 credits of general electives.
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. Must include ENWR 1510, 1507/1508, (or equivalent), and a second writing requirement. 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.
- Social Sciences: 9 Credits. Must include PSYCH and SOC; for remaining credits may also include include History, Anthropology, Economics, Politics, African American Studies, Linguistics and Studies in Women and Gender.
- Natural Sciences: 13 Credits. Must include BIOL 2010/2020 with labs plus MATH 1210 or greater.
- 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.
45 credits Kinesiology Major
- Introduction to Kinesiology
- Anatomy & Physiology l and II (lab not required for kinesiology major, but is needed for many graduate programs)
- Contemporary Health Issues
- Motor Development
- Human Anatomy
- Exercise Physiology
- Neuromuscular Adaptations of Human Movement
12 credits of prescribed electives based on professional goal and 6 credits of elective courses in Kinesiology. (some sample electives are below)
- Adolescent/child Learning & Development
- Advanced Exercise Physiology
- Athletic Injuries + Lab
- Clinical Exercise Testing
- Elementary Pedagogy
- Emergency Medical Care
- Exercise Physiology Lab
- Exercise Principles for Health & Fitness
- Kinesiology for Developmental Disabilities
- Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities
- Kinesiology for Physical/Sensory/Health Impairments
- Pediatric Exercise Physiology
- Physical Activity & Public Health
- Practicum in Kinesiology*
- Secondary Pedagogy
- Sport and Exercise Psychology
- Substance abuse
- Teaching School Health
38 credits General Electives
Electives – are dependent on target graduate area of study. Some sample general electives are listed below.
- Chemistry + Lab (10 credits)
- Physics + Lab (8 credits)
- Organic Chemistry + Lab (12 credits)
=120 Credits Total
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.
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 program one semester after their application is reviewed.
Full or Part Time:
This is a full-time program of studies.
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 major 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.