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M.Ed. in Kinesiology—Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities

The Master’s Program in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities at the University of Virginia is a one-year program which includes two summers and two semesters (fall and spring). Coursework is taught by internationally known experts in the fields of Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities, special education, and early childhood special education. The program is best known for its emphasis on practical experiences. Students serve as adapted physical education specialists and have the opportunity to work with occupational and physical therapists in local Albemarle County Public Schools. They also have opportunities to make presentations at major conferences.

Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

Master's degree applicants must have a baccalaureate degree in physical education, kinesiology, exercise science or related discipline from an accredited college or university. Preference is given to students who are licensed to teach physical education. Students also must meet the admission standards outlined in the Curry School of Education Admission Policies, which include a high standard of achievement during their undergraduate work (minimum of 3.0 GPA), a writing sample of at least 3 pages from an academic course, and 2 outstanding recommendations. Note that recommendations should be solicited through the online application.

We now require an academic writing sample instead of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The writing sample must be a paper submitted to an academic class and should be a minimum of 3 pages long (preferably longer). This paper should be submitted along with the application.

Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts with their application. However, official transcripts showing degree conferral will be required prior to matriculation.

Application Due Date

February 1 for the first review of applications. Applications will be accepted until June 1 on a space-available basis. Applicants must select “summer” as their term of entry.

Degree Requirements

Master's students complete a program of study that consists of 37 credit hours with part of these credits including practicum hours teaching students with disabilities. Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination which is the Adapted Physical Education National Standards (APENS) Examination for physical educators who are seeing to become nationally certified as an adapted physical educator. Others have an alternative comprehensive examination.


The Master's Program in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities at the University of Virginia is best known for its emphasis on daily practical experiences. We feel that daily practical experiences, supplemented by formal coursework with internationally known faculty in physical education special education, and counseling, is the best way to prepare our students to become master teachers. Also, we feel that it is important for University students to be a part of the greater Charlottesville community and support the community with efforts to provide services to children and adults with disabilities. As such, the Master's Program provides several different practicum experiences that are tied directly to Charlottesville and Albemarle County programs. For example, through a cooperative program jointly sponsored by the University of Virginia and Albemarle County Public Schools, our students serve as part-time adapted physical education specialists and work with physical and occupational therapists in local Albemarle County Public Schools. This unique arrangement allows our students to get daily, hands-on experience working as a member of a multidisciplinary team with children with disabilities, their parents, staff, and administration from local public schools. In turn, Albemarle County Schools get needed adapted physical education services at a fraction of the cost of full-time teachers. Over the past five years, students in the Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities Program at the University of Virginia have provided services to over 150 children with disabilities 2 to 13 years of age in 14 different Albemarle County Schools.

Another service component of our program is providing support to local sports and recreation organizations serving children and adults with disabilities. In the past several years, our students have served as coaches and provided other forms of assistance to our local Special Olympics Program in volleyball, swimming, soccer, track and field, and basketball. Also, our students served as support staff at Virginia Wheelchair Games held each year at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in Fishersville, VA. Most recently, our students have provided physical education and recreation services to the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA). Again, these practical experiences help our students learn more about children and adults with disabilities while at the same time providing support to important community programs.

Practical experiences, service to the community, taking courses with internationally known faculty, and working closely with faculty on presentations and publications is all a part of the University of Virginia’s Master's Program in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities.

Funding Opportunities

We receive funding for Master's Students from Albemarle County Public Schools which pays for part of select students’ tuition.

Students may apply for federal financial aid, including work-study. Information about federal aid programs, including applying using the FAFSA, can be found through Student Financial Services. Additional financial aid information can be found on Curry's Financial Aid webpage.

Typical Length of Study

The Master’s Program is one-year (summer, fall, spring, summer).

Full or Part Time:

We currently only offer full-time programming in the Master’s Program in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities.

Course Overview

Summer 1 (6 credits)

KINE 5140 - Qualitative Analysis of Fundamental Movement Patterns

KINE 5220 - Program Planning and Evaluation in Kinesiology


Fall (14 credits)

KINE 5240 - Kinesiology for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

KINE 5280 - Seminar in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities 

KINE 5270 – Physical Education for Children w Autism 

KINE 8980 - Practicum in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities 


Spring (14 credits)

KINE 5250 – Physical Education for Children w Severe Disabilities

KINE 5260 - Kinesiology for Individuals with Physical, Sensory and Health Impairments

KINE 5280 - Seminar in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities - 2

KINE 8980 - Practicum in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities - 2


Summer 2 (3 credits)

KINE 5230 - Sports, Recreation, and Camping for Children with Disabilities


Total Credits = 37



*** All classes are 3 credits with the following exceptions

  • Practicum is 6 credits each semester
  • Seminar 1 is 2 credits
  • PE for Children with Severe Disabilities is 2 credits

Sample Jobs After Graduation

Most of our Master's students pursue positions as adapted or general physical education specialists in public or private schools. Adapted physical education specialists either work as an itinerant APE specialist for a school district or as the APE specialist at a special school for children with disabilities. A number of our graduates each year choose to pursue additional graduate work in occupational and physical therapy. Occasionally graduates of the Master's program also become special education teachers (they have to take additional coursework to get certified to teach special education).

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

Caitlin McDaniel
MEd Candidate
Kinesiology - Adapted Physical Education

At the UVA Kinesiology Department, professors make an effort to know and mentor you. Classmates want to study, commiserate, and have fun together. Everyone here is cheering for your success.

Contact Us

Martin Block

223B Memorial Gym       


Locations Offered

  • Charlottesville

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