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.
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) and 2 outstanding recommendations. Note that recommendations should be solicited through the online application. GRE scores are not required for this degree track.
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.
Master's students complete a program of study that consists of 36 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. Students who pass this exam are nationally certified as an adapted physical educator.
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 with 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 Adapted Physical Education 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 on 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.
Another important teaching tool is helping our students conduct workshops, seminars, and presentations to local school districts and state/regional/national organizations. For example, each year for the past five years students from the program (with support from a faculty member) have presented information on topics such as peer tutoring, authentic assessment, working with children with autism, working with preschool children, and including students with disabilities in regular physical education at the Virginia Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (VAHPERD) and Southern District AAHPERD Conventions. Other conferences where our students have presented include the state and national Council for Exceptional Children Conferences and the National Association for the Education for Young Children Conference. Many of these presentations have turned into publications in nationally-recognized journals. Again, researching and writing a paper for publication with a faculty member is a wonderful learning experience for our students.
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.
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.
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 Adapted Physical Education.
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 w 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
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).