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


With a master's degree in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities, you can learn how to use the power of physical education to make a difference in the lives of students who need it the most. This is a full- or part-time program that is offered in Charlottesville only.

“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.”

– Caitlin McDaniel, M.Ed. Candidate, Kinesiology - Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities

The Master’s Program in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities (KID) at the University of Virginia is a one-year 36 credit program which includes one summer and two semesters (fall and spring). The KID Program is ideal for students who are certified in health and physical education and are seeking to be adapted physical education specialists. The program can also be used as a preparatory year for students interested in attending graduate programs in occupational or physical therapy. The hands-on experiences and coursework makes students stronger candidates when they apply for admission to graduate therapy programs.

Practical Experiences
The KID Program is best known for its emphasis on practical experiences. Students serve as 1⁄2 time adapted physical education specialists and have the opportunity to work with occupational and physical therapists in local Albemarle County Public Schools and at the Virginia Institute for Autism. Students can also serve as volunteer coaches with our local Special Olympics program, and have an opportunity to volunteer with other disability sports programs at the VA School for the Deaf and Blind, Challenger Baseball, Wintergreen Adaptive Skiing, Charlottesville Parks and Recreation and Sportables (Paralympics sports program in Richmond, VA).

Culminating Experiences
Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination, which for the KID Program is the Adapted Physical Education National Standards (APENS) Examination. We do not have any research or thesis requirements in the KID Program.

Program Details


  • 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's 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 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.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Application Due Date

    March 15 for the first review of applications. Applications will be accepted until May 1 on a space-available basis. Applicants must select “summer” as their term of entry. Decisions will be available 6 weeks after the deadline.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Degree Requirements

    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 for physical educators who are seeing to become nationally certified as an adapted physical educator. Others have an alternative comprehensive examination.

    Practicum

    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 5220 - Program Planning and Evaluation in Kinesiology (3 credits)
    KINE 5240 - Kinesiology for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (3 credits)

    Fall (15 credits)
    KINE 5980 - Practicum in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities (4 credits)
    KINE 5260 - Physical, Sensory and Health Impairments (3 credits)
    KINE 5270 – Physical Education for Children with Autism (3 credits) (online)
    KINE 5280 - Seminar in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities (2 credits)
    ELECTIVE 1 - (3 credits)

    Spring (15 credits)
    KINE 5980 - Practicum in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities (4 credits)
    KINE 5250 – Physical Education for Children w Severe Disabilities (2 credits)
    ELECTIVE 2 - (3 credits)
    ELECTIVE 3 - (3 credits)
    ELECTIVE 4 - (3 credits)

    Some Elective Options:
    EDIS 5012 - Mindfulness for Teachers (3 credits) (online)
    EDIS 5041 - Behavior and Classroom Management (3 credits)
    EDIS 5100-5120 - Characteristics of Varying Disabilities (1 credit each)(online)
    EDIS 5133 - Basic Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
    EDLF 5470 - Motivation in Achievement Contexts (3 credits)
    EDLF 5700 - Race, Ethnicity and Diversity in Youth Dev. (3 credits)
    EDIS 5422 - Education Across Cultures (3 credits)(online)
    KINE 5760 - Principles of Strength & Conditioning (3 credits)


    *** 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. This degree also strengthens the application of students seeking to go to physical or occupational therapy school, and prepares those interested in careers in sport and recreation programs for individuals with disabilities.

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 http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.