Graduate Academic Programs

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Science in Kinesiology Degree (MSK), Physical Activity, Fitness, and Wellness Major

Description of Program

The graduate program in Physical Activity, Fitness and Wellness focuses on the provision of a comprehensive study of fitness and sport administration with special emphasis placed on the administration of fitness programs and resources in a variety of recreational, nonprofit, corporate, and health club settings.

Degree Requirements

This program requires 36 to 39 credits for nonthesis students and 44 to 47 credits for thesis students.  The Master of Science in Kinesiology degree must include a minimum of 20 credits from the Department of Kinesiology.  A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required for graduation. A minimum grade of C– is required in each course. All electives for completing the degree must be approved by the advisor.

Core Courses (24 cr.):
Complete each of the following courses:

  • HPER–K 500 Special Topics in Kinesiology: Topic: Administration of Fitness Programs (3 cr.)
  • HPER-R 544 Legal Aspects of Recreation Administration (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 527 Adherence to Physical Activity (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 615 Financial Analysis in Sport (3 cr.) or HPER-T 594 Finance and Budgeting (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 553 Physical Activity and Health (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 524 Exercise and Physical Activity for People with Disabilities (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 554 Seminar in Physical Activity and Wellness (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 560 Exercise in Corporate Fitness and Wellness (3 cr.)

Program Concentrations
Complete one of the following program concentrations. Each student must choose a concentration in consultation with the student's major advisor:

A.  Physical Activity, Fitness and Wellness Management Track (12 cr.)
Complete 12 credits from the following courses:

  • HPER-K 614 Sport Sponsorship and Retention (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 514 Sport Marketing and Sponsorship (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 516 The Sport Industry (3 cr.)
  • HPER-R 570 Recreational Sport Administration (3 cr.) or HPER-K 510 Administrative Theory of Competitive Sports Programs (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 580 Sport Communication (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 581 Sales and Service Management in Sport (3 cr.)

B.  Physical Activity and Public Health Track (15 cr.)
Complete each of the following courses:

  • HPER-C 510 Organization and Administration of Public Health Programs (3 cr.)
  • HPER-C 501 Assessment and Planning in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • HPER-C 611 Epidemiology (3 cr.)
  • HPER-C 589 Models and Theories of Health Behavior (3 cr.)
  • HPER-C 591 Public Health Statistics (3 cr.)

C.  Physical Activity Individualized Program Track (12 cr.)
Students may develop an individualized focus area of study in conjunction with the assigned advisor and final approval from all three primarily faculty in the Physical Activity, Fitness and Wellness degree program.

Thesis and Nonthesis Options

Students must decide whether or not to pursue the thesis option. Consultation with faculty in this program is required while considering this choice. If the thesis option is desired, the following materials must be submitted by the end of the second semester of full-time enrollment for consideration of admittance:

  • A formal letter from the student stating research interests and justification for admittance into the thesis option.
  • Written verification that a tenure line faculty member in the physical activity, fitness and wellness emphasis area will serve as major advisor for the project.

Nonthesis Students must pass a comprehensive examination in addition to completing the requirements listed above.

Thesis Students must complete the following courses in addition to completion of the requirements listed above.

Complete one of the following statistics courses (3 cr.):

  • HPER-C 591 Public Health Statistics (3 cr.)
  • HPER-T 591 Interpretation of Data in Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation (3 cr.)
Complete the following Thesis Course (5 cr.):
  • HPER-K 600 Master's Thesis (5 cr.)
Special Opportunities

The graduate program provides fitness specialists an opportunity to receive more management skills after having obtained fitness certifications in their undergraduate programs. A student who comes in with a strong fitness background and ACSM Health Fitness Instructor Certification can finish the program in a year and a summer. Those students who do not have the fitness certification will take two years for the program as they take their certification preparation courses. All graduates leave with management experience and a professional fitness certification. Graduate assistant opportunities to run the Briscoe Fitness/Wellness Center facility, a wellness academic class, and other physical activity, fitness and wellness venues within IU such as Recreational Sports allow the combination of classroom learning and practical management skill application. Students are encouraged to combine their knowledge in the classroom with an experience working in the real world. Students graduate from this program with a fitness certification as well as a strong background in the management of fitness programs. Research opportunities exist, but the focus of this degree program is to contribute to enhancing healthy lifestyles through safe and effective management of fitness programs for the greater community.


Physical Activity, Fitness and Wellness majors enter the profession in a wide variety of settings: community, corporate, collegiate, and hospital-based wellness programs, to name a few. As fitness managers, they provide fitness expertise along with the programming and administrative skills necessary for the delivery of fitness and wellness services.

Academic Bulletins