Graduate Academic Programs

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Science in Kinesiology Degree (MSK), Adapted Physical Education Major

Description of Program

The degree in adapted physical education prepares individuals to design and adapt movement and activity experiences for people with disabilities. Students enrolled in the program gain knowledge in motor assessment, activity modification, behavior management, curriculum design and adaptations, medical aspects of disabling conditions, fitness programming, and other topics related to enhancing movement and activity in those with disabilities across the life span.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 35-37 credit hours is required for this program.  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.

Complete each of the following courses (20 cr.):

  • HPER-K 524 Exercise and Physical Activity for People with Disabilities (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 550 Motor Assessment of Persons with Disabilities (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 551 Medical Aspects of Disabling Conditions (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 552 Problems in Adapted Physical Education (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 572 The Physical Education Curriculum (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 577 Seminar and Practicum in Adapted Physical Activity (5 cr. over two semesters)

Complete one of the following tracks (15-17 cr.):

Thesis option: (17 cr.)

  • HPER-T 590 Introduction to Research in Health, Kinesiology and Recreation (3 cr.)
  • HPER-T 591 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 600 Master's Thesis (5 cr.)
  • Directed Electives (6 cr.)


Non-thesis option: (15 cr.)

  • HPER-T 590 Introduction to Research in Health, Kinesiology and Recreation (3 cr.)
  • Directed Electives (12 cr.)
  • Exit Requirement: Pass National APENS examination
Special Opportunities

Students have opportunities to engage in a wide variety of research experiments in laboratories, and to participate in programs that provide experience and benefit people with disabilities. Students admitted to the program assist with administering the IU Adapted Physical Education Program, which provides activity services to youth with disabilities ages 3 to 21.


The exit criterion for non-thesis master's degree recipients is successful completion of the Adapted Physical Education National Standards exam. This, combined with a physical education teaching license, will prepare students for adapted physical education specialist positions across the United States. Students receiving a master's degree with a thesis will be prepared for advanced graduate work. The Ph.D. degree prepares individuals to conduct cutting-edge research in the areas of physical activity or motor behavior in regard to people with disabilities. Employment opportunities consist primarily of faculty teaching and research positions at universities.

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