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 physical activity and fitness/wellness leadership and community engagement with special emphasis placed on the administration of physical activity and fitness/wellness programs and resources in a variety of recreational, nonprofit, worksite, and commercial fitness settings.

Degree Requirements

This program requires 40 credits for nonthesis students or 48 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 (25 cr.):
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-K 524 Exercise and Physical Activity for People with Disabilities (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 553 Physical Activity and Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 554 Seminar in Physical Activity and Wellness (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 560 Corporate Fitness and Wellness (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 562 Exercise Prescription in Health and Disease (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 566 Preventive/Rehabilitative Exercise Program Administration (3 cr.) or SPH-K 550 Special Topics in Kinesiology, Topic: Fitness Administration (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 695 Practicum in Physical Education (4 cr.)
  • SPH-X 505 Principles and Foundations of Public Health (3 cr.)

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

  • SPH-H 562 Health Program Evaluation (3 cr.)
  • SPH-X 590 Introduction to Research in Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation (3 cr.)

Graduate-Level Elective Courses (12 cr.)
Complete a minimum of 12 graduate-level elective credits selected in consultation with the physical activity, fitness and wellness program academic advisor.

This concludes the degree requirements for non-thesis students in this program.

Additional degree requirements for students pursuing the thesis option (8 cr.):
Complete the following:

  • SPH-Q 501 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 599 Master's Thesis (5 cr.)
Deciding Between Thesis and Non-thesis Tracks

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.

Non-thesis Students must obtain faculty approval of completion of a culminating project or certification in addition to completing the requirements listed above.

Special Opportunities

Graduate assistant opportunities to manage the Briscoe Fitness/Wellness Center facility, assist with Healthy IU faculty/staff program implementation, and other physical activity, fitness and wellness venues within IU such as Recreational Sports allow the combination of classroom learning and practical leadership/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 leadership, management, and delivery of physical activity fitness/wellness services. 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 and community engagement opportunities.


Physical Activity, Fitness and Wellness majors enter the profession in a wide variety of settings: community, worksite wellness, collegiate, and commercial fitness/wellness programs, to name a few. As fitness managers, they provide fitness expertise along with the leadership, programming and administrative skills necessary for the delivery of science-based principles related to the delivery of physical activity, fitness and wellness services.

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