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 39 to 42 credits for nonthesis students and 47 to 50 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 (27 cr.):
Complete each of the following courses:

  • HPER-K 524 Exercise and Physical Activity for People with Disabilities (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 536 Obesity and Body Composition (3 cr.) or HPER-K 562 Exercise Prescription in Health and Disease I (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 553 Physical Activity and Health (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 554 Seminar in Physical Activity and Wellness (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 560 Exercise in Corporate Fitness and Wellness (3 cr.)
  • HPER-R 544 Legal Aspects of Recreation Administration (3 cr.)
  • HPER-T 590 Introduction to Research in Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation (3 cr.) or HPER-H 594 Health Program Evaluation (3 cr.)
  • HPER-T 594 Finance and Budgeting (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-V 561 Human Resources Management (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 500 Special Topics in Kinesiology: Administration of Fitness Programs (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 500 Special Topics in Kinesiology: Sport and New Media (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 500 Special Topics in Kinesiology: Sport Facility and Event Management (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 514 Sport Marketing and Sponsorship (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 580 Sport Communications (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 581 Sales and Service Management in Sport (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 583 Sport Public Relations (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 584 Leadership and Sport Communication (3 cr.)
  • HPER-K 614 Sport Sponsorship and Retention (3 cr.)

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

  • HPER-C 501 Assessment and Planning in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • HPER-C 510 Organization and Administration of Public Health Programs (3 cr.)
  • HPER-C 589 Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health (3 cr.)
  • HPER-T 591 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 cr.)
  • HPER-Y 611 Epidemiology (3 cr.)

C.  Physical Activity Individualized Program Track (12 cr.)
Students may develop an individualized focus area of study in conjunction with the assigned major advisor and final approval from faculty in the Physical Activity, Fitness and Wellness degree program. If this track is selected, the twelve credit hours of prescribed courses must be reported by the student's advisor to the School of Public Health - Bloomington Records Office.

Thesis and Nonthesis Options (0 - 8 cr.)

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 obtain faculty approval of completion of a culminating project or certification 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 the following courses (8 cr.):

  • HPER-K 600 Master's Thesis (5 cr.)
  • HPER-T 591 Introduction to Statistics in Public Health (3 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.

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