Graduate Academic Programs

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Science in Kinesiology Degree (M.S.K.), Kinesiology Major

Description of Program

The master of science degree in Kinesiology requires a 17-credit core, combined with the student’s choice of one of the following five, 18-credit tracks: Biomechanics; Exercise Physiology; Exercise and Sport Psychology; Motor Control; and Sport and Coaching Science. Thesis and non-thesis options are offered. The thesis option is for those who wish to engage in research or planning on pursuing a doctoral degree. The non-thesis option will prepare students for professional employment by providing them with an appreciation for the research process, so they can be a consumer of research.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 35 credit hours is required to complete the Kinesiology program. A minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required for graduation. A minimum grade of C is required in each course.

Complete the following list of requirements:

Public Health Foundations Requirement (0 credits)
All new master's degree students must complete the Public Health Foundations online course no later than the end of their first semester of graduate study. Complete details and registration information for this course can be found

Kinesiology Core Courses (17 credits)
Complete each of the following courses (12 cr.):

  • SPH-A 611 Advanced Topics in Athletic Training Research (2 cr.)
  • SPH-K 530 Mechanical Analysis of Human Performance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 535 Physiological Basis of Human Performance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-M 525 Psychological Foundation of Exercise and Sport (3 cr.)

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

  • SPH-K 542 Neuromuscular Control of Movement (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 543 Cortical Control of Human Movement (3 cr.)

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

  • SPH-K 599 Master’s Thesis (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 693 Independent Study and Research (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 697 Internship in Kinesiology (3 cr.)

Kinesiology Tracks: Complete 18 credits in any one of the following tracks. (18 cr.)

Biomechanics Track(18 credits)
Complete the following course (3 cr.):

  • SPH-K 631 Quantitative Mechanical Analysis of Human Motion (3 cr.)

Complete 15 credits from the following: (15 cr.):

  • SPH-K 630 Biomechanics of Human Performance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 520 MATLAB for Data Analysis (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 705 Experimental Laboratory Techniques (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 601 Experimental Analysis and Design (3 cr.)
  • SPH-Q 602 Multivariate Statistical Analysis (3 cr.)

Exercise Physiology Track(18 credits)
Complete 18 credits from the following (18 cr.):

  • SPH-K 636 Cardiopulmonary Assessment Lab (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 633 Factors Affecting Human Performance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 634 Respiratory Physiology of Exercise (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 635 Cardiovascular Physiology of Exercise (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 638 Biochemical Adaptations to Exercise (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 639 Laboratory Techniques for Exercise Biochemistry (2 cr.)
  • SPH-K 694 Seminar in Human Performance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 530 Advanced Human Nutrition (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 620 Nutrition in Sports (3 cr.)

Motor Control Track(18 credits)
Complete one of the following courses which was not completed in the Kinesiology Core above. (3 cr.):

  • SPH-K 542 Neuromuscular Control Movement (3 cr.) (If not completed above)
  • SPH-K 543 Cortical Control Movement (3 cr.) (If not completed above)

Complete the following course: (3 cr.):

  • SPH-K 641 Topics in Motor Integration (3 cr.)

Complete 12 credits from the following: (12 cr.):

  • SPH-K 541 Nature and Basis of Motor Skills (3 cr.)
  • SPH-K 520 MATLAB for Data Analysis (3 cr.)
  • COGS-Q 500 Intro to Cognitive Science (3 cr.)
  • COGS-Q 551 The Brain and Cognition (3 cr.)
  • MSCI-M 555 Medical Neuroscience (3 cr.)
  • NEUS-N 500 Neural Science I (4 cr.)
  • NEUS-N 501 Neural Science II (4 cr.)
  • PSY-P 503 Complex Cognitive Processes (3 cr.)
  • PSY-P 504 Learning and Motivation (3 cr.)

Sport and Coaching Science Track(18 credits)
Complete the following courses. (3 cr.):

  • SPH-K 533 Advanced Theories in High Level Performance (3 cr.)

Complete the following course: (3 cr.):

  • SPH-K 550 Special Topics in Kinesiology, TOPIC: Strength Training and Conditioning (3 cr.)

Complete 12 credits from the following: (12 cr.):

  • SPH-K 565 Physical Activity Behavioral Interventions (3 cr.)
  • SPH-M 518 Governance in Sport Management (3 cr.)
  • SPH-M 611 NCAA Compliance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-M 513 Sport and Higher Environment (3 cr.)
  • SPH-M 511 Legal Issues in the Sport Environment (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 620 Nutrion in Sports (3 cr.)

Special Opportunities

This program gives students a solid kinesiology core. Additionally, students choose and complete any one of the following six tracks.

Biomechanics Track: The biomechanics track takes an interdisciplinary approach to the mechanical aspects of human movement, with the particular focus on gait, gait energetics, and mechanisms for lower extremity injury. Students take a variety of courses related to human movement mechanics, data analysis and processing, and the physiological and neuromuscular aspects of human movement. The research conducted in the biomechanics laboratory focuses on the gait mechanics and energetics as well as the mechanisms for running related overuse injuries. Enrollment for the MSK Biomechanics is very limited. It is recommended that you contact Dr. Allison Gruber about availability before applying to the program. Please visit the Biomechanics Laboratory website for more information about the graduate program and research areas:

Exercise Physiology Track: The exercise physiology track is broadly based upon basic sciences: human anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and biology. The primary goal of this concentration area is to understand 'how things work'; the various cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems that necessarily respond to challenges posed by intensive exercise and physical training. The exercise physiology track primarily focuses on optimal physiological performance such as that attained by elite and highly trained athletes during competition. Unlike many fields, exercise physiology at Indiana University has remained integrative, examining how the failure or enhancement of one physiological system can influence another. The field also considers how the environment imposes limits on the body during exercise through such means as heat, cold, humidity, and altitude.

Exercise and Sport Psychology Track: The Exercise and Sport Psychology specialization in the Master of Kinesiology degree program is for students who wish to focus on scholarship and research that emphasizes the interaction of mind and body in sport and exercise. Accordingly, the coursework in this specialization includes both psychology and selected aspects of biology. Topical areas include exercise and mental health, exercise behavior from sedentary to active, personality, mood and athlete performance, and the neurobiological basis for athlete pacing, performance and placebo effect.

Motor Control Track: The motor control track focuses on the neuromuscular aspects related to the execution of human movement and learning. Students take a variety of neuroscience courses related to the control of human movement. General research topics include strength acquisition, goal-directed movement control, and the effects of human aging on movement execution with emphasis given to postural control and balance. Students in the motor control program are encouraged to take courses offered through the Program in Neural Science and the Department of Psychology to further enhance their understanding of the discipline.

Sport and Coaching Science Track: In the sport and coaching science track the student will learn about the cutting-edge science that underpins diverse aspects of coaching, e.g. tapering and peaking to optimize performance, the coach-athlete relationship, and factors that limit performance. The classes taken in this track will provide a learning environment that facilitates the comparison and contrast of theories and ideas from a range of relevant disciplines in order to integrate them into personal coaching practice. The sport and coaching science track provides a broad knowledge base for individuals aspiring to enter the field of sport science and performance coaching. Students will study all major areas of kinesiology, such as exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, and exercise and sport psychology. Students will incorporate the theories of many kinesiology disciplines to evaluate and create training programs for athletes and clients; e.g., physiology of warm-ups, development of mesocycles leading to a taper/peaking, resistance training programming, etc. Students will study a wide range of course’s allowing them to tailor their studies to best prepare them for their chosen career path in sport science and performance coaching.


Students who graduate from this highly flexible program are prepared, according to their preference, for further graduate education or for professional roles in physical/occupational therapy or athletic training.

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