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Administrative Unit:Kinesiology
College/School: School of Education
Admitting Plans:M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.A., M.S., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Doctoral Minor

Faculty: Professors Edwards (chair), Diffee, Koltyn; Associate Professors Benedict, Cook, Eldridge, Gruben, Larson, Mason, Schrage, van Kan; Assistant Professors Ausderau, Barnes, Bell, Hornberger, Pickett 


The mission of the Department of Kinesiology is to create, interpret, transmit, and apply knowledge related to movement, exercise, and human occupation with the ultimate goal of enhancing human health, productivity, and quality of life.

The M.S. and Ph.D. in Kinesiology are available with research specialization (thesis or dissertation) in biomechanics, exercise physiology, exercise psychology, motor control and behavior, physical activity epidemiology, and occupational science.

The M.S. in Kinesiology with the nonthesis option provides courses that cover the breadth of the kinesiology field and electives, and it may include a final project. This degree supports an interest in coaching/teaching (team or individual), personal training or fitness instruction, or it may supplement the practice of physical therapy, athletic training, or other allied health professions, or any individual purpose a student may have. No thesis is required.

An M.S. in Occupational Therapy (MS–OT) prepares students for entry into the occupational therapy profession. (The MS–OT program is within the Kinesiology department; information about it is listed separately in this catalog under Occupational Therapy.) This is a professional degree open to students with a bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited college or university. No thesis is required.

Graduate training in kinesiology can be directed toward the degrees of M.S. and/or Ph.D. in Kinesiology. Both of these degrees combine advanced courses with the option of an intensive research experience. Department research facilities are well equipped, and faculty and graduate students have access to other specialized research facilities across campus. Faculty and graduate student research is currently supported by funding from the state and federal government, research foundations, and private industry. Faculty are affiliated with the Institute on Aging; Cardiovascular Research Center; Center for Neuroscience/Neuroscience Training Program; departments of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Neurology, Population Health Science, and Psychology; McPherson Eye Research Institute; Harlow Center for Biological Psychology; interdepartmental graduate program in Nutritional Sciences; Trace Research and Development Center; VA Geriatric Research and Education Center; Waisman Center; and Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute.

M.S. and Ph.D. in Kinesiology 

Admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. graduate programs requires satisfactory completion of the department's general prerequisite courses, listed below, or their equivalent. A degree in occupational therapy fulfills the department's prerequisites for occupational science admission. Students lacking some prerequisite courses may be considered for admission with 'deficiencies.' The deficiencies must be made up during (or before) the student's graduate studies, but the student retains eligibility for departmental financial support. Generally, deficiencies may not exceed 12 credits, and if they do, normally the student would enroll as a nondegree Special student or make up the deficiencies in some other way before graduate admission. Graduate students in Kinesiology are given priority for assistantship support from department funds, and students from other departments are not supported by department funds unless there are no eligible students in the Kinesiology department. Individual specialization areas may have specific course requirements in addition to the following department prerequisite courses. Please contact the department or see the web site for detailed information.

Prerequisite courses and credits (or courses to be taken as deficiencies):

Chem 103 General Chemistry, 4 cr
Anatomy 328 Human Anatomy, 3 cr
Anatomy 329 Human Anatomy–Kinesiology, 2 cr
Physiol 335 Physiology, 5 cr

Two of the following courses, or equivalents:
Kines 314 Physiology of Exercise, 4 cr
Kines 315 Assessment and Research in Physical Activity Pedagogy, 3 cr
Kines 318 Introduction to Biomechanics, 3 cr
Kines 330 Research in Kinesiology, 3 cr
Kines 350 Introduction to Exercise Psychology, 3 cr
Kines 360 Introduction to Motor Development, 3 cr
Kines 361 Motor Learning and Performance, 3 cr

For admission, the Graduate School requires, as does the Kinesiology department, a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0=A scale) on the last 60 semester hours (or equivalent) of undergraduate course work. An applicant must submit official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, academic transcripts from each institution attended, a minimum of three letters of recommendation, and a statement of reasons for graduate study. The statement should name the applicant's intended area(s) of specialization and provide specific details on why the applicant names the area(s). Faculty in the intended research specialization(s) will decide whether the applicant is acceptable for the graduate program in the Department of Kinesiology. If a professor in the area of specialization agrees to serve as the prospective student's advisor, then the department's graduate office recommends the applicant for admission to the Graduate School. A committee reviews, and an individual advisor is not required, for nonthesis admissions. Please consult the Kinesiology website for further details of these requirements and procedures.

All doctoral students in the Department of Kinesiology must satisfy the Ph.D. general field requirement by completing at least two graduate-level kinesiology courses of at least 2 credits each (4-6 credits total) at UW–Madison, in two different areas outside the student's area of specialization. These courses must be completed on the UW–Madison campus and must not have been used to fulfill an undergraduate deficiency or requirements for the master's degree.

For more information: Department of Kinesiology, Graduate Admissions, Room 1001 Natatorium (Gym Unit II), 2000 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1189; 608-262-8730; kinesgrad@education.wisc.edu; kinesiology.education.wisc.edu/