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Master of Science in Kinesiology


We are currently working to evaluate and improve our program. During this time, the M.S. in Kinesiology degree program will not be accepting applications for the 2018-2019, or 2019-2020 school years. Please check back in the future for further updates.

The Master of Science Program offers advanced study in Kinesiology. Graduate students will experience hands-on learning in the classroom, Biomechanics/Motor Learning and Human Performance Laboratories, and field experience in clinical, community, corporate and university health and exercise settings. Graduate students can also engage in "Learn by Doing" opportunities through STRIDE (Solutions Through Research in Diet and Exercise). The program offers Thesis and Non-Thesis Options for students and is designed to strengthen the breadth and depth of the student's academic preparation in Kinesiology. The program incorporates the theoretical, scientific, and practical knowledge in exercise, health, sport and physical activity as applied in preventive, clinical, educational, and commercial settings. 

Graduates with the Master of Science in Kinesiology are prepared to continue graduate study at Doctoral granting institutions or to work in a wide range of enterprises such as:

  • Personal Training and Commercial Fitness
  • Work Site Health Promotion
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • College/University Fitness & Recreation Centers
  • Teaching/Coaching in Community Colleges
  • Obesity/Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention in Community/Public Health Settings
  • Public/Private or Non-Profit Health Agencies
  • Health Education/Promotion for Health Insurance Providers
  • Research in their field of specialization 

Requirements for the Degree

  • The formal study plan must include 45 quarter units of course work approved by the graduate committee. Coursework is designed to prepare the student to achieve his/her stated career objective. At least 30 of the units must be completed at the 500-level.
  • Up to 15 units may be taken at the 400/500-level from courses outside of the Kinesiology Department with graduate committee approval provided these courses were not required as part of the undergraduate degree program. 
  • At least 32 units on the formal study plan must be completed in residence and no more than 9 units of graduate committee approved extension courses may be included on the formal study plan. 
  • A maximum of 13.5 units of graduate courses taken before matriculation (admission) to Cal Poly can be included on the formal study plan.
  • Each candidate must successfully complete a culminating experience before the MS degree is granted. The requirement can take one of two forms: (1) those students following the Thesis Option must successfully propose and defend the thesis or project in an oral examination, or (2) those students following the Non-Thesis Option must pass a comprehensive examination dealing with general knowledge in the discipline of Kinesiology and the application of coursework. In addition, all candidates must meet the current California State University Graduation Writing Requirement.


If the degree requirements are not completed within 7 years, the student will need to complete additional requirements as determined by the graduate committee.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Demonstrate analytical thinking in Kinesiology and the sub-disciplines.
  2. Exhibit the best practices, values, and ethics of the profession.
  3. Demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge in Kinesiology and the sub-disciplines.
  4. Effectively communicate knowledge in Kinesiology and the sub-disciplines.
  5. Be qualified applicants for doctoral programs and/or careers in Kinesiology and the sub-disciplines.

Additional Information:

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