Back in my Golden Years of Living (aka the elementary, carefree days), I was obsessed with PE. If you asked my second grade self what my favorite subject was, aside from history, I would, without any hesitation, scream PE. I know, I know, PE isn’t exactly the conventional subject that everyone chooses, but for me, it meant the world. I loved running around, being able to play a game and test my fitness skills for an hour everyday. In fact, I was so obsessed with PE that I vaguely remembering telling my coach in the third grade that I wanted to be just like her, helping little kids have fun and stay active.
Flash forward almost ten years later, and though I’m not a PE coach, I always wondered, in a hypothetical situation, what would I have to do to become a PE coach? If I had followed my 9 year old heart, what would I need to do to become the best PE coach ever?
So, what exactly is a Kinesiology major?
According to My Majors, Kinesiology is a “science program that focuses on the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and biophysics of human movement, and applications to exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation.”
Contrary to public opinion, Sports Medicine and Kinesiology are not the same thing, though they are closely related. According to Study, “sports medicine programs prepare students for careers where they evaluate and treat sports-related injuries”, whereas Kinesiology may not be as specific in treating and evaluating, but rather focuses on understanding the human body as a whole from the athletic standpoint.
Why is Kinesiology important?
If you’re interested in science, physiology, and physics, Kinesiology just might be what you’re looking for. There’s absolutely no doubt that health is a major problem around the globe, and understanding how dynamic the human body is is a great place to start. The human body is so ridiculously complex and mechanical that figuring out how to get in shape and have greater health and fitness is almost overwhelming. Enter: Kinesiology. Kinesiology allow individuals to aid in the betterment of improving people’s health and fitness, which means that Kinesiologists will most likely be working closely with dietitians and physicians.
Do I have what it takes to handle this major?
Right off the bat, it’s important to understand that Kinesiology deals with exercise and sports–and lots of it. However, knowing how to create an exercise plan for your clients isn’t the only skill you need. More than anything, if you’re interested in the field, you have to be good at handling people and their problems. Students majoring in the field often choose a variety of courses to help aid them in their skills development, such as Legal Issues in Health, Sports and Culture, Media Design and Communication, Motor Development, Analysis of Movement, and Sports Medicine.
What can I even do with this major?
In this day and age, I’m almost 100% sure that college students are terrified of choosing the wrong major. They become swamped with thinking: Is this the right career for me? Is this even what I want to do? Can I make any sort of income from this? Is anyone even a Sports Trainer these days?!
With a Kinesiology major, you career options are virtually limitless! Students often choose to become involved with “careers in the fields of exercise science, personal training, sports training and rehabilitation.” According to Study, these careers include being a personal trainer, fitness instructor, primary and secondary school coach, physical therapist, chiropractor, athletic trainer and director, and an exercise physiologist. And greatest of all, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of fitness instructors to grow 24% from 2010-2020! Just think about it: people are basically never going to stop exercising, so there’s almost a guarantee that there will be jobs available.
If you’re really into furthering your education, don’t be afraid to join a Ph.D. degree program in Kinesiology. For individuals interested in doing so, applicants must have undergraduate or graduate experience in exercise science and submit scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), along with a statement of purpose. A Ph.D. curriculum includes courses such as Research Methods, Measurements and Tests, Human Movement, and Exercise and Cardio-Respiratory Functions. With a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, you can enter the fields of research and teaching, such as becoming a university professor, corporate fitness instructor, research scientist, and a sports psychologist.
Although Kinesiology may seem like a common major, only some large colleges actually offer the degree. If you’re interested in majoring in Kinesiology, check out
- Pennsylvania State University
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- The University of Georgia
- University of North Carolina-Greensboro
- University of Texas at Austin
- Texas A&M University
- Michigan State University
- The Ohio State University