Kinesiology—Pre-Physical Therapy

Kinesiology is the concentrated study of human movement from developmental, mechanical, motor control, psychosocial, psychological, pathological and physiological perspectives. The Kinesiology — Pre-Physical Therapy Specialization at Western is an excellent option for students who wish to pursue graduate study in a physical therapy program. The major provides a concentrated study of human movement from mechanical, physiological, and pathological perspectives. Pre-Physical Therapy is appropriate for students who plan to work in fitness and exercise, coaching, or rehabilitation, where human movement and exercise prescription are the focus. Additionally, this degree can serve as the gateway degree to the allied health professions such as physical therapy or preparation for post-baccalaureate study in other areas such as exercise physiology, health/fitness, biomechanics, physical therapy, sport psychology, nutrition, and human growth and motor development. Supporting courses from biology, chemistry, computer science, communications, health education, and physics are included to provide more in-depth analysis of principles associated with human structure and function. 

Western’s Health and Human Development Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“Throughout my tenure at Western, I have been inspired by the combined and dedicated efforts of both physical education and kinesiology faculty and students to passionately pursue the study and practices of health, fitness, and human performance.”

–Ralph A. Vernacchia, Ph.D., Emeritus Faculty and Founder of the Center for Performance Excellence

Beyond the Classroom

Students in the program participate in field or internship experiences, but also have the opportunity to make connections with peers and professionals through the Kin Club. The Kinesiology Club is devoted to helping students prepare for future careers by creating friendships, developing leadership skills, participating in events, interacting with health-care and fitness professionals, and learning how to become competitive candidates for careers and graduate schooling. 


Student Internships: 

  • Care Medical Group: Physical Therapy 
  • Healthy Focus Physical Therapy 
  • Oasis Physical Therapy 
  • Quality Care Physical Therapy 
  • Swedish Hospital: Outpatient Rehab 
  • Valley Medical Center 
  • Advanced Physical Therapy 
  • Evergreen Physical Therapy

Careers and Graduate Studies

Employers of Recent Western Graduates: 

  • Advanced Manuel Therapy and Sports Rehab: Physical Therapy Aide 
  • Balance Physical Therapy: Lead Physical Therapy Aide 
  • Bellingham back and Neck Clinics: Physical Therapy Aide 
  • Edmonds Massage Center: Massage Therapist 
  • Gym Star Sports Center: Team Gymnastics Coach 
  • Juanita Physical Therapy: Exercise Specialist 
  • Kinetic sports Rehab: Rehabilitation Specialist 
  • Lake Washington Physical Therapy: Physical Therapy Aide 
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center: Physical Medicine Rehabilitation 

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • Franklin Pierce University: Physical Therapy (DPT) 
  • Northern Arizona University: Physical Therapy (DPT) 
  • Thomas Jefferson University: Physical Therapy (DPT) 
  • University of Montana: Physical Therapy (DPT) 
  • University of Puget Sound: Physical Therapy (DPT) 
  • University of Washington: Physical Therapy (DPT) 
  • Western Washington University: Exercise Science (MS)


Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.


Sample Careers

  • Wellness Coordinator 
  • Health Club Manager 
  • Personal Trainer 
  • Pharmaceutical Drug Sales 
  • Biomedical Research &/or Sales 
  • Fitness Product Sales 
  • Athletic Trainer* 
  • Nutrition Specialist*

*with post-baccalaureate study

Department of Health and Human Development - Kinesiology

Kinesiology—Pre-Physical Therapy, BS

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