Welcome to the Kinesiology and Physical Education Program in the Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation at Western Washington University. Included here is information to assist you in deciding whether Kinesiology and Physical Education is the field you wish to study, as well as information to get you started in our department. Please explore all the links provided throughout this site.

Major Program

The major programs are varied and include undergraduate and graduate student preparation for careers as professional
physical educators, exercise science specialists, and health fitness instructors in agencies, schools, industries, hospitals and health care facilities. There are two major programs in the Kinesiology and Physical Education program:
B.S. Kinesiology
B.A.E. Physical Education and Health P-12

The Kinesiology major is in very high demand at Western. WWU students are strongly urged to declare the Kinesiology major early in order to be connected with a departmental advisor and to develop a plan of study. Once declared as a major, however, students are not assured access to courses offered in the Kinesiology major until they have accumulated a significant number of credits, allowing them to register when there is space open in the desired classes. It is often not until late in the junior year or at the start of the senior year that students can start the core classes required in the Kinesiology major due to its popularity. Some required and elective courses for the Kinesiology major that are offered in other departments can be taken prior to Kinesiology courses. Due to very high enrollment in the Kinesiology major, declare your major as soon as possible, and seek advising early and often!

Students seeking to complete a B.A. Ed in Physical Education and Health degree in physical education (teacher education P-12) or B.S. in Kinesiology degree within a four-year time span should have completed the following courses by the start of their junior year. Major omissions from this list will make it difficult or impossible to complete this degree within two additional years.
All GUR requirements
Biol 101 and Biol 348 preferred

NOTE: Physical Education Program Checkpoint

The teacher education P-12 option requires a 4 plus-year commitment which includes a one-semester student teaching internship. Students must meet the minimum entry requirements of the Woodring College of Education before being considered for admission to the P-12 physical education and health program. Students should apply for entry into the P-12 physical education and health program during the fall quarter of their junior year. Students who do not meet the minimum qualifications of the Woodring College of Education cannot apply to be considered for entry into the P-12 physical education and health program.

Minor Program

The Kinesiology and Physical Education program offers a minor only in Sport Psychology. This interdisciplinary program is designed to introduce the student to the discipline of sport psychology. More specifically, it emphasizes the educational and behavioral approaches to sport psychology and introduces students to psychometric and clinical techniques which are an integral part of this discipline.

Applying to Western

For information about applying to Western, contact the Office of Admissions, Old Main 200, (360) 650-3440. An Undergraduate Application for Admission is required of all freshmen, transfer and post baccalaureate applicants.
For advice about General University Requirements (GURs), contact the Academic Advising Center.
Once you have been admitted to Western, we recommend that you formally declare the major as soon as possible in order to establish a plan of study, gain access to classes in the major during the first phase of registration, and receive important information from the department.

Transfer Students

If you are thinking about transferring to Western, consult the Office of Admissions/Transfer student website for general transfer information. If you are wondering what courses will apply toward the major in Kinesiology and Physical Education, contact the KPE program Transcript Evaluator Michelle Mielke. The following table will also allow you to determine, for some of your courses, if they will transfer to Western.
Transfer of courses from WA state community colleges or WA state public universities
Transfer GUR worksheet

Declaring a Major or Minor

Majors: Students may be advanced to major status by emailing or going to the main PEHR office located in Carver 102 to speak with Sherena Geariety/Program Coordinator. She will assign you to a faculty advisor based on your area of study. After meeting with the advisor, you will be directed back to Sherena to fill out an official declaration form.

Students interested in Physical Education and Health P-12 will be given pre-major status. For major admission and acceptance into this program, click here.

Minors: Students interested in the Sport Psychology minor should contact Dr. Linda Keeler for more information.

Applying for Graduation

When to apply for graduation

Plan to apply for graduation two quarters prior to your final quarter. For example, if you are graduating at the end of Spring Quarter, you will need to apply for graduation during Fall Quarter. Plan to do your major evaluation as early as possible during the quarter, well in advance of registration. Information about the process may be found on the Registrar's Office degree application web site.

How to apply for graduation

Make an appointment with your advisor to do your major evaluation at least two quarters prior to graduation. Please plan to do this well in advance of registration. The final step will be to turn in your major evaluation, along with a Degree Application, to the Registrar's Office. Degree Application packets are available at the Registrar's Office, Old Main 230.

Considering Graduate School?

Many undergraduate kinesiology and physical education majors pursue graduate training. A master's degree or doctorate will be essential for higher education teaching and advanced research or applied careers. Others choose graduate work in professional fields such as physical therapy, physicians assisantship, or other allied health professions.

Choosing a Graduate School

Here are some excellent resources to help you search for, and learn about, graduate programs.

Preparing for Graduate School. During your junior year, or early in your senior year, you should begin talking with WWU faculty about how to prepare for graduate school. You should also begin contacting the schools you wish to consider. To apply to graduate school you will need to begin planning at least a year before the fall in which you intend to enter. Most schools only accept students in the fall and expect to have all of your materials in hand by the end of the previous December. Most departments require you to fill out an application form, including a personal statement on why you want to pursue graduate work. You will probably be asked to supply a transcript and at least three letters of reference. It is therefore to your advantage to get to know faculty by taking small classes, writing papers, serving as a teaching assistant, or getting involved in faculty research projects. Many departments also require applicants to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

See also: How do I become a good candidate for Graduate school.

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE). For information see Graduate Record Exam. Be sure to look through the "GRE Free Publications section". This site contains a description of test content, sample test questions.

Western's Graduate Program in Human Movement and Performance.

Information on the WWU graduate program in Exercise Science or Sport Psychology.
Graduate School information about the MS degree in Human Movement and Performance.


Career Options

What can I do with the degree?

The Kinesiology and Physical Education program provides a general education about the body and movement. The P-12 Physical Education and Health degree prepares students for teacher certification. The Kinesiology degree is a broad preparation: basic sciences, applied sciences, socio-cultural aspects, practical experience, and physical activity. Graduates in Kinesiology have a variety of career options depending upon specialization within the major. Graduates of the Movement Studies and the Health and Fitness Specialist options may become employed in health clubs, hospital, and workplace settings, or work in sales of fitness and health products (such as equipment, braces, pharmaceuticals, among others), or with further training may workin careers such as physicians assistants, allopathic medicine practioners, nutritionists, chiropractors, or biomedical imaging. Graduates of the Pre-Physical Therapy and Pre-Health Care Professions options generally pursue post-baccalaureate study in a physicaltherapy program, or other allied health programs (e.g., nursing, occupational therapists, physicians assistants, allopathic medicine practioners, nutritionists, or chiropractors). Our Sport Psychology graduates pursue practical application of psychology to sport and exercise settings. Graduates representing all areas of specialization may go on to pursue graduate study in their area of interest.

Which line of work is for you?

Probably the best way to figure out the "right fit" in a job is to clarify what interests you the most. Do your research. Think about the kinds of work you are interested in, and learn everything you can about your top two or three areas of interest. What inspires you most? Also think about your own natural strengths and abilities, as well as your values. How do you see yourself, and where do you see yourself working? How do you really want to spend your time? What specific goals do you wish to achieve? What type of company or organization would you like to work with? What kinds of people do you wish to work with?
Look through the resources listed in this web site,and use all the resources available to you at Western's Career Services Center.The Center is the best resource for assistance with career planning, assessments, internships, job market information, job search services, and alumni services. The Career Center offers individual counseling as well as a wide variety of workshops.

Job search strategies

Use the resources available to you through Western's Career Services Center, Old Main 280. Several career fairs and other events are offered throughout the year to help students and alumni research employers and job opportunities. Check the special events schedule to see what events are scheduled for this quarter. Take full advantage of job search services, including on-campus interviews and the candidate referral program. Also participate in on-campus recruiting. Business, industry and government organizations recruit during fall, winter, and spring quarters. School districts recruit primarily during winter and spring quarters.

Here are several other Job Search Strategies:

  • Contact agencies, companies or organizations you would like to work for and see if they're hiring
  • Check with the state employment opportunity office
  • Talk with parents and others about job possibilities in their companies
  • Check local newspaper classified ads--especially on Sunday
  • Consider volunteer or internship positions (these sometimes lead to paid positions)
  • Call employment/temporary placement agencies
  • Check the internet for job posting web sites

Viking CareerLink

The Career Services Center offers Viking CareerLink, an online job and internship posting database available to students, alumni, employers, faculty and staff.

Page Updated 01.15.2013