What is Kinesiology?
The Kinesiology Program provides a concentrated study of human movement from developmental, mechanical, motor control, psychosocial, psychological, pathological, and physiological perspectives. This program is appropriate for students who plan to work in the fitness/exercise industry and can serve as a preparatory program for graduate or post-baccalaureate study in the areas of aging, auxology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, health/fitness, motor control/learning, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, or similar allied health programs, and sport psychology. Supporting courses from biology, chemistry, psychology, health education, and physics may be included to support student interests, future career goals, and fulfilling prerequisites for graduate study.
Kinesiology at Western
The Kinesiology — Pre-Healthcare Professions program is a concentrated study of human movement from mechanical, physiological, and pathological perspectives. The Pre-Healthcare Professions option is ideal for students who wish to pursue post-baccalaureate study in a healthcare profession such as occupational therapy, physician assistant, nursing, naturopathy, or chiropractic, or preparation for post-baccalaureate study in other areas such as exercise physiology, health and fitness, biomechanics, physical therapy, sport psychology, nutrition, and human growth and motor development. Supporting courses from biology, chemistry, communications, health education, and physics are included to provide an in-depth analysis of the principles associated with human structure and function.
The Kinesiology – Exercise Science specialization provides students with an understanding of the human body and movement to prepare students for careers in health and fitness settings. In addition to classes with a focus on biomechanics, exercise physiology, and sport and exercise psychology, students select courses from areas of study such as communication studies, psychology, chemistry, and health education that address areas of interest and career readiness or to satisfy prerequisites for graduate study.
A BS degree in Kinesiology — Sport Psychology specialization provides students with the behavioral knowledge and educational techniques to enhance performance in recreational, exercise, and athletic settings. This interdisciplinary program blends coursework from both psychology as well as kinesiology to give students a thorough understanding of both the physiological and psychological factors associated with human movement, sport performance, exercise participation, and well-being. This major specialization prepares students for careers in coaching and personal training and is an effective preparation for pursuing graduate study in sport and exercise psychology for careers in providing sport psychology consulting services to teams and athletes.
Hands-on-Experience and Internships
In order to satisfy Kinesiology major requirements, students must engage in hands-on learning opportunities in clinical or professional settings. Giving students an opportunity to learn from professionals in the field in addition to their classroom settings better equips students for what comes next in life after WWU by helping them gain professional experience and job shadow hours. Students can elect to complete either a 360-hour summer internship or they can opt to complete two of our 90-hour field experience (think small internship) opportunities. Students in the Kinesiology major work with a faculty mentor to equip and prepare them to seek out hands- on learning opportunities that align with individual interests and intended career paths. In addition to job shadow and clinical opportunities, students can also earn credit for engaging in exercise and sport science research or they can act as instructional assistants or peer mentors for lab-based classes in the major.
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
What can you do with Kinesiology?
Employers of Recent Western Graduates:
- Fremont County Ambulance: Medic
- Full Life Care: Heads Up Traumatic Brain injury Activity Coordinator
- Infinity Rehab: Rehab Aide
- My Spine Chiropractic and Massage: Trainer
- Olympia Physical Therapy: Exercise Specialist
- Pioneer Human Services: Detox Treatment Specialist
- Summit Place Assisted Living: CAN
- Sunset Yoga Works: Certified Yoga Instructor
- Wellness Coordinator
- Health Club Manager
- Personal Trainer
- Fitness Product Sales
- Pharmaceutical Drug Sales
- Biomedical Research &/or Sales
- Athletic Trainer*
- Nutrition Specialist*
- Graduate School in Kinesiology*
Pre-Health Care Specialization Careers:
- Occupational Therapy*
- Physician Assistant*
- Naturopathic Medicine*
- Chiropractic Medicine*
*with post-baccalaureate study