Kinesiology BS

About the program

Program overview

The bachelor of science (BS) program in kinesiology is for students who are interested in the physical, biological, and social sciences related to the study of physical activity and human movement. Students will gain knowledge and experience related to physical activity and human movement within contexts such as exercise, health and lifestyle, and sport.

The kinesiology major has dedicated faculty who are experts in various areas relative to kinesiology, such as:

  • Biomechanics
  • Neuromotor control
  • Exercise physiology
  • Perceptual-motor control and learning
  • Physical activity and health promotion
  • Sport and exercise psychology
  • Sport sociology

Degree competencies

A Kinesiology BS prepares students for careers and advanced study in the physical, biological, and social sciences related to the study of physical activity and human movement. This program is a comprehensive, science-based academic degree.

Why study kinesiology at the University of Minnesota?

The kinesiology program at the University of Minnesota is:

  • Housed in a top research 1 university, ranked within the top 50 schools by the 2020 Best Global Universities rankings.
  • Is ranked within the top 15 Kinesiology programs by the National Academy of Kinesiology.
  • Is home to 14 labs and centers, all conducting unique research, with access to advanced laboratory equipment.
  • Taught by world-renowned faculty and scholars with diverse research interests who are engaged and committed to students' success.
  • Is located in a heath and wellness hub, home to companies like Medtronic and Mayo Clinic, the number one (Minneapolis) and three (Saint Paul) best park systems in the nation, and the second most bike trails of all 50 states.
  • Offers major-specific advisors and career counselors who will support students throughout their program.
  • Has major coursework designed to provide a robust foundation that will prepare students to be successful in future careers and further academic study.
  • Offers supporting coursework that enhances students’ individual programs and taps into individual interests and passions.

Major requirements/course catalog

Core courses

The purpose of the core courses is to provide students with a broad and diverse understanding of the study of kinesiology. Students will have the opportunity to engage in an in-depth study of physical activity and human movement within contexts such as exercise, health care, and sport.

See the University Catalog for information on the current core courses and their descriptions.


The purpose of elective credits is to enhance the core courses in the major and provide a greater understanding of topics of interest that tie in with students’ professional and educational goals. Students are required to take twelve (12) credits, six (6) credits at the 3XXX level and six (6) credits at the 4XXX or 5XXX level.

See the University Catalog for information on the current approved focused electives.

Physical education activity requirements

Students of kinesiology are required to participate in the courses that promote movement, physical activity, and sport. Students are required to earn a total of five (5) credits.

See the University Catalog for information on the current approved physical activity courses and their descriptions.

Professional/graduate degree pre-admission requirements

Students interested in furthering their education with a UMN professional or graduate degree program should review the following information.

Become a kinesiology major

In order to apply to enter into the kinesiology major, students must complete specific prerequisites and have a total of 45 college level credits completed (see the University Catalog for specific information). Current CEHD students should contact their Student Services Advisor. Students who are either U of M students in a different college or transferring from outside the U of M should review the transfer credit information below.

Transfer students

In order to declare a Kinesiology BS major students must be enrolled in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). The following resources are for all transfer students, including both current U of M students who need to transfer colleges and non-U of M students who need more information regarding how their non-U of M credits will transfer.

CEHD Transfer Admissions

Office of Admissions - Transfer information

Minnesota community college transfer guide


High school students

Contact the University Admissions Office

Transfer students

CEHD Transfer Admissions

University of Minnesota students

Application to transfer from within the U of M system

CEHD students

Call or email CEHD Student Services to schedule an appointment with your student services advisor.
Phone: 612-625-3339

Kinesiology BS Majors

Major advisor: Colin Rogness

What our students have to say

Sam and Michael Helgeson
We liked the idea of attending a BIG 10 school, and when we toured the campus it just felt like the right place.

Sam and Michael Helgesen,
Kinesiology BS

Brothers Samuel (Sam) and Michael Helgeson graduated with Kinesiology Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees from the School of Kinesiology in the Spring of 2020. Read about Sam and Michael Helgeson’s journey to their next goal, becoming doctorates of physical and occupational therapy.

Internships and career exploration

What graduates do

A degree in kinesiology is applicable in a wide variety of careers and further education. Below are a few highlighted opportunities, but the opportunities stretch far and wide!

Physical therapist

Salary Estimate:


Estimated job growth
over next 10 years:


Physical Therapy illustration

Physical therapists, sometimes called PTs, help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain. These therapists are often an important part of rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention for patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.

Top Traits: compassionate, detail oriented, problem solver.

Health educator/community health worker

Salary Estimate:


Estimated job growth
over next 10 years:


Health Educator illustration

Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities. Community health workers collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities.

Top Traits: compassionate, decisive, detail oriented.

Other career or higher education paths include:

  • Athletic training
  • Biomechanics
  • Chiropractic medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Ergonomics
  • Exercise physiology
  • Exercise rehabilitation
  • Movement science
  • Motor performance
  • Nursing
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical education licensure
  • Preventative and rehabilitation medicine
  • Psychology of sport and exercise
  • Sport sociology

Career services

The department strongly encourages students to meet with a career counselor in CEHD Career Services to work on developing their marketing materials (resume and cover letter) and their preparedness to find jobs and experiences:

Supervised practical experience

Hands-on experiences are essential to students’ ability to formulate long-term career and life goals. Kinesiology students have the opportunity to earn academic credit while working outside of the classroom, either through observation and participation, or involvement with a research project supervised by a member of the faculty.

Students can earn credit outside of the classroom through:

  • KIN 3696 Supervised Practical Experience
  • KIN 3993 Directed Study