Graduate degree programs offered in kinesiology are available at the master’s (M.Ed. and M.T.) and doctoral (Ph.D.) levels.
Detailed descriptions of the kinesiology programs and their program specializations are below. For additional information, contact the Kinesiology Program Director, University of Virginia, 210 S Emmet Street, P.O. Box 400407 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4407; (434) 924-6207.
The kinesiology program area offers specializations in adapted physical education, athletic training, exercise physiology, pedagogy and sports medicine. Requirements within each option are distributed among: (1) a core of related courses usually taken within the department; (2) a supporting area suitable to the student’s specialty; (3) research projects, independent study, thesis, and/or practicum experiences as recommended by the advisor; and (4) electives.
The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree program is designed to develop an understanding of major factors affecting specific aspects of physical education, sport, and exercise. Graduates are prepared to work in educational settings such as schools, hospitals, athletic organizations, and private industry. The program also provides opportunities for the development of research skills and preparation for advanced graduate study. A minimum of 36 graduate credits must be earned for the M.Ed. degree, including the successful completion of a comprehensive examination or 30 credits and a thesis.
The five year program (B.S.Ed./M.T.) culminates in the M.T. degree and teacher licensure for health and physical education (grades K-12). Students interested in this program should contact the director of health and physical education teacher education for details regarding this two-year program.
The doctoral program (Ph.D.) in kinesiology is organized to provide an in-depth analysis of specializations in kinesiology through a course of study shaped by a faculty advisor, a doctoral program committee, and the student. Graduates are able to initiate, conduct, and evaluate research related to specific aspects of kinesiology and to demonstrate teaching behavior appropriate for college or university faculty. Course work is individually prescribed to meet the requirements of the selected specialization and the skills and qualifications of the student. Areas of specialization within kinesiology may be selected from the following options:
Areas of Specialization within Kinesiology
Adapted Physical Education
Specialization provides graduates with the competencies needed to develop functional physical, motor, and leisure skills for individuals with mild, moderate, or severe disabilities. This program is offered in cooperation with Albemarle County Schools. The program is founded on an achievement-based curriculum model. Inherent in the program design are the following principles: the core of the program is an integrated sequence of course work in physical education and special education; hands on applications are emphasized; students complete extensive, well-supervised practicum experiences as one-half time adapted physical education teachers in local schools; students are trained to use a variety of assessment tools and techniques; and students use computer and video technology to analyze and improve teaching effectiveness. The doctoral program in adapted physical education prepares researchers and teacher trainers.
Specialization provides M.Ed. graduates with advanced knowledge and skills in Athletic Training. Master’s students enroll in evidence-based courses that reinforce the points of distinctiveness of the program: rehabilitation and research. All students engage in advanced clinical experiences and write a Masters thesis. The Graduate Athletic Training program is accredited by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Students must possess certification through Board of Certification or be eligible for certification in order to qualify for the program. Students must be licensed in Virginia in order to practice Athletic Training.
Specialization acquaints graduate students with physiological concepts related to the acute and chronic effects of exercise on human subjects. Special areas of emphasis include interactions between exercise and health status, adult fitness, human performance, aging, environmental conditions, and nutrition. There are currently three areas of study in Exercise Physiology at the Masters degree level: 1) a Masters degree specialization which prepares students for advanced graduate study in Exercise Physiology and potential academic/research careers; 2) a Masters degree specialization which prepares students for clinically oriented careers in Adult Fitness, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Strength and Conditioning, and Health Promotion; and 3) a Masters degree specialization which allows students to combine options 1 and 2. At the Ph.D. level the specialization in Exercise Physiology is designed to prepare students to conduct original research in human and clinical aspects of Exercise Physiology and interpret and communicate the results of this research as authors, university professors, and/or governmental or research agency officials.
Master’s students in exercise physiology must complete a two-part comprehensive examination. Part one is taken during the spring semester of the first year and is a basic examination in exercise physiology that must be completed satisfactorily for students to remain in the program. If failed once, a student may petition for a reexamination during the summer. If failed a second time, enrollment is terminated. Part two is either a thesis or an advanced written exam at the end of the second year of study.
Graduates in exercise physiology have a thorough knowledge of exercise and applied physiology with an emphasis on metabolism and cardio-respiratory function; the ability to provide leadership for exercise classes involving healthy and high-risk patients; a thorough knowledge of, and practical experience in, procedures for exercise testing; and a working knowledge of research design, research methods, and basic statistics. This course of study can lead to employment in community, corporate, and university exercise programs or to advanced study and research in the field of applied physiology. The doctoral degree in exercise physiology is designed to prepare students to conduct research in human exercise physiology. Program content includes extensive work in physiology, computer applications, and research procedures, as well as interdisciplinary experiences in the School of Medicine.
Specialization is for students who already possess bachelor’s and master’s degrees in teaching physical education. This specialization prepares individuals to assume positions of leadership in teacher education at university or college levels. Academic experiences include preparation in the pedagogical knowledge base related to effective teaching; the utilization of both classroom and field experiences to train future physical education teachers; and research skills for investigating questions about effective teaching practices. A minimum of 2 years K-12 teaching experience is required of all entering doctoral students. Doctoral students participate in both ongoing research and original research. Further, doctoral students demonstrate mastery of supervisory techniques in field-based practicum experiences.
Health/Physical Education Teacher Education (P.G.M.T.)
Specialization is for an individual interested in the study of health/physical education teaching at the elementary and secondary levels. The individual is prepared to assume a position as a health or physical education teacher (grades K-12).
The doctoral degree option in sports medicine is designed to prepare candidates to conduct research within athletic medicine and sports science.
Research experiences are gained by assisting with ongoing projects in the Exercise and Sport Injury Laboratory, by developing independent research projects, and by assisting with master’s theses in the athletic training specialization.
Teaching assistant opportunities are available in the undergraduate program in kinesiology and the NATA approved graduate program in athletic training. Clinical work in athletic training and/or physical therapy is available through the on-Grounds athletic training clinic, as well as through several local private schools.