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Graduate degrees in Kinesiology are offered at the master’s level (M.Ed. and M.T.) and doctoral level (Ph.D.). The Master of Education (M.Ed.) program is designed to develop an understanding of major factors affecting specific aspects of physical activity, sport, and exercise. The program area offers specializations in athletic training, exercise physiology, kinesiology for individuals with disabilities and pedagogy. 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. Graduates are prepared to work in 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 post-graduate Master of Teaching program 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 health and physical education teacher education coordinator for details regarding this two-year program.
The M.Ed. program in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities (KID) prepares students to meet the physical, motor, social, and learning needs of children with disabilities. The program is offered in cooperation with Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS); the cooperative agreement allows Curry students to participate in a yearlong internship providing services to children with disabilities in ACPS. Students complete 36 credit hours spread across one year (summer, fall, spring, summer). Coursework and practica are planned to provide a core understanding of concepts and theories and to enable students to apply content when working with students with disabilities. Through carefully sequenced practica and coursework students are trained to: (a) plan instruction following the Achievement-based Curriculum (ABC) Model, (b) use a variety of assessment tools, (c) apply a variety of teaching and consultative techniques, (d) explain the rights of students with disabilities and how these apply to physical education and related services provided in the public schools, and (e) shape instruction based on pupils’ IEPs. Graduates of the program are eligible to become nationally Certified Adapted Physical Educators(CAPE).
The doctoral program (Ph.D.) in Education 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. The program of study is shaped to meet the requirements of the selected specialization and the skills and qualifications of the student.
Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities (KID) is designed to prepare students for positions in higher education where the focus is the development of evidenced-based practices for the assessment, treatment and development of the physical and motor abilities of individuals with disabilities.. Students develop research skills and apply them to current questions in the field. They also develop teaching, supervision, and advising skills needed to become a successful higher education professional.
Athletic Training This specialization provides graduate students with advanced knowledge and skills in the allied health discipline of athletic training. Students enroll in courses that reinforce the points of distinctiveness of the program: neuromuscular aspects of injury and exercise, therapeutic interventions, evidence-based practice, and clinical research. All students engage in advanced clinical experiences and conduct original research in the Exercise & Sport Injury Laboratory as part of a Masters thesis. The Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education accredits this program. Students must be a certified athletic trainer (ATC) as credentialed by the Board of Certification or be eligible for certification to qualify for the program. Students must also be licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia to practice Athletic Training.
Exercise Physiology This 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 physical activity, exercise and health status; human performance; aging; and nutrition. There are currently three areas of study in Exercise Physiology at the master’s degree level: 1) a specialization which prepares students for advanced graduate study in Exercise Physiology and potential academic/research careers; 2) a specialization that prepares students for clinically oriented careers in Adult Fitness, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Strength and Conditioning, and Health Promotion; and 3) a 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.
Pedagogy This area of emphasis is for students who already possess a bachelor’s and master’s degree in teaching physical education. The 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 two 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.
Sports Medicine This concentration is designed to prepare candidates to conduct research within athletic medicine and sports science. Most graduates assume college or university faculty positions in athletic training, physical therapy, or kinesiology. Research experiences are gained by assisting with ongoing projects in the Exercise and Sport Injury Laboratory, by developing and executing independent research projects, and by assisting with master’s theses in the athletic training masters specialization. Students are typically funded through a combination of teaching, research, and clinical assistantships.