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Field of Study: Exercise Science and Kinesiotherapy


Exercise science and kinesiotherapy programs prepare people to teach therapeutic exercise to patients under the supervision of a physician.



Exercise science and kinesiotherapy programs include topics such as:

  • Human anatomy
  • Kinesiology
  • Therapeutic exercise and adapted physical education
  • Motor learning and performance
  • Patient assessment and management

In exercise science and kinesiotherapy programs students may be able to specialize in:

  • Exercise physiology
  • Kinesiology and exercise science
  • Physical fitness

Internships allow students to develop skills. Many exercise science and kinesiotherapy programs require students to complete an internship.

Several community colleges and other 2-year schools offer associate degree programs in exercise science and kinesiotherapy. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in exercise science and kinesiotherapy. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many colleges and universities offer graduate degrees in exercise science and kinesiotherapy. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.


College preparation

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Physical Education
  • Team Sports
  • Individual and Dual Sports
  • Fitness and Conditioning Activities
  • Weight Training
  • Lifetime Fitness Education
  • Sports Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Introduction to Business
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Food Science
  • Health Education
  • Health and Fitness
  • Safety and First Aid
  • Healthcare Occupations
  • Healthcare Sciences Work Experience


Undergraduate special

Some schools require you to take the following courses before beginning a bachelor's degree program:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Calculus
  • Communications
  • English Composition
  • General Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Medical Terminology
  • Physics

Other schools include these courses in their curriculum.

You should also be able to show a commitment to a physically active and healthy lifestyle.


Graduate admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree and good grades. You should major in a related field such as exercise science. In some cases, you can alternatively combine experience in fitness and health with several undergraduate courses in fitness, health education, and biological sciences.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal interview
  • Statement of career goals


Typical course work

This program typically includes courses similar to the following subjects:

  • Aerobic Conditioning
  • Basic Nutrition
  • Biomechanics
  • Coordination, Control, and Skill
  • Electrocardiography
  • Exercise Physiology
  • First Aid and Cardiovascular Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Foundations of Human Movement
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Methods of Fitness Exercise Instruction
  • Motor Development, Growth, and Form
  • Movement Experiences for Individuals with Disabilities
  • Neuromechanical Kinesiology
  • Personal Health and Fitness
  • Social Scientific Bases of Sport
  • Sport Psychology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Strength Training

Graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree typically include:

  • Core courses
  • Elective courses
  • Thesis or comprehensive exam (master's degree)
  • Preliminary exams (doctoral degree only)
  • Dissertation and dissertation defense (doctoral degree)

Core courses vary by program, but you can expect more advanced science courses and courses that teach you how to conduct more sophisticated research and analysis.


Things to know

Many organizations offer certification exams in exercise science. Some of these organizations require that you complete a certain number of hours in clinical experience before you can take the certification exams.


Similar fields of study

Careers you may qualify for

Athletic Trainers
Exercise Physiologists
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors
Physical Therapists



American Kinesiotherapy Association

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
Select "For Students," then select "Profession Descriptions and Certification Information." Select "Kinesiotherapy" from the list.

Schools that offer program

Click on the school name to see a list of their programs related to this field of study.

Alexandria Technical and Community College , Located in Central
Anoka-Ramsey Community College - Cambridge , Located in Metro
Anoka-Ramsey Community College - Coon Rapids , Located in Metro
Bemidji State University , Located in Northwest
Bethany Lutheran College - Mankato, Located in Southwest
Bethel University - St. Paul, Located in Metro
College of St. Scholastica - Duluth , Located in Northeast
Concordia College - Moorhead, Located in Northwest
Concordia University, St. Paul , Located in Metro
Dakota County Technical College - Rosemount, Located in Metro
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College - Cloquet, Located in Northeast
Hamline University - St. Paul, Located in Metro
Inver Hills Community College - Inver Grove Heights, Located in Metro
Minnesota State University Moorhead , Located in Northwest
Normandale Community College - Bloomington, Located in Metro
Northland Community and Technical College - Online - Perham, Located in Northwest
Rainy River Community College - International Falls, Located in Northeast
Rochester Community and Technical College , Located in Southeast
Southwest Minnesota State University - Marshall, Located in Southwest
St. Catherine University - St. Paul , Located in Metro
St. Cloud State University , Located in Central
University of Minnesota, Duluth , Located in Northeast
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities - Minneapolis, Located in Metro
University of Northwestern St. Paul , Located in Metro
University of St. Thomas - St. Paul, Located in Metro
Winona State University , Located in Southeast