Kinesiology: Help People Move Better

The field of kinesiology sits at the intersection of science, health professions, and sports/fitness. It’s an ideal major for anyone who is interested not only in human biology, but also the practical applications of understanding how our bodies function and move.

At its most basic, kinesiology is the study of human movement. But it’s also much more than that—kinesiology also includes the study of how physical activity affects our health and lives, how to optimize physical performance, how to prevent and treat common movement-related injuries, and all of the factors that influence those things.

In general, kinesiology tends to be a hands-on discipline. As a kinesiology major, you’ll learn how to help people connect with the way their bodies move, from various types of therapy and physical rehabilitation to improving athletic performance. Your coursework will likely include classes in subjects such as:

  • Foundational sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics)
  • Physiology and anatomy
  • Exercise science
  • Biomechanics
  • Sports management
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology and/or neuroscience
  • Motor skills and learning

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Careers in Kinesiology

A kinesiology degree will provide you with a versatile skill set that can be utilized in a wide variety of professions, including the healthcare field. Some potential career options include:

  • Personal trainer
  • Physical education teacher
  • Physical therapist
  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Chiropractor
  • Athletic program administrator or director
  • Sports psychologist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Nutritionist or dietitian
  • Ergonomics consultant
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Rehabilitation therapist
  • Health educator

*Note that some of these professions, especially those in the healthcare sector, may require additional education or advanced degrees.

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How to Prepare for Success

Kinesiology is a scientific discipline that focuses on the human body. As such, making sure that you have a solid foundation in biology, chemistry, physics, and math is the biggest thing you can do to prepare yourself for your university coursework.

However, as a kinesiology professional, it’s highly likely that you’ll spend a substantial amount of time interacting with other people, particularly if you choose to go into the healthcare field or practice some type of therapy. For that reason, it’s important that you know how to motivate your clients/patients, as well as communicate effectively with them. To that end, it may also be advisable to take courses in English, writing, and psychology, as available.


UNCF Schools to Consider

Multiple UNCF-member schools offer degrees in kinesiology and exercise science, including:

Professional Organizations

If you’re thinking about majoring in kinesiology, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the programs, membership options, and resources offered by professional organizations. Exploring these will also give you a good idea of the scope and professional opportunities the field has to offer.


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There’s no better way to start on your path toward a successful career in kinesiology than with a solid financial foundation. Fortunately, many scholarships are available through UNCF, including some specifically for kinesiology majors. Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities and announcements.

Search for specific scholarships and view those that are currently accepting applications here! Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study kinesiology.

As you explore your options, be sure to use our guide to applying for scholarships and grants. You can also receive guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in kinesiology. Submit the form on our website to get started, and follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!