Psychology of Exercise concentration

Designed to prepare students for doctoral level studies in health and health behavior

In the Psychology of Exercise concentration, you will learn about the psychosocial determinants of exercise behavior and how to harness these to promote exercise adoption and adherence. You will learn best practices in the design, evaluation, dissemination, and implementation of physical activity interventions; and explore the scientific literature testing the neurobiological, cognitive, and psychosocial consequences of exercise. Emphasis throughout the program will be placed on providing students with a scientific foundation strong enough to pursue doctoral studies at the intersections of health and human behavior.

Concentration details

Our psychology of exercise concentration is aimed primarily at students interested in scientific research.

Advanced degree paths include:

  • Ph.D.
  • Allied health clinical fields such as physical therapy

Career paths without pursuing an additional advanced degree include:

  • Research coordinator/lab manager
  • Education (physical education in public schools, faculty at community college or smaller four-year colleges, sports coach or strength and conditioning coach)
  • Industry (sports marketing division, measurement and evaluation technician)


Although there are no specific perquisites required for the psychology of exercise concentration, the ideal candidate has successfully completed coursework in psychology and/or sport/exercise psychology.

Required courses

Students enrolled in the psychology of exercise concentration need to successfully complete the following courses:

KN 500 Evidence-Based Practice in Kinesiology and Nutrition
KN 511Intervention Design and Evaluation in Kinesiology and Nutrition
KN 521Physical Activity Interventions in Diverse Populations

Completion of the MS in KINES degree requires the following credits at the graduate level:

  • 40 credits for coursework only. Students who complete the coursework only option are required to take at least 12 hours at the 500-level. All students are automatically admitted into the coursework-only track.
  • 32 credits for project option. Students who complete the project option are required to take at least 9 hours at the 500-level as well as at least 5 hours of KN597 Master’s Project Research.
  • 32 credits for thesis option. Students who complete the project option are required to take at least 9 hours at the 500-level as well as at least 5 hours of KN598 Master’s Thesis Research.

*Only 500-level classes with A-F grading are counted towards this required minimum (thus KN596, KN597, KN598 and any other class with Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading do not count). Moreover, only 400- and 500-level classes count towards the MS. Any 100-, 200- or 300-level class (for example classes taken to fulfill prerequisites) will not count towards the required total credits or GPA calculation.


Randal Stone headshot

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