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Department of Kinesiology

Master's in Kinesiology


Expectations for Professional Growth

The Department of Kinesiology has expectations for master of science (M.S.) degree students in three areas: (a) progress toward degree completion; (b) professional expertise and involvement; and (c) knowledge and skill as a consumer of research. Students who intend to pursue doctoral study or research careers are also expected to develop ability to plan, conduct, and disseminate research. These expectations are individualized for students during advising and guidance committee meetings. Therefore, M.S. students are encouraged to discuss these expectations with their advisors early in the degree program to seek a shared understanding of personal expectations.

Progress Toward Degree Completion

The Department of Kinesiology expects full-time M.S. students to complete their degrees within two years, and part-time students within five years (the MSU deadline is within 5 years following the first semester of enrollment). We strongly encourage students to become familiar with the M.S. degree requirements and academic progress guidelines for M.S. students. Students should consult with their advisors and guidance committees to develop a program plan during the first year of study to facilitate timely degree completion.

Fact: Graduation data for KIN master's degree students from 2003-2008 showed a median time to degree completion of 2.0 years. Most students who took a longer period of time were part-time students.

Professional Expertise and Involvement

The M.S. degree in kinesiology is more than the sum of course work and capstone experiences. We expect M.S. degree students to become leaders in their chosen fields through experiences that develop content expertise, professional responsibility, and ability to share knowledge with others. The nature of the learning experiences and criteria for demonstrating professional expertise and involvement are determined by the student in collaboration with her/his advisor and guidance committee.

  • We expect students to become content experts in their respective concentrations through a variety of experiences including course work, field work, capstone experiences, volunteer experiences, literature reviews, conference attendance, etc. This expertise will be demonstrated, in part, by performance on the master’s certifying exam, internship, project, or thesis.
  • We expect students to develop competence in the “tools of the trade” relative to their professional goals such as: (a) teaching, coaching, or counseling skills; (b) athletic training methods; (c) laboratory techniques and procedures; or (d) movement analysis, depending upon the nature of their career goals.
  • We expect students to attain the relevant certifications in their respective concentrations when appropriate. Some examples include CAP certification in coaching, ACSM certification in health fitness instruction, NSCA certification in strength and conditioning, and NATABOC certification in athletic training.
  • We expect students to become involved in professional organizations within their chosen disciplines as demonstrated by memberships, conference attendance, and in some cases by presenting at professional meetings and contributing to committees and projects associated with professional organizations.
  • We expect students to learn about and abide by the codes of conduct or ethics associated with professional organizations in their chosen disciplines.
  • We expect students to develop increasing skill in scholarly writing, public speaking, and use of technology.


We expect all graduates of the KIN M.S. program to be informed consumers of research, and in some cases to become researchers. Therefore all students are required to successfully complete KIN 871. Also, we expect students to further develop and practice their skills in critiquing and interpreting research in other KIN graduate courses and in the context of lab/disciplinary meetings, departmental seminars, thesis/dissertation proposal and defense meetings, and conference presentations. Students will demonstrate their skills as informed consumers of research as part of the capstone experiences for the master’s degree, namely the certifying examination, internship, project, or thesis.

We recognize that a segment of the M.S. student body needs skills in planning, conducting, and disseminating research to prepare for doctoral studies or careers that involve scholarly inquiry. We expect these research-active M.S. students to:

  • Attend lab/disciplinary meetings, departmental seminars, thesis/dissertation proposal and defense meetings, and professional conferences.
  • Complete an additional course in statistics or research methods (in addition to KIN 871) to prepare the student to conduct research in his/her disciplinary area.
  • Assist with faculty and graduate student research projects to acquire knowledge and skills related to responsible conduct of research, writing research and grant proposals, data collection, data analyses, scholarly writing, and presentation and publication of results.
  • Choose a capstone experience that involves conducting publishable research, namely KIN 899 Master’s Thesis Research or KIN 897 Project in Kinesiology.
  • Choose a research problem that is mutually acceptable to the student and advisor. Note that advisors have differing perspectives about topic selection.
  • Present research findings at a professional meeting within 12-18 months following the thesis or project defense.
  • Submit research findings for publication within 12-18 months following the thesis or project defense.

Approved 3/4/05