The master's degree program requires a minimum of 30 semester credits which satisfy the following requirements, described here and in the MSU Academic Programs Catalog. Master's degree students at Michigan State University must select either Plan A (master's thesis research) or Plan B (internship, project, or courses-only with a final certifying examination). The maximum allowable time for completion of a master's degree is five years from the date of admission.
KIN 871 - Research Methods in Kinesiology (3 credits)
Concentrations and Coursework
A minimum of 9 credits in KIN graduate-level courses in the student's concentration as approved by the student's guidance committee.
Students who have completed an undergraduate degree in kinesiology (or similarly named program such as physical education or exercise science) do not have a breadth requirement.
Students who have not completed an undergraduate degree in kinesiology (or similarly named program such as physical education or exercise science) must complete a minimum of 6 credits of KIN courses representing at least two of seven different disciplinary areas (athletic training, coaching, exercise physiology, growth and motor development, psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity, sport administration, student athlete development) outside of the student's major area/concentration. Credits earned in 200 or 300 level courses may be used to fulfill the breadth requirement, but will not count toward the master's degree.
Plan A (Thesis Option) Requirements
- Additional Research Methods Course
One additional research methods course at the 400-900 level approved by the student's guidance committee (3 credits)
- KIN 899 - Master's Thesis Research (Capstone, 6 credits)
- Additional credits in courses approved by the student's guidance committee (3 credits)
- According to MSU policy, all master's degree students must successfully complete a final certifying exam. For students whose capstone experience is a thesis the final defense of that scholarly work serves as the final certifying exam.
Plan A Thesis Policy
- Students electing the thesis option must fulfill all of the regular requirements for the Plan A option of the master’s degree in their concentration, plus successfully complete 6 credits of KIN 899, Master’s Thesis Research. Also, in addition to KIN 871, they must complete one additional research methods course at the 400-900 level approved by the student’s guidance committee (3 credits).
- A thesis shall consist of a written report of original research. The format of the thesis is prescribed by the Graduate School (http://grad.msu.edu/format.htm).
- The thesis committee shall consist of at least three regular faculty members.
- Additional voting or non-voting members may be selected in addition to the three regular faculty members required by University policy. Additional members could include, for example, a doctoral candidate in the student’s concentration, or an off-campus professional involved in the planning and/or execution of the project.
- The membership of the thesis committee may be different from the membership of the student’s guidance committee.
- The student shall prepare, present, and defend a thesis proposal prior to beginning any data collection (a proposal includes the title page and introduction, literature review, and methods chapters of the proposed thesis research). The completed written proposal must be provided to all committee members at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled proposal defense date. Approval of the proposal by the committee is required before data collection begins.
- Generally, the proposal defense presentation should consist of a 15-30 minute talk in which the student briefly outlines the rationale and proposed methods for the study. After the presentation, questions may be addressed to the student by the audience, not to exceed 15 minutes total. After the question/answer period, the thesis committee will meet privately with the student to engage in scholarly inquiry and discussion about the thesis and to address any specific concerns. The student will then be asked to leave the room while the committee deliberates on the outcome of the defense. The committee shall decide on one of four outcomes: approved with no changes, approved with changes (student’s thesis advisor to be the final arbiter of the revised proposal), approved with changes (revision to be resubmitted to all committee members for re-evaluation), or rejected. Following these deliberations, the student will be apprised of the committee’s decision.
- If the project will involve research using human subjects, laboratory animals, or hazardous substances, an application must be submitted to the appropriate university review board (e.g., UCRIHS, AUCAUC, or ORCBS). Approval by the appropriate university review board is required before any data collection begins. In most cases, the student should list all members of the thesis committee as co-investigators.
- Upon conclusion of the research, the student shall prepare, present, and defend the written thesis. The final defense meeting serves as the student’s final certifying examination. This final presentation and defense shall follow the same procedures outlined above for the proposal defense, with the addition of a brief oral summary of the results, discussion, and recommendations. a. A traditional thesis includes: (a) front matter – title page, acknowledgments, table of contents, list of tables, list of figures, and abstract; (b) introduction; (c) review of literature; (d) methods; (e) results; (f) discussion; (g) recommendations; (h) references; and (i) appendices with information such as human subjects approval, copies of instruments, and raw data. b. An alternate presentation of the content may be used for the written thesis if approved by the thesis committee at the time of the thesis proposal defense. For example, the thesis committee may approve a final report that consists of the thesis proposal (rewritten in past tense and revised to include updates to the literature review and methods) plus one or more journal articles.
- The proposal defense presentation and the defense of the completed thesis shall be open to the public. The thesis advisor shall notify the Graduate Studies Secretary at least 14 days in advance of defense, and the Graduate Studies Secretary shall notify KIN faculty and graduate students within 7 days in advance of the defense. Notification shall be via email and written notices posted on the Graduate Studies bulletin board by the Graduate Studies Secretary.
- Unbound copies of the completed thesis must be filed with the Graduate School and the Department of Kinesiology. Bound copies of the completed thesis should be provided to the thesis advisor and all members of the thesis committee. Electronic copies of the completed thesis must be filed with the Graduate School. Electronic copies (bound, if requested) of the completed thesis should be provided to the thesis advisor and all members of the thesis committee. (Replacement)
- The student and thesis committee must comply with MSU guidelines on Research Data: Management, Control, and Access. According to those guidelines, research data for projects conducted at MSU or under the auspices of MSU are the property of MSU. Therefore, students must insure that thesis data remain at MSU. The student may take a copy of the data when s/he leaves the university. The Research Data: Management, Control, and Access guidelines provide additional information on this topic, including procedures for requesting transfer of data to a different institution.
Plan B (Non-Thesis Option) Requirements
- Capstone experience (must choose one)
- KIN 893 - Internship in Kinesiology (4-6 credits)
- KIN 897 - Project in Kinesiology (4 credits)
- Courses-only option with final certifying exam (0 credits for exam)
- Additional credits in courses approved by the student's guidance committee (6-12 credits depending upon the selected capstone experience)
- According to MSU policy, all master's degree students must successfully complete a final certifying exam. For students whose capstone experience is a project or internship, the final defense of that scholarly work serves as the final certifying exam. Students who choose the courses-only option sit for an exam written by members of their guidance committees.
Plan B Project Policy
- Students electing the project option must fulfill all of the regular requirements for the Plan B option of the master’s degree in their emphasis area, plus successfully complete 4 credits of KIN 897, Project in Kinesiology.
- A project shall consist of a capstone experience that results in a tangible product such as a position paper, teaching aid, instructional videotape, web site, on-line course materials, journal article, publishable literature review, lab manual, curriculum, etc. The final project report shall consist of a paper following the format of a thesis (see next section). A project may involve research work, although typically this work is not as extensive or as independently driven as a thesis. For example, a student could conduct a limited pilot study with a small number of subjects or carry out a piece of a larger project conceived and planned primarily by the supervising faculty member. Anyone considering the possibility of going on for a Ph.D. should complete a thesis (Plan A, KIN 899) involving a research project resulting in a publishable paper. The project report is filed only with the department and thus is not subject to the strict formatting guidelines governing the thesis, which must be submitted to the University as well as the department.
- The guidance committee shall consist of at least two members selected according to University Plan B Guidance Committee policy (see Academic Programs book). It is recommended that a third member be selected, in addition to the two faculty members required by University policy. This additional member could be, for example, a doctoral candidate in the student’s emphasis area, or an off-campus professional involved in the planning and/or execution of the project.
- The student shall prepare, present and defend a project proposal (see guidelines below) prior to beginning any work on the project itself. The completed written proposal must be provided to all committee members at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled proposal defense date. Approval of the proposal by the committee is required before data collection or other production work begins.
- Generally, the proposal presentation should consist of a 15-30 minute talk in which the student briefly outlines the rationale for and potential significance of the proposed project and presents the proposed methods for the project. After the presentation, questions may be addressed to the student by the audience, not to exceed 15 minutes total. After the question/answer period, the guidance committee will meet privately with the student to engage in scholarly inquiry and discussion and to address any specific concerns. The student will then be asked to leave the room while the committee deliberates on the outcome of the defense. The committee shall decide on one of four outcomes: approved with no changes, approved with minor changes (student’s advisor to be the final arbiter of the revised proposal), approved with major changes (revision to be resubmitted to all committee members for re-evaluation), or rejected. Following these deliberations, the student will be apprised of the committee’s decision.
- Upon conclusion of the project, the student shall prepare, present and defend a final report on the project (see guidelines below). The final defense meeting serves as the student’s final certifying examination. This final presentation and defense shall follow the same procedures outlined above for 2 the proposal defense, with the addition of a brief report on the outcomes of the project, potential applications of the results, and conclusions and recommendations for future development.
- The project proposal presentation and the defense of the completed project report shall be open to the public. The project advisor shall notify the Graduate Studies Secretary at least 14 days in advance of defense, and the Graduate Studies Secretary shall notify KIN faculty and graduate students within 7 days in advance of the defense. Notification shall be via email and written notices posted on the Graduate Studies bulletin board by the Graduate Studies Secretary.
- Copies of the final report, revised if and as directed by the committee at the final defense, shall be provided to the student’s major advisor and to the Kinesiology Department. The department copy should be flat-bound and submitted to the department's graduate secretary before the end of the semester in which the final defense occurred. Approved binding methods include spiral, pressure, and pin methods; three-ring binders are not acceptable. Hardcover, book-style binding is acceptable but not required.
Guidelines for Preparing the Project Proposal and Final Report
Students shall follow the University Guidelines for Preparing Theses and Dissertations in preparing the project proposal and final report. This document specifies content and format for the title page, table of contents, body of the paper, and appendices.
- Chapter 1: Introduction - Provide a brief overview of the project: what you propose to do, why it is needed, who will benefit.
- Chapter 2: Literature Review - This chapter should consist of a comprehensive review of the literature related to the concept and production of the product, including detailed citations to document the rationale and significance of the project and to support the chosen methods.
- Chapter 3: Methods - Provide a detailed description of the procedures to be followed in conducting the project (materials and methods to be used, subject populations to be studied [if appropriate], procedures for analyzing or evaluating the outcome of the project, etc.).
- References: All literature cited in the text should be listed according to standard citation methods (e.g., APA style or an accepted journal format).
- Note: If the project will involve any research using human subjects or laboratory animals, a proposal must be submitted to the appropriate university review board after committee review of the project proposal and approved by the review board before any data collection begins.
The final report shall consist of Chapters 1-3 (amended as required by the guidance committee at the proposal defense), plus the following:
- Chapter 4: Results and Discussion - Present a detailed summary of the results of the project and a discussion of the outcome. Compare the project results with appropriate products discussed in the review of literature (Chapter 2).
- Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations - Briefly summarize the major outcomes of the project. Describe the potential applications of the resultant product, including the populations who might benefit from use of the product. Provide suggestions for future applications, extensions, or improvements of the methods and results of the project.
- References - All literature cited in the text should be listed according to standard citation methods (e.g., APA style or an accepted journal format).
- Appendix: If appropriate, the actual product and any supporting materials (surveys, data, etc.) should be included in appendices at the end of the report.
- Note: Deviations from this report format may be made with prior approval of the guidance committee.
Plan B Internship Policy
- Students electing the internship option must fulfill all of the regular requirements for the Plan B option of the master’s degree in their concentration, plus successfully complete 4-6 credits of KIN 893, Internship in Kinesiology.
- The internship shall be conducted at a site arranged by the student and approved in advance by the student’s advisor and guidance committee. A minimum of 60 hours must be completed per semester credit-hour of KIN 893. This minimum may be satisfied by completing 45 hours of on-site work and 15 hours of off-site work per credit-hour per semester. For example, a student enrolling for a 4-credit internship that spans 15 weeks will be expected to spend an average of at least 12 hours per week at the internship site and 4 hours per week on reading and preparatory work, for a minimum total of 240 hours of work. An on-site supervisor shall be identified by the student and approved by the advisor. At the conclusion of the internship, the on-site supervisor will be asked to prepare a letter evaluating the student’s work. This letter shall be included in the appendix of the final internship report (see guidelines below).
- The guidance committee shall consist of at least two members selected according to University Plan B Guidance Committee policy (see Academic Programs book). It is recommended that a third member be selected, in addition to the two faculty members required by University policy. This additional member could be, for example, a doctoral candidate in the student’s emphasis area, or the on-site internship supervisor.
- The student shall prepare, present and defend an internship proposal (see guidelines below) prior to beginning any internship work. The completed written proposal must be provided to all committee members at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled proposal defense date. Approval of the proposal by the committee is required before on-site work begins.
- Generally, the proposal presentation should consist of a 15-30 minute talk in which the student briefly outlines her/his academic background and career plans, provides a brief overview of the proposed internship objectives and activities, explains how the internship will advance the stated career plans, and provides a summary of how the work will be evaluated. After the presentation, questions may be addressed to the student by the audience, not to exceed 15 minutes total. After the question/answer period, the guidance committee will meet privately with the student to engage in scholarly inquiry and discussion about the internship and to address any specific concerns. The student will then be asked to leave the room while the committee deliberates on the outcome of the defense. The committee shall decide on one of four outcomes: approved with no changes, approved with minor changes (student’s advisor to be the final arbiter of the revised proposal), approved with major changes (revision to be resubmitted to all committee members for re-evaluation), or rejected. Following these deliberations, the student will be apprised of the committee’s decision.
- During the internship work, the student shall keep a daily log of activities and observations, plus records of readings, policies and procedures, workshops, in-services and other training. These records, plus samples of the student’s work (e.g. brochures or flyers prepared in conjunction with the internship work, outlines of a lecture given by the student, copies of web pages prepar internship, the student shall be required to provide the advisor with weekly updates on the internship log by email.
- Upon conclusion of the internship, the student shall prepare, present and defend a final report on the internship (see guidelines below). The final defense meeting serves as the student’s final certifying examination. This final presentation and defense shall follow the same procedures outlined above for the proposal defense, with the addition of a brief report on the outcomes of the internship experience and its impact on the student’s career plans.
- The internship proposal presentation and the defense of the internship report shall be open to the public. The internship advisor shall notify the Graduate Studies Secretary at least 14 days in advance of defense, and the Graduate Studies Secretary shall notify KIN faculty and graduate students within 7 days in advance of the defense. Notification shall be via email and written notices posted on the Graduate Studies bulletin board by the Graduate Studies Secretary.
- Copies of the final report, revised if and as directed by the committee at the final defense, shall be provided to the student’s major advisor and to the Kinesiology Department. The department copy should be flat-bound and turned in to the graduate secretary before the end of the semester in which the final defense occurred. Approved binding methods include spiral, pressure, and pin methods; three-ring binders are not acceptable. Hardcover, book-style binding is acceptable but not required.
Guidelines for Preparing the Internship Proposal and Final Report
Students shall follow the University Guidelines for Preparing Theses and Dissertations in preparing the internship proposal and final report. This document specifies content and format for the title page, table of contents, body of the paper, and appendices.
- Chapter 1: Introduction
Briefly describe your academic and professional background. Discuss your short- and long-term career plans and how this internship advances those plans. Provide a brief overview of the internship site, an outline of the proposed purposes of the internship, and a synopsis of the major activities that will be undertaken to achieve those objectives. Include a glossary of any uncommon terms, abbreviations and acronyms that will be used in the text.
- Chapter 2: Proposed Internship Procedures
- Describe the institutional setting and the persons who will be responsible for directing and supervising the internship. Provide a brief professional biography of your proposed on-site supervisor.
- Discuss the clientele with whom you will be working.
- Indicate the total amount of time that will be devoted to the internship. Outline the anticipated distribution of these hours by specific days, weeks and months. Include a breakdown of any anticipated time to be spent off-site doing related reading, studying or preparation of materials.
- List the specific objectives of your proposed internship. Under each objective, list and describe the activities that will be undertaken to achieve it. Include descriptions of the specific techniques that will be employed, the populations to whom they will be applied, any work or training that will be undertaken to prepare for the activity, and how you propose that the outcome of the activity be evaluated. At the end of this section, provided a timeline showing when each activity will take place.
The final report shall consist of Chapters 1 and 2 (amended as required by the guidance committee at the proposal defense), plus the following:
- Chapter 3: Outcomes of the Internship
For each specific objective, describe the degree to which the proposed activities were completed and the extent to which they served to achieve the objective. Describe in the text and include in the appendix any relevant material such as records of readings, policies and procedures, workshops, in-services and other training, as well as samples of your work (e.g. brochures or flyers prepared in conjunction with the internship work, outlines of a lectures you gave, copies of web pages you prepared, etc.). Explain any deviation from the proposed activities, including both omitted and added activities.
- Chapter 4: Conclusions and Recommendations
Summarize the effectiveness of your internship experience in advancing your career goals. Describe any limitations or shortcomings of the experience and how you might have altered the internship plan to overcome them.
- Daily log of activities and observations.
- Items described in Chapter 3 (see above)
- Copy of the final evaluation letter from the on-site supervisor.
- Literature review to support internship activities, if required by the guidance committee.
Plan B Course Work Policy
According to MSU policy, all master's degree students must successfully complete a final certifying exam. For students whose capstone experience is a thesis, project, or internship, the final defense of that scholarly work serves as the final certifying exam. Students who choose the courses-only option sit for an exam written by members of their guidance committees
The final certifying examination provides an opportunity for students to synthesize the knowledge and understanding gained from coursework and related experiences during their master's degree program. The examination is designed so that students are required to amalgamate their learning experiences by demonstrating their understanding of significant phenomena, issues and problems through clearly communicated oral and/or written responses to questions.
Final Certifying Examination
According to MSU policy, all master's degree students must successfully complete a final certifying exam. For students whose capstone experience is a thesis, project, or internship, the final defense of that scholarly work serves as the final certifying exam. Students who choose the courses-only option sit for an exam written by members of their guidance committees.
Composition of the Final Certifying Examination Committee
The Final Certifying Examination Committee for a student in Plan A (thesis) must include at least three regular faculty members1 . The Final Certifying Examination Committee for a student in Plan B (project, internship, or course work only) must include at least two regular faculty members1 . The student's academic advisor shall serve as chair of the committee, with administrative responsibilities for scheduling the examination, coordinating the content to be included in the examination, soliciting questions from the committee members, notifying the student of the examination's results and recording the results of the examination with the Department Chair.
The student's Guidance Committee shall serve as the Final Certifying Examination Committee and shall have collective responsibility for defining the content of the examination and evaluating the results. In the event that a student's Guidance Committee does not contain at least three regular faculty members (Plan A) or two regular faculty members (Plan B), the Graduate Studies Coordinator shall appoint sufficient regular faculty to the Guidance Committee for the final certifying examination.
Content, Scope and Format of the Examination
Consistent with requirements for Master's of Arts and Science degrees at Michigan State University, the final certifying examination is required of all students who choose either Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (project, internship or coursework). For each plan, the student must be registered during the semester in which the examination is taken the first time. The examination may be taken when 80% of the student's coursework (excluding thesis, project and/or internship credits) has been completed. Students who wish to take the examination should make a formal application to their Guidance Committee Chair during the registration period of the semester in which they intend to take the examination.
Students in Plan A are required to pass an oral examination in defense of the thesis. At the discretion of the Guidance Committee, the examination may also include questions on the student's coursework. The thesis and the student's performance on the oral examination must be accepted by a majority vote of the examining committee. The length of the oral examination shall not exceed two hours.
("The ‘regular faculty' of Michigan State University shall consist of all persons appointed under the rules of tenure and holding the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor or instructor and persons appointed as librarians. In addition, the principal administrative officer of each major educational and research unit of the University shall be a member of the `regular faculty'." (Source: Graduate Studies, Michigan State University, 1990-91, p.31.)
Students in Plan B may elect to fulfill their graduate requirements by completing a project, an internship or the required number of course credits.
The Project. Students who elect the project option of Plan B are required to defend their project via an oral examination. At the discretion of the Guidance Committee, the examination may also include questions on the student's coursework. The length of the oral examination shall not exceed two hours. (For additional information refer to the M.S. Plan B Project Option Policy.)
The Internship. Students who select the internship option of Plan B are required to defend their internship experience via an oral examination. At the discretion of the Guidance Committee, the examination may also include questions on the student's coursework. The length of the oral examination shall not exceed two hours. (For additional information refer to the M.S. Plan B Internship Option Policy.)
Coursework. Students who elect to meet their requirements for a Master of Science degree through a minimum of 30 semester hours of course credits are required to demonstrate their ability to clearly communicate their understanding of events, issues and resolutions to problems in Kinesiology via a written examination. The examination shall (1) probe for sufficient breadth in the student's program by inclusion of two questions from the core of required courses and (2) include one question that examines the student's depth of understanding in his/her area of emphasis. The written examination shall be no longer than three hours, with approximately one hour devoted to each question. Oral examinations also may be requested by the Guidance Committee. The length of the oral examination shall not exceed two hours.
Each Guidance Committee member who provides a question for the written examination shall be responsible for evaluating the student's response to that question and for notifying the Guidance Committee Chair regarding the results of the evaluation. Such notification ordinarily should be made within one week following completion of the examination. Questions shall be graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the maximum score. A minimum score of 7 is required to pass each question. The Guidance Committee Chair should notify the student about the results of the written examination within two weeks following completion of the examination.
If the student fails one or more questions:
- It is the student's responsibility to request a second written examination and to schedule that examination at a time that is mutually acceptable to the student and the Guidance Committee Chair.
- If the student fails any question(s), the Guidance Committee shall determine the remedial process that must take place before the examination(s) may be attempted a second time.
- The second written examination should cover subject matter and/or competencies relevant to the failed question(s).
- The conditions for the conduct and evaluation of the second written examination shall be the same as those for the initial examination.
- If the student fails the written examination a second time, the student is terminated from the program.
- The results of the student's performance(s) on the written examination(s) must be filed in his/her permanent folder. Both questions and answers for the written examination must be kept on file by the student's major advisor for a minimum of three years after the student has graduated. 3 If the student's performance on the oral examination is not acceptable to the Guidance Committee, the Committee shall determine the appropriate action.
Students who wish to appeal the procedure or the Guidance Committee's decision must do so within four weeks of the date they were notified of the results, by contacting the Graduate Faculty Chairperson in writing. Deviations from this policy may be adjudicated by approval of the Graduate Faculty Committee.
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Requirements
Michigan State requires that all graduate students be trained in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) as part of their Research I University Experience. See the College of Education Training for more information on how to complete training and meet RCR Requirements.
Advising, Program Plan, and Guidance Committees
An M.S. program plan is a written document that specifies the course work that the student must complete as part of his or her degree requirements. Although there are certain university, college, and departmental requirements, program plans are personalized for individual students.
KIN master's degree students are expected to submit an approved program plan within 18 credits following admission to the M.S. program, preferably sooner.
Steps in Developing a Program Plan
- The student develops a draft program plan to share with his or her advisor. The program plan should specify the student's choice of capstone experience: (a) thesis; (b) project; (c) internship; or (d) course work only. Sample Program Plans can be seen below.
*** Note that all capstone experiences require a final certifying examination , with the format of the examination depending upon the choice of capstone experience.
- The student and advisor collaborate and reach consensus.
- The student asks the KIN graduate secretary to prepare a copy of the program plan using the approved MSU form.
- The student shares the program plan with members of his or her guidance committee in advance of a guidance committee meeting. The student should also share: (a) a proposed timeline for completing the proposed course work capstone experience, and final certifying exam; (b) a current curriculum vita; (c) a current transcript from StuInfo - https://stuinfo.msu.edu/ ; and (d) a summary of professional development or research plans.
- A meeting of the guidance committee is conducted. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the student's program plan and progress toward degree, as well as to approve the program plan.
- If the program plan is approved, the guidance committee members sign the form and the student takes the signed form to the KIN graduate secretary.
- If the program plan requires revision, the student asks the KIN graduate secretary to make the revisions, then obtains signatures from guidance committee members, then takes the signed form to the KIN graduate secretary.
Required Elements of an M.S. Program Plan
Students should give attention to Department of Kinesiology and Michigan State University requirements when constructing their program plans. Note that students are required to complete a minimum of 6 semester credits in residence on campus (more is recommended).
Course Taking Options
M.S. students have a variety of course-taking options when developing the program plan. However, the selected courses must be (a) appropriate to the student's academic program and (b) completed within the time limit for earning the M.S. degree at MSU, as judged by the student's guidance committee.
- Graduate-level courses.
At MSU, 900-level courses are designed specifically for doctoral students, and 800-level courses are designed for for both master's and doctoral level students. The M.S. program plan may include any 800 or 900 level graduate courses offered by any academic unit at MSU. Usually an override is needed for enrollment by a master's degree in a 900-level course, with the onus on the student to demonstrate that she or he is prepared for the advanced-level course.
- Undergraduate-level courses
Master's students may include 400-level courses on the program plan if the course is essential to the program of study, especially for students who enter the KIN graduate program from other disciplinary areas. However, 400-level courses should be the exception rather than the rule in an M.S. program plan, especially within the student's area of concentration.
In almost all cases, 100, 200, 300 level courses are considered remedial and should not be included on the student's program plan. However, if the guidance committee approves, an M.S. student may enroll in KIN 890 - Independent Study with a plan to complete the undergraduate course requirements plus added work that reflects graduate-level expertise and competence.
- Transfer credits
Students may transfer credits from other accredited colleges or universities, the MSU Lifelong Education Program, MSU graduate certificate programs, or the MSU post-BA teacher certification program if approved by the student’s guidance committee. Consult the transferring credits page for more information.
Sample Program Plans
Two sample M.S. program plans are provided in this section, one for a student in the Athletic Training concentration who completed a thesis, and another for a student in the Student-Athlete Development concentration who completed an internship. Notice how these program plans were personalized for the students. Also notice how courses are grouped by degree requirements.
Example 1: Athletic Training Concentration with thesis (33 credits)
Concentration: Athletic Training
KIN 820 - Advanced Clinical Evaluation - 3 credits
KIN 821 - Management of Structural Pathologies - 2 credits
KIN 822 - Rehab Techniques for Musculoskeletal Dysfunction - 3 credits
KIN 894 - Field Experiences in Kinesiology - 1 credits
KIN Breadth Requirement
KIN 860 - Growth and Motor Behavior - 3 credits
KIN 862 - Neural Basis of Human Movement - 3 credits
KIN 871 - Research Methods in Kinesiology - 3 credits
KIN 810 - Physiology of Physical Activity - 3 credits
KIN 840 - Psychosocial Aspects of Physical Activity - 3 credits
Additional Statistics Course
STT 421 - Statistics I - 3 credits
KIN 899 - Master's Thesis Research - 6 credits
Example 2: Student-Athlete Development Concentration with internship (30 credits)
Concentration: Student Athlete Development
KIN 853 - Athletic Administration in Higher Education - 3 credits
KIN 858 - Student-Athlete Development - 3 credits
KIN 854 - Legal and Administrative Issues of Coaching - 3 credits
KIN Breadth Requirement
KIN 840 - Psychosocial Aspects of Physical Activity - 3 credits
KIN 860 - Growth and Motor Behavior - 3 credits
KIN 871 - Research Methods in Kinesiology - 3 credits
EAD 871 - Collegiate Contexts in Teaching and Learning - 3 credits
KIN 845 - Sociocultural Practices in Sport - 3 credits
KIN 893 - Internship: SASS program in Intercollegiate Athletics - 6 credits
Students who are admitted to the M.S. program in kinesiology will be assigned to an advisor based upon the student's goal statement (submitted with admission materials) and any communication between the student and aparticular faculty member prior to admission.
The student and the advisor should collaborate to develop the students individual program plan, as well as any neccessary changes to the program plan. In addition, the student should meet regularly with his/her advisor to discuss academic progress, expectations, prfessional development, and preparation for the capstone experience. The advisor is responsible for preparing a written annual review of academic progress.
A guidance committee is formed to assist the student with the selected capstone experience. Guidance committee members also serve as additional mentors to the master's degree student. The composition of the guidance committee varies according to the selected capstone experience.
Plan A Thesis Option
According to the KIN Plan A Thesis Policy and MSU regulations, the thesis committee shall consist of at least three regular faculty members. Usually the student's advisor serves as the thesis director; however, a different faculty member may be selected for that role. The student should choose thesis committee members in consultation with her/his advisor.
Plan B Project Option
According to the KIN Plan B Project Policy, the guidance committee shall consist of at least two regular faculty members. Usually the student's advisor serves as chairperson of the committee; however, a different faculty member may be selected for that role. The student should choose guidance committee members in consultation with her/his advisor.
Plan B Internship Option
According to the KIN Plan B Internship Policy, the guidance committee shall consist of at least two regular faculty members. Usually the student's advisor serves as chairperson of the committee; however, a different faculty member may be selected for that role. The student should choose guidance committee members in consultation with her/his advisor.
Plan B Course Work Option
According to the M.S. Final Certifying Examination Policy, the guidance committee for students who complete course work only shall consist of at least two regular faculty members. Usually the student's advisor serves as chairperson of the committee; however, a different faculty member may be selected for that role. The student should choose guidance committee members in consultation with her/his advisor.
Changes of Advisor or Committee Members
MSU has established procedures for changes in advisor or of guidance committee members. KIN graduate students should check with the graduate studies coordinator or secretary about those procedures if changes become necessary. Of course, it is always appropriate and courteous to discuss concerns with the current advisor before requesting a change. To request a change of advisor or guidance committee member, please use this form.
In all instances, both students and advisors / committee members should engage in open and respectful communication at all times in order to allow changes and transitions to happen in a smooth and positive way. For students, it is of course always appropriate and courteous to discuss concerns with the current advisor before requesting any changes in the setup of committees, or a change of advisor. If at any time during the student’s tenure at MSU, a student’s advisor is incapable of fulfilling the role of advisor, the Graduate Coordinator will be responsible for assisting the student in finding a new advisor or finishing the student’s degree program requirements.
Change of Guidance Committee Member: Student Initiated
Should a student wish to change any of her or his guidance committee members, it is necessary for the student to propose a replacement for the member(s) to her or his advisor, and seek approval of the advisor. The student should then discuss and inform the out---going member and recruit the replacement member. Following approval, the student should inform all members of the original guidance committee about the change, and circulate the necessary forms for signatures.
Change of Advisor: Student Initiated
Should a student wish to change her or his advisor, open communication should be paramount: The student should talk to the advisor about this, and propose a new advisor. If both the old and the new advisor agree on the change, all members of the guidance committee (or the dissertation committee), and the new advisor need to sign the relevant forms. The signed modification is then submitted to the Graduate secretary, approved by the Department chair, and placed in the student’s academic file. If a disagreement arises between the parties involved that cannot be resolved through discussion, then the Graduate Coordinator should mediate the discrepancy.
Change of Ph.D. Advisor: Faculty Retirement/Leave
Faculty members should generally only accept graduate students they can, under foreseeable circumstances, mentor for the full length of the student’s graduate program; four years full---time (and multiples of that part---time) are assumed as regular duration of PhD studies.
Faculty members who retire earlier than planned, or leave the university, need to make sure that the student’s needs are being taken care of. Henceforth, in concert with the student, the out---going faculty member should consult with the Graduate Coordinator to determine the replacement advisor or replacement dissertation director. Once a new advisor has been found, and has agreed to take on the student, all members of the guidance committee (or the dissertation committee), and the new advisor need to sign the relevant forms. The signed modification is then submitted to the Graduate secretary, approved by the Department chair, and placed in the student’s academic file.
Forms are found under changes in advisor or of guidance committee members. KIN graduate students should check with the graduate studies coordinator or secretary about those procedures if changes become necessary.
Expectations and Academic Progress
Evaluation of Academic Progress for KIN Graduate Students
The purpose of this policy is to convey criteria associated with adequate academic progress, ways in which the academic progress of KIN graduate students is evaluated, and procedures related to academic probation and dismissal from the graduate degree programs. This policy is organized into sections on evaluations by the advisor, evaluations by the guidance committee, and evaluations by the KIN faculty. The last section on evaluations by the KIN faculty include procedures related to academic probation and dismissal.
Evaluations by the Advisor
- Informal evaluations of academic progress. KIN graduate students are expected to consult with their advisors via scheduled individual or group advising meetings, or using email or telephone communication. The frequency of such consultations depends upon the student’s need for guidance. Minimally, students and their advisors should meet at least once a semester. Informal evaluation of the student’s progress toward the degree is an important component of advising meetings. Such evaluations should focus on: (a) progress toward completing courses on the student’s program plan; (b) progress toward designing, conducting, and defending the selected capstone experience; and (c) professional development. The only records of these informal evaluations are notes taken by the advisor and placed in the advisee’s permanent file. The student has the right to inspect the contents of his/her permanent advisee file, with the exception of documents for which the student has waived right of access.
Content of the Permanent Advisee File for KIN Graduate Students - M.S. Students
- Application for Admission and related materials
- Program plan
- Grade reports
- Annual Reviews of Academic Progress (student and faculty forms)
- Current resume/curriculum vita
- All documentation related to the M.S. thesis, project, internship, or final certifying examination
- Documentation related to academic honors, scholarships, and fellowships
- Documentation related to academic probation or dismissal from the degree program
- Documentation related to requests for time extensions to complete the degree
- Annual written evaluation of academic progress. Per MSU and Graduate School policies, each advisor conducts an annual written review of academic progress for each of his/her advisees, usually in the latter half of the fall semester. The purpose of these reviews is to evaluate performance during the previous calendar year and to plan for the coming calendar year. Procedures are described in the policy on Annual Review of Academic Progress of Graduate Students, available under the Bylaws/Policies menu on the KIN web site. Essentially, the student compiles and submits information about academic progress and schedules a meeting with his/her advisor. At the meeting, the student and advisor discuss strengths and weaknesses in academic progress and professional growth, and establish goals and objectives for the coming year. The advisor completes a faculty form summarizing the major conclusions from the meeting. Copies of the faculty form are distributed to: (a) the student; (b) the student’s permanent advisee file; (c) the KIN Graduate Coordinator who screens for concerns related to academic progress; and (d) the KIN Department Chairperson for consideration in annual faculty productivity reviews. Concerns about academic progress based upon this review are handled by the student and advisor; however, either party may request assistance from the KIN Graduate Studies Coordinator if needed or desired.
Evaluations by Guidance Committees
- Guidance committee for students who choose the coursework only option. The student’s guidance committee may not meet in person; however, members of the committee collaborate to write the certifying examination questions, grade the student’s responses, and determine whether the student passes or fails the exam. In addition, students are encouraged to consult with members of the guidance committee as needed throughout the degree program. Evaluation of academic progress consists of the committee decision whether the student passes or fails the certifying examination. This decision is reported on the Record of Final Certifying Examination for Master's Degree Candidates, which is submitted to the KIN Graduate Secretary.
- Internship, project, or thesis committee for students who choose those capstone experiences. The internship, project, or thesis committees typically meet once when the student proposes the capstone project and again when the student defends the completed project. Evaluation of academic progress consists of the committee decisions whether the student’s internship, project, or thesis proposal is approved and whether the student successfully defends the completed internship, project, or thesis. There is no paper work associated with decisions about the student’s proposal; however, the decision about the defense of the student’s internship, project, or thesis is reported on the Record of Final Certifying Examination for Master's Degree Candidates, which is submitted to the KIN Graduate Secretary.
Evaluations by the KIN Faculty
- End-of-semester audit of grades. Grade report forms for graduate students are delivered to the Graduate Studies Secretary. Before those forms are forwarded to faculty advisors, the Graduate Studies Secretary will identify students who are not making adequate progress with respect to grades in courses, namely: (a) a cumulative grade point average of less than 3.0; (b) any grade of less than 3.0 in a required course; or (c) DF grades in two or more courses (exclusive of KIN 893, KIN 897, KIN 899, KIN 995, or KIN 999) for the semester. The KIN Graduate Studies Coordinator will then send email notices to those students and their advisors, reminding them of the guidelines for adequate academic progress.
- Annual audit of academic progress. Each year in January, the KIN Graduate Studies Coordinator and KIN Graduate Studies Secretary conduct an audit of the academic progress of all KIN graduate students. A spreadsheet containing academic progress data (columns) for every KIN graduate student (rows) will be prepared, and cells will be highlighted in cases where data indicate that the student is not making adequate academic progress. The annotated spreadsheet will be disseminated to all faculty members who advise graduate students for discussion at a subsequent faculty meeting. The faculty as a group will decide whether the highlighted concerns warrant academic probation or dismissal from the degree program.
- Academic progress criteria for M.S. students.
- Grade point average: Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
- Grades: Successful completion of course work with: (a) no grades of less than 3.0 in required courses; and (b) DF grades in no more than one course across the degree program (exclusive of KIN 893, KIN 897, or KIN 899)
- Approved program plan: Within the first 18 credits following admission to the M.S. program
- Completion of the M.S. thesis, project, internship, or final certifying examination and completion of all degree requirements: The MSU deadline is within 5 years following admission to the M.S. program. (Students may apply for an extension of the time to complete degree requirements.)
- Faculty decisions about concerns related to academic progress
- No action. If there is a reasonable explanation for the concern related to academic progress, or if the student and advisor already are taking action about the concern, the faculty may choose to do nothing.
- Academic probation. If the faculty are convinced that a problem can be remedied and the student can achieve adequate academic progress within one calendar year, the faculty may choose to place the student on academic probation.
- The Graduate Studies Coordinator will send a registered letter to the student and advisor notifying them of the faculty decision and requesting that they develop a remediation plan that includes specific objectives, activities, and timeline.
- The student and advisor must submit the remediation plan to the Graduate Studies Coordinator.
- The Graduate Studies Coordinator must monitor implementation of the remediation plan at least once a semester.
- Dismissal from the degree program. If the faculty are convinced that a student will be unable to achieve adequate academic progress despite intervention and/or additional time to complete the degree (an approved Request for Extension of Time to Complete Degree Requirements), the faculty may choose to dismiss the student from the degree program by a 75% vote of the faculty members in attendance at a the meeting (per the KIN Bylaws, a quorum for a KIN faculty meeting is a majority of voting faculty members).
- Appeal of a decision to dismiss from the degree program. A graduate student who has been dismissed from a KIN graduate degree program by a vote of the KIN faculty may appeal such decision by contacting the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Education and following the procedures established by that office.
The following information was received from the Graduate School in May 2007:
DF-Deferred grades: The required work must be completed and a grade reported within 6 months with the option of a single six-month extension. If the required work is not completed within the time limit, the DF will become U-Unfinished and will be changed to DF/U under the numerical and Pass-No Grade (PN) grading systems, and to DF/NC under the Credit-No Credit (CR-NC) system. This rule does not apply to graduate thesis or dissertation work.
Annual Review of Academic Progress of Graduate Students
Advisors are required to conduct an annual evaluation of the academic progress of each of their graduate student advisees, and to maintain a written copy of that evaluation in the student's advisee folder. This review is a multi-step process:
- Student completes the Annual Review of Academic Progress of Graduate Students: Student Form ( Word version - Adobe pdf version )
- Student submits Student Form to advisor and schedules an appointment with the advisor
- Student and advisor meet to discuss the evaluation and plans for the remainder of the student's degree program
- Advisor completes the Annual Review of Academic Progress of Graduate Students: Faculty Form ( Word version - Adobe pdf version ), and distributes copies to the student, student's advisee file, and the KIN Graduate Studies Coordinator
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.
Opportunities for Professional Growth
- Graduate students have opportunities to develop their teaching, coaching, and professional practice skills through volunteer work and course work in the Department of Kinesiology. Students should consult with their advisors about readiness for such experiences.
- KIN graduate students may engage in teaching experiences for academic credit by enrolling in fieldwork or independent study.
Courses in Teacher Education and Special Education. Graduate students may enroll in TE and CEP courses that help them to acquire greater knowledge of teaching methods.
- Teaching Assistant Program (TAP). The purpose of TAP is to improve graduate student professional development and undergraduate instruction by providing a wide variety of resources and services in support of the teaching and learning development of all MSU teaching assistants.
- Certificate in College Teaching. This certificate is an initiative of the Graduate School, in partnership with departments and colleges, to enhance the quality of teaching of graduate students who intend to be professors in higher education.
- View the procedures associated with getting started with this certfication
- Application for approval to begin work on the Certificate in College Teaching
- View an Example Electronic Portfolio
- Lilly Seminars. The Lilly seminar series focuses on innovative approaches to teaching, learning, and assessment at the university level.
- Online Graduate Certificate in Sport Coaching and Leadership. This program consists of three 3-semester hour online courses that address legal, administrative, psychological, sociological, and physical issues as they relate to the coaching of amateur athletes. After successful completion of all three courses, a Certificate of Completion will be awarded.
- Advanced doctoral students may help to design, deliver, and evaluate coaching education workshops and programs offered by the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports. Interested students should contact Dr. Dan Gould, Director of the Institute.
- In addition, KIN graduate students may engage in coaching experiences for academic credit by enrolling in fieldwork or independent study.
- Sport psychology services. Many sport psychology graduate students work with athletes and teams who are affiliated with MSU or community agencies. These experiences are restricted to students with appropriate qualifications. Students may volunteer, or they may earn academic credit by enrolling in fieldwork or independent study.
- Student-athlete development. Students interested in this field may volunteer, intern, or seek employment with the Student Athlete Support Services program.
- Other possibilities include working with athletes from high school and community programs. Students may volunteer, or they may earn academic credit by enrolling in fieldwork or independent study.
- Sports administration. Master's degree students in this field often complete internships or field work experiences to learn their trade from experts in the field. Students may volunteer, or they may earn academic credit by enrolling in fieldwork or independent study.
- Athletic training. Graduate students in athletic training typically are engaged in providing sports medicine services to athletes throughout their educational careers. At MSU, these students also have opportunities to assist with special events such as high school sports days and Special Olympics competitions. Students may volunteer, or they may earn academic credit by enrolling in fieldwork or independent study.
KIN graduate students have many opportunities to become involved in research and outreach activities. Start your exploration with these research/outreach centers and laboratories. Continue your search by contacting the program/lab directors about specific projects that pique your interest.
- Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS)
- Center for Physical Activity and Health (CPAH)
- Human Energy Research Laboratory (HERL)
- Sports Skills Program (SSP)
- Motor Performance Study (MPS)
Students are encouraged to become members of professional organizations; often student membership rates are offered. Initially, students might only be involved in attending and learning from conferences. However, opportunities also exist to become active on committees and to assume leadership positions. Here is a "short list" of professional organizations related to kinesiology:
- American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
- Association for Applied Sport Psychology
- National Athletic Training Association
- American College of Sport Medicine
- National Strength and Conditioning Association
Another form of professional service is reviewing scholarly works such as manuscripts submitted for publication, abstracts submitted for presentation at conferences, and grant proposals submitted to funding agencies. Often editors and conference directors will permit graduate student involvement in reviewing activities if the graduate student is directly supervised by a faculty mentor who is affiliated with the journal or conference. Advanced graduate students should ask their advisors about the possibility of assisting with reviews.
University citizenship refers to contributions to student and faculty governance committees. Here are some possibilities.
- Graduate student organizations. Examples include the KIN Grad Student Organization (KGSO), the College of Education Graduate Student Organization (EGSO), and the MSU Council of Graduate Students (COGS).
- KIN committees. The KIN Bylaws describe several standing committees that include graduate student members, namely the Faculty Advisory Committee, Curriculum Committee, Special Events Committee, and Graduate Studies Committee. Usually students are nominated by KGSO and approved by the department faculty.
- College of Education. The College of Education Bylaws describe a number of standing committees, include a Student Advisory Committee that meets regularly with the Dean of the College.
MSU committees. The Academic Governance web site describes university-level committees, some of which (e.g., UCRIHS) include graduate student members.
Community outreach refers to using one's professional expertise to contribute to
citizens or agencies within a community. The MSU Service Learning Center provides links to numerous opportunities for community service including health services, recreation leadership, and youth mentoring. Of course, many KIN majors volunteer their time and expertise to sport and physical education programs in the community
There are no formal programs designed to help graduate students learn how to advise undergraduate students. However, PhD students may:
- Serve as an ex officio member on a M.S. students thesis or guidance committee. Interested graduate students should consult with their advisors.
- Tutor undergraduate students through campus units such as the Student Athlete Support Services program and the Office of Supportive Services.
- Supervise independent study or fieldwork experiences for undergraduate students. Interested graduate students should consult with their advisors.
Other Professional Development Opportunities at MSU
- Career and Professional Development Resources at MSU (PREP) The Graduate School offers this tremendous resource tailored to students in the early, mid, and late stages of their graduate degree programs. Links are provided to a wide range of campus resources.
- English Language Center. The English Language Center provides instruction to international students who need to improve their English language skills before beginning academic course work.
- Office of International Students and Scholars. Advisors who are aware of the demands associated with studying, working and living in another country are available to assist international students and scholars and their families in matters related to their immigration status, employment, housing, health insurance, medical care, social security, income tax regulations, financial aid, and personal concerns.
- Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. RCPD provides services and accommodations to students who have disabilities.
Scholarships, Fellowships, and Financial Aid
Fellowships and Scholarships
The Department of Kinesiology, in concert with the College of Education and the MSU Graduate School, offers a variety of fellowships, scholarships, and graduate teaching and research assistantships for both entering and continuing graduate students.
Graduate Assistantship Positions
The Department of Kinesiology offers a number of graduate assistantship (GA) positions each year. Typical annual stipends for a half-time GA position range from about $11,000 to $15,000 depending upon the student's qualifications and experience. In addition, GAs receive: (a) a tuition waiver for 9 credits in the fall and spring semesters and 4 credits in the summer semester; (b) exemption from out-of-state resident tuition; and (c) health insurance. For more information, consult the GA information posted on the Graduate School web site.
Other Financial Aid
The Office of Financial Aid provides information about loans, work study, scholarships and grants. etc.
The Department of Kinesiology offers a number of graduate assistantship (GA) positions each year.
- KIN Teaching Assistantships
- KIN Research Assistantships
- KIN Athletic Training Assistanships
In addition, some KIN students are interested in assistantship positions working with MSU varsity sports teams. These assistantships are administered by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, not the Department of Kinesiology. Interested students should contact the coach or sports operation director in the sport of interest.
Find more information about graduate assistantships here.
KIN Graduate Student Travel Fund
Each KIN graduate student may apply for up to $200 per year to attend professional conferences or $400 per year if the student is making a presentation. You must be enrolled as an MSU student at the time of the travel to qualify. To apply for funding, submit the KIN Graduate Student Travel & Authorization Request Form with necessary attachments to the Graduate Studies Secretary (email@example.com), in Room 27J IM Sports Circle. When submitting abstracts, please include the author names on the abstracts. Requests must be on file prior to traveling. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for an approval decision.
You will not receive any funds until after the conference. At that time, you must submit receipts for registration, travel, and lodging. If you presented a paper, also submit a photocopy of the conference program showing your presentation details. All evidence should be submitted to Graduate Studies Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will be reimbursed for up to $200/$400 depending upon whether you made a presentation. These requests for graduate student travel funds will be monitored by the Graduate Studies Coordinator.
KIN Research Fellowship
The KIN Research Fellowship provides $750 of funding to students who present a scholarly paper and subsequently submit that paper for publication.
COGS Conference Funding
The MSU Council of Graduate Students operates a Conference Grant Program. Graduate students are limited to one conference grant during their MSU academic career.
Graduate School Funding
The Graduate School funding opportunities include a Travel Funding program for graduate students to present research results at a professional meeting. Graduate students are limited to one award during their MSU academic career.
Students who are traveling abroad should visit the "Travel Smart" web site at http://grad.msu.edu/travel. When students appointed as TAs or RAs travel outside the U.S. to conduct required thesis or dissertation research or to collaborate with investigators conducting research abroad, the department or research grant supporting the work is required to pay for all needed vaccinations and medications (e.g., anti-malarials) as determined by the MSU Travel Clinic. Students may include those costs in applications for funds from the Research Enhancement or Travel Grant programs administered by the Graduate School.
Important Information for All KIN Graduate Students
Who To Contact For What
Your program of study, academic progress, professional development, research program, etc. plus anything related to your disciplinary area
Admissions materials and procedures, required forms and procedures for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees (e.g., program plan, certifying exam, comprehensive exam, thesis, project, internship, dissertation), graduation, general advice about navigating the university system
KIN Graduate Studies Coordinator Multi-year scholarships and fellowships, suggestions for the KIN graduate program, conflicts with advisors
KIN BIP Coordinator KIN graduate teaching assistantships, questions about scheduling
KIN Department Office Graduate assistantship employment papers, course enrollment, grade reports, textbook orders, mailboxes, keys, etc.
KIN Department Chairperson Department operations, conflicts that cannot be resolved with faculty members or center/lab directors
Problems that cannot be resolved at the departmental level or concerns that you do not wish to discuss at the departmental level
Interdisciplinary Study and Inter-campus Programs
Graduate Student Organizations
KIN Graduate Student Organization (KGSO)
KGSO conducts a variety of projects each year, some as community outreach, and some designed to benefit KIN graduate students. KGSO also selects graduate student representatives to department committees. Check with the graduate studies secretary to learn names of current officers. You can review the KGSO constituion here.
E-Stim focuses on educational, outreach, and social activities for Athletic Training students. Find out more about E-Stim here.
The Council of Graduate Students (COGS)
COGS is an authorized student government on campus representing our graduate/professional students at various levels across Michigan State University.
Graduate Student Awards
Michigan State University Awards
Each year, MSU recognizes six graduate teaching assistants with Excellence-in-Teaching Citations. The award is presented to teaching assistants who have distinguished themselves by the care they have given and the skill they have shown in meeting their classroom responsibilities. The essential purpose of the citation is to bring University-wide recognition to the best of the graduate teaching assistants and by so doing to underline the qualitative contribution which they are making to the undergraduate program.
The Department of Kinesiology is permitted to nominate one or two candidates for the Excellence-in-Teaching Citation each year. Nominations are submitted by faculty or students to the Faculty Advisory Committee. Credentials for the most qualified nominee(s) are forwarded to the College of Education and subsequently to the University. Nomination forms and further information about the award is available on the Provost's web site at http://www.msu.edu/unit/provost/awards.html.
2015 Samantha Deere, Jessica Wallace
2014 Alexander Montoye, Kimbo Yee
2011 Erin Kuffel
2009 Sheila K. Kelly
2008 Sarah A. Carson
2005 Paul Nagelkirk, Marissa H. Ferrara
2004 Candace Perkins
2002 Jennifer Waldon
2000 Claudia A. Angeli, Lori Gano-Overway
1997 Roop Jayaraman
1994 Stephen R. Walk
1993 Fiona J. Connor
1990 Jayne A Schuiteman
1987 Mary A. Painter
1981 Brian Curry
Excellence in Diversity Award
The award is presented to individuals or units who have demonstrated outstanding emerging, sustained, or lifetime commitment to the value of diversity or multiculturalism within the University or outside the University community. Specific examples can include initiatives/programs that explore a range of themes such as diversity of cultures, religions, and abilities and are programs that have become a part of the University's infrastructure and are sustainable.
Nomination forms and further information about the award are available on the web site of the Office for Affirmative Action, Compliance and Monitoring athttp://www.inclusion.msu.edu/eida.
2005 Hunter Ignatoski
2002 Matthew Gerhardt
Other MSU Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards
The Graduate School
MSU Scholarship Search Facility
College of Education Awards
Excellence in Teaching Award
The Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the College of Education is presented annually to four faculty members and four graduate students who have demonstrated that their teaching and advising practices are thoughtful and effective. The Award serves as a public reminder of the commitment by the College of Education to high quality teaching. In addition, the dissemination of innovative teaching practices and materials contributes to the quality of instruction by all faculty and teaching assistants. This award was established in 2005.
Nomination procedures are posted on the College of Education web site at:http://education.msu.edu/about/awards/excellence-in-teaching-awards.asp
2006 Adam J. Bruenger
2005 Craig Paiement
Scholarships and Fellowships
A variety of scholarships and fellowships for graduate students are offered through the College of Education./p>
Department of Kinesiology Awards
Outstanding Doctoral Degree Student Award
Each year the Department of Kinesiology seeks nominations of doctoral degree students who have an exemplary record of scholarship, public service, and/or teaching for the Outstanding Doctoral Degree Student Award. This award was initiated in 1995.
This award recognizes scholarship and contributions to the scholarly climate in the department. The KIN Graduate Studies Committee solicits nominations from faculty and graduate students during the spring semester.
Application Due Date: February 15th. Applicants must submit the following materials to the KIN Graduate Coordinator as email attachments (electronic copies facilitate the faculty vote).
- Cover letter (one page maximum) describing the student's intent to apply for the KIN Outstanding Doctoral Degree Student Award and highlighting the student's most significant achievements. This letter must be co-signed by the student's faculty advisor.
- Resume that addresses all criteria for the award and that includes complete reference citations for presentations, publications, and grants.
- Letter of support from a KIN faculty member.
- The KIN Graduate Studies Committee then constructs a ballot that lists all nominees. KIN faculty members vote to determine the award winner, with voting status granted to faculty members who (a) advise KIN graduate students and (b) have earned the terminal degree or who have been approved by the MSU Graduate School to serve as the lead advisor for graduate students. Each faculty member will rank order the candidates, and the winner will be determined by a sum of ranks. Number of first place votes will serve as the tie-breaker. If ties still exist after this procedure, multiple awards will be presented.
2016 Catherine Gammon
2015 Jessica Wallace
2014 Alex Montoye
2013 Samuel Forlenza
2012 Moe Machida
2011 Dana Voelker
2010 R.J. Elbin
2009 Ryan Flett
2008 Lanay Mudd
2007 Sarah A. Carson
2006 Jeong-Dae (JD) Lee
2005 Paul Nagelkirk
2004 Aaron Moffett
2003 Dawn Podulka Coe
2002 Michelle Magyar
2001 M. Kathleen Ellis
2000 Roop Jayaraman
1999 Ivy Collins
1998 Karin Allor
1997 David Wisner
1996 John Fitzpatrick
1995 Susan Walter
KIN Research Fellowship
The KIN Research Fellowship recognizes outstanding research conducted and disseminated by a KIN undergraduate or graduate student. One or more awards of $750 are presented each year during the spring semester, with the number of award depending upon available funding. The fellowship is made available through an anonymous donation and supplementary funding from the Department of Kinesiology. The KIN Research Fellowship formerly was called the KIN Student Presentation Award. Changes in the title and criteria were adopted in Fall 2006.
Application procedures and forms (pdf) are availbe for download. The application deadline is March 15 annually.
Graduate Student Recipients
2016 Stephen Samendinger
2015 Samantha Deere
2013 Tshepang Tshube, Samuel Forlenza
2010 Ryan Flett
2009 Clemens Drenowatz
2008 Graig Chow, Lanay M. Mudd
2007 Todd A. Gilson, Lanay M. Mudd, Jennifer Stiller
2006 Adam Bruenger, Teresa Hepler, Josh Ode
2005 Ryan Hedstrom, Craig Paiement
2004 Craig Paiement, Nick Myers
2003 Aaron Moffett, Candice Perkins, Nick Myers
2002 Angela DiPasquale
2001 Dawn Podulka
1999 Karin Allor, Leapetswe Malete
KIN Mission Statement
The Department of Kinesiology will engage in disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborativeresearch that focuses on physical activity and sport across the lifespan, with a special emphasis on youth; prepare individuals for positions of research and leadership in educational, sport, and clinical settings; and educate individuals to lead physically active, healthy lives.
Bylaws of the Department of Kinesiology
Please see the bylaws here.
Student Grievance Policy
Please see the policy here.
KIN Guidelines on Student/Faculty Collaboration in Research
Please see guidelines here.
Student Conduct, Conflict Resolution, and Grievances
The following information describes KIN expectations for acceptable graduate student conduct and academic progress. Students with graduate assistantship positions should also consult the GA section of this web site, and those with graduate teaching assistantship positions should be familiar with the agreement between MSU and the Graduate Employees Union.
Academic Integrity Expectations for KIN Graduate Students
Expectations related to academic integrity are published in the following documents. KIN graduate
students are expected to understand and abide by these policies and guidelines. KIN faculty members
are expected to discuss issues related to academic integrity with graduate students at “teachable
moments” including, but not limited to, graduate student orientation meetings, advising sessions,
lab/research meetings, and KIN courses.
Adjudication of cases involving graduate student rights and responsibilities shall be conducted according to Article 5 of Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities which describes judicial procedures at the department, college, and university levels. Regarding departmental procedures, Article 5.1.2 states:
“Adjudication necessitated on the department/school level may be handled informally or, at the request of a party or parties, formally through a department/school hearing board. The hearing board shall be composed of the unit administrator or designee and equal numbers of faculty and graduate students selected by their respective groups in accordance with the department/school bylaws. If the unit administrator is involved in the case, neither the unit administrator nor the designee may serve on the hearing board.”
In the Department of Kinesiology, the unit administrator is the department chairperson. If a hearing board is needed, two or more faculty members shall be selected by the KIN Faculty Advisory Committee and an equal number of graduate students shall be selected by the elected officers of the KIN Graduate Student Organization. If the KIN Graduate Student Organization is not functional, the graduate student representatives to the hearing board shall be selected at random from currently enrolled graduate students who have completed at least 18 credits of study in a KIN degree program. Hearing boards shall be appointed on an ad hoc basis to adjudicate specific cases.
Usually the best approach to resolving a problem is through informal discussion and negotiation when the problem first arises. Discussion and negotiation amongst the parties in a conflict may not only help to resolve the original conflict, but can lead to better communication and more positive working relationships in the future. In addition, there usually are more options for solving a problem at the early stages of a conflict than later when working relationships may become seriously compromised or when the problem grows in complexity.
Try to resolve problems through discussions with the people who are immediately involved in the issue. In the Department of Kinesiology, you should consider speaking with the course instructor (if the problem is specific to a KIN course), your supervisor (if the problem is specific to a graduate assistantship position), your advisor, the coordinator of graduate studies, and/or the department chairperson.
If your problem cannot be resolved at the departmental level or if you prefer discussing the matter with someone from outside the department, consider seeking help from the MSU Ombudsman, the Judicial Affairs Office, the Women's Resource Center, Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Education, or the Dean of the Graduate School.
The Graduate School conducts workshops on Communicating Your Message: Effective Communication Strategies That Work on Setting Expectations and Resolving Conflicts that are designed to help graduate students work effectively with their faculty mentors and to make good progress toward their degrees. Any group of students or faculty may request these programs.
Several policy documents include procedures for the resolution of graduate student concerns, complaints, and grievances.
Department of Kinesiology
Michigan State University