Kinesiology

Individual holding his arm out for examination.

Kinesiology, M.S.

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The MS in Kinesiology is available with research specialization in biomechanics, exercise physiology, exercise psychology, motor control and behavior, physical activity epidemiology, and occupational science. The MS in Kinesiology with the non-thesis option provides courses that cover the breadth of the kinesiology field and electives, and it may include a final project.

Program Overview

The MS in Kinesiology is available with research specialization in biomechanics, exercise physiology, exercise psychology, motor control and behavior, physical activity epidemiology, and occupational science. The MS in Kinesiology with the non-thesis option provides courses that cover the breadth of the kinesiology field and electives, and it may include a final project.

The master’s in kinesiology program supports an interest in coaching/teaching (team or individual), personal training or fitness instruction, or it may supplement the practice of physical therapy, athletic training, other allied health professions, or any individual purpose a student may have.

Kinesiology students learn to create, interpret, transmit, and apply knowledge related to movement, exercise, and human occupation with the ultimate goal of enhancing human health, productivity, and quality of life.

The MS in Kinesiology combines advanced courses with the option of an intensive research experience. Department research facilities are well equipped, and faculty and graduate students have access to other specialized research facilities across campus. Faculty and graduate student research is currently supported by funding from the state and federal government, research foundations and private industry.

Department faculty are affiliated with the Institute on Aging; Cardiovascular Research Center; Center for Neuroscience/Neuroscience Training Program; departments of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Neurology, Population Health Science, and Psychology; McPherson Eye Research Institute; Harlow Center for Biological Psychology; interdepartmental graduate program in Nutritional Sciences; Trace Research and Development Center; VA Geriatric Research and Education Center; Waisman Center; and Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute.

Contact Information

Andrea Mason, Director of Graduate Studyamason@education.wisc.edu608-262-9904

Stephanie Trigsted, Graduate Studies Coordinatorstephanie.trigsted@wisc.edu608-262-8730

Kinesiologykinesgrad@education.wisc.edu608-262-8730Natatorium, 10132000 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706

  • Applying for Graduate Study

    Following are guidelines for application to the MS and PhD programs in Kinesiology.

    The numbered preview below summarizes what you’ll need if you apply for the MS or PhD in the Department of Kinesiology at UW–Madison. Then more detailed information follows about each of the numbered application items. We urge you to read the detailed information carefully. If you have questions, you should feel free to contact us.

    1. Online Application. The UW Graduate School Online Application, including its supplemental apps section (to name your Kinesiology area of specialization or track), must all be submitted at the Graduate School website.
    2. GRE. Kinesiology requires GRE scores for the general test. GRE scores may be self-reported when you apply, but if admitted we will require an official report. Official scores can be submitted to UW–Madison using the institution code 1846. Copies, faxes, and PDFs are considered unofficial.
    3. Personal Statement. Kinesiology needs your personal statement of reasons for graduate study included within your online application to the UW Graduate School. As part of your personal statement, you should discuss why you want to be considered for the track or area of specialization identified in the supplemental application portion of the online application.
    4. Letters of Reference. Identify at least three persons who can recommend you as qualified for graduate study.
    5. Transcripts. All university-level educational transcripts should be provided. You may upload electronic transcripts. Your unofficial transcripts, if legible and complete, will suffice for departmental review. If admitted, official transcripts will need to be submitted to the Graduate School.
    6. International Students: TOEFL (or similar). Official scores are requested by the student and submitted electronically to UW–Madison institution code 1846 by Educational Testing Service. Copies are considered unofficial.
    7. Application Fee Grant. The Graduate School offers a limited number of fee grants to ensure the application fee is not a barrier for potential students. Please see the Graduate School site for more information. You can also contact the Kinesiology Graduate Coordinator to inquire about fee waivers if you are not eligible or do not receive a grant through the Graduate School.
    DEPARTMENTAL CONTACT FOR KINESIOLOGY GRADUATE PROGRAM

    All applicants should direct administrative and procedural questions to the Kinesiology Graduate Studies Coordinator at kinesgrad@education.wisc.edu.

    Mailing Address:
    Kinesiology Grad Office, Rm. 1013
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    2000 Observatory Dr.
    Madison, WI  53706

  • Detailed Application Information

    ONLINE APPLICATION

    The Kinesiology Department reviews applicants and has the right to recommend an applicant’s admission to the UW–Madison Graduate School. The Graduate School retains the right to make the final admission decision. To apply for admission, you must submit your online graduate admission application via the UW Grad School. The Kinesiology Department reviews your application after you complete and submit it online to Graduate School. Kinesiology decides whether to ask Graduate School to certify your official admission.

    Please NOTE that there is usually substantial time, sometimes months, between application completion and notice-of-outcome. During this time, our faculty members review applications. For further discussion, see deadlines below.

    GRE SCORES

    Your Kinesiology graduate admission requires scores, with percentile, from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). For general information on taking the GRE, please visit the exam provider’s website.

    • Kinesiology requires scores from the GRE General test (Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing).
    • Kinesiology doesnt set any GRE minimum scores (or minimum total score) for admission. Faculty will evaluate your GRE scores as one factor among all factors in an admission decision.
    HOW TO PROVIDE GRE SCORES.

    We will take your GRE scores and percentiles (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing) in either or both of two ways when you apply.

    • Self-report. You may self-report your scores and percentiles in the online application’s education section for the purposes of departmental review.
    • Official Score Submission. If admitted to Kinesiology, you will need to provide your official scores. You should submit your official scores directly to the UW–Madison Graduate School using the institution code 1846. Because you submit scores directly to the Graduate School, any and all departments to which you apply will see your official GRE scores via your online application. Historically, official scores have taken from two weeks to eight weeks to become visible to departments.

    PERSONAL STATEMENT

    Your statement is your formal application’s most consolidated, direct, intensive, and personal communication with Kinesiology faculty. It tells them why you think they should admit you for graduate study and outlines your specific areas of interest. We recommend that you prepare your statement before beginning an online application. Your statement is a significant intellectual exercise, so we hope you will use considerable care and thought in making it compelling and persuasive.

    GRADUATE PROGRAM AREAS

    If you are admitted to a Kinesiology Graduate Program, your admission is to a specific specialization or track. This can be either a research specialization or the non-thesis MS track. We encourage students who are interested in performing research to contact faculty advisors within their area of interest to inquire about specific requirements and lab openings.

    The Graduate School Application will require you to select an area of specialization from the drop down menu in the supplemental application section. You should also discuss your specialization area of interest in your personal statement to explain to the Kinesiology faculty reviewers why you want to be considered for the area of speculation identified. If you are interested in more than one area, but sure to discuss during your personal statement.

    In a research track, you eventually must develop and apply an experimental methodology in which you hypothesize results about a narrow experimental question in consultation with your faculty advisor. You then evaluate and report actual experimental results in an effort to contribute new knowledge to the expertise in that research area (or to develop new hypotheses for further research).

    Non-Research Based Area of Specialization

    The non-thesis track is designed for students who have a broad general interest in Kinesiology and would like to receive graduate-level training across all areas of Kinesiology rather than focusing on one specific area. Students may choose from a variety of electives to tailor their MS to their specific educational and career goals.

    PREREQUISITE COURSES

    A bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology or a related field generally satisfies all the prerequisite requirements. If the bachelor’s degree was completed in an area outside of Kinesiology, the applicant must complete an Anatomy and Physiology course in addition to two courses from within one of our areas of specialization.

    Applicants who lack some prerequisite courses may still be considered for admission. These students would be admitted with “deficiencies.” The deficiencies must be made up before a graduate degree will be granted. Often the deficiencies are made up during graduate study, but early applicants with few deficiencies and access to an institution of higher education can sometimes take and document their deficient courses prior to graduate matriculation.

    LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

    At least three letters of recommendation are required for an application to the Kinesiology graduate program. The UW–Madison Graduate School accepts online letters of recommendation, and the online application includes a section that you may use to request online recommendations

    Do not submit paper letters or other paper application materials to the Graduate School or to any office or address other than the Kinesiology graduate program. If you do, they are likely to be delayed, sometimes substantially; or lost/unidentified.

    TRANSCRIPTS

    All university-level educational transcripts are required for an application to the Kinesiology graduate program. The Kinesiology graduate program strongly prefers online uploads of transcripts at the application stage. This facilitates online application review. We hope that it is also cheaper, easier, faster, and more efficient for applicants, especially those applying to multiple institutions. If you are able to scan a personal copy of your official transcript, or if you can obtain an unofficial electronic transcript, you may upload it to your online admission application.

    If the Kinesiology Department ultimately recommends your Graduate School admission, then we will need your official transcript(s) so we can send them to the Graduate School for their final review. When we require official transcripts, we will notify you.

    If you submit paper transcripts when you apply, be sure to send them directly to the Kinesiology Graduate Program Office, not to the Graduate School. Paper transcripts (or any mailings) sent to any office other than the Kinesiology Graduate Program Office will be delayed, sometimes substantially.

    BACHELOR’S DEGREE & MINIMUM GPA

    The UW Graduate School requires all graduate students to have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) prior to entry into graduate status at UW–Madison. Applications may be submitted while the bachelor’s or other undergraduate degree is still in progress, but the undergraduate degree will need to be completed by the start of graduate study. If the bachelor’s or equivalent degree will be conferred (officially granted, listed on transcript) after graduate study begins, the UW Graduate School will allow a short grace period for proof-of-degree.

    The Graduate School’s official minimum GPA for undergraduate work is 3.0 (if the grading scale was A=4.0 as a maximum). A department may seek a waiver of the GPA minimum if it feels that the applicant has a particularly compelling qualitative background.

    Applicants whose undergraduate work was evaluated on a grading scale other than A=4.0 may submit transcripts with the original institution’s grades, marks, or scores, and UW will do its own conversion.

    INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

    ENGLISH COMPETENCY

    Applicants whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not exclusively in English, must provide evidence of English competence on the TOEFL or accepted alternate assessment. Please see the page on Graduate School Admission Requirements for more information.

    ADEQUATE FUNDS

    International students must comply with United States law that requires a showing of adequate funds to cover all expenses, including tuition, for the expected duration of studies here. The Graduate School enforces this requirement. See, the international applicant financial information page for details. If you are an international student (required to make a showing of funds), please do NOT submit financial documentation until the Graduate School specifically instructs you on when, where, and how to do so.

    That will occur: a) after you complete your application; and b) only if you are recommended by a department for admission. A showing of funds is unnecessary when you first apply. It can be counter-productive to submit funding information too soon. The amount of funding that an international student must prove is offset by any offer-of-support that the department might make (for example, a teaching assistantship).

  • Deadlines

    The Department of Kinesiology sets no formal deadline for applications, but we recommend having all materials submitted by February 15 for fall semester admissions. This is particularly applicable to non-thesis MS applicants. In general, for all applicants, the Department will review applications until we have no further openings.

    The Kinesiology graduate program can admit for the fall or spring semester. You may apply as early as you wish, if the online application is available for the desired term of admission. Most applications arrive five to ten months before the desired admission date.

    Faculty may review individual applications as they become complete, or they may consolidate several applications for batched review. Non-thesis MS applications will always be reviewed in batches by a committee. Application completion by Feb. 15 facilitates this non-thesis committee process.

    Sometimes faculty can reach a decision within a few weeks of an individual application being completed. Most of the time, faculty review will take several months. Most admissions decisions are reached four to eight months before the start of classes.

    The UW Graduate School does have some deadlines. Applications should be submitted AT LEAST:

    • Domestic applicants – two weeks before the start of classes
    • International applicants – six weeks before the start classes

    If you will not be able to complete your application by February 15, we might still be able to consider you, but the later your application, the greater your benefit in checking in advance with a graduate faculty member of interest or the Graduate Studies Coordinator about specific circumstances.

    While there are no departmental deadlines for admission, there are deadlines for applications for competitively awarded scholarships and fellowships. These applications are generally due in January or February. Graduate students who have been admitted to a program are eligible to compete for scholarship/fellowship awards for their first year of graduate study. Scholarships and fellowships are competitive, and there is never any assurance of an award. Applicants to the graduate program who wish to be accepted by January should plan to complete their graduate application a minimum of several weeks prior to January of the calendar year they wish to begin graduate study.

Research Tracks

  • Biomechanics
    Graduate Advisor

    Kreg G. Gruben, PhDDavid R. Bell, PhD

    Overview

    Biomechanics is the application of mechanics to biological systems. Within the broad field of biomechanics, specific areas of study at UW–Madison include: tissue mechanics, human performance, rehabilitation, and limb dynamics. The program equips students to apply the tools of engineering analysis to biological systems from the cellular to the whole body level, with career objectives in academia, health care, and sports science. Elective course work within the program allows students to pursue individual interests such as physiological adaptations to mechanical stimuli, or computer modeling. Students generally have the opportunity to teach during their training.

    The MS degree is designed to provide the necessary foundation for participation in biomechanical research. Course work in biomechanics, statistics, research methods, and motor control form the basis of the formal training, with students also expected to complete a research project summarized in a thesis. Graduates of the program generally pursue further graduate training toward a PhD or careers in industrial or biomedical research.

    Laboratory Facilities and Experimental Approaches

    Faculty and students in biomechanics employ a variety of approaches directed toward two primary areas of interest: mechanical behavior of normal and healing connective tissues, and intersegmental kinetics during constrained motions. Secondary interests include mechanical assessment of persons with neurological diagnoses, with a goal of evaluating the efficacy of clinical interventions.

    The biomechanics laboratories include: a high speed video camera, 200 Hz video recorder, a two dimensional motion analysis system, Kistler and AMTI force plates, Optotrak three dimensional motion analysis system, EMG amplifiers, and a unique system for the evaluation of cycling biomechanics. The primary laboratory (>450 m2) houses equipment for assessing human movement and the secondary laboratory is used for dissection and preparation of tissues.

    Prerequisites

    Graduate faculty sponsorship is necessary for admission to all MS and PhD research tracks in Kinesiology. Faculty reviewers and the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee consider the nature of previous college work, level of achievement, performance on standardized graduate exams, experience, congruence of the program with an applicant’s stated goals, and advising and teaching load of faculty in the identified emphasis area when making admission decisions.

    Interested students should contact faculty in their desired track to determine their eligibility for the program.

    Deficiencies:

    As part of the admissions process, prospective faculty advisors will look to insure that students’ previous coursework has prepared them for success in our graduate program. Students may be required to take specific prerequisite courses if there is a perceived gap in preparation. In some cases, with advisor approval, this prerequisite coursework can be completed after admission to the program.

    Students lacking certain prerequisite courses may still be considered for admission to the Kinesiology graduate program. These students are said to be admitted with “deficiencies;” these deficiencies must be made up as a part of the student’s graduate coursework. The admitting advisor or the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee will notify the student of a requirement to take specific prerequisite in the admission letter. Students admitted with deficiencies retain eligibility for financial aid consideration.

  • Exercise Physiology
    Graduate Advisors

    Gary M. Diffee, Ph.D.William Schrage, Ph.D.Marlowe Eldridge, MD;
    Troy Hornberger, Ph.D.Jill Barnes, Ph.D.

    Overview

    Exercise Physiology is the study of the biological responses and adaptations to acute and chronic exercise. Research and graduate training at UW–Madison focuses on elucidating:

    1. the physiological, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms underlying these processes
    2. the influence of exercise on health and disease.

    The MS with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology is designed to provide the fundamental framework for understanding and conducting research in Exercise Physiology. In addition to course work in Physiology, Statistics, and Research Methods, students pursue advanced study in Exercise Physiology. Students conduct a research project as part of the thesis requirement. Many MS students have the opportunity to teach during their training. Graduates of the MS program often pursue further graduate training, usually in a PhD, M.D., or D.O. program. Other MS graduates immediately pursue a career in research, educational, or clinical settings.

    Laboratory Facilities and Experimental Approaches

    Departmental laboratory facilities are well-equipped, allowing graduate students to employ a variety of state-of-the-art experimental approaches.

    Dr. Diffee studies the regulation of contraction in skeletal and cardiac muscle and how this regulation is altered by perturbations such as exercise training, injury, or disease. Typical experiments involve measurement of contractile properties single skeletal muscle fibers and single cardiac myocytes and correlation of altered mechanical properties to changes in cell protein composition detected by biochemical and molecular biological techniques. Interaction with faculty and students from other departments (including Nutritional Sciences, Biochemistry, School of Medicine, and the Institute on Aging) is encouraged by ongoing collaborative research efforts.

    The research of William Schrage’s laboratory is focused on how blood flow is regulated in muscle and brain circulations. Specifically, Dr. Schrage is interested in how acute exercise or environmental stress like hypoxia influences blood flow and how this is impacted by obesity and metabolic syndrome. He measures blood flow using state-of-the-art technology including ultrasound and MRI. A key approach is to use pharmacologic tools to understand how blood flow is controlled, and how obesity changes which mechanisms change the ability to regulate blood flow under stress.

    Dr. Barnes focuses on how aging and exercise alters blood flow and blood pressure regulation. Her current projects focus on age-associated changes in cerebral blood flow, the sympathetic nervous system activity influences cerebral blood flow, and how these relate to the risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia.

    Prerequisites

    Graduate faculty sponsorship is necessary for admission to all MS and PhD research tracks in Kinesiology. Faculty reviewers and the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee consider the nature of previous college work, level of achievement, performance on standardized graduate exams, experience, congruence of the program with an applicant’s stated goals, and advising and teaching load of faculty in the identified emphasis area when making admission decisions.

    Interested students should contact faculty in their desired track to determine their eligibility for the program.

    Deficiencies:

    As part of the admissions process, prospective faculty advisors will look to insure that students’ previous coursework has prepared them for success in our graduate program. Students may be required to take specific prerequisite courses if there is a perceived gap in preparation. In some cases, with advisor approval, this prerequisite coursework can be completed after admission to the program.

    Students lacking certain prerequisite courses may still be considered for admission to the Kinesiology graduate program. These students are said to be admitted with “deficiencies,” and these deficiencies must be made up as a part of the student’s graduate coursework. The admitting advisor or the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee will notify the student of a requirement to take specific prerequisite in the admission letter. Students admitted with deficiencies retain eligibility for financial aid consideration.

  • Exercise Psychology (Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity)
    Graduate Advisors

    Dane B. Cook, Ph.D.Kelli F. Koltyn, Ph.D.

    Overview

    Exercise Psychology is the study of psychological responses and adaptations to acute and chronic physical activity. The graduate program at UW–Madison focuses on the psychobiological aspects of physical activity in both healthy and diseased populations.

    Applicants for graduate study with specialization in exercise psychology are ordinarily only accepted where there is an interest in pursuing the Ph.D. In most cases where an applicant does not possess an MS degree, it is customary to obtain the master’s degree as formal evidence of progress toward the Ph.D. If a candidate for the Ph.D. has not completed a master’s degree, or in those instances where a non-thesis master’s degree has been completed, it is necessary to publish a manuscript in a refereed journal as evidence of satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. Students in this area are trained in the theory and methods required for understanding the psychological and biological bases of behavior. The Department of Kinesiology requires that all candidates complete KINES 991 (Research in Physical Activity – Theory and Design) or its equivalent, but with this single exception, there are no specific courses required of candidates for the Ph.D. with specialization in exercise psychology. Candidates must complete a minimum of 54 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree in accordance with Graduate School policy, but most students in the exercise psychology program elect to take additional credits beyond this minimum. Emphasis is placed upon the demonstration of competence in general psychology, exercise psychology, exercise science, statistics and research design rather than completion of specific courses. Each candidate’s program of formal course work and independent study is tailored in a personalized manner to accommodate the individual’s research and career goals.

    This program is committed to providing graduate students with the best available training to prepare them for a variety of careers in academic, clinical, research, government, and other settings. Emphasis is on both extensive academic training in quantitative methods, kinesiology, and general psychology along with extensive research training in the area of exercise psychology. Students are expected to become creative scientists and to exhibit early and continuing commitment to research and scholarship. Most students have several publications in refereed journals to their credit before receiving their Ph.D.’s. While most of the graduates of this program are currently teaching and conducting research at the university level, some have elected to pursue clinical, administrative, and research careers in government, university, and commercial settings.

    Laboratory Facilities and Research Paradigms

    The Exercise Psychology Laboratory includes two sound-dampened chambers for use in conducting experimental research, and testing facilities are supported by state-of-the-art hardware employed in gathering psychophysiological data. A MRI simulator, located in the adjacent Sensory and Motor Control Laboratory is available for MRI training and behavioral testing. Research in the Exercise Psychology Laboratory has been generally concerned with quantifying the psychophysiological responses to exercise. Numerous behavioral methods have been used to determine affective and perceptual responses to exercise including the use of biofeedback, hypnosis, imagery, meditation, and traditional relaxation interventions such as autogenic training. More recently, the laboratory’s focus has been on the psychophysiological aspects of pain, fatigue, and perceived exertion during and following exercise. These studies are being conducted in both healthy participants and patients with chronic pain and fatigue, and are aimed at understanding the psychophysiological mechanisms that underlie the perceptual experience. Neuroimaging experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are also being conducted to determine neural responses related to pain, fatigue, and exercise.

    Prerequisites

    Graduate faculty sponsorship is necessary for admission to all MS and PhD research tracks in Kinesiology. Faculty reviewers and the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee consider the nature of previous college work, level of achievement, performance on standardized graduate exams, experience, congruence of the program with an applicant’s stated goals, and advising and teaching load of faculty in the identified emphasis area when making admission decisions.

    Interested students should contact faculty in their desired track to determine their eligibility for the program.

    Deficiencies:

    As part of the admissions process, prospective faculty advisors will look to insure that students’ previous coursework has prepared them for success in our graduate program. Students may be required to take specific prerequisite courses if there is a perceived gap in preparation. In some cases, with advisor approval, this prerequisite coursework can be completed after admission to the program.

    Students lacking certain prerequisite courses may still be considered for admission to the Kinesiology graduate program. These students are said to be admitted with “deficiencies,” and these deficiencies must be made up as a part of the student’s graduate coursework. The admitting advisor or the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee will notify the student of a requirement to take specific prerequisite in the admission letter. Students admitted with deficiencies retain eligibility for financial aid consideration.

  • Motor Control and Behavior
    Graduate Advisor

    Andrea Mason, Ph.D.

    Overview

    The graduate program in Motor Control and Behavior involves advanced study of the psychological and neurophysiological foundations of motor control, motor learning, motor development, and disorders of movement. The program emphasizes the development of a competent independent researcher and is designed to provide a thorough grounding in the area of motor performance, exposing the student to the underlying theoretical processes that influence the control, acquisition, and development of motor behavior. Students may focus specifically on control, learning, or developmental issues, or design their program to expose them to a broad range of study in motor behavior. The graduate student will work closely with his/her advisor in both formal and informal educational settings.

    The Master’s degree with a specialization in Motor Control and Behavior is designed toward:

    • introducing the beginning graduate student to the field of Motor Control and Behavior including the areas of the neural control of movement, motor learning, and motor development
    • preparing students for advanced PhD level work
    Laboratory Facilities and Experimental Approaches

    Several laboratories (human, animal) are available for research in the area of Motor Control and Behavior. The Motor Behavior Complex in Unit II Gymnasium is a two-story multi-user instructional/research space for the areas of Biomechanics, Motor Development, Motor Control and Learning and Movement Disorders. The first floor Biomechanics Laboratory is set up and fully equipped for on-line analysis of kinematic, kinetic and electromyographic (EMG) activity associated with human movement, particularly gait and posture. The Motor Control Laboratory in Unit II Gymnasium is primarily designed for research focusing on human upper limb movement control. Research methods include the kinematic, kinetic and electromyographic (EMG) analysis of unimanual and bimanual movements, with special emphasis on associated movement, distal force regulation and visuo-motor tracking in normal and neurologically-impaired populations. The Motor Systems Physiology Laboratory in the Medical Science Center is available for study of the circuits and basic neural mechanisms involved in the guidance and control of voluntary limb movements in animals.

    Routinely used research methods include:

    • recording signals transmitted along neuroanatomically defined pathways in behaving monkeys and cats using microelectrodes
    • studying behavioral deficits resulting from reversible inactivation of specific cell groups
    • defining relevant neural pathways using contemporary neuroanatomical techniques
    Prerequisites

    Graduate faculty sponsorship is necessary for admission to all MS and PhD research tracks in Kinesiology. Faculty reviewers and the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee consider the nature of previous college work, level of achievement, performance on standardized graduate exams, experience, congruence of the program with an applicant’s stated goals, and advising and teaching load of faculty in the identified emphasis area when making admission decisions. Interested students should contact faculty in their desired track to determine their eligibility for the program.

    Deficiencies:

    As part of the admissions process, prospective faculty advisors will look to insure that students’ previous coursework has prepared them for success in our graduate program. Students may be required to take specific prerequisite courses if there is a perceived gap in preparation. In some cases, with advisor approval, this prerequisite coursework can be completed after admission to the program.

    Students lacking certain prerequisite courses may still be considered for admission to the Kinesiology graduate program. These students are said to be admitted with “deficiencies,” and these deficiencies must be made up as a part of the student’s graduate coursework. The admitting advisor or the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee will notify the student of a requirement to take specific prerequisite in the admission letter. Students admitted with deficiencies retain eligibility for financial aid consideration.

  • Physical Activity Epidemiology
    Graduate Advisor

    Lisa Cadmus Bertram, Ph.D.

    Overview

    Physical activity epidemiology deals with the frequency and patterns of physical activity in the population and the relationship between physical activity and health and disease. The graduate program in physical activity epidemiology is intended to provide students with advanced study in physical activity measurement issues, study design, and relationships of physical activity with specific health and disease states. Graduate study in this area will cover both advanced exercise physiology for grounding in the biology of exercise, as well as epidemiologic and relevant statistical courses that provide background in population-level study design and analysis.

    The MS degree with a specialization in Physical Activity Epidemiology is designed to:

    • Introduce the beginning graduate student to population-based studies of physical activity and health and disease outcomes.
    • Prepare students for advanced Ph.D. level work.
    Laboratory Facilities and Experimental Approaches

    The Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory is housed in the Unit II Gymnasium. Research efforts in this laboratory are directed at validating the measurement of physical activity in populations, the associations between a physically active lifestyle and various biomarkers of aging and cancer, and the associations between activity and health outcomes such as incident cancer, cancer recurrence, functional status in the elderly, and various health behaviors. The laboratory houses space for the interviewing of study subjects as well as computers for the collection and storage of study data.

    Prerequisites

    Graduate faculty sponsorship is necessary for admission to all MS and PhD research tracks in Kinesiology. Faculty reviewers and the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee consider the nature of previous college work, level of achievement, performance on standardized graduate exams, experience, congruence of the program with an applicant’s stated goals, and advising and teaching load of faculty in the identified emphasis area when making admission decisions.

    Interested students should contact faculty in their desired track to determine their eligibility for the program.

    Deficiencies:

    As part of the admissions process, prospective faculty advisors will look to insure that students’ previous coursework has prepared them for success in our graduate program. Students may be required to take specific prerequisite courses if there is a perceived gap in preparation. In some cases, with advisor approval, this prerequisite coursework can be completed after admission to the program.

    Students lacking certain prerequisite courses may still be considered for admission to the Kinesiology graduate program. These students are said to be admitted with “deficiencies,” and these deficiencies must be made up as a part of the student’s graduate coursework. The admitting advisor or the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee will notify the student of a requirement to take specific prerequisite in the admission letter. Students admitted with deficiencies retain eligibility for financial aid consideration.

  • Occupational Science

    Formerly Therapeutic Science.

    Graduate Advisors

    Karla Ausderau, PhD, OTR/LRuth E. Benedict, OTR, Dr.P.H.Dorothy Edwards, PhDElizabeth A. Larson, PhD, OTR.Kristin Pickett, PhDProf. Emer. Mary L. Schneider, PhD, OTR; Brittany Travers, PhD.

    Overview

    As occupational scientists, our faculty and graduate students explore theories of occupational engagement and conduct research to expand the body of knowledge supporting the practice of occupational therapy. We train future practitioners to apply that knowledge through our UW MS-OT program. Occupational Science integrates theories and practices from the disciplines of anatomy, biomechanics, motor control, neuroscience, psychology, and sociology to enhance our understanding of how engagement in the activities of daily life promotes human health and well-being. Doctoral students work directly with a faculty mentor to learn, design and conduct research.

    Opportunities abound for engaging in collaborative work with faculty from other disciplines such as kinesiology, biomedical engineering, psychology, nursing, population health, sociology, human ecology, special education or rehabilitation psychology

    The M.S. degree in the Occupational Science Track is an advanced post-professional degree offered to students who have graduated from an accredited program in occupational therapy or a related field. Program emphasis is on the understanding of theories underlying occupational science. Students conduct research and develop advanced knowledge in a specific area of concentration within occupational science. Completion of 16 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree is required and includes seminars in human occupation and health, courses that emphasize research theory and design, electives focusing on a particular area of study, and completion of a thesis.

    Facilities

    All faculty members have established laboratories for conducting research in Occupational Science, some of which are free-standing and others of which are located in research centers around campus.

    The Waisman Center for Human Development, Developmental Disabilities, and Neurodegenerative Diseases is one of 14 facilities in the nation established to further the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. Occupational Science faculty maintain office and laboratory space at the Waisman Center. Laboratory space is equipped for videotaping infants or young children during behavioral task performance. A room with an integrated computing and videotape analysis system for on-line coding of recorded performance is also available.

    Community sites are used as settings for the formal and informal study of caregiving in geriatric and pediatric care. Research methods applied in these settings include:

    • Ethnographic interviewing and participant observation of staff behaviors in dementia day care.
    • Analysis of family-caregiver interactions with physicians in the outpatient geriatric medical visit.
    • Qualitative study of the meaning of practice to occupational therapists
    • Phenomenological interviews with family caregivers and staff regarding the ethics of dementia care.

    The Institute on Aging is another campus resource for grant-writing and coordination of aging research and education.

    Extramural collaborations with investigators at other universities and funding from federal agencies and private foundations further strengthen our research programs and expand opportunities for graduate students.

  • Non-Thesis Track
    Overview

    All other tracks within the MS in Kinesiology degree are essentially a precursor to PhD-level training, and thus require extensive research experience as part of the degree. The Non-Thesis MS track is designed for students who are interested in graduate-level training in Kinesiology, but who are not necessarily interested in a career doing research in the field. Non-Thesis MS students will take graduate-level courses that cover the breadth of the field of Kinesiology, will take additional electives from Kinesiology or from any departments across campus that the students see as fitting their personal educational goals, and may complete a final project of their own design as mentored by consenting faculty.

    The MS in Kinesiology Non-Thesis track is designed to provide broad, graduate-level training in Kinesiology. Students will take advanced coursework in each of the traditional disciplines within the field and also focus on their individual interests by selecting courses as electives. A thesis is NOT required in this track. Students in the Non-Thesis track often express interest in obtaining graduate-level training to support their goal of coaching/teaching in team or individual settings, personal training or fitness instruction, or as a supplement to a practice in physical therapy, athletic training, or some other allied health profession, or for other purposes. We emphasize here that we don’t intend the non-thesis track to prepare students for eventual PhD study (although it could, depending on the student and the PhD). Students who want a laboratory-based research experience as part of their MS degree, along with experience in academic writing (MS thesis as a traditional precursor to a PhD dissertation), may wish to consider pursuing their MS degree through one of the other tracks within Kinesiology.

    Prerequisites

    The following courses are required for admission to the Non-Thesis MS in Kinesiology:

    • Separate introductory courses in Anatomy and Physiology, OR
    • a combined introduction to Anatomy/Physiology course.

    Applicants who have not completed an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology can be admitted to the graduate program, but must complete a breadth requirement of a minimum of six credits at the undergraduate level from at least two different tracks within the Kinesiology program:

    • Physiology of Exercise
    • Biomechanics
    • Exercise Psychology
    • Motor Control and Behavior
    • Exercise Epidemiology

    Deficiencies:

    Students lacking certain prerequisite courses may still be considered for admission to the Kinesiology graduate program. These students are said to be admitted with “deficiencies,” and these deficiencies must be made up as a part of the student’s graduate coursework. Students admitted with deficiencies retain eligibility for financial aid consideration.

Student and Instructor working with equipment in the Motor Behavior Laboratory.

Admissions

The application deadline is February 15. Applications may be considered after this date. For admission, the Graduate School and the Department of Kinesiology require a minimum 3.0 GPA on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework.

Close up of an individual working with equipment in the motor behavior laboratory.

Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed on the Guide.

Student practicing leg splinting.

Funding

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School.