The Masters of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.K.) degree provides the knowledge and experience to students who have a related degree (e.g. B.S. Ed. in Health and Physical Education, B.S. in exercise science, exercise physiology, health science, allied health, etc.) to enhance their professional expertise. Programs of study will be individualized based upon student career goals but will emphasize exercise science-based topics at the advanced level, advanced quantitative and qualitative research classes and other areas of specialization (such as sports coaching and active aging) based on their science or health background.
The M.S.K. degree offers a thesis (research paper with oral presentation) and non-thesis option (comprehensive written examinations and optional internship). Students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree would benefit from the thesis option in preparation for dissertation research. Students interested in the sports coaching and active aging certificate programs and practical hands-on experience would benefit from the non-thesis option.
Students selecting the thesis option will present their research and defend this to their committee as their final requirement for graduation. The M.S.K. Graduate Program Coordinator will oversee the selection and appointment of the Thesis committee that will consist of a minimum of three faculty members, with at least two being from the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science. The faculty member with expertise and research interests most closely aligned to the student’s research area and methodology will be appointed the Chair of the committee. After completion of the oral presentation, the committee will evaluate and deliberate about whether the research paper and presentation demonstrate the required level of expertise to confer completion of the degree.
Students selecting the non-thesis option will complete written exams at the conclusion of their degree program. These exams will be compiled and proctored by the M.S.K. Graduate Program Coordinator in consultation with the student and selected faculty members in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science. Three classes from the core/program area of the degree will be selected for the examination based upon the student’s career objectives and future plans. The questions will be open-ended in nature, with an emphasis on critical thinking and practical application. After completion of the exam, the selected faculty members will be asked to evaluate whether the responses to the exam questions demonstrate the required level of expertise to confer completion of the degree. The exam will be pass/fail in nature, with the student having to pass all three sections of the exam to complete the degree requirements. In the event that a student fails one out of three sections of the exam, the individual faculty member will offer an opportunity to repeat that section, either with another written exam and/or an oral exam. In the event that a student fails two or all three sections of the exam, the M.S.K. Graduate Program Coordinator, in consultation with the relevant faculty members, will debrief the student and clarify the area(s) of weakness that should be addressed by the student when preparing to repeat the Comprehensive Written Exam. If a student fails the exam (s)he must register for at least 3-credit hours in the next semester and re-apply to take it again then.