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Department of Physical Education, Health, & Kinesiology


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Department of Physical Education, Health, & Kinesiology


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

The kinesiology major focuses on exercise, movement, nutrition, and disease prevention. While preparing you for clinical health-related fields. This major also provides a solid foundation for further graduate study.

Kinesiology may be the right degree for you if you

  • enjoy learning about health and body mechanics
  • like serving others
  • desire a career in health and fitness or clinical health-related fields

Why study kinesiology at Northwestern?

We'll help you prepare for a career in the health industry with an understanding of wellness, education, and fitness. With campus so close to Minneapolis and St. Paul, students can take advantage of opportunities in the thriving business and kinesiology industries.

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You are able to choose from the following four tracks

Careers in kinesiology

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in kinesiology.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Exercise specialist
  • Dietetics
  • Health and wellness coach
  • Weight loss center specialist
  • Group exercise instructor
  • Strength and conditioning coaching
  • Coach or referee
  • Fitness instructor
  • Recreation director
  • Corporate health programs
  • Fitness, pharmaceutical or exercise sales
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Chiropractor
  • Biomechanics

Who employs people with this degree?

  • Home healthcare agencies
  • Nursing/assisted living homes
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Community education programs
  • Health/nutrition-related retail
  • Chiropractor offices
  • Health/fitness corporations
  • Corporations that sponsor employee wellness initiatives
  • Health clubs/specialized fitness studios
  • Sports and recreation facilities
  • Parks and recreation departments
  • Correctional facilities
  • Colleges and universities

Strategies for success:

  • Some fields listed above require professional certification. Though many entry-level positions may be obtained with anundergraduate degree, most will require additional clinical experiences and a graduate or professional degree.
  • There are many different ways to work within the health and fitness industry. Identify a particular area of interest and then seek to gain the best combination of educational preparation, experience and skills.
  • If you plan to go to graduate school, take the time to look at various graduate school websites and speak with admission counselors. Be sure the Kinesiology track you choose has the right prerequisites to get into grad school. If it does not, be sure to pick up those classes as electives.
  • Given the growing number of aging adults, many positions available in these areas will involve working with the elderly.
  • Fitness communication is also a growing field offering opportunities to write, research, and report on health and fitness related topics for newspapers, magazines, and websites. If interested in this area, take supplemental course work in English, journalism or broadcasting and seek opportunities to volunteer with local or campus newspapers or television/ radio stations.
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of seniors view the faculty as available and accessible

4 tracks

available for this degree


of Northwestern Kinesiology graduates plan to pursue further education

What will I learn?

You will learn to analyze, think critically, and execute. No matter which track you choose, you will be prepared for a career in health and fitness.

Still have questions about this program or how to apply?

Our team is ready with answers!

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