Department of Kinesiology, Sports Management, & Physical Education
Department of Kinesiology, Sports Management, & Physical Education
- Bachelor of Science
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?
As Christians, we recognize that every individual is wonderfully designed (Psalm 139:14), made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and that we are called to be good stewards of our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). At Northwestern, we recognize that there is a wide range of careers that allow us to lead others in practicing that stewardship. Prospective students who have an interest in the wellness industry but not necessarily the medical field should consider health-related careers in nutrition, fitness, or sports.
Graduates with a degree in Kinesiology are prepared for jobs such as physical or occupational therapy, athletic training, sports management, research, and so much more. Beyond equipping you with the knowledge you need to be successful in these health and fitness careers, you will learn biblical principles like ethics and Christ-like leadership – things you won’t find at a secular institution.
You will be taught by faculty who can draw from their personal experiences from working in their industry, and can bring in top-notch speakers with whom they have networked. Making these connections can bring excellent experience for students through practicums and internships that allow you to apply what you have learned in the classroom. In addition, being in the Twin Cities brings a wide range of opportunities to work with professional healthcare and sports organizations. Northwestern also offers state-of-the-art facilities and small class sizes.
Because of the cost of a higher education degree, you will want to understand what the job outlook for sports-related occupations is. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of entertainment and sports occupations is projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
You are able to choose from the following four tracks
Health & Fitness
In this track you'll learn how to educate and help people improve their personal health. Typical work environments include fitness centers, health clubs, universities, hospitals, non-profit organizations, private businesses, or public health institutions.
This kinesiology track is where health meets business. Equipped with a business minor, you will be able to work in the public and/or private sector of healthcare.
A pre-therapy track sets you up for a career in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and athletic training. This track includes coursework that focuses on injury prevention, evaluation, movement, and rehabilitation. Plus, all prerequisite coursework for advanced graduate schools.
This track prepares you for career opportunities in the business side of sports. Typical work environments may include marketing, public relations, community relations, sales and sponsorship, event planning, and facility management within amateur and professional athletics. Coursework focuses on business skills with specific application to the sports industry.
I can honestly say I love coming to work each day. Working in a sports environment is exciting. There are so many opportunities for sports management students: game presentation, marketing, customer service, and equipment. Northwestern was the place where I grew in my faith and was equipped with knowledge and experience to succeed at the Minnesota Wild.
I grew up around sports medicine and fell in love with that practice and being around athletes. Athletic training is a servant job: it's working with athletes through the highs and lows and you get to build a relationship that is unbroken. I just knew right away that this is what I wanted to do.
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
- 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
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.
- American Physical Therapy Association
- American Society of Exercise Physiologists
- American Council on Exercise
- American Fitness Professionals and Associates
- American College of Sports Medicine
- National Strength & Conditioning Association
- National Athletic Trainer’s Association
- National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association
- Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
of seniors view the faculty as available and accessible
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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