Master of Arts in Kinesiology

The Master of Arts degree program is oriented toward professional training for those interested in obtaining terminal degrees in areas such as teaching, coaching, adult fitness, athletic training and rehabilitation. The program emphasizes a common core/knowledge base, the interdisciplinary nature of Kinesiology, a focus on applied professionals, and a culminating experience that is individualized to meet each student's professional needs and interests.

At the completion of the program, all graduates will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles and an understanding of the current research in the field of Kinesiology;
  • Apply critical thinking, writing, reading, oral communication, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and information management skills to movement-related questions;
  • Understand the scientific method and other systematic ways of knowing relative to research and scholarship in human movement;
  • Develop a sense of responsibility to and for the profession and be professionally involved at the local, state and/or regional levels;
  • Be prepared to engage in informed dialogue with diverse professional and lay communities regarding kinesiological principles and practices.

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Admission Procedures

Students must apply to the University through the Office of Admissions and Records, and must complete a separate application to the Kinesiology department.

  1. University Application Process
    Apply to the Office of Admissions to be admitted to graduate status in the University. The application must include the following:
    • Two sets of official transcripts of all college work, one to Admissions and Records and one set to the Kinesiology Department.
    • Certification of a BS degree or the equivalent with a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units of college work.

    Visit the Sonoma State Prospective Students website for more information.

  2. Kinesiology Application
    Apply to the Department of Kinesiology for admission to the Master's Degree Program in Kinesiology. This application must include:
    • Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the candidate's academic work.
    • A written personal statement indicating the applicant's academic and professional interests and goals.
Download the Kinesiology General Application Form for more information.

You may include the department application (with attachments) with the university application and submit as one to the Office of Admissions and Records, and a copy of all to the Kinesiology Department.

Conditionally Classified Graduate

Applications for students interested in pursuing a Master's Degree in Kinesiology will be forwarded to the department for consideration. The student must submit, along with the application to the Office of Admission, transcripts of all college work. These should show a bachelor's degree or its equivalent and a grade point average of at least 3.00 for the last 60 units of work attempted. Students who have degrees in other areas of study must make up deficiencies in undergraduate areas: descriptive statistics, biomechanics, psychological basis of human movement, physiology of exercise. Only one (up to 4 units) of these courses may be counted toward the M.A. degree. Completion of WEPT is required. Please see the Degree Requirements section of this catalog for postbaccalaureate degree requirements.

The graduate coordinator serves as advisor to all conditionally classified graduate students until the students select a major advisor and advance to classified graduate status.

Classified Graduate

Classified graduate students are those who have completed all admission requirements and undergraduate course work and have been admitted to the University and the master's degree program in the Department of Kinesiology.

Application to the department must include two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic work and a detailed personal statement indicating the applicant's academic and professional interests and goals. Please see the Degree Requirements section in the catalog for postbaccalaureate degree requirements.

Advancement to Candidacy for the M.A. Degree

The Advancement to Candidacy form (GSO1) describes the culminating project and verifies that the student has met the Writing Proficiency Requirement. This form must be approved by all members of the student's project committee and the department graduate coordinator before being forwarded to the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs. At completion of all coursework and the culminating project, the GS02 form is approved by the department and forwarded to the Associate Vice President for final review and approval prior to granting of the M.A. degree.

Faculty Information
Faculty Concentration
Dr. Wanda Boda Biomechanics, Graduate Coordinator
Dr. Rebecca Bryer Pedagogy, Adapted Physical Education
Dr. Ellen Carlton Sport & Exercise Psychology, Motor Learning
Dr. Lauren Morimoto Sociology of Sport
Dr. Bulent Sokmen Physiology of Exercise
Dr. Elaine McHugh Adapted Physical Education, Pedagogy
Dr. Steven Winter Lifetime Fitness

Description of the program:

The Master of Arts degree program is oriented toward professional training for those interested in obtaining terminal degrees with areas such as teaching, coaching, adult fitness, athletic training and rehabilitation. The program emphasizes a common core/knowledge base, the interdisciplinary nature of Kinesiology, a focus on applied professionals, and a culminating experience that is individualized to meet each student’s professional needs and interests.

At the completion of the program, all graduates will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles and an understanding of the current research in the field of Kinesiology;
  • Apply critical thinking, writing, reading, oral communication, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and information management skills to movement-related questions;
  • Understand the scientific method and other systematic ways of knowing relative to research and scholarship in human movement;
  • Develop a sense of responsibility to and for the profession and be professionally involved at the local, state and/or regional levels;
  • Be prepared to engage in informed dialogue with diverse professional and lay communities regarding kinesiological principles and practices.

M.A. Core Requirements

Master of Arts Core Requirements
Course Number Course Title Number of Units
KIN 500 Introduction to Scholarly Inquiry in Kinesiology 2
KIN 505 Seminar in Psycho-Social Bases of Human Movement 3
KIN 520 Pedagogical Methods 3
KIN 525 Individualized Movement Programs for Rehabilitation & Education 3
KIN 550 Seminar in Biomechanics 2
KIN 560 Advanced Physiology of Exercise 2
KIN 590 Graduate Internship 3
KIN 599 Culminating Project 3
Total: M.A. Core Units Required 21

M.A. Electives

In consultation with an advisor, select an additional 9-unit study plan. As an example of a study plan, a student who wishes to pursue the sport pedagogy program will select from the following list of electives:

Master of Arts Electives
Course Number Course Title Number of Units
KIN 521 Curriculum Design & Analysis in Physical Education 3
KIN 522 Research and Issues in Physical Education Teacher Education 3
EDSS 444 Teaching in the Content Area (Physical Education) 3
EDCT 558 Educational Technology and the Classroom 3
EDCT 560 Instructional Design and Technology 3
Total: M.A. Elective Units Required 9

  • Total Units in M.A. Core: 21
  • Total units in MA Electives: 9
  • Total units in MA Degree: 30

Other plans may be established in consultation with the department graduate coordinator and the thesis advisor.

The Department of Kinesiology offers the M.A. in Kinesiology via the culminating project in which graduate students choose from the following options: project, thesis, scholarly article, business/curriculum plan, clinical project, and research component of a larger sponsored project. In so doing, graduate students are offered an array of options that are individualized to their specific professional needs.

Download the Course Requirements Worksheet for more information.

Admission Procedures

Students must apply to the University through the Office of Admissions and Records, and must complete a separate application to the Kinesiology department.

  1. University Application Process
    Apply to the Office of Admissions to be admitted to graduate status in the University. The application must include the following:
    • Two sets of official transcripts of all college work, one set to Admissions and Records and one set to the Kinesiology Department.
    • Certification of a BS degree or the equivalent with a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units of college work.

    Visit the Sonoma State Prospective Students website for more information.

  2. Kinesiology Application
    Apply to the Department of Kinesiology for admission to the Master's Degree Program in Kinesiology. This application must include:
    • Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the candidate's academic work.
    • A written personal statement indicating the applicant's academic and professional interests and goals.
Download the Kinesiology General Application Form for more information.

You may include the department application (with attachments) with the university application and submit as one to the Office of Admissions and Records.

Conditionally Classified Graduate

Application for students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology will be forwarded to the department for consideration. The student must submit, along with the application to the Office of Admission, transcripts of all college work. These should show a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and a grade point average of at least 3.00 for the last 60 units of work attempted. Students who have degrees in other areas of study must make up deficiencies in undergraduate areas: descriptive statistics, biomechanics, psychological basis of human movement, physiology of exercise. Only one (up to 4 units) of these courses may be counted toward the M.A. degree. Completion of WEPT required.

The graduate coordinator serves as advisor to all conditionally classified graduate students until the students select a major advisor and advance to classified graduate status.

Classified Graduate

Classified graduate students are those who have completed all admission requirements and undergraduate course work and have been admitted to the University and the master’s degree program in the Department of Kinesiology. Application to the department must include two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic work and a detailed personal statement indicating the applicant’s academic and professional interests and goals. Please see the Degree Requirements section in this catalog for postbaccalaureate degree requirements.

Advancement to Candidacy for the M.A. Degree

The Advancement to Candidacy form (GSO1) describes the culminating project and verifies that the student has met the Writing Proficiency Requirement. This form must be approved by all members of the student’s project committee and the department graduate coordinator before being forwarded to the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs. At completion of all coursework and the culminating project, the GS02 form is approved by the department and forwarded to the Associate Vice President for final review and approval prior to granting of the M.A. degree.

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  1. What if my BA/BS is not in Kinesiology or Physical Education. Do I need to make up some undergraduate classes in Kinesiology?
    Many of our students have undergraduate degrees in fields other than Kinesiology and Physical Education. You will have to take the undergraduate prerequisites to the following classes in the Masters Core:
    • KIN 500 - Introduction to Scholarly Inquiry in Kinesiology requires KIN 330A (Measurement & Evaluation) or a course in descriptive statistics
    • KIN 505 - Seminar in Psycho-Social Bases of Human Movement requires KIN 305 (Psychological Bases of Human Movement)
    • KIN 550 - Seminar in Biomechanics requires KIN 350 (Biomechanics)
    • KIN 560 - Advanced Physiology of Exercise requires KIN 360 (Physiology of Exercise)
    Many of these undergraduate courses also have prerequisites. Prerequisites for the following courses are:
    • KIN 330A (Measurement & Evaluation) requires GE math
    • KIN 350 (Biomechanics) requires GE math and Human Anatomy (BIOL 220)
    • KIN 360 (Physiology of Exercise) requires GE math, Introduction to Biology (BIOL 115), and Human Physiology with a lab (BIOL 224)
  2. Do I need to take the GREs in order to apply to the Masters Program?
    No. We do not use GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores in evaluating student applications.
  3. On what basis will my application be considered?
    The Graduate Committee that reviews all applications will be particularly concerned with the following:
    • Your academic performance in classes reflective of the Kinesiology undergraduate core (e.g. KIN 305 Psychological Bases of Human Movement, KIN 350 Biomechanics, KIN 360 Physiology of Exercise) and their prerequisites.
    • Your statement of purpose in regard to educational and career goals and their goodness of fit with SSU Kinesiology Masters program.
  4. How long will it take me to finish the program?
    The average length of time it takes a student to complete the Masters program is 3 to 4 years. Our program is designed for students who are working and going to school. All of our core classes are taught in the evenings and students usually take two classes each semester. Because our courses are offered on a rotational basis, students should plan their schedule carefully. The rotation is:
    • KIN 500 Introduction to Scholarly Inquiry in Kinesiology – Fall
    • KIN 505 Seminar in Psycho-Social Bases of Human Movement-Fall-odd years
    • KIN 520 Pedagogical Methods
    • KIN 525 Individualized Movement Programs-Rehab. & Education
    • KIN 550 Seminar in Biomechanics – Spring-odd years
    • KIN 560 Advanced Physiology of Exercise – Fall-even years
    • KIN 590 Graduate Internship
    • KIN 599 Culminating Project – Fall, Spring
    If your undergraduate degree in not in Kinesiology or Physical Education, you must include the time it takes to meet these requirements. You should also consider that all the undergraduate prerequisites to the Masters core are taught during the day.
  5. How will I choose the 9 units of elective courses?
    Electives are chosen in consultation with your advisor. Final approval of your electives is made by your Culminating Project Advisor.
  6. Does everybody do a thesis?
    The culminating project for the Graduate Program is either a thesis requiring original investigation or an equivalent project.
  7. Do I have to take all the core classes? I am mainly interested in one particular aspect of Kinesiology.
    The Masters Degree is a breadth and depth degree in Kinesiology. All students need to take the 21 unit core to achieve breadth in the field of Kinesiology. The course electives and thesis work provide the depth of your program.
  8. I started taking some graduate courses at another university, will they transfer?
    Up to 9 units may be transferred from another university. Which courses are transferable will be determined by the Graduate Coordinator and your Culminating Project Advisor. Note that Sonoma State Extended Education (extension) classes are considered a separate university.
  9. Can I enroll in Extension classes once I am accepted into the grad program?
    Once you are accepted into the graduate program at Sonoma State you cannot enroll in classes through extended education.
  10. Can I take classes at other universities?
    Sonoma State has an agreement with the University of California at Berkeley that students can take classes there concurrently without paying any additional fees. Classes taken at other universities are subject to the 9 unit limit of transferable units.
  11. Is financial aid available?
    Financial aid is available for students who qualify. In order to receive financial aid, one needs to be a full-time student.
  12. Is there any other kind of monetary support for graduate students?
    At this time we have limited classes that qualified graduate students can teach and be simultaneously compensated.
  13. I do not have a BA/BS in Kinesiology and it seems like it will take me a long time to do all the prerequisites. Would I be better off pursuing an Interdisciplinary Studies (ITDS) masters?
    This depends on your program emphasis and your career goals. You may want to discuss this with the Kinesiology Graduate Coordinator and the ITDS Graduate Coordinator. One thing they will point out is that if you plan on taking classes in the Kinesiology Graduate core you must have the undergraduate prerequisites. They will probably also ask you your career goals. If your desire is to teach in a Community College, most Community Colleges require a discipline specific Master’s degree rather than an interdisciplinary degree.
  14. When can I start working on my thesis?
    It is never too early to start THINKING about your thesis. Kin 500-Introduction to Scholarly Inquiry prepares a student for thesis oriented research. Students may take KIN 590-Graduate Internship, the class in which students write their thesis/project proposals, after they have taken two of the area specific core classes: KIN 505-Seminar in Psycho-Social Bases of Human Movement, KIN 550-Seminar in Biomechanics or KIN 560-Advanced Physiology of Exercise. A student registers for Thesis units KIN 599 after their Culminating Project Proposal has been approved by their Committee.
  15. How do I get my culminating project committee together?
    As students begin to think seriously about their culminating project topics, they should initiate contact with potential thesis advisors. When ready to pursue a particular direction, the student should ask a faculty member to serve as their advisor. The culminating project proposal should be developed in conjunction with an advisor. As the proposal takes shape the student.
  16. Once I register for culminating project units (KIN 599) must I continue to register every semester?
    Yes. Graduate students who have completed their coursework or who have begun work on their thesis or other final project must be enrolled each additional semester. You can enroll either through the regular SSU registration as a half-time student and pay half-time fees (maintain financial aid eligibility, utilize full university resources) or enroll through Extended Education and pay a continuation fee of $250 per semeseter (maintains place in academic program and provides student with library privileges). A description of the course you will enroll is provided below:
    • Description: Course designed for students who are continuing to work on their culminating projects but who have otherwise completed all graduate course work. This course cannot be applied toward the minumum number of units needed for completion of the master’s degree.
    • Prerequisite: Student must have permission of the graduate coordinator.
    • Units: Variable 1-3 units of credit.
    • Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit.

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