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Students with professor in Kinesiology lab.


If you're interested in the science behind human movement, a Kinesiology major at McDaniel may be for you. Kinesiologists explore the biomechanics involved in physical activity, from running a marathon to rehabilitating an injured limb. Kinesiology majors learn about topics such as motor control, exercise physiology and anatomy, body mechanics and mobility, strength training and conditioning allowing them to have a deep understanding of how the body moves!

Degree Types
Major , Minor
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Research Facilities
Gill Athletic Center

Why McDaniel for Kinesiology?

A Kinesiology major prepares students with the knowledge and skills needed to help athletes and others optimize their physical potential. The classes, labs, and field experiences at our state-of-the-art Gill Physical Education Learning Center are designed to cultivate a comprehensive understanding of human movement based on the anatomical, physiological, and neurological systems involved. With a degree in Kinesiology, you can pursue an M.S. in Kinesiology, head to medical school, or explore a variety of exciting career paths in sports medicine, athletic training or physical education.

Redefining “Hands-on”

As part of their coursework, over 90% of our graduating seniors completed at least one internship, independent study, or practicum experience last year, and nearly half of our graduates completed research with faculty.

Future Career Paths

Immediate career options (not requiring graduate school) for students of the program include:

  • Personal trainer
  • Physical therapy technician
  • Strength and conditioning specialist
  • Coach
  • Teacher

Recent Kinesiology graduates have attended graduate school at places like George Washington University, Salisbury University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Maryland, and Texas A&M University, etc. to become:

  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physician assistants
  • Cardiac and pulmonary therapists
  • Athletic trainers
  • Exercise physiologists
Haley Jacobs ’17, physician assistant at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Haley Jacobs ’17 is putting her McDaniel education to work as a Physician Assistant at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Learn more about Haley.

Distinctive Courses

BIO 1120 - Human Anatomy

A study of the anatomical structure of the human body. The basic concepts of anatomy—gross, microscopic, developmental, and clinical—will be studied by organ systems. Form-function relationships will be emphasized. This functional anatomy approach will explain how the shape and composition of the anatomical structures allow them to perform their functions.

KIN 2240 - Psychology of Sport and Exercise

This course identifies, examines, and applies specific psychological theories and constructs within exercise and sport settings. Areas addressed include motivation, exercise adherence, psychological and physiological benefits of exercise, cognitive and behavioral change, and fitness counseling.

KIN 3226 - Principles of Strength Development

This course will introduce the scientific principles governing strength development as well as demonstrate a practical approach to training for muscular strength, endurance, and power. The basic principles of program design, technique instruction, and safety will be covered. This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills pertinent to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) exam.

KIN 3227 - Conditioning, Speed and Agility

This course will examine the scientific principles governing physiological adaptation to conditioning and speed training as well as instruction on the practical application of these principles as they are applied to maximize performance. A wide variety of aerobic, anaerobic, speed, and agility training approaches will be examined with emphasis placed on proper program prescription based on the needs of different sports.

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Special Opportunities

Students in Kinesiology lab.

Cutting-Edge Equipment

Our kinesiology labs feature the Anatomage Table, the most technologically advanced 3D anatomy visualization system on the market. Used by top medical schools, cutting-edge equipment like the Anatomage Table will enhance your scholarship and prepare you for the next step.

Football player holding child's hand at Tournament of Champions

Connections and Community

For over 25 years, our department has helped facilitate the Tournament of Champions (a day of games and activities for K-12 students in adapted physical education courses). We also sponsor the Kinesiology Club which brings in many career-oriented guest speakers, including athletic trainers, chiropractors, exercise physiologists, strength coaches, physical therapists, and sport psychology consultants.

A student plays a pacman game.

Kinesiology Major with Education Minor

Students interested in teaching Physical Education in Maryland public schools major in Kinesiology and complete a core set of PreK-12 education requirements. Upon completion of McDaniel’s approved program in the subject area, and the Bachelor’s degree with the minor in education, candidates will be eligible for initial teaching certification at all grade levels (PreK-12) in Maryland. 

Senior Kinesiology and Psychology major Katie Klein attended the 36th Annual Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) Conference to present her research, titled "Exploring the Psychosocial Factors Associated with Returning to Basketball after Multiple Lower Extremity Injuries to the Same Leg: A Case Study."

Publish and Present Your Research

Many student conduct research at McDaniel College, which often leads to publication as an undergraduate and attendance at regional and national conferences.

Recently, in the fall of 2023, Kinesiology student-faculty research, titled "Repetition Frequency Affects Accuracy of Repetitions in Reserve (RIR) in Resistance Trained College Females," was accepted for the 46th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine. The research was conducted as part of the Student-Faculty Collaborative Summer Research Program. 

Asian male sits behind a table with anatomy textbooks in front of him and cabinets behind him.

Meet the Faculty Hyunjae Jeon, Ph.D. Anatomy and Biomechanics

What’s your research interest?
I study patellofemoral (knee) pain. My Ph.D. dissertation explores ultrasound as an affordable way to find early signs of arthritis, like biomechanical changes in cartilage. Finding new ways to identify arthritis may help us answer a chicken and the egg question: Is joint pain causing a biomechanical change by influencing how people use their joints, or are biomechanical changes causing the pain to begin with?
A student sits at a table with a notebook and mug in front of him.

Meet a Green Terror Class of 2024: Sebastian Whipple Kinesiology and Biology Major

"My Kinesiology capstone tests if personality can predict how athletes talk to themselves during sports. Basically, trying to answer if a person’s innate personality has anything to do with how they talk to themselves, hopefully helping coaches understand their athletes better."

Headshot of Tracey Ackah.

Meet our students Class of 2022: Tracey Ackah

Tracey Ackah, Kinesiology major with a minor in Psychology, honed her skills in classes like Developmental Psychology and as a student teacher at Robert Moton Elementary School for an Adapted Physical Education course. She'll take those skills with her when she graduates and pursues her plan to become an occupational therapist.

A student stands with her arms crossed outside.

Meet an Alum Class of 2024: Karina Martinez-Contreras

Karina Martinez-Contreras learned a lot from the patients she worked with during a physical therapy internship, and she’ll carry those lessons with her into her professional career. A Kinesiology major, Karina found support from Assistant Professor Jessica Ford in planning her degree path and aiming high.

"My family was one of the many reasons I kept going because I knew that by being the first to attend and graduate college, I would not only be honoring myself, but I would also be honoring them."

Gill Center classroom.

Continuing Your Education M.S. in Kinesiology Level Up

McDaniel's M.S. in Kinesiology Program has an impressive legacy spanning back to the college's first physical training course. Since then, this 33-credit program has evolved to provide the knowledge and the skills necessary for careers in allied health, research and education.

Recent News for Kinesiology