Exercise Science & Physical Education Overview picture of students performing experiments illustration


McDaniel enjoys a long history of preparing students with knowledge and skills in the field of kinesiology. Our major and minors include courses covering a multitude of sub-disciplinary areas such as athletic training, coaching, exercise physiology, fitness leadership, physical education teacher preparation, sport and exercise psychology, sport management, and pre-professional training for the allied health fields. Professors bring extensive experience into the classroom as educators, advisors, coaches and researchers. Excellent facilities including the Human Performance Lab and Neuromuscular Performance Lab provide students with hands-on experience testing cardiopulmonary, metabolic, and neuromuscular systems on equipment used in the health and fitness industries.

“Growing up with sports I knew I wanted to do something related to sports and fitness. You can walk into class and have an entire conversation with your professor about some aspect of the sporting contest the night before. Whether it be the sport psychology behind the game, the nutrition aspect, the biomechanics behind the skill, or just a conversation about how the team did the professors make an effort to connect with their students.”

Gill Center

Dr. Jennifer McKenzie
Department Chair

Kinesiology Online Catalog

Majors & Courses


The Kinesiology major program provides numerous options for the student including a basic major, teaching certification, and preparation for graduate study in a wide variety of fields (exercise science, sports medicine, physical education, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, among others).

A dual major, Exercise Chemistry, is also offered for those desiring a more extensive science background.


Various minors for the Kinesiology major, as well as non-majors, are also offered by the KIN department, including sports management, sports coaching, and athletic training.

Minors include programs in:

Pre-Professional Studies

If you're interested in physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, chiropractic, or other allied health careers, learn more about our pre-professional studies in allied health.

If you are eyeing medical schools, dental schools or veterinary schools, McDaniel offers the mentoring and ideal environment to prepare you for success. Learn more about our pre-professional studies in medical, dental, and veterinary health professions.  


Assistant Professor and co-director of Human Performance Laboratory and department chair Jennifer McKenzieAssociate Professor, Director of Human Performance Lab and Department Chair Jennifer McKenzie

(Ph.D., University of Maryland), Dr. McKenzie teaches exercise physiology, exercise and chronic disease, and weight management and directs student research projects.   She also advises students interested in allied health professions (physical therapy, physician assistant, occupational therapy, etc.).

Professor Richard Carpenter and coordinator of the Exercise Science & Physical Education master’s degree programProfessor Richard Carpenter

(Ed.D., West Virginia University), Dr. Carpenter is an expert mentor having coached swimming for seven years, football for nine, track for 19 years and doubled as cross-country coach for six seasons. He also served as Athletic Director from 1984-1999 leading the college into membership with the Centennial Conference. Currently, he teaches such courses as “Sport in American Society” and “Psychology of Sport and Exercise.”

Assistant Professor Andi HoffmanAssociate Professor Andi Hoffman

(Ed.D., Temple University), Dr. Hoffman keeps wellness as a goal for all students and helps to coordinate the Tournament of Champions, an annual event where McDaniel students volunteer to help children with special needs participate in a variety of physical education activities and contests. Dr. Hoffman’s areas of teaching focus on pedagogy and motor development. She also advises all students who elect to minor in Physical Education and graduate students in the initial teaching certification program.

Assistant Professor Richard LairdAssistant Professor and Co-Director of Human Performance Lab Richard Laird

(Ph.D. Auburn University), Dr. Laird teaches exercise physiology, principles of strength development, and performance optimization and directs student research projects. His area of expertise and research has focused on high intensity interval training, strength training, and performance optimization.

Senior Coach Lecturer, Assistant Director of Athletics/SWA, and Women’s Basketball Coach Becky MartinSenior Coach Lecturer, Women’s Basketball Coach, Senior Women’s Administrator, and Assistant Director of Athletics Becky Martin

(M.Ed., McDaniel College), Coach Martin was named to the Middle Atlantic Conference’s inaugural Hall of Fame class for her stellar record as a coach and athlete. This past season she earned her 500th win as basketball coach while her team made its way into the NCAA tournament.  An avid traveler and lifelong athlete, Coach Martin regularly organizes tours to France for the basketball team and their families that include exhibition play with sightseeing.  She teaches classes in coaching and archery.

Associate Professor, director of Human Performance Laboratory Steve McColeAssociate Professor Steve McCole

(Ph.D., University of Maryland), Dr. McCole teaches courses in human physiology and exercise physiology and directs student research projects. He also advises students interested in allied health professions (physical therapy, physician assistant, occupational therapy, etc.).


Lecturers and Coach-Lecturers

Senior Lecturer and Director of Athletics Paul Moyer
(M.B.A., Johns Hopkins University), Beside his many duties overseeing the Athletics program, Director Moyer also teaches courses related to sports administration and management. Among these is the January Term course, “Going Pro”.   

Lecturer David Petrie
(M.S., University of Delaware), Mr. Petrie teaches courses in biomechanics and human anatomy. His popular January Term course, “Animating Life,” takes students behind the scenes at Walt Disney World Resort.  

Lecturer Angela Bryant
(M.S., Alderson Broaddus College), Mrs. Bryant teaches courses in nutrition and strength development. She is also a practicing physician assistant and the owner of/coach at Westminster Strength and Conditioning/CrossFit Retribution.  

Lecturer Lindsey Porter
(M.S., McDaniel College), Mrs. Porter teaches laboratory courses in human physiology.  She is also a certified athletic trainer. 

Senior Coach Lecturer and Head Athletic Trainer Gregg Nibbelink
(M.S., Ohio State University), Mr. Nibbelink teaches “Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries” and “Advanced Athletic Training”. He also mentors students interested in pursuing the athletic training minor.

Coach Lecturers Kevin Curley, Kim Easterday, W. Keith Eucker, Grant Neary, Kristin Ramey, Stephanie Roby, Douglas Renner, Sandra Lagana, Jessica Wolverton, and Kellina Yarrish
The coach lecturers primarily teach physical activity and wellness courses. These courses are part of the general education requirements for all students. More than 40 sections of these courses are offered annually. Some coach lecturers also oversee practicum and internship experiences.


Kinesiology students have recently conducted internships with professional, college, and high school sports teams, hospitals and doctor's offices, physical therapy clinics, sports camps, athletic administration, and fitness centers.

Recent KIN internships include:

Carroll Sports Rehab and Physical Therapy
Robert Moton Elementary School
Cherry Tree Rehab Center, Hanover PA
Theragro, Inc.— pediatric occupational therapy practices
Velocity Sports Performance Training, Cherry Hill, NJ
Longview Nursing Home
McDaniel College Athletic Training Room
McDaniel College Sports Coaching Management
Tournament of Champions- event planning and management for special-needs children
Carroll County Public Schools – Technology In Education
Central Maryland Rehab Services
Orthopedic and Spine Specialists
Linganore High School, Frederick MD
Westminster High School

Recent student–faculty research collaboration

Drs. Laird, McCole, and McKenzie and students Jackson Balkin, Haley Jacobs, Abby Phillips, Andrew Schiller, Joe Schiller, Katie Shoemaker, Haley VanNostrand, and Fernando Winfield Murillo completed a student-faculty collaborative summer research project investing the effects of resistance training on academic skills performance. They presented their work at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. 

Every year, senior students have the opportunity to conduct their own research projects as part of “Senior Research Capstone in Kinesiology”. Recent projects have investigated recovery modalities, high intensity interval training protocols, pulmonary function measures, the benefits of yoga, coaching styles, motivation, and agility training, to name a few. 

After McDaniel 

Immediate career options (not requiring graduate school) for students of the program include community recreation leader, personal trainer, physical therapy technician, security guard, strength and conditioning specialist, various sports management careers, sports coach, and teacher. Recent majors have attended graduate school at Chatham University, George Washington University, Salisbury University, Shenandoah College, the University of Arkansas, the University of Maryland, the University of Pittsburgh, Texas A&M University, etc. to become physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, cardiac and pulmonary therapists, athletic trainers, and exercise physiologists.

A student lifts weights in the new human performance laboratory.
Kinesiology’s new labs and classrooms open in Gill Center

The newly renovated Gill Center is appropriately bustling with activity. After all, this is the epicenter of McDaniel’s study of movement — the place Kinesiology students and faculty alike are calling home. 

Students in this fast growing, popular major returned to campus this fall to a department all under one roof. The three classrooms, three labs, nine faculty offices and a seminar room newly built inside Gill Center support a program that prepares students for careers as health professionals, coaches, athletic trainers, physical education teachers, personal trainers and others whose work centers on the science of physical activity and movement.

“Experiential learning is a cornerstone of the Kinesiology experience,” said McKenzie, who is also department chair and a 2001 graduate of the McDaniel program when it was Exercise Science and Physical Education. “Nearly all of our 2017 and 2018 graduating classes completed at least one practicum, internship, shadowing experience, independent study or collaborative research with professors.”

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