Career Guide to JMU Majors: Kinesiology
Physical and Health Education Teacher Education (PHETE)
Admission and Progression Standards:
Visit the Major Snapshots site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.
Description of Major
Kinesiology is offered as a major at JMU. The Department of Kinesiology is dedicated to the development of future leaders in professions that maximize the potential of individuals and society through exercise, sport and leisure activities. The department’s core courses are designed to provide the Kinesiology major, regardless of specific concentration, with a basic understanding of the disciplines of human physical activity, sport and leisure. The core courses provide course work to answer the following questions: Why do people engage in exercise, sport and leisure? and What are the biological, psychological, historical, philosophical and social factors that influence and are influenced by exercise, sport and leisure activities? A minor in Coaching, leading to a national Coaching Certificate and a minor in Sport Communication are also offered through the Department of Kinesiology.
Tell me more about this field of study
Kinesiology is the study of human movement and performance. Students examine the effects of participation in physical activity on the physical, psychological and social dimensions of the human condition. Fitness and leisure time occupations are among the most rapidly growing professions in America. Some examples of services in which people are becoming involved are: teaching and coaching in public and private schools; careers as exercise leaders and fitness directors; physical therapy; exercise testing and prescription; and personal training; and design and production of sporting and recreation equipment. Opportunities for the graduate level education include research in exercise science, teaching, sport medicine, and related fields of human performance.
Tell me more about specialization
There are two different concentrations: Physical and Health Education Teacher Education and Exercise Science. The Physical and Health Education Teacher Education concentration prepares students for careers in teaching school physical and health education. This is a five-year program culminating in a M.A.T. degree and graduates can earn a Virginia teaching license in physical and health education. Students who desire teaching certification should consult the "Teacher Certification Requirements Manual". Exercise Science prepares students for employment in fitness-related agencies such as wellness centers, hospitals and rehabilitation programs, and to pursue graduate degrees in exercise science. Graduates of this program are prepared to enroll in the fitness instructor certification program sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine. Students interested in physical therapy find this concentration a complement to the Pre-Physical Therapy program.
Common majors or minors that complement this major
Kinesiology majors seek minor concentrations in Coaching, Conflict Analysis and Intervention, English as a Second Language, Gerontology, Health Communication, Human Science, Management, Modern Foreign Language – Spanish, Pre‑Physical Therapy, Special Education Non-Teaching, Sport Communication, Substance Abuse Intervention or Theater and Dance.
Self-direction is essential; industriousness, relating and working well with others, and of course, a love for physical activity.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated careers that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some fields will require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers examples of possible career paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.
Who employs graduates?
Advertising Companies, Colleges/Universities, Corporate Fitness Centers, Public/Private Schools, Fitness Centers, Heath Clubs, Hospitals, Parks and Recreation Departments, Recreation Facilities, Rehabilitation Centers, Resorts, Sports Camps, Sports Equipment Companies, Sports Medicine Clinics, and Youth Camps.
All concentrations in Kinesiology expose students to both practicum and internship experiences. Students should consult with the faculty coordinator of the area in which they are interested for more information.
What are JMU graduates doing with this major?
Opportunities for JMU Exercise Science Students
Athletes and Sports Competitors
Athletic Directors (OOH)
Careers in Exercise and Sports Science
Careers in Kinesiology
Coaches and Scouts
Common Careers in Exercise Science
Fitness Trainers and Aerobic Instructors
Fitness Trainers and Instructors (OOH)
Physical Therapists (OOH)
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers
Teacher – Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers(OOH)
A broad range of resources on career fields, internships, and job search information is also available in the Career & Academic Planning Resource Center.
Make an appointment with a CAP career counselor to learn more about this major and your career options.
A few titles from our Resource Center related to this field include:
© Career & Academic Planning, James Madison University, 2013