Declaring Kinesiology as a Major

Incoming Students: As a new freshmen or transfer student, you will declare your major through the JMU One Book website when you sign up for orientation. This major becomes your official major on your academic record.

Current Students: If you are a current student wishing to declare or change a major, there are a few steps to complete:

  1. Complete a request through MyMadison.
  2. Schedule a meeting with the Kinesiology Madison Peer Advisor or Kinesiology Advisor.
  3. Review the application requirements below prior to your advising meeting.

Students must have completed all three steps in order for a major change to be approved.  If they have not met with a Kinesiology advisor within two months of submitting the request in MyMadison, the request will be automatically denied.

Please note that approval to change your major to Kinesiology: Exercise Science is not admission to the program.  All students must complete the application process outlined below for full admission to the program.

If you have questions, please contact to set up a virtual or in-person appointment with an advisor. 

For additional assistance making a request to change your major, please view the Change/Declare a Major/Minor tutorial in MyMadison or on the tutorials websites.

Declaring a Concentration

By the end of the sophomore year, all Kinesiology students must declare a concentration in either (a)Exercise Science (ES) or (b) Physical and Health Education Teacher Education (PHETE).

Acceptance into both concentrations entail that you have met certain requirements. ES requirements are described below. Your academic advisor will answer any questions that you have about admission and assist you through the process. 

Admission to the Exercise Science Program

Over the past 3 years, approximately 220-250 students have declared Exercise Science as a first-year student each year, while the program admits a maximum of 120 students per year.  Admission is competitive and based solely upon performance in the pre-requisite coursework. 

Applications for full admission to the Exercise Science program occur in two cycles per year:

  • Students who are completing their coursework in the Spring or Summer terms should apply by March 15th.
  • Students who are completing their pre-requisite coursework in the Fall term should apply by October 15th.

Links to the application are posted on this page at least six weeks prior to the application deadline.

To apply students MUST have completed or be currently enrolled in the following pre-requisite courses:

  • KIN 100
  • KIN 202
  • BIO 290+290L
  • BIO 270+270L
  • CHEM 131&131L

Please note that there are no exceptions to the pre-requisite coursework or application deadlines. Applications must be submitted by the deadline for consideration in that application cycle. 

Repeat-Forgive grades are NOT counted in the application consideration. Therefore, if you did not do well in one of the prerequisite courses, it would NOT help your chances for admission to re-take the course. If not admitted, students may re-apply once.

Once the application is complete and reviewed, the coursework that has been completed (i.e. there is already a grade on the student’s transcript) will be considered when issuing initial milestones for the following semester.  This is not the final admission decision.  Approximately the number of students who will be admitted that cycle will be given permission to register for classes for the following semester. 

Final decisions will not be made until after final grades are available.  Therefore, it is possible that a student who was given the ability to register for classes will not be admitted to the program.  Those students will need to immediately drop their Exercise Science Coursework.  Additionally, all applications (including those not granted initial permission to enroll) will be evaluated upon receipt of the final grades for all pre-requisite coursework.  Final decisions regarding admission will be issued at that time (approximately one week following release of final grades in the relevant term).

The spring application deadline (March 15) has passed.  Please check back in August / September for the Fall application (due October 15th).

Transfer Student Information

Students may transfer into the Kinesiology program both the Fall and Spring semesters. The “Kinesiology Transfer Snapshot” has more information for transfer students. While students can declare Exercise Science upon admission to JMU, transfer students must go through the same application process as students already at JMU (see above).  Admission to JMU and admission to the Exercise Science program are separate processes.

If you are interested in transferring, you are welcome to schedule an appointment with a Kinesiology Academic Advisor, who will provide you with information about the program, schedule a campus visit to meet with current students and faculty and will answer any questions that you might have. To schedule an appointment, contact Appointments can be in person or virtual, just be sure to indicate what format you would prefer.

We also encourage you to familiarize yourself with the transfer admission process JMU Admissions has more information and instructions about applying for admission to JMU. After you are accepted and have paid a deposit to JMU, you will schedule a date for New Student/Transfer Orientation where you will meet with the Kinesiology Academic Advisor to plan your schedule and finalize your course of study. Transfer Orientation is held in December for spring transfers, and in June for fall transfers.

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