Academic Programs Catalog

College of Education

Graduate Study

The department offers programs in kinesiology leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees and programs in sport coaching and leadership leading to a Graduate Certificate and a Master of Science degree.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in the Department of Kinesiology may elect specializations in Infancy and Early Childhood. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Infancy and Early Childhood in the College of Social Science section of this catalog.


Kinesiology - Master of Science

Graduate study in kinesiology provides opportunities for students to specialize in areas leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The programs are designed to prepare individuals for professional positions as educators, researchers, and consultants in a variety of sports, health, and educational contexts. Collaborative course work, laboratory and field experiences, clinical placements, and research are available with other departments and schools both at Michigan State University and at other universities, as well as with various community agencies.

The primary objective of the master's degree program in kinesiology is to help students to acquire a breadth of knowledge grounded in theory, to gain expertise in one or more areas of specialization, and to develop competence in methods of inquiry.  The program follows the guidelines that were adopted by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).

A range of relevant courses and experiences can be incorporated into the student's program to satisfy individual needs and interests.

Eight major areas of study within the discipline of kinesiology are available to master's  students:
    Athletic Training
    Coaching
    Cognitive and Motor Neuroscience
    Exercise Physiology
    Psychosocial Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity
    Sport Administration
    Strength and Conditioning
    Student Athlete Development

For each student, one of these eight areas of study is designated as the concentration.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Education, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission into the master’s program, applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree. Factors considered in admissions decisions include (a) clarity of applicant’s professional goals; (b) relationship between the program and the applicant’s goals; c) previous academic experience and performance as indicated by transcripts from previous degrees including a competitive cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale; (d) competitive scores on the Graduate Record Examination (and Test of English as a Foreign Language for international students); (e) three letters of recommendation.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Kinesiology

Breadth requirement. Students who have not completed an undergraduate degree in kinesiology (or similarly named program such as physical education or exercise science) must complete a minimum of 6 credits of Kinesiology courses representing at least two of nine different disciplinary areas (adapted physical activity, athletic training, biomechanics, coaching, exercise physiology, growth and motor development, psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity, sport administration, student athlete development) outside of the student’s major area/concentration, as approved by the student’s guidance committee. Credits earned in 200 or 300 level courses may be used to fulfill the breadth requirement, but will not count toward the master’s degree.

The program is available under both Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis).  Students must complete 30 credits and meet the requirements specified below:

               
Requirements for Plan A and Plan B (18 credits):  
1. Required core course (3 credits):  
  KIN 871 Research Methods in Kinesiology 3
2. A minimum of 9 credits of kinesiology graduate level courses in the student’s concentration as approved by the student’s guidance committee.  
               
Additional Requirements for Plan A (12 credits):  
1. Both of the following courses (9 credits):  
  One additional research methods course at the 400–900 level approved by the student's guidance committee  (3 credits).  
  KIN 899 Master's Thesis Research 6
2. Additional credits in courses approved by the student's guidance committee (3 credits).    
Additional Requirements for Plan B (12 credits):  
1. Additional credits in courses approved by the student's guidance committee (12 credits). One of the following courses is recommended:  
  KIN 893 Internship in Kinesiology 4 to 6
  KIN 897 Project in Kinesiology 4
2. Final certifying examination.  
  Students who complete Kinesiology 893 or 897 are required to pass an oral certifying examination.  
  Students who do not complete Kinesiology 893 or 897 are required to pass a written certifying examination.  

Sport Coaching and Leadership - Master of Science

The Master of Science degree in Sport Coaching and Leadership provides opportunities for students to develop expertise in learning and using scientific knowledge and best practices related to coaching and developing athletes and leading sports programs at the intercollegiate, interscholastic, community sports, and university levels. It facilitates interdisciplinary knowledge in various issues related to coaching across the lifespan. Practical experiences are available at high schools, within the university athletic department, and in other sports-related organizations and agencies.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Master of Science degree in Sport Coaching and Leadership students must:

  1. have completed a bachelor’s degree in the United States or its equivalent from an accredited institution.
  2. have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average.
  3. submit one letter of recommendation from a current colleague or supervisor.
  4. submit a statement of professional goals that clearly describe the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the master’s degree and the goals that the degree will help them attain.
Upon acceptance, students must submit evidence of current CPR, first-aid, and blood borne pathogen training and maintain such certification throughout their enrollment in the program.

Applications are reviewed by faculty who look for indications of high probability of success. Factors that are significant in determining admission are:
  1. A grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
  2. Professional goals that are consistent with the objectives of the master’s program.
  3. Evidence of a philosophical understanding of developmentally appropriate sport experiences.
Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Sport Coaching and Leadership

The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis). The student must complete 30 credits distributed as follows:
                   
1. All of the following courses (30 credits):      
  KIN 829 Safety and Injury Control     3
  KIN 854 Legal and Administrative Issues for Administrators and Coaches 3
  KIN 855 Psychosocial Bases of Coaching Athletes 3
  KIN 856 Physical Bases of Coaching Athletes 3
  KIN 857 Promoting Positive Youth Development through Sport 3
  KIN 865 Stages of Athlete Development 3
  KIN 868 Skill Development in Athletes   3
  KIN 872 Coaching Science: Applied Research 3
  KIN 880 Sport Leadership Practicum     3
  KIN 896 Integrative Capstone in Sport Coaching and Leadership 3
2. Completion of a final examination or evaluation.  

Kinesiology - Doctor of Philosophy

The primary objective of the doctoral degree program in kinesiology is to develop scholars who are competent in teaching, conducting research, and serving in leadership roles in various educational, governmental, public, or private agencies.  In addition to developing expertise in an area of specialization, students must be able to interpret and integrate information from related academic disciplines.  Individualized programs of study may be developed, taking into consideration students' academic needs and professional goals.

Four major areas of study within the discipline of kinesiology are available to doctoral students:
    Athletic Training
    Cognitive and Motor Neuroscience
    Exercise Physiology
    Psychosocial Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity

For each student, one of these four areas of study is designated as the concentration.

While enrolled in the doctoral degree program in kinesiology, students are expected to present at least one paper at a professional meeting.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Education, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Ordinarily, to be considered for admission into the doctoral program, a master’s degree is required; however, in cases of exceptional scholarly promise, a student may enter the doctoral program following the completion of the undergraduate degree. Factors considered in admissions decisions include (a) clarity of applicant’s goals and research interests; (b) relationship between the program and the applicant’s goals and research interests; (c) previous academic experience and performance as indicated by transcripts from previous degrees (a competitive cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale); (d) competitive scores on the Graduate Record Examination (and TOEFL for international students); (e) evidence of research competence such as a master’s thesis, senior research project, or other research experience; and (f) three letters of recommendation. An interview with a committee of faculty members is strongly recommended.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Kinesiology

Breadth requirement. Students who have completed a previous degree in kinesiology, or similarly named program such as physical education or exercise science, must complete a minimum of 6 credits of kinesiology courses at the 800-900 level outside of the student’s major area/concentration.  Students who have not completed a previous degree in kinesiology must complete a minimum of 9 credits of kinesiology courses at the 800-900 level representing at least two different disciplinary areas (adapted physical activity, athletic training, biomechanics, exercise physiology, growth and motor development, psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity) outside of the student’s major area/concentration. Courses used to satisfy the breadth requirement must be approved by the student’s guidance committee. Courses that are used to satisfy the requirements referenced in the area below titled Educational Inquiry and Research may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

The student must complete a minimum of 60 credits and meet the requirements specified below:

               
1. Educational Inquiry and Research.  
  a. The following courses:    
    KIN 995 Research Practicum in Kinesiology 1 to 3
  b. Complete 9 credits of 800-900 level research methods courses approved by the student's guidance committee.  
2. Area of Concentration.  
  A minimum of four courses at the 800–900 level totaling at least 12 credits in one of the six major areas of study referenced above.  At least 6 of the 12 credits must be in Kinesiology courses. Courses in the student's concentration must be approved by the student's guidance committee.  Courses that are used to satisfy the requirements referenced in item 1. above may not be used to satisfy this requirement.  
3. Related Studies.  
  A cognate that consists of a minimum of three courses at the 400–900 level totaling 9 credits.  All 9 of the credits must be in courses outside the Department of Kinesiology and must be related to the student's concentration.  Both the cognate and the related courses must be approved by the student's guidance committee.  
4. Successful completion of the research practicum.  
5. Successful completion and defense of the dissertation. The dissertation must be in the student's concentration. Students may not earn more than 30 credits in KIN 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research.  
6. Teaching.      
  Competency in teaching the subject matter of the student's concentration to undergraduate students or to an outreach audience, as judged by the student's guidance committee.  This requirement may be met as part of a graduate teaching assistantship assignment.  

 


Sport Coaching and Leadership - Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Sport Coaching and Leadership provides opportunities for students to develop expertise in learning and using scientific knowledge and best practices related to coaching and developing athletes and leading sports programs at the intercollegiate, interscholastic, and community sports levels. It facilitates interdisciplinary knowledge in various issues related to coaching across the lifespan. The certificate is available only online.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Sport Coaching and Leadership students must:

  1. have completed a bachelor’s degree.
  2. complete the Intent to Enroll form if you are currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at Michigan State University.
Students who are not enrolled at Michigan State University must:
  1. submit a university application and application fee.
  2. provide transcripts from all previous institutions of higher education.
  3. submit one letter of recommendation from a current colleague or supervisor.
  4. submit a statement of professional goals that clearly describe the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the certificate and the goals that the certificate will help them attain.
  5. a test of English language proficiency for students for whom English is not a first language.
Upon acceptance, students must submit evidence of current CPR, first-aid, and blood borne pathogen training and maintain such certification throughout their enrollment in the program.

Applications are reviewed by faculty who look for indications of high probability of success. Factors that are significant in determining admission are:
  1. A grade-point average of 3.0 or higher in the last two years of  all undergraduate and graduate course work.
  2. Professional goals that are consistent with the objectives of the graduate certificate.
  3. Evidence of a philosophical understanding of developmentally appropriate sport experiences.
Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Sport Coaching and Leadership

Students must complete 9 credits from the following courses:
1. One of the following courses for the Psychosocial Competency (3 credits):
KIN 855 Psychosocial Bases of Coaching Athletes 3
KIN 857 Promoting Positive Youth Development through Sport 3
KIN 865 Stages of Athlete Development 3
2. One of the following courses for the Physical Competency (3 credits):
KIN 856 Physical Bases of Coaching Athletes 3
KIN 868 Skill Development in Athletes 3
3. One of the following courses for the Legal/Safety Competency (3 credits):
KIN 829 Safety and Injury Control 3
KIN 854 Legal and Administrative Issues 3