Master of Science

Students studying on campus.

The Kinesiology and Health Science department offers a Master of Science in Kinesiology with specialization in Exercise Science. This specialization provides a comprehensive background in the physical, biological, and mechanical sciences. It prepares students for professional applications or advanced study in exercise physiology, biomechanics, neuroscience or other related fields.

Graduate studies in kinesiology allow students a more in-depth course of study within their discipline, combining advanced coursework with research and practical experience to prepare graduates for employment opportunities in their field. These fields include biomechanics, exercise physiology, wellness programming, sport psychology, and neuroscience.

From researching neurological development to studying biological systems from a mechanical perspective, faculty and graduate students are continually discovering more about the human body.

Potential Career Opportunities

Through their studies at USU, KHS students are prepared to enter a competitive professional field working closely with faculty on research and other projects. This degree also provides an excellent preparation for students pursuing admission into Medical school, School of Dentistry, Physical Therapy, or other health professions graduate education.

Employment opportunities are commonly found in:

  • university professor (the MS degree is preparation for entrance to a PhD program),
  • university instructor or research tech,
  • researcher in fitness industry (research & development),
  • governmental research (NASA & military)
  • and clinical professional (preparation for MD and PT schooling)

For more information visit the USU Catalog or USU Degree Finder.

Graduate Program Coordinator

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson

Coordinator of Programs III

Kinesiology and Health Science

Phone: 435-797-1495
Office Location: HPER 122J
Schedule an Appointment

Program Director

Dale Wagner

Dale Wagner


Kinesiology and Health Science

Phone: 435-797-8253
Office Location: HPER 155


Candidates for the exercise science specialization are preferred to have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline such as Kinesiology, Exercise or Sport Sciences. If a candidate has earned a degree in another field they could still be considered for admission in this program but may be required to complete prerequisite undergraduate courses such as Human Anatomy & Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, and Anatomical Kinesiology.


Application Requirements

Applicants desiring to enroll in the Kinesiology Master of Science program must be admitted to the Utah State University School of Graduate studies. As students start an application they will create a log-in that will allow them to come back in and complete their applications. The application has two parts, the initial application and the supplemental items. Students must complete the initial application and pay the application fee before you can access the supplemental materials.

The supplemental materials require the following:

  • Official transcripts from all previously-attended colleges and universities to be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies:
    • If by mail, transcripts can be mailed to:
      School of Graduate Studies
      Utah State University
      0900 Old Main Hill
      Logan, UT 84322-0900
    • If by electronic clearinghouse, transcripts can be emailed to
    • USU alumni do not need to provide USU transcripts; the School of Graduate Studies will pull them for you.
  • Admission GPA of 3.0 or above. The admissions GPA is calculated based on the last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits taken, not the overall GPA.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation. All letters of recommendation should be professional references and at least two (2) letters should come from faculty members.
    • Letters come directly from the referee, not the students. Students will include the contact information for referees in the application. The referees will then be contacted with instructions to submit the letters for the student.
  • Statement of purpose responding to and addressing the questions stated in the prompt below:
    • Prompt: In 500 words or less, please answer the following questions. Why do you want to pursue a graduate degree in Kinesiology? What are your career goals and how do you foresee a master’s degree in Kinesiology helping you toward that goal? There are literally over 200 graduate programs for Kinesiology in the United States alone. Why do you want to be part of the master’s program at USU (specifically), rather than another program? If you have any undergraduate research experience, please include that in this essay (e.g., what was your role, did you present the research at a conference, is the research published).
  • Submission of the Admissions Survey as a portfolio in the supplemental materials of the application.
  • International students have additional requirements to meet
    • Copy of passport
    • Proof of English Language Proficiency
    • Certified English Translations of Transcripts

For more information visit the USU Grad School website, steps to apply

Application Questions! Reach out to the GPC with any questions about the application.


Admission Deadlines

Fall semester (August start date)

July 1 domestic students

May 1 for international students

Spring Semester (January start date)

December 1

Estimated Cost of the Program


*Tuition and fees are affected by many factors including residency, student location (Zip Code), number of credits taken, student level (undergrad vs grad). In addition, the tuition and fee rates change each year. This estimate is based on a student studying in the Logan area finishing the program in 2 years (4 semesters), with Utah residency using the tuition and fee table from the current year.

USU Registrar Tuition & Payment 2023-2024 Tuition and Fee Table


The KHS Department offers graduate assistantship (GA) opportunities for students based in Logan, Utah who have been accepted into one of the department's graduate programs.

Students interested in these positions complete the GA application, submitted directly to the department. This is separate from the admissions application, submitted to the Graduate School. The deadline for both applications is March 1 to be considered for a GA position. Positions are awarded for the coming Fall and Spring semesters.

More information: KHS Graduate Assistantships

Program Requirements

At USU, the Graduate School uses plan types to classify students who are on similar tracks and will have similar culminating projects, grouped as either a thesis, creative project, or internship. These are classified as a Plan A (Thesis), Plan B (Creative Project), or Plan C/Professional (Internships). In the MS degree students have the option of pursuing either a Plan A or a Plan B.

For both plan types students will complete a research project in collaboration with faculty members. The main difference between the two plan types is in the final written product. Plan A students are expected to complete a thesis using the formal thesis formatting and guidelines. Plan B students will also write a paper, but their paper is written in the style and format of a journal article, with the goal of publishing. The Plan B product and experience is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

New Student Orientation

The Kineisology MS program organizes an orientation session for its incoming students. Upon acceptance into the program, students can expect to receive an email from the program director containing comprehensive details, including the confirmed date and other essential information about the orientation event.


Students in the KHS department are are advised by both the department graduate program coordinator (GPC) and their Major Professor (Faculty Advisor/Mentor). Both roles can and will help students to successfully fulfill program and graduation requirements and navigate through the process of getting a degree.

Graduate Program Coordinator

Graduate Program Coordinators (GPCs) are a critical link between the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), departments, and graduate students. GPCs can assist graduate students with deadlines, degree completion, registration errors and restrictions, and all graduate school related paperwork (e.g. supervisory committee approval form, program of study, & graduation check request). Frequently, the student's first contact when they have questions or concerns is the GPC. If a student is unsure who to contact with questions, their first contact should be the GPC.

Major Professor/Faculty Advisor

A student's faculty advisor will help advise students on the courses to take to better prepare them for careers they are pursuing and on successful completion of the program requirements (research/internship requirements, etc). Faculty advisors are not assigned to the students, but students are able to select a faculty advisor through the process of selecting a supervisory committee. Until a student has a faculty advisor in place, students can contact the program director with questions. KIN MS students are expected to select a faculty advisor by the end of their first semester.

Practicum Experience

In addition to completing the required course work students will be expected to complete a research project.

Research Project

Research is the hallmark of a science degree (e.g., Master of Science), and the research project is the culminating experience for MS students. Developing a research question, figuring out how to test a hypothesis, and ultimately answer the research question can be a highly rewarding experience. Many of the courses within the MS program help to prepare the student for his/her research project (e.g., research methods, statistics). Coauthoring a peer-reviewed scientific paper is the end goal of a MS research project. Success with this endeavor is the stepping stone for advanced graduate study (e.g., PhD program) or a career as a research assistant/technician. The steps to achieve this goal typically span the student's 2-year MS degree and are as follows:

  1. First semester:
    1. meet with a faculty mentor/advisor to develop a research idea
  2. Second semester:
    1. develop a research proposal to (e.g., research methods course) and gain the knowledge to evaluate the results (e.g., statistics course);
    2. have a formal proposal meeting with supervisory committee/research committee to "fine tune" the study design and details
    3. submit research proposal to the institutional review board (IRB)
  3. Third semester:
    1. after receiving IRB approval begin collecting data and statistical analysis
  4. Fourth semester:
    1. write and rewrite the research manuscript getting feedback from your mentor;
    2. formally defend (e.g., present) your research to your committee;
    3. submit the manuscript for scientific peer-review

While this is a general timeline for completion of the all needed requirements for a student to finish the KIN MS degree in two years, the key step is to select and meet with a faculty mentor/advisor during the first semester. The faculty mentor/advisor and committee will help to set a specific timeline for each student and project through these meetings and discussions.

General Program Requirements

The primary focus of the degree is to acquire advanced skills specific to a profession in a health fitness setting. The established curriculum is structured to meet the professional standards of the program. However, faculty advisors will work with each student to develop a program of study that is most appropriate for the student's background and future career goals. The student’s committee may approve elective coursework outside of the listed program. Students that are particularly well prepared and have already completed elements of the core curriculum may substitute a required core course for a course that has strong content knowledge related to Kinesiology.

Tracking Sheet

Program of Study (POS): The POS is the official agreement between the student, School of Graduate Studies, and KHS Department. The POS is under the direction and approval of the supervisory committee. Below are policy reminders:
  • Must have at least 15 credits at the 6000 level or above. Coursework below the 5000 level should be in areas outside the student's graduate degree field, and must be approved.
  • Courses students are expected to take as undergraduates or as prerequisites for graduate courses may not be included.
  • Up to 12 credits taken prior to starting at USU may transfer towards a student's program with approval and should be communicated to the GPC.
  • Credits in the following areas are not acceptable: foreign languages, continuing graduate advisement, individual home study, military science, and courses numbered below 3000.
Total Credits 30
Minimum GPA* 3.0
Minimum Grade* C
Completion of Internship and/or Master Project requirement
Completion of all required Graduate School forms
Time Limit to Completion! Students have 6 calendar years to complete all degree requirements. Course work older than 8 years need to be revalidated before it can be used.

*To earn a 3.0 GPA or better students need to receive grades of a B average or higher. While grades as low as a C are permitted, a C is lower than the required average and students will need to receive an A grade in two other courses (of equivalent credits) to offset the effects of the low grade on their overall GPA.