Undergraduate Areas of Emphasis

Below are the areas of study available to all undergraduate students. Once you have identified the area that best fits your goals then you can check in our undergraduate handbook for details on coursework within each area.

Adapted Physical Activity

The Adapted Physical Activity Emphasis is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge to serve individuals with special needs in physical activity. Adapted Physical Activity deals with the treatment of congenital defects, diseases, injury, and chronic degenerative conditions through the application of knowledge, principles, and procedures of therapeutic exercises and adapted physical activity. The goal of Adapted Physical Activity is to improve the quality of life of individuals by increasing or maintaining muscular strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, functional independence, and interpersonal relationships. The Adapted Physical Activity specialist is responsible for assessing individual needs and developing, implementing, and evaluating their educational and treatment programs.

Athletic Training

NOTE: As of summer 2009 the Kinesiology Department obtained approval to award a separate baccalaureate degree in Athletic Training. The purpose of the undergraduate Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) is to provide a comprehensive, progressive educational and practical foundation within physiological, kinesiological, and applied medical contexts of health care services for a career as an athletic training professional who works effectively with diverse populations and in diverse settings. Athletic training students (ATSs) are exposed to current research and formal instruction in the prevention, recognition, evaluation, and rehabilitation of the physically active in various settings such as college/university, high school, clinical, professional, and community. Students develop analytical, critical thinking, and creative thinking skills they can apply to the daily operation of traditional and non-traditional athletic training settings. This program provides opportunities for students to prepare for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination.

Exercise and Fitness Specialist

The purpose of the Exercise and Fitness Specialist emphasis is to provide an in-depth understanding of the movement science area of Kinesiology through physiological, kinesiological, behavioral, and developmental contexts. Students will develop analytical, critical, and creative skills in movement science. These skills are designed to prepare the student for postbaccalaureate study and for many professional programs and occupations in the movement science-related areas of kinesiology. The Fitness emphasis is designed to provide theoretical and practical experience in exercise testing and prescription. Students gain knowledge in exercise testing from exercise physiology and movement science courses offered by the Department of Kinesiology. Practical application of this knowledge is attained through an internship.

Individualized Studies

The purpose of Individualized Studies is to provide for the development of an individual emphasis not found in the existing Kinesiology Department curriculum. This course of study must be developed with, and approved by, the assigned department Advisor, the department Advising Manager, and the Undergraduate Coordinator at least 30 units before graduation.

Movement Science

Designed to provide theoretical and research experience in science-related areas within Kinesiology. This option is particularly recommended for those students planning postbaccalaureate study in physical therapy, chiropractic, or other related graduate programs. This area of study provides the greatest flexibiltiy and provides students the ability to shape their studies around their personal and professional goals


The Pre-Professional emphasis is designed to meet the needs of students interested in sports medicine, and who intend to go on to professional schools in medicine, physical therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, podiatry, etc. In particular, many physical therapy schools have recently changed from baccalaureate and certificate programs to master's degree programs. With coursework quite similar to the athletic training program, students combine Kinesiology and sports medicine with an arranged clinical internship in an area aligned with one's career interests.

Societal Studies

The purpose of the Societal Studies Emphasis is to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of human movement. Through philosophical, historical, sociological, and psychological contexts, students will develop analytical, critical, and creative skills. These skills will prepare students for postbaccalaureate work and for many professional programs and occupations.

Sport Management

The purpose of the Sport Management Emphasis is to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of Sport Management. Through philosophical, historical, sociological, business, public relations, and economic concepts, students will develop analytical, critical, and creative skills. These skills will prepare students for postbaccalaureate work and for many programs and occupations.

Teaching Physical Education

This emphasis is specifically designed for the student desiring to teach Physical Education in grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12). The purpose is to provide an in-depth understanding of teaching in physical education. This includes such concerns as curriculum planning for grades K-12 as well as effective instructional techniques that may be employed in these grades. Completion of this emphasis precedes the Professional Education Sequence. Successful completion of the Professional Education Sequence leads to the application for a preliminary teaching credential. * See Handbook for Teacher Education.

Teaching Adapted Physical Education

This emphasis is designed for the student desiring to work in the specialty area of Adapted Physical Education. Successful completion of the curriculum and, subsequently, the Professional Education Sequence in the School of Education, culminates in the application for a California State Single Subject Teaching Credential (K-12) with a second credential in Adapted Physical Education.