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If you plan on getting a degree in kinesiology, there are several steps you must take first. Before you can apply for and enroll in a degree program, you must meet certain prerequisites. You usually will have to have finished high school in order to start earning a bachelor's degree in kinesiology or have successfully finished a relevant undergraduate program before you can enroll in a master's level kinesiology program.
Many colleges and universities have specific courses students must take to earn a bachelors degree in kinesiology. Most colleges in the United States require that students earn about a third of their undergraduate course credits in the kinesiology program and the rest from required university courses and electives. Common classes in kinesiology programs include sports management, biomechanics, and exercise psychology.
In some cases, you can follow a specific track, such as health sciences or sports management, when earning a degree in kinesiology. Choosing a track will give you more focus as you work toward the degree. When you complete the degree in kinesiology, you will be prepared to work in one specific field of exercise and sports medicine.
You may also need to complete an internship before you can earn a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. An internship usually gives you the chance to apply skills and theories you learn in a class to the real world. Many students who sign up for internships earn course credit for it. Usually, internships happen after the student has completed certain courses and been enrolled in the program for several semesters. In order for the internship to count toward a degree, you have to commit to it for a certain number of hours per week. Many programs also require that you sign a contract with the internship site and turn in papers reflecting on your experience there.
After you have earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology, you may choose to go on for a master's degree or even a doctorate in kinesiology. Most graduate programs in the United States require that you take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) before applying. You may also need several references from professors or other qualified individuals who know your work, as well as a personal statement.
Once in a graduate level kinesiology program, you will have to complete a certain amount of coursework. Many programs are divided into specialties, so the courses you take will reflect your chosen area of interest. If you are in a master's program, you may have to complete a thesis, though some schools offer non-thesis options. Ph.D. candidates must prepare and defend a dissertation in order to earn their degree.
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