Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

If you're passionate about helping others improve their quality of life, check out NIU's experiential and research-informed kinesiology program. We prepare you to work in a variety of health, wellness and sport performance settings where you will use exercise as a form of medicine. Our curriculum also prepares you for graduate school in exercise physiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, sport and exercise psychology and sport management. You'll study scientific principles that regulate behavior change and performance, such as physiology, biomechanics, psychology, measurement, gerontology and nutrition. We are part of the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Education Recognition Program and a member of the American Kinesiology Association.

Students admitted to NIU to pursue the B.S. degree in kinesiology enter directly into the major program.

  • Retention in this major requires a university GPA of 2.5 or above and to have satisfactorily completed all required course work prior to the culminating internship.
  • Grades of C or better are required in specific major courses.

The NIU College of Education embeds diverse, real-world learning opportunities in its programs, including Kinesiology.

  • You select internship sites (with faculty guidance) that align with your future career goals.
    • Common sites include cardiac rehabilitation centers, fitness centers, sport performance centers and corporations.
  • If you choose to live in Stevenson Towers' Sport, Recreation and Wellness Community, you can participate in intramural leagues, weekend trips and monthly workshops which will enhance your personal wellness as well as connect you with other students who share your interest in sport and recreation.
  • Students can participate in the College of Education's Educate and Engage series. In kinesiology, this means opportunity to participate in local, US and international experiences to immerse oneself with others in the field and grow as a professional.

For more than two decades, our department has operated an outreach program with DeKalb's Oak Crest Retirement Center to give our students hands-on experience in a health and wellness setting. Our Oak Crest clinical experience is incorporated into the kinesiology undergraduate program. While there, you'll work individually with one to three Oak Crest clients per semester under the supervision of a graduate assistant.

David Benner, director of the gerontology clinical experience, observes: "At the beginning of the semester, students are nervous, and then their comfort level builds as they develop relationships and gain new perspectives and experiences with the clients while working in the exercise gerontology field. Some of our students have used this clinical experience to start a future career working with older adults."

The KNPE 494 internship is the culminating requirement for the B.S. in kinesiology program. It's a six credit-hour field experience designed to provide you with the opportunity to develop practical skills and knowledge in a professional kinesiology setting.


  • KNPE 300 Field Experience in Kinesiology (1)
  • KNPE 301 Introduction to Kinesiology and Sport Professions (3)
  • KNPE 305 Psychological and Sociological Aspects of Exercise and Physical Activity (3) OR KNPE 310 Psychological Aspects of Sport and Exercise (3)
  • KNPE 314 Applied Kinesiology (4)
  • KNPE 346 Methods of Group Fitness Instruction (3)
  • KNPE 350 Principles and Techniques of Resistance Training (3)
  • KNPE 443 Principles of Exercise for Acute and Chronic Conditions (3)
  • KNPE 445 Measurement and Evaluation in Exercise Science (3)
  • KNPE 452 Applied Physiology of Exercise (4)
  • KNPE 463 Exercise and Physical Activity across the Lifespan (3)
  • KNPE 493 Supervised Clinical Experience in Exercise Gerontology (2)
  • KNPE 494 Internship in Kinesiology (6)
  • LESM 438 Sport and Fitness Management Strategies (3) or
    • LESM 442 Promotion of Sport and Fitness Programs (3)

You'll also pursue coursework toward a focus area in wellness, performance or sport management.

Careers in Kinesiology

  • Corporate wellness manager
  • Coach
  • Fitness instructor
  • Intramural sports director
  • Personal trainer
  • Strength-and-conditioning coach
  • Weight training instructor


Maricela Garcia

I've loved my courses in exercise physiology, high-performance training and sport psychology, where my professors helped me connect what I've learned to real-world situations and took us on trips to sports facilities. They make learning fun and content easy to understand, and they really do care about your career focus. I'm excited as I look ahead toward graduate school for athletic training.

Maricela Garcia, kinesiology major

Contact Us

Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Anderson Hall 221
DeKalb, IL 60115
P: 815-753-1407
F: 815-753-1413

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