Discovering Curry


Why Kinesiology?

Career Outlook

So what can you do with a Kinesiology degree? Majoring in Kinesiology opens the door for a career in everything from fitness-related industries, to teaching, coaching, and health-related fields like medicine, public health, and physical or occupational therapy.

Why UVa?

We understand the passion for health, fitness and sport performance. The satisfaction that comes with seeing an injured athlete recover, a patient use nutrition and exercise to improve his health, or a wheelchair-bound student learn to play tennis—it’s immeasurable. Regardless of where your passion leads you, our faculty will help to nurture and develop it.

A UVA trainer helps a football player stretch.

Why Curry?

We’re big into hands-on experience at Curry. That means you’ll not only learn in the classroom, but on the field, in the lab, in the clinic, and with faculty. Together, we’ll prepare you for what comes beyond college—graduate school, medical school or a career in a variety of areas.

The blend of experiences you’ll receive as a Kinesiology major, especially the field and clinical practice, will prepare you in ways that other majors cannot. As a Kinesiology student, you’ll be working alongside some of the area’s finest in the wellness field.

Take a look at this list of practicum sites currently hosting our students.


Degree Requirements

As an undergrad Kinesiology student, you’ll take general education courses in the humanities and natural and social sciences, and core Kinesiology courses—classes like anatomy, exercise physiology, motor development, biomechanics and contemporary health issues. Based on your own career goals, you’ll take additional prescribed courses and electives. You have the freedom to choose from a wide variety of courses and experiences so that you can be exposed to the many different aspects of the field.

  • if you plan to apply to Medical School or a Physician Assistant program, you will take additional science and clinical courses.
  • if you plan to apply to Physical Therapy School or a graduate program in Athletic Training, you will take additional electives in Sports Medicine.
  • if you plan to apply to graduate school in Exercise Physiology or Nutrition, you will take additional courses in exercise science and nutrition.
  • if you wish to pursue graduate training in Adapted Physical Education or Teaching School Health and Physical Education, you will take electives in those areas.
The rotunda at the University of Virginia.

There are four sub-disciplines within the Kinesiology Program at the graduate level: Adapted Physical Education, Athletic Training/Sports Medicine, Exercise Physiology, and Health and Physical Education. Each of these sub-disciplines offers master’s and doctoral degrees.

Sample Course Overview

Majoring in Kinesiology means you'll take 37 credits of general education liberal arts core classes, 45 credits of Kinesiology major classes and 38 credits of general electives.

37 credits General Education Liberal Arts Core

Students in the Curry School of Education must meet all general education requirements for the school. Students in specific majors within Curry may have additional general education requirements.

  • Humanities: 12 Credits. May include Literature, Fine Arts, or Moral Philosophical, Foreign Language and Religious Perspectives. Must include ENWR 1510, 1507/1508, (or equivalent), and a second writing requirement. To meet the Second Writing Requirement, a class must:
    • Assign at least two writing assignments in English totaling 4,000 words (20 pages) or more independent of quizzes and final examinations
    • Be taught by a faculty member and extensive feedback is provided on a student's writing
    • Be taken at the University. Advanced placement credit, advanced standing, dual enrollment credit or credit transferred from another university will not satisfy this requirement.
  • Social Sciences: 9 Credits. Must include PSYCH and SOC; for remaining credits may also include include History, Anthropology, Economics, Politics, African American Studies, Linguistics and Studies in Women and Gender.
  • Natural Sciences: 13 Credits. Must include BIOL 2010/2020 with labs plus MATH 1210 or greater.
  • Cultural Literacy: 3 credits. May include courses in diversity in education, global studies or study abroad. Any course that the College of Arts and Sciences has identified as a "Non-Western Perspective" course may satisfy this requirement.

45 credits Kinesiology Major

27 required core credits + 18 electives in Kinesiology
  • Introduction to Kinesiology
  • Anatomy & Physiology l and II (lab not required for kinesiology major, but is needed for many graduate programs)
  • Contemporary Health Issues
  • Nutrition
  • Motor Development
  • Human Anatomy
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Neuromuscular Adaptations of Human Movement
12 credits of prescribed electives based on professional goal and 6 credits of elective courses in Kinesiology. (some sample electives are below)
  • Adolescent/child Learning & Development
  • Advanced Exercise Physiology
  • Athletic Injuries + Lab
  • Clinical Exercise Testing
  • Elementary Pedagogy
  • Emergency Medical Care
  • Exercise Physiology Lab
  • Exercise Principles for Health & Fitness
  • Kinesiology for Developmental Disabilities
  • Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities
  • Kinesiology for Physical/Sensory/Health Impairments
  • Pediatric Exercise Physiology
  • Physical Activity & Public Health
  • Practicum in Kinesiology*
  • Secondary Pedagogy
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Substance abuse
  • Teaching School Health

38 credits General Electives

Electives – are dependent on target graduate area of study. Some sample general electives are listed below.

  • Chemistry + Lab (10 credits)
  • Physics + Lab (8 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry + Lab (12 credits)

=120 Credits Total


A practicum is sort of like an internship—a time for hands-on learning in the workplace. All Kinesiology students at U.Va. complete a 3 credit-hour practicum course in a clinical, fitness, athletic, or school setting before graduating. Generally, 120 contact hours (roughly 10 hours per week) are required for the practicum experience. The practicum course is specific to your career goals and is designed to provide exposure and experience in a field that interests you.

For students interested in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy or Athletic Training, common practicum sites include U.Va. athletics, high school athletics, and community or hospital-based physical/occupational therapy clinics. This is a good practicum option for pre-med and pre-PA students as well—particularly those with an interest in orthopedics or physical medicine and rehabilitation.

For students interested in fitness, or who plan to apply to graduate programs in Exercise Physiology, Public Health, or Nutrition, or who plan to apply to Medical School, or a Physician Assistant Program, common practicum sites include medically supervised exercise and rehabilitation programs (adult or pediatric), as well as community or university fitness and personal training.

Students who wish to pursue graduate training and licensure in teaching Health and Physical Education or Adapted Physical Education do their practicum in the school system.

Practicum Sites

In the Kinesiology program, you will experience a variety of learning experiences.  Classroom instruction, laboratory experience, field and clinical practice and research with faculty will come together to prepare you for what comes next--graduate school, medical school or employment in a variety of areas. This blend of experiences, especially the field and clinical practice, will prepare you in ways that other majors cannot.  As a student in the Kinesiology Major, you will be working alongside some of the area's finest in the wellness field.  Take a look at this list of practicum sites currently hosting our students.

Locations within the University of Virginia

Athletic Training
Athletics--Nutritional Services
Athletics--Strength and Conditioning
Athletics--Marketing or Sports Administration
Cancer Center
Children's Fitness Clinic
Healthsouth Physical Therapy
Heart Center
Intramural Rec Sports Fitness Department  
Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center
Speed and Endurance Clinic

Locations throughout the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County

ACAC Fitness Center
ACAC Physical Therapy
Albemarle County Public Schools
Area 3 Special Olympics
Martha Jefferson Health and Wellness
Martha Jefferson PT
Nelson County Public Schools
Pantops PT
Performance Place PT
PT Plus Health
Virginia Institute for Autism

What’s Next?

Come Visit

Want to find out more? Come visit!

Contact: David Edwards

If you want to do the official uva tour as well, you need to register with the Office of Admissions


A trainer helps a girl play tennis.


High school students can now apply directly to the Kinesiology Program when applying to U.Va. Application Due Date: January 1.

Request More Info

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