Graduate Studies


Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements | Profile

Interim Chairperson:  Renee Polubinsky
Graduate Coordinator, Kinesiology: Jennifer M. Plos
Office, Kinesiology:  220C Brophy Hall
Telephone, Kinesiology: (309) 298-1820
Office: Brophy Hall 212
Telephone: (309) 298-1981 Fax: (309) 298-2981
Location of Program Offering: Macomb

Graduate Faculty

  • Tamara L. Bories, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Ritchie Gabbei, Ph.D., University of South Carolina
  • Randy Hyllegard, Ph.D., Oregon State University
  • Christopher R. Kovacs, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Renee L. Polubinsky, Ed.D., Nova Southeastern University

Associate Professors

  • Jennifer M. Plos, Ed.D., Nova Southeastern University
  • Steven J. Radlo, Ph.D., University of Florida

Assistant Professors

  • Emily Earlynn Lauer, Ph.D., University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Timothy J. Piper, M.S., Western Illinois University

Associate Graduate Faculty

  • Lorri Kanauss, Ph.D., Walden University

Associate Professor

  • Ross Lambert, Ph.D., University of Southern California

Assistant Professors

  • Eric Gurzell, Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • Miguel Narvaez-Silva, Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • Emily Shupe, Ph.D., Walden University

Learning Outcomes

For student learning outcomes, please see

 Program Description

Within the Kinesiology program, students may select to pursue in-depth study in the following areas: Ability Diversity, Exercise Physiology, Human Movement Performance, Sport and Exercise Psychology, Strength and Conditioning, and Wellness and Fitness Management.

A Master of Science degree in Kinesiology can lead to a wide variety of career choices such as cardiac rehabilitation; corporate, public, and private health, wellness, and fitness training; university teaching/coaching; research; high school and collegiate strength and conditioning coach; adaptive sport coach; adapted fitness programming, sport performance coach; personal training; and sport and exercise psychology. Many graduates complete certification requirements through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and USA Weightlifting, Blazesports, American Association for Adapted Sports Programming (AAASP), Special Olympics, Eleiko, International Sport Sciences Association (ISSA), Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA).

Specific certifications that graduates have completed include: ELEIKO Weightlifting Coach Certification, Certified Disability Sport Specialist, Special Olympics Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach Certification, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainers, AASP Certified Consultant, Sports Nutrition Certification, and Tactical Strength and Conditioning Certification.

 Admission Requirements

All applications must include the following items:

1. Completed graduate application (

2. Official transcripts from completed undergraduate degree and all institutions attended

3. Statement of intent (a minimum of 500 words and maximum of 1,000 words, double-spaced):

a. Applicants should indicate why they want to attend graduate school, why they chose to apply at Western Illinois University, and what contributions they can make to the program.

b. Applicants should discuss proposed area of academic emphasis, career aspirations, short- and long-term academic/professional goals, previous academic and work experiences, and interest in physical activity and sport.

4. A current resume

5. Three letters of recommendation – two must be written from an advisor and/or professor addressing applicant’s academic performance and/or potential for graduate school.

The GPA requirement for admission to the program is as follows:

1. Full admission status – a minimum of 3.0 GPA overall for four years or a 3.2 GPA for the last two years (required to be eligible for a graduate or teaching assistantship)

2. Probationary admission status – 2.75-2.99. Probationary students will earn full admission status after completion of nine graduate hours with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.

Those applicants not meeting the above stated undergraduate GPA (less than 2.75), but who document exceptional post-graduate work experiences, a successful graduate record, and provide examples of written academic work to support the potential to be successful in this program, may be considered for probationary admission on an individual case. International students whose native language is not English must have an overall TOEFL score of at least 90 (internet based).

A maximum of 9 hours of graduate course work completed before a student is admitted to the Kinesiology or Sport Management program may count toward meeting the requirements of the master’s degree.

 Degree Requirements

For specific course recommendations, students should consult with the graduate coordinator of the program. Each student is required to complete both KIN 511 Measurement and Statistical Analysis, and KIN 512 Research Methods in Kinesiology within the first 12-15 semester hours of academic work.

Students must elect to pursue in-depth study in one of the following areas: (a) Ability Diversity, (b) Exercise Physiology, (c) Human Movement Performance, (d) Sport and Exercise Psychology, (e) Strength and Conditioning, or (f) Wellness and Fitness Management. Students must also select a second in-depth area of study from within Kinesiology, or propose a planned area of study. Planned areas must be submitted to the department graduate committee for approval prior to the completion of 15 credits.

I. Research Courses: 6 s.h.

KIN 511 Measurement and Statistical Analysis (3)
KIN 512 Research Methods in Kinesiology (3)

II. Primary In-depth Area Courses (select one area): 12 s.h.

A.  Ability Diversity

KIN 493G Disability Sport and Recreation (3)
KIN 557 Inclusive Exercise and Disability Characteristics (3)
KIN 570 Psychology of Injury (3)
SM 548 Sport and Cultural Identities (3)

B. Exercise Physiology

KIN 553 Physiology of Exercise (3)
KIN 554 Exercise Stress Testing and Electrocardiogram Evaluation (3)
KIN 566 Cardiorespiratory Physiology (3)
KIN 573 Laboratory Applications in Exercise Physiology (3)

C. Human Movement Performance

KIN 541 Qualitative Analysis of Human Movement (3)
KIN 551 Biomechanics of Physical Activity (3)
KIN 556 Motor Learning and Human Performance (3)
KIN 576 Lifespan Motor Development (3)

D. Sport and Exercise Psychology

KIN 559 Sport Psychology (3)
KIN 567 Exercise Psychology (3)
KIN 568 Social Psychology of Sport and Exercise (3)
KIN 569 Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology (3)

E. Strength and Conditioning

KIN 543 Strength and Conditioning Enhancement (3)
KIN 553 Physiology of Exercise (3)
KIN 578 Advanced Strength and Conditioning (3)
KIN 588 Assessment and Performance (3)

F. Wellness and Fitness Management

KIN 540 Wellness and Risk Reduction Concepts (3)
KIN 544 Organization and Management of Exercise Programs (3)
KIN 552 Wellness Program Development and Administration
KIN 553 Physiology of Exercise (3)

III. Secondary In-depth Area Courses: 12 s.h.

Select one of the content areas listed above from Kinesiology or a planned area of study (see Graduate Coordinator for specific guidelines for development of a planned area of study). If there is an overlap of a course between the primary and the secondary in-depth areas, one more elective course from within the Kinesiology or Sport Management programs will be required.

IV. Electives: 3 s.h.

A. Directed Elective

Students must complete at least one course from each area listed below. Note: completion of the primary in-depth area of focus will allow student to meet the requirements of one of these two areas of inquiry.

Foundations Courses

Scientific Foundations (choose one of the following):
KIN 551 Biomechanics of Physical Activity (3)
KIN 553 Physiology of Exercise (3)
KIN 556 Motor Learning and Human Performance (3)
KIN 559 Sport Psychology (3)
KIN 567 Exercise Psychology (3)

Diversity Foundations (choose one of the following):
KIN 493G Disability Sport and Recreation (3)
KIN 557 Inclusive Exercise and Disability Characteristics (3)
KIN 570 Psychology of Injury and Rehabilitation in Sport and Physical Activity (3)
SM 548 Sport and Cultural Identities (3)

B. Elective

Depending on the secondary in-depth area of focus selected, the remaining scientific/diversity requirement may be met through completion of the required coursework. If so, students must select any graduate level course from Kinesiology or other departments.

IV. Exit Options (select one of the following options)

A. Thesis Option: 6 s.h.

KIN 599 Thesis Research (3)
KIN 601 Thesis (3)


B. Non-Thesis Option: 6 s.h.

KIN 595 Critical Readings in Kinesiology (2)
HS 400G Grant Writing (3)
IDT 525 Grant Writing Basics (3)
KIN 603 Independent Study in Grant Writing (1)


C. Internship Option: 6 s.h.

KIN 595 Critical Readings in Kinesiology (2)
KIN 610 Internship (4)


Students selecting the M.S. degree in Kinesiology are required to have satisfactorily completed undergraduate coursework in four of the five following areas (or the equivalent): anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, sport and exercise psychology, and motor behavior. Students admitted in the graduate program who have not yet completed these courses must fulfill this requirement within the first three semesters of coursework. Students may appeal to modify this requirement if their level of competence from related undergraduate or graduate degrees have prepared them sufficiently for the content and rigor of the specific undergraduate course(s). Any requested modifications must be approved through collaboration between the professor(s) of record and the department graduate committee.

 Course Descriptions

Kinesiology (KIN)

439G Methods and Materials in Physical Education. (3) Planning, developing, and teaching physical education content at the secondary level. Includes a field experience at the middle or high school level.

450G Professional Workshops in Sport and Exercise. (1-3, repeatable to 6) Examination and analysis of current topics, trends or problems in sport and exercise. Content varies according to contemporary issues. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

470G (cross-listed with WS 470G) Gender and Sport. (3) Examines relationships between gender, sport and physical activity within the context of stereotypes and the structure/philosophy of sport and physical activity. The course includes examining sport history via a lens through which to understand the gender dynamics of sport. Prerequisites: WS 190 or permission of the instructor.

493G (cross-listed with RPTA 493G) Sport and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities. (3) The course will provide students with information about sport and recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities across the lifespan at all levels from community programs to elite levels of competition. Prerequisites: KIN 393, RPTA 251, or permission of the instructor.

511 Measurement and Statistical Analysis. (3) Introduction to statistics and experimental designs that are necessary to evaluate data collected from measurement commonly obtained in kinesiology.

512 Research Methods in Kinesiology. (3) Research techniques employed in graduate work. Methods used in solving problems common to kinesiology and evaluating research projects in these fields.

540 Wellness and Risk Reduction Concepts.  (3) A study of the rationale and guidelines for developing wellness and risk reduction programs, with an emphasis on cardiovascular disease.  The course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of health risk appraisal techniques, health behavior models, and wellness and risk reduction program objectives and strategies specific for cardiovascular disease prevention and intervention. Prerequisite: Anatomy and physiology, or permission of the instructor.

541 Qualitative Analysis of Human Movement. (3) Integration of content from the sub-disciplines of biomechanics, motor learning, motor development, and pedagogy and application to the qualitative analysis of human motor skills for the purpose of developing skillful movers in physical education, athletics, and clinical settings.  Prerequisites: Undergraduate course in at least two of the following: biomechanics, motor learning, motor development; or one area plus a current valid teaching certificate.

543 Strength and Conditioning Enhancement. (3) Examine exercise science concepts and current practices in the development of strength and conditioning programs for wellness/fitness and sports enhancement.  Review requisite knowledge and skills for national professional organization certification exams (ACSM, NSCA).  Survey issues related to ergogenics and body composition.  Examine current strength and conditioning research.  Prerequisites: KIN 391 (undergraduate physiology of exercise course) or KIN 553 or permission of the instructor.

544 Organization and Management of Exercise Programs. (3) A study of organizational and management strategies for exercise program development in fitness facilities.  Issues include participant screening, exercise testing and prescription, safety and emergency planning, staff selection and development, equipment and space utilization, facility operation, budgeting, and specialized programs.

550 Professional Workshop. (1–3)

551 Biomechanics of Physical Activity. (3) The application of mechanical principles to the development of motor skills. Prerequisite: Undergraduate physics or permission of the instructor.

552 Wellness Program Development and Administration. (3) A study of organizational and administrative concepts related to the implementation and operation of wellness programs in corporate, commercial, community, clinical, and school settings.

553 Physiology of Exercise. (3) A multidimensional study of exercise physiology, including theoretical foundations and practical applications, with scientific information drawn from the related disciplines of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and others. Prerequisites: Undergraduate chemistry, physiology of exercise or permission of the instructor.

554 Exercise Stress Testing and Electrocardiogram Evaluation. (3) A study of the administration and interpretation of graded exercise treadmill tests with 12-lead electrocardiography, with application to exercise prescription for normal and diseased populations. Prerequisite: KIN 553.

556 Motor Learning and Human Performance. (3) Nature of motor learning, factors affecting motor learning, problems of motor learning, instruction and guidance of motor learning.

557 Inclusive Exercise and Disability Characteristics. (3) A survey of disabilities and their characteristics through an understanding of benefits, precautions, and accommodations within exercise and fitness programming for individuals with disabilities. Special emphasis will be on ADA policy and standards specific to fitness facilities.

559 Sport Psychology. (3) A survey of the theories and research related to sport psychology.  Includes the study of individual differences, motivation, and social influence processes in sport settings.

563 Physical Activity and the Older Adult. (3) A study of the benefits of physical activity on the psychological, physiological, and sociological well-being of the older adult. Programs will be presented that will introduce physical activities that can be modified for various functional levels.

566 Cardiorespiratory Physiology. (3) A study of cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory physiology and their relationship to disease and disease prevention. Identification of the various risk factors and strategies for disease intervention. This course is designed to prepare students for certification with the American College of Sports Medicine at the level of exercise test technologist or exercise specialist. Prerequisites: Anatomy and Physiology, undergraduate Physiology of Exercise.

567 Exercise Psychology. (3) A study of the psychological theories used to explain the antecedents and prediction of health-oriented exercise behaviors, the psychological and psychobiological consequences of exercise, and the psychological interventions for enhancing exercise participation and adherence. Prerequisites: Graduate standing, an undergraduate course in sport and exercise psychology, or permission of the instructor.

568 Social Psychological Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity. (3) Examination of sport participants, coaches, teams, and spectators using social psychological principles. An interdisciplinary examination of research, theory, and interventions for individual and group processes in the context of sport and physical activity. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and an undergraduate course in sport and exercise psychology.

569 Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology. (3) Examines the application and effectiveness of sport psychology interventions for enhancing performance in sport, exercise, and physical education settings. Prerequisite: KIN 559 or KIN 567 or permission of the instructor.

570 Psychology of Injury and Rehabilitation in Sport and Physical Activity. (3) Explores how psychological and social influences interact with biology to influence injury recovery. Exercise scientists will apply, analyze and evaluate means to positively influence the full spectrum of injuries and recovery outcomes before patterns of distress and disability become entrenched. Prerequisite: KIN 559 or permission of the instructor.

571 The Development of Expert Performance. (3) An examination of theoretical and applied research on the factors that contribute to acquisition of expert performance in the psychomotor, cognitive, and creative domains.  Prerequisite: KIN 512.

573 Laboratory Applications in Exercise Physiology. (3) Students will (1) learn techniques for operating various types of laboratory equipment; (2) utilize these skills to conduct small-scale lab experiments addressing areas such as muscular strength, body composition, and cardiorespiratory/metabolic responses to exercise; (3) interpret laboratory results in relation to relevant scientific literature. Prerequisite: KIN 553

576 Lifespan Motor Development. (3) A discussion of theoretical perspectives in the field of motor development. An examination and application of perception, acquisition and performance of motor skills in a variety of domains across the lifespan. Prerequisite: An undergraduate course in Motor Behavior or Motor Development or permission of the instructor.

578 Advanced Strength and Conditioning. (3) In-depth investigation of program design and implementation presented as a hybrid of lecture and experiential learning. Special emphasis will be placed upon developing concepts of program design/implementation for individuals as well as large groups. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

579 Ethical Issues in Sport Psychology. (3) A critical examination of various aspects of professional practice in sport psychology with particular emphasis on ethical issues. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

588 Assessment and Physical Performance. (3) Investigation of neuromuscular concepts, screening, testing, injury prevention, and post-injury reconditioning. Use of field tests and exercise techniques for preventing performance deficiencies as well as bringing athletes from post-rehab to full competition levels in the safest and most efficient methods. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

595 Critical Readings in Kinesiology. (2) This course is designed to provide students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills, promote professional scholarship, and understand research across the array of sub-disciplines of kinesiology. Students will present and lead discussions of current cross disciplinary research with peers. Prerequisite: KIN 511 or KIN 512.

598 Independent Study in Kinesiology. (1–3, repeatable to 6) An investigation of independent projects/directed readings related to the student’s area of study. Prerequisites: Permission of the Graduate Coordinator and completion of 15 hours of graduate work.

599 Thesis Research. (3) Prepares students for conducting the thesis project in KIN 601. Students complete a research proposal including (a) a review of literature and methods section, (b) proposal and approval of the project by the thesis committee, (c) completion of IRB forms. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: KIN 512.

600 Seminar in Kinesiology. (1–3, repeatable to 6 under different titles) Course content in response to needs and approved programs of graduate students. Utilization of specialists, consultants, and visiting professors.

601 Thesis. (3) Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Successful completion of KIN 599.

603 Independent Study in Grant Writing. (1) Students collaborate with faculty member in the process of writing a grant proposal. Co-requisite: HS 400G or IDT 525. Prerequisite: KIN 511 and KIN 512.

610 Internship in Kinesiology. (4–6) Designed to provide an internship‑based experience for the student desiring an emphasis in kinesiology. The internship is to be tailored to the student's potential professional interests. Prerequisites: Completion of 15 hours of course work and permission of the instructor.

Nutrition (NUTR)

450G Professional Workshops in Nutrition. (1–3) These courses are intended for majors in Nutrition and Foodservice Management, minors in Nutrition, and others interested in the field. They are offered in the following topic areas: (1) Healthy Cooking, (2) Sports Nutrition, and (3) Weight Management. Prerequisite: FCS 109 or permission of the instructor.

Sport Management (SM)

545 Sport Facility and Event Management. (3) A comprehensive review and analysis of the management of sport facilities and the process of managing events held at these facilities.

546 Sport Governance and Policy. (3) An examination of the power and authority of governing bodies as they determine the mission, policy, membership, and structure of their respective amateur or professional sport organizations.

547 Financial Issues in Sport. (3) An examination of the financial status of intercollegiate athletics and professional sports leagues in today’s marketplace. Topics such as budgeting, resource utilization, and potential sources of revenue will be addressed through financial analyses. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

548 Sport and Cultural Identities. (3) Investigate the production of cultural identities through interactions of popular culture and media, sport, and sporting institutions.

555 Sport Marketing. (3) This course is designed to give sport management students an overview of marketing principles and procedures from a managerial perspective. The course is designed to help students develop an awareness of the terminology, concepts, and techniques which are part of the work of sport marketing. The course relies upon lectures, class and group projects and discussions, and resource personnel to facilitate the learning process. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Kinesiology.

558 Organizational Theory in Sport. (3) A comprehensive study focusing on organizational behavior and processes relating to amateur, interscholastic, intercollegiate, and professional sports.

561 Public and Media Relations in Sport. (3) A comprehensive study of the principles, concepts, and problems for managing public and media relations in sport organizations.

564 Legal Issues in Sport. (3) An examination of the function of the legal system and risk management in sport, including potential legal problems and possible solutions faced by personnel involved with sport and physical education.

620 Internship in Sport Management. (4–6) Supervised experiences in the various aspects of sport management involving secondary or college athletic directors, or professional sports organizations. Prerequisites: Completion of 30 hours of coursework, including the sport management program core courses, and permission of the instructor.