Kinesiology M.S.

Athletic Training student
Kinesiology M.S.

The Department of Kinesiology offers a degree with the following areas of concentration: exercise science, outdoor education, and sport studies. In addition, the Departments of Kinesiology and Social Work offer a dual degree program, which consists of a master of science in kinesiology with a concentration in outdoor education, as well as a master in social work (M.S.W.).

Exercise Science Concentration:

The MS in Kinesiology: Exercise Science prepares individuals for advanced careers in health and fitness promotion and education programs in hospitals, sports medicine centers, wellness clinics, universities, and rehabilitation facilities. Students are also prepared for terminal degree programs in the health professions, basic biology fields, medicine, or other health-related fields. Students must earn a grade of B- or better in every required course and must complete a capstone requirement to finish the degree. Interested students should consult with the option coordinator, Dr. Summer Cook.

Outdoor Education Concentration:

The University of New Hampshire is a leader in graduate education in the field of outdoor experiential education. Our graduates have gone on to run collegiate outdoor programs, pursue Ph.D.'s and join college faculty, design executive leadership programs, direct outdoor education centers, work in non-profit management, administer state and federal projects, lead international programs, and teach in K-12 schools in both the public and private sectors.

The goal of the Master of Science program is to prepare outdoor experiential educators with the skills necessary to become managers and directors of outdoor/experiential education programs, conduct advanced practice, and/or pursue a related degree at the Doctoral level. In addition to core courses, students focus on one of three areas: higher education outdoor programming, youth development outdoor programming, or adventure therapy (through the combined MS/MSW dual degree with Social Work).

Students focusing on higher education outdoor programming gain an understanding of college-level policies, practices, and program structures common to outdoor programs in institutions of higher education, particularly those with outdoor orientation programs (OOPs). Students focusing on youth development outdoor programs learn about contemporary perspectives on youth development, especially related to participation in non-formal educational programs in a variety of outdoor settings and activities. Students focusing on adventure therapy become eligible for licensure and clinical social work practice in wilderness, community-based, or other settings.

Sport Studies Concentration:

The Kinesiology Sport Studies graduate program focuses on preparing professionals in youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate programs and elite sport agencies to provide extraordinary sport experiences. Providing an understanding of the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills within the context of sport is essential in developing sport professionals at UNH. Our curriculum provides a framework of coursework, and the flexibility to focus preparation on careers in coaching or administration or additional graduate study in sport psychology.  In addition, students have opportunities for applied experience and research with faculty. The graduate program in Kinesiology: Sport Studies engages students in learning experiences in the classroom, in applied settings, and in research.  The focus on a theory-to-practice approach is infused throughout the curriculum with the goal that our students will be well prepared professionals as they enter the workforce or further graduate study.

Integrated M.S.W./M.S. Dual Degree Program

The use of adventure experiences as a therapeutic or socio-educational intervention for clients with mental health needs is well documented.  The UNH Departments of Social Work and Kinesiology offer an Integrated M.S.W./M.S. Dual Graduate Degree Program. This program is the first of its kind in the nation. It organizes a significant number of existing resources and assets at UNH in a way that empowers participating students for a career in adventure therapy.

Prospective graduate students in the SW/KIN Integrated Dual-Degree program apply and need to be accepted into each separate graduate program. Upon acceptance in both programs, students progress through the integrated curriculum, graduating from both programs at the end of their third year. The exception to this would be an Advanced Standing student in social work, who could graduate from both programs in two years.

Dual degree students take classes simultaneously over the course of three years in both Kinesiology: Outdoor Education and Social Work and complete a minimum of 77 credits for graduation. This includes two internships, one during their first year of study and a second specialized internship during the third year, which concentrates on the utilization and application of adventure therapy in an agency setting.  In order to graduate with the dual degrees, the student completes a 24-hour per week social work/adventure therapy-related field internship in their third year as well as a KIN Thesis or Advanced Studies Project in their last semester. Contact Dr. Michael Gass for additional information.

Department of Kinesiology
New Hampshire Hall, 124 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2071

Curriculum & Requirements

Degree Requirements

All degree candidates will be required to complete courses listed in the Masters Degree Core, the designated concentration core, and electives as required in order to meet the 30-credit minimum necessary for graduation.  In addition to coursework, students follow either the thesis, the non-thesis, or the advanced research plan as described below.

MASTERS DEGREE CORE

Select one of the following graduate statistics courses or equivalent:
EDUC 881Introduction to Statistics: Inquiry, Analysis, and Decision Making4
SW 962Data Analysis and Statistics3

Exercise Science Concentration

KIN 896Advanced Research in Exercise Science6
KIN 901Analysis of Professional Literature4
KIN 902Colloquium (two semesters)2-4
Additional elective courses are selected in consultation with academic advisor to meet the 30-credit minimum necessary for graduation 1

Sport Studies Concentration

KIN 880Psychological Factors in Sport4
KIN 843Sport Marketing4
or KIN 840 Athletic Administration
Select one advisor­-approved KIN elective at the 800 or 900 levels3-4
KIN 901Analysis of Professional Literature4
Additional elective courses are selected in consultation with academic advisor to meet the 30-credit minimum necessary for graduation

Outdoor Education Concentration

KIN 883Pysch Factors of Adventure Ed4
KIN 884Historical Foundations of Outdoor Experiential Education4
KIN 885Program Models and Evaluation in Outdoor Education4
KIN 886Organization and Administration of Outdoor Education Programs4
KIN 897Advanced Topics in Outdoor Education2-6
Students pursuing the Higher Education Outdoor Programming focus also must take the following:
KIN 950Internship2-4
and
RMP 872Law and Public Policy in Leisure Services3
or EDUC 897 Special Topics in Education
One Approved Elective 23-4
Students pursuing the Youth Development Outdoor Programming focus must take the following:
HDFS 950Contemporary Issues in Adolescent Development4
One Approved Elective 33-4
Students pursuing the Adventure Therapy focus must be dually enrolled in the MSW program and also take the following:
KIN 882Therapeutic Applications of Adventure Programming4
For additional information on the dual MS/MSW degree, see Program Description above.

Thesis Plan

A minimum of 30 approved graduate credits, including a thesis (24 graduate course credits plus 6 thesis credits), as well as an oral defense of the thesis, are required in the thesis plan.

Non-Thesis Plan 

A minimum of eight approved graduate courses (with a minimum of 30 credits) are required in the non-thesis plan. Four credits of KIN 895 Advanced Studies are required. A student may begin taking KIN 895 Advanced Studies only after completing at least three approved graduate courses.

Advanced Research Plan

Exercise science students who elect this plan must take a total of 6 credits of KIN 896 Advanced Research in Exercise Science. Outdoor education students who elect this plan must take a total of 6 credits of KIN 897 Advanced Topics in Outdoor Education. In addition, exercise science and outdoor education students must orally present their research to faculty and peers.

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Feb. 15 (for funding); April 1 (recommended US; final international); July 1 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 1
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: VT (MA ME CT Outdr Educ)*

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

In addition, if applying to the Exercise Science option, at least two of the letters must come from professors that you took classes from at your undergraduate institution.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful personal statement regarding: 1) reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives, and 2) your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field. 

Outdoor Education: Prepare a concise and focused personal statement describing: 1) Reasons you wish to pursue graduate study in outdoor education, including your career objectives, and 2) your specific research or professional interests. Be sure to specify how your interests match with the scholarly or professional focus of a specific faculty member in our program. Please visit the Outdoor Education faculty and research web pages and review faculty publications. It is also appropriate for you to contact the faculty member/s you are interested in studying with via email or phone for more information about their current research. 

Exercise Science: Applicants to the Exercise Science M.S. program should provide a 500 word maximum statement pertaining to how their research interests align with current faculty interests. This research interests statement should be included as part of your personal statement in your application and is to aid in aligning prospective students with faculty mentors. Please review the Exercise Science faculty and research web pages and review faculty publications. It is also appropriate for you to contact the faculty member/s you are interested in studying with via email or phone for more information about their current research.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Additional Department Requirements

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

The Adventure Therapy dual degree program between Social Work and Kinesiology is New England Regional eligible for CT, ME, MA, RI, VT. 

International Applicants

Prospective international students are strongly encouraged to complete our international pre-application process and are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. Please note that English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

Admission is based on undergraduate preparation, academic record and letters of recommendation. Applicants must be above-average students and show adequate preparation in the basic support courses of the selected concentration area. Applicants who have not met specific course prerequisites should expect to take additional undergraduate work without receiving graduate credit.

Exercise Science Graduate Assistantships
A limited number of graduate assistantships are available each academic year. These assistantships are highly competitive and are awarded to meritorious students exhibiting skill sets that coincide with exercise science option & faculty needs. Graduate assistants carry a full academic load (6-12 credits per semester) and are expected to contribute 20 hours per week in the area that the assistantship is held. The areas are typically associated with: a) clinical programs; b) laboratory research; or c) teaching. Graduate assistantships are for one year with possible renewal the second year depending on performance and funding availability. In order to be considered for a graduate assistantship, go to the application link below and fill out and send in (email, FAX, or regular postal mail) the application by the due date. Late applications are generally not considered.
Application for Graduate Assistantship

Master of Science in Kinesiology: Outdoor Education
The University of New Hampshire is a leader in graduate education in the field of outdoor experiential education. Our graduates have gone on to run collegiate outdoor programs, pursue Ph.D.'s and join college faculty, design executive leadership programs, direct outdoor education centers, work in non-profit management, administer state and federal projects, lead international programs, and teach in K-12 schools in both the public and private sectors.

Goal of the degree program and focus areas
The goal of the Master of Science program is to prepare outdoor experiential educators with the skills necessary to become managers and directors of outdoor/experiential education programs, conduct advanced practice, and/or pursue a related degree at the Doctoral level. In addition to core courses, students focus on one of three areas:

  • Higher education outdoor programming
  • Youth development outdoor programming
  • Adventure therapy (through the combined MS/MSW dual degree with Social Work)

Students focusing on higher education outdoor programming gain an understanding of college-level policies, practices, and program structures common to outdoor programs in institutions of higher education, particularly those with outdoor orientation programs (OOPs). Students focusing on youth development outdoor programs learn about contemporary perspectives on youth development, especially related to participation in nonformal educational programs in a variety of outdoor settings and activities. Students focusing on adventure therapy become eligible for licensure and clinical social work practice in wilderness, community-based, or other settings.
Accelerated degree pathway
In addition to the tradition two-year residency-based Masters program, we offer a 15-month accelerated pathway. Students spend one year in intensive study on the Durham campus, then work remotely during their third semester to complete their culminating project, joining faculty at the AEE international conference for final presentations.
Helpful links
Searchable Graduate Course Listings
Graduate Program Catalog with Course Descriptions
Contact
Dr. Michael Gass, Program Coordinator
Michael.Gass@unh.edu

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