Graduate Studies


Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements | Profile

Interim Chairperson:  Randal Hyllegard
Graduate Coordinator, Kinesiology: Miguel Narvaez
Office, Kinesiology:  221 Brophy Hall
Telephone, Kinesiology: (309) 298-1820
Main Office: Brophy Hall 212
Main 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
  • Jennifer M. Plos, Ed.D., Nova Southeastern University
  • Renee L. Polubinsky, Ed.D., Nova Southeastern University

Associate Professors

  • Timothy J. Piper, M.S., Western Illinois University
  • Steven J. Radlo, Ph.D., University of Florida

Associate Graduate Faculty


  • Lorri Kanauss, Ph.D., Walden University

Associate Professor

  • Emily Shupe, Ph.D., Walden University

Assistant Professors

  • Miguel Narvaez-Silva, Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • Jiyoung Park, Ph.D., Northern Colorado University
  • Jim Sarra, Ed.D., Grand Canyon University
  • Baofu Wang, Ph.D., Louisiana State University

Learning Outcomes

For student learning outcomes, please see

 Program Description

Within the Kinesiology program, students may focus in their studies in the following areas: Sport and Exercise Psychology, Strength and Conditioning, and Sport and Exercise Science.

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; sport performance coach; personal training; and sport and exercise psychology. Many graduates complete certification requirements through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and USA Weightlifting, 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, Strength and Conditioning Coach Certification, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, AASP Certified Consultant, Sports Nutrition Certification, and Tactical Strength and Conditioning Certification.

 Admission Requirements

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 OR 3.2 or higher GPA for the last two years (60 s.h.) of undergraduate work
  • Probationary admission status can be received with a 2.75-2.99 GPA. Probationary students will earn full admission status after completion of nine graduate hours with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.
  • Statement of intent:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • A current resume
  • Three letters of recommendation (only required if applying for a graduate or teaching assistantship position) – two must be written from an advisor and/or professor addressing applicant’s academic performance and/or potential for graduate school.
  • International students whose native language is not English must have an overall TOEFL score of 73 or greater (internet based)

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.

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 KIN 511 Measurement and Statistical Analysis, KIN 512 Research Methods in Kinesiology, and KIN 595 Critical Readings in Kinesiology within the first 12-15 semester hours of academic work.

Students must complete 15 s.h. of Directed Departmental Electives and 6 s.h. in one exit option (Thesis, Graduate Project, or Internship).

I. Research Courses: 9 s.h.

KIN 511 Measurement and Statistical Analysis (3)
KIN 512 Research Methods in Kinesiology (3)
KIN 595 Critical Readings in Kinesiology (3)

II. Directed Departmental Electives: 15 s.h.

400G, 500- or 600-level courses. Maximum 3 hours of 400G level coursework allowed.

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

A. Thesis Option: 6 s.h.

KIN 599 Capstone Writing and Proposal (3)
KIN 601 Thesis (3)

B. Graduate Project: 6 s.h.

KIN 599 Capstone Writing and Proposal (3)
KIN 605 Graduate Project (3)

C. Internship: 6 s.h.

KIN 610 Internship (6)


Students selecting the M.S. degree in Kinesiology are recommended 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 without the recommended undergraduate coursework may be required to complete courses in these areas to meet prerequisites for specific graduate courses. 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 graduate 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 Secondary Physical Education Methods. (3) The purpose of this course is to develop knowledge and skills related to teaching physical education to high school students. A priority of this course is to prepare preservice teachers for passing the edTPA. Grade of C or better required. Prerequisites: EDS 301, KIN 115, KIN 124, KIN 135, KIN 226, KIN 251, KIN 252, KIN 253, KIN 365.

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.

466G Organization and Administration of Athletic Teams. (3) Study of administrative principles, policies, laws, and ethics as they relate to budget, finance, equipment, staff, facilities, and public relations for the management and promotion of athletic teams.

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. Laboratory charge for 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 Instrumentation, Assessment, and Physical Performance. (3) Investigation of screening, testing, interpretation, and application of lab and field-testing methods. Development, and administration, of appropriate test batteries for both clinical and athletic performance populations in the safest and most efficient manner. Prerequisite: KIN 553.

590 Critical Incident Stress Management. (3) Multidisciplinary approach to managing critical incidents in sport. Organizational planning to identify, assess, support, and refer after a critical incident. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of the instructor.

595 Critical Readings in Kinesiology. (3) 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 Capstone Writing and Proposal. (3) Prepares students for completing KIN 601 or 605. Students write and propose a thesis/graduate project including (a) literature review and methods, (b) approval of project by the student’s graduate committee, and (c) completion of IRB forms (if necessary). 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.

605 Graduate Project. (3) The student will work independently, under the guidance of a graduate faculty committee, to develop an interdisciplinary project that integrates the knowledge and skills acquired over the course of the academic program and within the student’s area of interest. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Successful completion of KIN 599.

610 Internship in Kinesiology. (4–6) Capstone internships require a minimum of 240 hours over a minimum of 6 weeks. Students holding TA/GA positions at time of capstone internship will be required to complete a minimum of 240 hours over a minimum of 12 weeks. 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 topic areas of Healthy Cooking (1 s.h.), Sports Nutrition (2 s.h.), and Weight Management (1 s.h.). 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.