Master of Science in Kinesiology

Admission Requirements

A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 units will be required for admission to the M.S. program.

A minimum of 4.0 on the GRE writing component (for U.S. and International applicants). (*This requirement is temporarily suspended until further notice).

International students must achieve a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL test, or 80 on online iBT TOEFL, or 7.0 on IELTS, or an overall academic score of 65 on PTE (Pearson Test of English). The English standard must be completed prior to admission to the graduate program.

All students are conditionally admitted pending:

  • Completion of the required entry courses and/or the minimum 24 unit undergraduate equivalency.
  • Completion of all requirements of the Graduate Program.

No more than six units of graduate work may be completed prior to fulfillment of all prerequisites for admission to the program.

Upon admission, the department sends a letter to the candidate containing the name of the assigned advisor and classification conditions.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

The University has a requirement for written English proficiency that is to be assessed at two different points in a student's program.

Level One

Minimum 4.0 on the analytical writing component of the GRE. (*This requirement is temporarily suspended until further notice).

Level Two

Completion of the written thesis or master’s project for the culminating experience requirement.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the M.S. program in Kinesiology:

  1. Students will be able to apply multiple perspectives to the study of various forms of physical activity (e.g. exercise, fitness, movement, and skill) across the lifespan and in a variety of contexts.
  2. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the body of knowledge related to one or more of the sub-disciplines in the field of kinesiology.
  3. Students will be able to identify and search for information associated with problems or topics in kinesiology.
  4. Students will be able to use appropriate methodologies and technologies to address specific problems or topics in kinesiology.
  5. Students will exit the program with an understanding of dominant theories, models, and systems in the study of kinesiology.
  6. Students will become critical consumers of the literature in kinesiology and will have the skills and knowledge to make contributions to the literature.

Repeat of Courses

Graduate students who receive a grade lower than B, including AU, IC, RD. RP, W, and WU may repeat the course only once more.

Culminating Experience Course Enrollment

Enrolling in the Culminating Experience course is the final step toward completing your degree. Once you enroll in your Culminating Experience course, you are expected to complete your degree within two semesters or maintain continuous enrollment until you earn your degree.  You are not required to enroll in coursework the semester immediately following enrollment in your Culminating Experience (CE) course if your Culminating Experience has not been completed.  

You are allowed a “grace” semester in which to complete your Culminating Experience and earn your degree. For example, if you enroll in your Culminating Experience course in Spring 2015, you are permitted to continue your work through the Fall 2015 semester without enrolling. During the grace period, you are considered a matriculated student and are eligible for all student support services. You may enroll in the 499 course offered through CEL or in a course offered through the regular university enrollment process on the advisement of your faculty.

Continuous Enrollment through HSS 499 Requirement

If you do not complete your Culminating Experience after the “grace” semester following enrollment in your Culminating Experience course, you are required to maintain continuous enrollment either through the College of Professional & Global Education (CPaGE) or enroll in a regular university course on the advisement of faculty. If you enroll in a zero unit Culminating Experience Continuous Enrollment course through CEL, you must adhere to the following processes. Enroll in the Culminating Experience Continuous Enrollment course under your college name: HSS 499. Students must enroll in HSS 499 before the university’s add/drop deadline (the add/ drop deadline can be found on the Registrar’s Office website). Enrollment in the HSS 499 course provides students access to SFSU libraries, discipline-associated laboratories and facilities, and Culminating Experience advisors.

If you do not maintain continuous enrollment and wish to return to complete the degree, you will need to reapply to the university (readmission is not guaranteed) and enroll in the HSS 499 course for the semester you are readmitted and every semester after until earning your degree. The 7-year time limit to degree, from the earliest course in your degree program to date of graduation, applies.  For more detailed information please refer to Academic Senate Policy S08-246 or to the SF State Bulletin


Opportunities may be available to work in the Kinesiology Department as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. Qualified students may apply, when available, to teach the physical activity courses, lower division lectures, and upper-division laboratory sections. Students may also apply for financial aid through the University.

The Master of Science in Kinesiology is 30 units and includes a core,  electives, and a culminating experience. In consultation with their advisor, students will select electives and a culminating experience that best meets their professional/personal needs. Final approval of the student's program rests with the graduate faculty. Students are expected to complete this degree in a maximum of five years.

Kinesiology (M.S.) — Minimum 30 units

Core Requirements (9 units)

KIN 710Research in Kinesiology3
KIN 715Research Designs and Analysis3
KIN 795Seminar in Kinesiology3

Guided Electives (15-18 units)

Students must take a minimum of 15 units of graduate kinesiology courses as electives.  Students taking KIN 897 and KIN 898 as their Culminating Experience need 15 units of electives, whereas those taking KIN 895 as their Culminating Experience need 18 units of electives. Courses are grouped into three disciplinary areas below, but students may take any 15-18 units of courses. Students should meet with an advisor to select electives that align with their career path. 

Exercise Physiology Courses

Exercise physiology focuses on the physiology of exercise, fitness and health, and exercise prescription in healthy adults and clinical populations. 

KIN 742Exercise and Cardiovascular Dynamics 13
KIN 746Clinical Exercise Physiology 13
KIN 755Exercise Electrocardiography, Testing, and Prescription3
KIN 781Muscle Physiology3

Movement Science Courses

Movement science focuses on the factors that influence the neuromotor control, learning, relearning, and development of motor skills and analysis.

KIN 730Advanced Biomechanics 13
KIN 733Motor Learning 13
KIN 736Advanced Neuromotor Control 13

Social Science Courses

Social sciences focus on the socio-cultural and psychological factors that serve to constrain and define human movement, fitness, and physical activity.

KIN 734Sport-Based Youth Development 13
KIN 763Motivation and Performance 13
KIN 766Sociocultural Bases of Physical Activity 13

Culminating Experience (3-6 units)

Select one of the following:
KIN 897
KIN 898
Independent Research in Kinesiology
and Master's Thesis
KIN 895Master's Project in Kinesiology (and Elective Upon Advisement)3

These courses can be used for certificates in exercise physiology, movement science and physical activity: social scientific perspectives. To apply for award of certificate, you must submit the Certificate Approved Program form to your advisor and Graduate Program Coordinator. You will need to pay a processing fee at the Cashier's Office before submitting the form and your unofficial transcripts to the GradStop Counter. For further information and to access the online forms go to