The mission of the Kinesiology program is to provide the best hands-on education to prepare students to be leaders in health-related areas within the borderland region. We strive to educate our community on the importance of physical activity and promote kinesiology as a vital field of study to enhance physical and mental health.

Why Chose NMSU

Kinesiology is one of the fastest-growing fields in the country and the premier major for students interested in a career in allied health. Health-related careers are expected to grow by 18% through 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kinesiology ensures that students are well prepared for their future careers by incorporating hands-on experiences both within and outside of the classroom. Come learn how NMSU Kinesiology can prepare you for a career in Medicine, Therapy, Health and Wellness, Athletic Training, or Physical Education.

Program Overview

The foci of the programs of study include an understanding of human physiological, psychological, and biomechanical function and performance, as well as the impact of age, injury and/or disease on normal human function and performance.

Students chose between three concentrations, physical education, exercise science, or performance psychology. The physical education track prepares students for a career as a physical education teachers. Students will take courses both in kinesiology and teacher education. Exercise science is the ideal track for students pursuing a career in allied health. This track offers the flexibility to incorporate prerequisites into your degree plan for many different areas of study. The performance psychology track offers the opportunity to minor in psychology as part of the kinesiology degree plan. This is ideal for students that are interested in both physical and mental performance. All degree plans in kinesiology adhere to the American Kinesiology Association on core areas of instruction for an undergraduate curriculum. Please see the various degree plans below for additional information.

To learn more about what careers kinesiology offers you, visit our careers page. 

The Kinesiology Program offers three concentrations:

The exercise science concentration is our most popular track in kinesiology. Students in this area will focus on education preparing them to work in the allied health fields. Coursework will help students investigate the underlying mechanisms responsible for human performance. This will lead students through the physiological, behavioral, and psychological aspects of how to improve movement and performance. Students will also learn about ongoing health science research that leads to a healthy lifestyle throughout the lifespan. 

The performance psychology concentration is unique in the fact that you will earn both a degree in kinesiology and a minor in psychology. This track is for students that have a joint interest in the psychological and physiological aspects of human performance. Students in this area are well prepared to work in community health and fitness, health/sport coaching, as well as allied health fields.

Why K-12 Physical Education?

Physical education teaching is the only schooling experience of a young person’s life where the main purpose is to facilitate lifelong physical activity participation. It is the only time in a young person’s schooling experience where everyone regardless of skill level, body size and shape, disability or socioeconomic status gets to play. It is the only time in a young person’s schooling experience where physical and emotional health and well-being are privileged and prioritized.

Physical education teaching is also an opportunity to encourage young people to learn to love all forms of physical activity so that they might grow up to lead healthy, active lives. Physical educators are advocates for communities, schools, families, and individuals to embrace healthy active lifestyles.

The Kinesiology Program offers a track in K-12 Physical Education teaching. This track will lead to K-12 licensure in physical education in the state of New Mexico. Coursework includes education content (e.g., multicultural education, education and technology, etc.); physical education content (e.g. sports and games, lifetime activities, outdoor education, etc.); theoretical content (e.g. motor learning, motor development, biomechanics, etc.); and pedagogical content (e.g. elementary and secondary physical education methods, adapted physical education).

Students will also do a 12-credit student teaching internship during their final semester in both an elementary and secondary placement. 

School districts interested in professional development, please contact Dr. Oliver at koliver@nmsu.eduWorkshops, individualized programming, and consulting are available.

Certification Opportunities
Kinesiology students are also encouraged to sit for various national certifications offered by organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine or the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  Certifications prove exceptionally useful for future career endeavors. One goal of the department is for all students not only to achieve a Bachelor’s Degree but to also graduate having successfully completed a nationally recognized certification. This choice is left up to the student as to what certification best fits their career path.  Regardless, the addition of a nationally recognized certification will always enhance a student’s success in whatever field they chose to pursue.
Student Success
Kinesiology students who take advantage of program offerings and participate in extracurricular activities (e.g. NMSU Kinesiology Club) have been accepted into some of the best schools in the nation. A large majority of our students have been accepted to medical school, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic medicine, graduate school and even law school whereas others pursue the workforce in allied health fields.