Kinesiology Program

Be the Mind Beyond the Muscle

How does your body know which muscles to contract for a specific task? What is the best approach to healthy weight loss? Which dietary supplements really enhance performance? How does chronic stress affect physical and mental health?

At Avila University we do more than ask questions – We discover answers

Kinesiology not only seeks to enhance athletic ability; it strives to improve quality of life. Optimum health is the ultimate finish line, and Kinesiology is advancing ways for everyone to cross it. Learn More…


Gerald Larson, Ph.D., ACSM-CEP, NSCA-CSCS*D, Associate Professor and Program Director of Kinesiology
P: 816-501-3714 / E:

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

Kinesiology is the study of human movement and the body’s response to exercise. It is an examination of systems, factors, and principles involved in human development within the context of society. Relevant fields in the study of kinesiology include anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor learning and control, and sports psychology and sociology. 

Building on appropriate prerequisites from the traditional disciplines in the humanities and the physical, biological, and social sciences, our curriculum blends a conventional biophysical approach with an innovative contemporary mindset that embraces a “holistic” approach to optimizing health, fitness, and athletic performance. A Kinesiology degree prepares students for careers in college or university athletic programs, professional sports arenas, the private fitness industry, human service organizations, allied health careers in hospital and medical centers, corporate wellness venues, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation settings, and education. The major also prepares students to apply to professional programs including medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant, sport psychology, athletic training, exercise physiology, biomechanics, or health education.

course Requirements


  • CO 110 Fund of Communication (3)
  • EN 111/112 Composition I or II (3)
  • FS 101 First-Year Seminar (1)
  • MA 120 College Algebra or above (3)


  • Social Justice and Civic Life  (3)
  • Social Justice and Civic Life (3)
  • Creativity and Culture (3)
  • Creativity and Culture (3)
  • Belief and Reason (3)
  • Belief and Reason (3)
  • Explorations of Nature (Biology, Chemistry) (3)
  • Explorations of Nature (Biology, Chemistry) (3)


  • Minimum of 6 credit hours at the Contribute Level (can be met in the Major*)


  • Minimum of 9 Global Studies (GS) designated credit hours.**
  • Minimum of 9 Interdisciplinary (IS) designated credit hours.**
  • Minimum of 3 Community Engagement (CE) designated credit hours.***

*Represents courses that meet CORE and Major requirements.
**IS and GS credit hours are infused throughout CORE PILLARS.
***CE credit hours (3) as determined by the MAJOR.

Kinesiology: Major Related

HUMANITIES (6 credits)

  • EN 112 Composition II  (3)
  • PL 255 Ethics (3)

Pre-OT & PT students should take PY208 as an elective.  

  • PY 101 General Psychology (3)
  • PY/SO Elective (3)

SCIENCE AND MATH (27-30 credits)
Pre-PT students take BI 220 (8hrs), MA125, MA 155, and PH231.

  • BI 111 Gen Biol: Cells & Genes*  OR
    BI 112 Gen Biol: Eco & Evol.* (4)
  • BI 220 Human Anatomy & Physiology (6-8)
  • CH 131 General Chemistry I* (4)
  • CS 110 Understanding Computers (3)
  • MA 120 College Algebra  OR
    MA 125 Pre-Calculus  OR
    MA 241 Calculus and Analytical Geometry I* (3)
  • MA 155 Elem Probability & Statistics or SO 230 Social Statistics (3)
  • PH 117 Physics Concepts*  OR
    PH 231 General Physics I (4-5)

PRE-DPT students should also take (16 credits)

  • BI 250 General Microbiology  OR BI 325 Pathophysiology (4)
  • CH 137 General Chemistry II (4)
  • PH 232 General Physics II (5)
  • PY 310 Abnormal Psychology (3)
Kinesiology Requirements
  • KN 101 Introduction to Kinesiology  (3)
  • KN 211 Applied Sports Medicine (3)
  • KN 236 Measurement & Evaluation (3)
  • KN 271 Exercise and Nutrition  (3)
  • KN 295 Motor Behavior (3)
  • KN 314 Personal Fitness Training  (3)
  • KN 319 Biomechanics and Motor Control (3)
  • KN 381 Exercise Physiology (3)
  • KN 393 Sports Psychology* (3)
  • KN 418 Clinical Kinesiology  (3)
  • KN 420 Stress Physiology* (3)
  • KN 482 Internship (CE) (3)
  • KN 499 Research Seminar (1)
Kinesiology: Exercise Science

CORE (40)
Major Related  (39)
KN Major Courses (37)
Academic Electives (19)
minus major/related from CORE* (-15)


Kinesiology: Pre-Physical Therapy

CORE (40)
Major Related  (42)
KN Major Courses (37)
Additional DPT Prerequisites (16)
minus major/related from CORE* (-15)


KN 101. Introduction to Kinesiology. (3) 
This course provides a biophysical introduction to the study of human movement and the body’s responses to physical activity. Topics include an introduction to strength training anatomy, injury prevention, cardiovascular fitness, technology in sports, exercise program design, and nutrition for weight management. Additional emphasis is placed on the exploration of professional career opportunities in teaching, coaching, athletic training, sport management, fitness leadership, sports media, health/wellness, and physical therapy.

KN 180, 280, 380, 480. Topics in Kinesiology. (1-3) 
Selected topics in sports science based on student/faculty interest and current issues in sports science.

KN 211. Applied Sports Medicine. (3) 
The basic fundamental of injury/illness recognition is covered as well as various strategies for the care and prevention of movement-related injuries in athletic and physically active populations. Students will also learn to communicate effectively with health professionals and better understand individual rehabilitation needs. Embedded in this course is the American Heart Association theory and techniques for administering first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. SP.

KN 236. Measurement and Evaluation in Kinesiology (3)
This course systematically guides students through the process of identifying and solving human performance problems in the areas of sports medicine, coaching, health promotion, and fitness training.  Focusing on the concepts of reliability, objectively, and validity, course instruction introduces participants to test and measurements and helps them through the statistical decision making and accurate interpretation of data.  FA.

KN 271. Exercise and Nutrition. (3) 
Principles of human nutrition are reviewed with an emphasis on human bioenergetics and energy metabolism for health and performance. Specific attention is given to energy transfer in the body at rest and during exercise, measurement of human energy expenditure, individual differences in metabolism, sports supplementation, and the metabolic challenges associated with obesity and diabetes. FA.

KN 295. Motor Behavior. (3) 
The purpose of this course is to help participants learn the fundamental processes underlying the learning and performing of all kinds of movements. Participants discover how humans learn skilled actions and how the principles of motor performance and learning can be useful in teaching, coaching, rehabilitation, and the design of performer-friendly equipment and work environments. FA.

KN 314. Personal Fitness Training. (3)
This personal fitness training course introduces students to a systematic approach to program design with exercise program guidelines and variables; protocols for building stabilization, strength, and power; and guidance on how to incorporate general fitness into a lifestyle approach that supports lifelong health and wellbeing. SP.

KN 319. Biomechanics. (3) 
This course provides a scientific foundation for the study of human movement by exploring how the nervous system controls the actions of muscles to produce human motion in relation to biomechanical principles.  Emphasis is placed on force-motion relationships, the motor system, and the adaptability of the motor system.  Laboratory activities involve analyzing movement skills, identifying and correcting errors in movement skills, and developing strategies that optimize motor learning and performance.  Prerequisite: PH 117 or PH 231 with at least a “C” grade. SP.

KN 381. Exercise Physiology. (3) 
An in-depth study of exercising muscle, cardiorespiratory function, exercise testing, and training principles, and environmental influences on human performance.  It builds on the knowledge developed during basic course work in math and science to apply those principles to studying how the whole body responds to the physiological challenges associated with physical activity and physical activity deficiency.  Prerequisites: BI 220 with at least a “C” and 2.5 cumulative GPA. SP.

KN/PY 393. Sports Psychology. (3) 
The primary academic objectives of the course include the introduction of the short but rich history of sport psychology; to provide an overview of the specializations within the field; to explore practical applications of psychological research and theory to exercise and athletic competition; and lastly, to familiarize the student with potential careers and interest areas within sports psychology. Prerequisite: PY 101 or CO 225 with a “C” or better and a 2.5 cumulative GPA. SP.

KN 418. Clinical Kinesiology. (3) 
Provides a solid foundation in neuromechanics and functional anatomy as they relate to both normal and abnormal movement. Emphasis is placed on the integrated relationships between the structure and function of the skeletal-articular, myofascial, and motor control systems.  Laboratory activities include: measuring joint range of motion, manual muscle testing, and movement assessment. Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” to satisfy the CI requirements. Prerequisite: BI 220 with at least a “C” grade and 2.5 cumulative GPA. FA.

KN 420. Stress Physiology. (3) 
Examines the stress-response and effects of chronic psychological stress on various body systems.  It employs a psychophysiological approach to study the human stress response, regulation, and adaptation to chronic stress and the effects of trauma on physical and mental health throughout the lifespan.  Personal and social responsibilities for dealing with stress-related disorders and conditions, health epidemics, natural disasters, and the effects of war are evaluated.  The global impact of stress is evaluated through interactions with a diverse range of people, ideas, cultural perspectives, and global organizations. Prerequisites: BI 220 or 300+ level Psychology course with at least a “C” grade and 2.5 cumulative GPA. FA.

KN 455. Principles of Strength and Conditioning (3) 
This course is based on national standards for strength and conditioning coaches. It provides future strength and conditioning professionals, as well as, sports medicine specialists a comprehensive review of the structure and function of body systems, nutrition, sport psychology, training adaptations, testing and evaluation, exercise techniques, program design, and organization and administration of facilities. Prerequisites: KN 271 or KN 314 and 2.5 cumulative GPA. SP.

KN 475. National Certification. (1) 
This course prepares students to take a standardized national certification exam in the field of Kinesiology. Students may choose to focus on personal training, strength, and conditioning for sports, lifestyle and weight management, health and fitness coaching, or clinical exercise. All approved certification exams are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Prerequisites: KN 314 or KN 455 and 2.5 cumulative GPA. FA, SP.

KN 482. Internship in Kinesiology. (3) 
Carefully monitored work or service experience. The internship takes place, off-campus at an institution or agency specializing in an area relevant to academic interests and/or career goals. Student interns are directed and evaluated by a faculty member with appropriate supervision by an on-site professional. Student interns must keep an accurate accounting of hours with a performance work diary. Grades and credit for the internship are determined by a faculty member with input from the on-site supervisor. Prerequisite: Junior status and 2.5 cumulative GPA. FA. SP.

KN 498. Kinesiology Research. (3) 
This course is an advanced apprenticeship in kinesiology research. Students will learn how to conduct research through discussion, reading, and hands-on experiences from initial planning stages to date collection and analysis, writing up results and submitting to conferences and academic journals. Repeatable. Prerequisite: Junior status and 2.5 cumulative GPA. FA. SP.

KN 499. Research Seminar. (1) 
This course will allow students to demonstrate a basic understanding of the design and methods of kinesiology research. Students will participate in research article discussions and presentations. The course will help students develop skills in research design, research methods, and communication. Students will be required to complete a research paper and presentation on their topic of choice. This is a Communication Intensive (CI) course and meets the Capstone course requirement in the major. Prerequisite: MA 155 or SO 230, Senior Status, and 2.5 cumulative GPA. FA, SP.


Sample Kinesiology Four-Year Plan

Exercise Science, Pre-Occupational Therapy, and Pre-Physical Therapy

Fall Semester (16 Hours)
  • CO 110 Fundamentals of Communication (3)
  • EN 111 English Composition I (3)
  • FS 101 First-Year Seminar (1)
  • KN 101 Introduction to Kinesiology (3)
  • MA 120 College Algebra or above (3)
  • PY 101 General Psychology (3)

Spring Semester (16 Hours)

  • BI 111/112 General Biology course (4)
  • CS 111/210 Computer Science course (3)
  • EN 112 English Composition II (3)
  • KN 211 Applied Sports Medicine (3)
  • SO 101 Introduction to Sociology (3)
Fall Semester (16 Hours)
  • CH 131/135 Chemistry course (4)
  • KN 236 Measurement and Evaluation (3)
  • KN 271 Exercise and Nutrition (3)
  • PL 255 Ethics (3)
  • CORE – Religious Studies course (3)

Spring Semester (15-17 Hours)

  • BI 220 Human Anatomy & Physiology (6-8)
  • KN 314 Personal Fitness Training (3)
  • MA 155 Elementary Probability and Statistics (3)
  • CORE – English Literature course (3)
Fall Semester (16-17)
  • KN 295 Motor Behavior (3)
  • PH 117/231 Physics course (4-5)
  • CORE – History course (3)
  • Student electives (6)

Spring Semester (15)

  • IS  Interdisciplinary Course (3)
  • KN 319 Biomechanics & Motor Control (3)
  • Kn 381 Exercise Physiology (3)
  • KN 393 Sport Psychology (3)
  • CORE – Art course (3)
Fall Semester (12)
  • IS Interdisciplinary Course (3)
  • KN 418 Clinical Kinesiology  (3)
  • KN 420 Stress Physiology (3)
  • KN 482 Internship (3)

Spring Semester (13)

  • IS Interdisciplinary Course (3)
  • KN 499 Research Seminar  (1)
  • Student elective or Chemistry II (4)
  • Student elective or Physics II (5)

Sample master’s in Kinesiology 4+1 Plan

UNDERGRADUATE EARLY APPLICANTS – Avila Kinesiology Dual Credit Courses (15 Hours)
  • KN 319/519 Biomechanics (3)
  • KN 381/581 Exercise Physiology (3)
  • KN 418/518 Clinical Kinesiology (3)
  • KN 420/520 Stress Physiology (3)
  • KN 455/565 Prin of Strength & Cond (3)


Fall Semester (6 Hours)

  • KN 627 Evidence-Based Practice (3)
  • Kinesiology elective (3)

Spring Semester (6 Hours)

  • KN 643 Statistics in Kinesiology (3)
  • Kinesiology elective (3)

Summer Semester (6 Hours)

  • KN 676 Neurophysiology of Movement (3)
  • KN 682 Internship (3) OR KN 699 Applied Research (3)


Gerald Larson, Ph.D., ACSM-CEP, NSCA-CSCS*D

Associate Professor and Program Director of Kinesiology Phone 816-501-3714

Michael Norwood, Ph.D.

Instructor Phone 816-501-2922


Assistant Athletic Director/Strength & Conditioning Coach Phone 816-501-3736
Go back to the top