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What is Health and Human Development?

Diverse fields of study that share one
common goal: enriching the lives of others.

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Penn State’s Kinesiology program in the College of Health and Human Development is nationally recognized for helping students prepare for careers in health, wellness, and fitness.

Improving the Activities of Daily Life

Our central focus is the study of physical activity as it ranges from basic mechanisms of human movement to the complex dynamics of physical activity in the context of human health and well-being. Additionally, the program explores other facets of human health, including psychological and social aspects of wellness.

As an undergraduate student in the program, you will have the opportunity to become well versed in the sciences, including chemistry, biology, and physics.

A Kinesiology degree can provide a firm foundation for a wide variety of careers. This includes many allied health professions such as: physical therapy, occupational therapy, or chiropractic. Kinesiology is ideal for those interested in becoming exercise specialists. The program will help you prepare to work in a number of exercise-related or wellness careers in the fitness industry, rehabilitation facilities, sports camps, outdoor adventure businesses, or non-profits. Additionally, Kinesiology is excellent preparation for careers teaching health and physical education in private and public schools as well as coaching.

As you learn about the human body as a whole, you will also have the opportunity to understand how you can apply your knowledge and skills to develop solutions that can help others in a number of ways, whether in a rehabilitation facility, with a professional sports team, or in a corporate office.

Kinesiology Program Options

A bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in Kinesiology focuses on the study of physical activity in the context of health and well-being.

men working in gym

Movement Science Option

The Movement Science option provides training in areas such as biomechanics, exercise physiology, exercise and sport psychology, neuroscience, and sport history to understand the use of movement for prevention and diagnosis of chronic disease, rehabilitation, and treatment.

Applied Exercise and Health Option

The Applied Exercise and Health option provides applied interdisciplinary training in the foundations of the scientific understanding of exercise and health through the lifespan. Students identify one of two areas of emphasis: (a) courses and practical experiences directed toward certification by organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine or the National Strength and Conditioning Association, or (b) courses and student-teaching, leading to teacher certification.

putting on knee brace

There is also a Kinesiology degree program with an option in Exercise Science available for those attending Penn State Berks.


A minor in Kinesiology can introduce the basics of the discipline, including the history and culture of physical activity and functional human anatomy. If you are interested in learning more about fitness and the human body in motion and how it affects health, wellness, and fitness, the minor may be an excellent complement to your field of study.

Professional Development

Student Organizations

Kinesiology Club provides students with a forum of extracurricular opportunities, such as opportunities with leadership, hands-on experiences, networking, seminars, and certification programs.

Pre-Physical Therapy Club offers students who are considering physical therapy as a career the opportunity to network and build their skills and knowledge with activities and educational experiences.

Pre-Occupational Therapy Club offers students who are considering occupational therapy as a career the opportunity to network and build their skills and knowledge with activities and educational experiences.

Athletic Training Club promotes unity among all student trainers and furthers their educational experiences with activities such as films and guest speakers.

Professional Interaction

Alumni of the program regularly return to campus to take part in professional and social events. You will have the opportunity to meet and work with a number of these engaged alumni and learn from them.

Professional Resources

American Academy of Family Physicians:

American Academy of Ophthalmology:

American Academy of Optometry:

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:

American Academy of Physician Assistants:

American Association of Oriental Medicine:

American Chiropractic Association:

American Dental Association:

American Medical Association:

American Occupational Therapy Association:

American Physical Therapy Association:

American Podiatric Medical Association:

American Public Health Association:

National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance:

National Rural Health Association:

Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association: