M.S. in Kinesiology

Specialization in Psychosocial/Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity


This specialization is directed toward students who have a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, Psychology, Public Health, or other related fields.

With this degree, you could pursue future study in a doctoral program in the psychology of exercise/physical activity. Or, you could work for organizations with an interest in the promotion of regular physical activity (including corporations and government agencies).


Generally, the URI Kinesiology Master’s curriculum emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the multiple forces and conditions – from the global to the cellular – which influence how and why humans are physically activity. This specialization focuses on understanding physical activity behavior, which includes the physiologic foundations of the behavior, its role and manifestations in society in various forms, and a focus on the patterns, determinants, and physical and psychological outcomes of physical activity participation, as well as an understanding of theoretically guided interventions to promote regular physical activity. Students take numerous foundational, required, courses, but have the flexibility to tailor their additional coursework towards career goals.

Program Requirements

Core Kinesiology Courses (11 credits)

  • KIN 515: Physiology of Physical Activity and Health (3)
    KIN 562: Advanced Exercise Physiology
  • KIN 508: Physical Activity Promotion: Theory and Practice (3)
  • KIN 501: Seminar in Kinesiology (1) – must be repeated twice

* It is recommended that students in the Psychosocial/Behavioral Aspects program select KIN 515 but this course is offered infrequently.

Research Courses (select 6 to 9 credits)

  • KIN 530: Research Methods and Design in Kinesiology (3)
  • KIN 599: Master’s Thesis Research (6)


  • KIN 591: Special Problems plus Comprehensive Exams (3)

* Students taking KIN 591 Special Problems must also complete the comprehensive

Required Courses (6 credits)

  • KIN 563: Epidemiology of Physical Activity (3)
  • KIN 581: Psychological Aspects of a Healthy Lifestyle (3)

Recommended Electives (select 9-12 credits)

  • PSY 479: Health Promotion (3)
  • PSY 505: Community Psychology (3)
  • PSY 606: Social Psychology (3)
  • PSY 532: Experimental Design (3)
  • PSY 533: Advanced Quantitative Methods in Psychology (3)
  • PSY 601: Physiological Psychology (3)
  • Up to 9 credits of: 1) courses in a related discipline; 2) additional psychology classes; or 3) additional KIN classes;  as approved by the Major Professor