Are you looking for a great way to gain knowledge and hands-on experience that prepares you for a career in the fields of healthcare, education, fitness, public health, and corporate wellness? Are you interested in enhancing your graduate school application in any of the aforementioned fields?

If you answered “yes,” the Promoting Activity for Diverse Abilities (PADA) Certificate—offered through the Department of Kinesiology —is the perfect blend of coursework and experiential learning. The Kinesiology Department's mission is to research, teach, and apply knowledge related to movement, exercise, and human occupation with the ultimate goal of enhancing human health, productivity, and quality of life. Students who have completed the PADA Certificate go on to graduate programs and careers in occupational or physical therapy, speech language pathology, genetics counseling, nursing, medicine, special education, adapted physical activity, clinical exercise physiology, physical activity epidemiology, athletic training, public health, and many other exciting and challenging fields.

With a combination of coursework and opportunities to gain hands-on experience working directly with individuals with disabilities, this certificate will prepare you with the specialized knowledge and skills to safely promote and develop physical activities to improve the health, wellness, and functioning of individuals with a wide range of diverse abilities. You will be able to address inclusive activities aimed to improve general activities of daily living, functional fitness, posture, mobility, breathing, nutrition, and falls prevention, as well as adapted sports, fitness and recreation.

Coursework (16–18 credits) in this certificate is made up of a core that includes the topics of anatomy, disability, specialized program planning, and hands-on practica in the UW’s Adapted Fitness Program. One of the UW’s most sought-after volunteer experiences, the Kinesiology Department’s Adapted Fitness Program, located in the heart of campus, offers fitness training and physical activities to community-dwelling clients with a wide variety of permanent and temporary disabilities from heritable disorders, chronic and neurological diseases, and accidental traumas. Students who pursue the PADA certificate receive priority placement for volunteer positions. Elective options for the certificate will also give you some flexibility to tailor the certificate to your specific educational and career interests. Examples of elective topics include dance therapy, communicative disorders, health behavior and diversity in special education.

The SoE’s Undergraduate Academic Advising Services will administer the process that students will use to declare enrollment in the certificate. Students declaring in the Certificate must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50 to be eligible for the certificate to align with the School of Education's requirement for good academic standing. Students intending to complete the Promoting Activity for Diverse Abilities Certificate should visit the School of Education's Certificate Programs page to complete the declaration form.

Students declared in the Physical Education BS may not declare the Certificate in Promoting Activity for Diverse Abilities.

Students must complete 16-18 total credits. The 9-10 credits of core courses will provide the foundation content and instruction needed to be successful in subsequent certificate courses and will provide an upper-level course focusing on application and mastering knowledge. Students will also complete 7-8 credits of breadth elective courses that span the departments of Kinesiology, Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, Dance, and Communication Sciences and Disorders. Breadth courses give students from a wide array of backgrounds and majors to select courses that will be applicable to a variety of diverse career interests or the students will also have the ability to choose courses in a more narrowed and detailed focus.  Allowing for a set of focused elective choices or range of elective topic areas will be a benefit and a draw to students pursuing a variety of career paths. 

Certificate students must earn a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on required certificate coursework. At least 8 credits must be taken in residence.


Complete 9-10 credits from the following: 

KINES 225 Practicum in Promoting Activity for Diverse Abilities1
KINES 227 Introduction to Clinical Anatomy of Human Movement2
or ANAT&PHY 337 Human Anatomy
KINES 516 Physical Activity for Diverse Abilities3
RP & SE 300 Individuals with Disabilities3

Breadth Elective courses

Complete 7-8 credits from the following:

CS&D 110 Introduction to Communicative Disorders3
CS&D 210 Neural Basis of Communication3
CS&D 424 Sign Language I2
DANCE 231 Introduction to Dance/Movement Therapy2
DANCE 232 Introduction to Dynamics of Dance Therapy2
DANCE 331 Dynamics of Dance Therapy3
KINES 100 Exercise, Nutrition, and Health2
KINES 150 Foundations of Health Behavior and Health Equity3
KINES 360 Lifespan Motor Development3
KINES 540 Diversity in Health and Physical Activity Settings3
RP & SE 330 Behavior Analysis: Applications to Persons with Disabilities3
RP & SE 466 Diversity in Special Education3
RP & SE 560 3


This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. Demonstrate the ability to increase healthy behaviors and safe activities for persons with diverse abilities.
  2. Obtain the skills and knowledge to encourage, empower, and prescribe activity for people who exhibit a wide array of disabling conditions.
  3. Identify, create and expand opportunities where larger organizations can create more accessible physical activity programs for those who exhibit diverse abilities.
  4. Develop practical skills and knowledge to modify and or adapt activities to minimize the effects of disabling conditions and maximize healthy movement opportunities.