Kinesiology – Named Options

This non-research based named option in the MS program is designed for students who are interested in graduate-level training in Kinesiology, but who are not necessarily interested in a career doing research in the field.

This degree supports an interest in coaching/teaching (team or individual), personal training, or fitness instructions. The degree also supplements the practice of physical therapy, athletic training, strength and conditioning, other allied health professions, or any individual purpose a student may have. Students can use elective credits, internships, and independent studies to customize their program to meet their needs and future career goals.

Faculty Mentors

Lisa Cadmus-Bertram

Required Coursework

M.S. Required Coursework

Biomechanics is the application of mechanics to biological systems. Within the broad field of biomechanics, specific areas of study at UW-Madison include: tissue mechanics, neuro-muscular control, human performance, sports performance, injury, rehabilitation, and limb dynamics. The program equips students to apply the tools of engineering analysis to biological systems from the cellular to the whole-body level with career objectives in academia, health care, and sports science.  Elective course work within the program allows students to pursue individual interests such as physiological adaptations to mechanical stimuli or computer modeling. Students generally have the opportunity to teach during their training.

Faculty Mentors

David Bell
Scott Crawford
Kreg Gruben
Kristen Pickett

Required Coursework

M.S. Required Coursework

Ph.D. Required Coursework

Exercise Physiology is the study of the biological responses and adaptations to acute and chronic exercise. Research and graduate training at UW-Madison focuses on elucidating: 1) the physiological, biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying these processes and 2) the influence of exercise on health and disease.

Areas of research in exercise physiology include: 1) the regulation of contraction in skeletal and cardiac muscle and how this regulation is altered by perturbations such as exercise training, injury, or disease, 2) how acute exercise or environmental stress like hypoxia influences blood flow and how this is impacted by obesity and metabolic syndrome, and 3) how aging and exercise alters blood flow and blood pressure regulation.

Faculty Mentors

Jill Barnes
Gary Diffee
William Schrage

Required Coursework

M.S. Required Coursework

Ph.D. Required Coursework

Exercise Psychology is the study of psychological responses and adaptations to acute and chronic physical activity. The graduate program at UW-Madison focuses on the psychobiological aspects of physical activity in both healthy and diseased populations. Research in the Exercise Psychology Laboratory has been generally concerned with quantifying the psychophysiological responses to exercise. Numerous behavioral methods have been used to determine affective and perceptual responses to exercise including the use of biofeedback, hypnosis, imagery, meditation, and traditional relaxation interventions such as autogenic training. More recently, the laboratory’s focus has been on the psychophysiological aspects of pain, fatigue, and perceived exertion during and following exercise. These studies are being conducted in both healthy participants and patients with chronic pain and fatigue and are aimed at understanding the psychophysiological mechanisms that underlie the perceptual experience. Neuroimaging experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are also being conducted to determine neural responses related to pain, fatigue, and exercise.

Faculty Mentors

Dane Cook
Kelli Koltyn

Required Coursework

M.S. Required Coursework

Ph.D. Required Coursework

The graduate program in Motor Control and Behavior involves advanced study of the psychological and neurophysiological foundations of motor control, motor learning, motor development, and disorders of movement. The program emphasizes the development of a competent independent researcher and is designed to provide a thorough grounding in the area of motor performance, exposing the student to the underlying theoretical processes that influence the control, acquisition, and development of motor behavior. Students may focus specifically on control, learning, or developmental issues, or design their program to expose them to a broad range of study in motor behavior. The graduate student will work closely with his/her advisor in both formal and informal educational settings.

Faculty Mentors

Luis Columna
Kreg Gruben
Andrea Mason
Kristen Pickett
Peter Van Kan

Required Coursework

M.S. Required Coursework

Ph.D. Required Coursework

As occupational scientists, our faculty and graduate students explore theories of occupational engagement and conduct research to expand the body of knowledge supporting the practice of occupational therapy. Occupational Science integrates theories and practices from the disciplines of anatomy, biomechanics, motor control, neuroscience, psychology, and sociology to enhance our understanding of how engagement in the activities of daily life promotes human health and well-being. The Occupational Science named option of the Kinesiology MS emphasizes the understanding of theories underlying occupational science. Students conduct research and develop advanced knowledge in a specific area of concentration within occupational science.

All faculty members have established laboratories for conducting research in Occupational Science, some of which are free-standing and others of which are located in research centers around campus. Opportunities abound for engaging in collaborative work with faculty from other disciplines such as kinesiology, biomedical engineering, psychology, nursing, population health, sociology, human ecology, special education or rehabilitation psychology.  A full list and description of the research labs, hosted by the Occupational Therapy Program, can be found on the department’s research page.

Faculty Mentors

Karla Ausderau
Dorothy Farrar Edwards
Beth Fields
Elizabeth Larson
Kristen Pickett
Brittany Travers

Required Coursework

M.S. Required Coursework

Ph.D. Required Coursework

Physical activity epidemiology deals with the frequency and patterns of physical activity in the population and the relationship between physical activity and health and disease. The named option in Physical Activity Epidemiology provides students with advanced study in physical activity measurement issues, study design, relationships of physical activity with specific health and disease states, and approaches to physical activity promotion. Graduate study in this area covers epidemiologic and statistical courses that provide background in population-level study design and analysis as well as electives related to physical activity and public health.

Faculty Mentors

Susan Andreae
Lisa Cadmus-Bertram
Tanya Schlam

Required Coursework

M.S. Required Coursework

Ph.D. Required Coursework