Who We Are
Rutgers University is the State University of New Jersey. It is a comprehensive, research-intensive AAU land-grant university in the New Brunswick-based campuses, and is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance. The Department of Kinesiology and Health is part of a vibrant and interactive Life Sciences community that includes over 100 faculty members in the Departments of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Genetics, and Cell Biology and Neuroscience.
Our Department’s first mission was to educate students to become physical education teachers. There were two separate divisions - the Department of Human Kinetics on the College Avenue campus and the Department of Physical Education on the Douglass Campus. Most of the students who graduated during the 1960’s-1980's went into teaching, coaching or recreation based careers. While courses such as Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology were required, the curriculum was pedagogy based. In the late 1980’s, the two departments merged and moved to the Loree Building where we still are today. It was also during that time that the focus on teaching was phased out and the curriculum changed to reflect the emphasis on Exercise Science. The late 1990’s saw the introduction of the Sport Management option which has continued to evolve and grow since its inception, to focus on management, operations, marketing, and the business of sport.
The Department of Kinesiology and Health has more than 1000 declared undergraduate majors - making it one of the largest departments at Rutgers. Students currently choose between two majors - Exercise Science and Sport Management. The Department offers over 60 undergraduate classes, with many courses also available in the winter and summer sessions.
The Exercise Science major consists of 68-71 credits and is “science” based with such courses as biology, chemistry, physics, physiology, and exercise physiology. A highlight of this program is the Functional Human Anatomy course and lab which is one of the very few undergraduate programs in the country that educate students using a human cadaver. The Exercise Science major has all the pre-requisites for students to apply to graduate programs in physical and occupational therapy, medicine, athletic training and nursing. Students are required to complete a 126 hour internship experience providing valuable clinical exposure in their senior year.
The Sport Management major is 65-70 credits and includes courses in marketing, finance, facility management, sport law, accounting and economics. The program offers many opportunities to connect with professionals in the sport management field and requires a 262 hour internship experience.
The Department of Kinesiology and Health offers unique exposure for students in courses that deal with a wide range of populations including individuals with disabilities, the aging population, fieldwork in the community, and study abroad opportunities. These experiential learning programs encourage a “hands on” approach and learning through living focus.
Students in both the science and sport majors are eligible for the Department’s Honors Program which provides research opportunities for our exceptional students. Juniors who achieve a 3.4 or higher in their major courses are invited to apply to the program which consists of a research methods seminar and a semester long research project under the direction of our distinguished research faculty.
At the Graduate level, the Department of Kinesiology and Health offers an MS. and Ph.D. Program in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology with in-depth research and training in Exercise Physiology and Exercise Psychology. Students pursuing the MBS (Master of Business and Science - a non-thesis graduate program) can focus on the Kinesiology and Applied Physiology option which combines Kinesiology courses with those in Business and Finance. The Global Sports Business M.S. Program is a 40 credit, 2 year program that begins in the fall of each year. Students will be taught by leaders in the sport industry which will prepare them for sport management positions and leadership in a global world.
The Department also supports the Youth Sports Research Council which offers coaching education, and studies the issues and research related to youth sports. Since 1983, the Youth Sports Research Council has certified more than 250,000 coaches through their S.A.F.E.T.Y course which focuses on safety, the philosophy of youth sports, basic coaching principles, training, conditioning and the role of volunteers in the youth sports.
The Department of Kinesiology and Health's faculty exemplifies the wide diversity and expertise in our field. Our faculty is comprised of leading researchers in the field of exercise, fitness, sport performance, health, psychology and physiology. Our faculty is recognized internationally for their achievements and by professional organizations and corporations for their contributions in a wide array of research areas. Current studies include: physical activity and stress, brain activity, exercise metabolism in college athletes, chronic disease, and exercise supplements.
The Department’s distinguished faculty ensures that our students are provided with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills of our profession. Members of our faculty also have diverse professional backgrounds and experiences in a wide range of careers such as physical therapy, sport psychology, medicine, recreation, law, event management, sport operations and marketing.