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Kinesiology students practice course material with other students.


The Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology offers three distinct specializations – exercise science, kinesiotherapy and physical education.

What is Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is the study of movement. Kinesiology is an overarching field that includes many specialized areas of study. The common focus of these areas is the study of movement or physical activity.

Specific emphasis areas offered at Southern Miss include exercise science, physical education and kinesiotherapy.


  • Exercise Science emphasis – While attending Southern Miss, you will study how exercise physiology, biomechanics, exercise psychology, and nutrition influence human movement. Upon graduating, you will be prepared to help people achieve lifelong health and wellness.
  • Kinesiotherapy emphasis – As a kinesiotherapy major you will complete two semesters of clinical internships, providing you with an opportunity to practice and fine tune skills gained in the classroom.
  • Physical education (K-12 Licensure) – As a physical education major, you will complete two student teaching placements in your final semester at Southern Miss. You will be placed in an elementary school for half of the semester and a secondary school for the other half.
  • Physical Education (K-12 Licensure)/ Sport Coaching Education – As dual degree student you will study coaching methodology, sport psychology, human movement in combination with teaching techniques.

Degree Options

There are four Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees available with this major.

More about this Major


Physical Education (K-12 Licensure) and Dual Degree [Physical Education (K-12 Licensure) and Sport Coaching Education]

  • After you successfully complete degree requirements and pass exams designated by the Mississippi Department of Education, you will be eligible to apply for a standard Mississippi teacher license.
  • Traditionally, physical education was practiced by working with school-aged children in school-based settings, but now includes a variety of age groups and settings. Other settings can include community facilities, correctional facilities, sports camps, special education, youth organizations and more.
  • Coaches help athletes in all aspects of development, preparing them to enjoy and succeed in events and competition. Example career settings include elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, recreational facilities, nonprofit organizations and more.

Exercise Science emphasis

  • The exercise science emphasis prepares students who are seeking careers as health or fitness specialists in clinical or non-clinical setting.
  • Students often choose this degree as preparation for professional programs such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and medicine.

Kinesiotherapy emphasis

  • To be a practicing kinesiotherapist, you must pass the Kinesiotherapy Registration exam administered by the Council on Professional Standards of Kinesiotherapy.
  • Registered kinesiotherapists work closely with and health care providers, including: physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
  • This major is an excellent choice if you wish to pursue graduate studies in medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy or prosthetics and orthotics.
• 25% of currently registered kinesiotherapists in the U.S. are graduates from Southern Miss.
• Exercise Science and Kinesiotherapy alumni have been accepted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, The University of South Alabama and more to pursue graduate degrees.
• Physical education and dual degree students complete part of their practicum experience at The DuBard School for Language Disorders.
The classes gave me the ability to step out of the box and look at the body, exercises, and individuals through more than just one dimension.

Meet Some of Your Professors

Melissa Ziegler


Favorite Course: KIN 439: Exercise Prescription for Special Population

Dr. Daniel Credeur

Assistant Professor

Favorite Course: KIN 706: Cardiovascular Physiology

Dr. Nancy Speed

Assistant Director & Instructor

Favorite Course: KIN 462: Methods in Teaching Physical Education

Dr. Melissa Thompson

Associate Professor 

Favorite Course: KIN 675: Advanced Sport Coaching Methodology

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Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.