College of Education and Human Development

School of Kinesiology

Master's programs: Which degree is right for me?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking for a master’s program. Decision making doesn’t stop when you know what you want to study, you also need to determine what type of degree you want to get. Below, we outline the School of Kinesiology’s master’s programs so you can know the differences and pursue the degree that’s right for you.

Master's degree offerings

The School of Kinesiology offers five masters degree programs. Each one provides students with a valuable set of skills and knowledge that they can apply in their career or furthering their education. The programs are divided into two types based on admissions requirements: The research focused masters of science/masters of art (MS/MA) and the professional focused masters of education (MEd).


Kinesiology MS

The kinesiology MS equips students with a practical and theoretical knowledge set that draws on a variety of disciplines, including: 

  • medicine 
  • neuroscience
  • epidemiology 
  • business
  • social sciences 

The MS degree is a research-focused program, with multiple lab opportunities. Students in the MS program also select an emphasis from one of seven areas. Selecting an emphasis allows students to focus more directly on the particular aspects of kinesiology that they are interested in. 

Sport management MA

The sport management MA gives students a practical, theoretical, and research-based understanding of managing all things sport: Events, teams, facilities, and operations. The program has an emphasis on policy and ethics. Students interested in the social, political, and business aspects of how sport works benefit from this degree. 


MEd programs are professional based in comparison to MS and MA degrees. This means a MEd is great for those who are working professionals and want to get another degree to advance their career and qualifications going forward.  

Physical activity and health MEd

The physical activity and health MEd equips its students with the tools to promote and implement physical activity efforts and programs in the wider world. Civic-minded students concerned with public health benefit greatly from this degree.

Sport and exercise science MEd

The sport and exercise science MEd educates its students in exercise science, movement science, and human performance. Students can take part in one of three career tracks: coaching, athletic training, and health promotion. Students who are interested in hands-on application of physical activity principles enjoy this degree.

Sport management MEd

The sport management MEd gives students a deep understanding of the field as well as the freedom and opportunity to explore various subjects more closely. The program offers students chances to engage in a variety of independent and collaborative study and professional experience opportunities. Students seeking leadership and management roles in sport related fields benefit from this degree.

How do I choose which master's program is right for me?

Choosing the right degree program for you depends on your personal interests and career goals. It’s important to have an idea of what you like and what you want to do before jumping into a program. 

An easy way to narrow things down is asking yourself whether you want to focus on research or professional development. If you want to do research, an MS/MA might be better suited for you. If you’re interested in professional development and working while you complete your degree, an MEd could be your choice.

Another useful question to ask yourself is what you want to end up doing. An MEd may be more useful to you if you are already in or plan to be in the professional world. An MS/MA may be better for you if you can see yourself continuing your education, working on research, and educating other students. In some cases, you may be someone who wants to improve the quality of their services in your professional practice.

Any masters program is going to increase your professional and academic options, so it’s important to have a good sense of your own interests and goals to find which will be best suited to you.

Want to learn more about the difference in degrees? Check out our master's comparison webpage. To learn more about any of our graduate degree offerings, see a full list of degrees