Interested in studying various forms of human movement and their impact on health, society and quality of life? As a kinesiology major, you’ll take classes that examine physical activity in educational, wellness/fitness-oriented, therapeutic and performance-based settings.

In addition to your diploma, you’ll also earn entry-level certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

  • Central’s kinesiology and strength and conditioning programs earned accreditation from the CAAHEP per the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences making faculty experts in the field.
  • The NSCA Education Recognition Program approved both the strength and conditioning and personal training programs, distinguishing them from other programs in Iowa and across the nation.

of graduates are employed or in grad school within one year of graduation
Majors can study human movement as it relates to physical education, strength & conditioning or pre-health
More than 30% of majors attend graduate school immediately following graduation

The Central Difference

Take Advantage of Research Opportunities and Hands-On Experiences

Your ability to conduct research in an applied setting is an important component of the kinesiology major. This includes the options to conduct collaborative research with Central faculty members or to present your work to larger audiences at conferences across the country. If you choose to be part of the Emerging Scholars program, you will complete an honors thesis during your senior year.

Real-life experiences can positively impact your learning as well as your growing résumé. If you’re interested in a health profession, consider a robust job-shadowing opportunity, a focused internship or practicum experience.

Staying on Her Toes

A lifetime of sports participation has prepared Lecturer of Exercise Science Katelin Valster to tackle students’ biggest challenges.

Learn in Nationally Recognized Facilities

In Central’s state-of-the-art kinesiology building, you’ll find a dedicated classroom for pre-health programs that features examination tables instead of desks. The human performance lab features a hydrostatic underwater weighing tank, one of only three in the Midwest. The building uses LCD screens and classroom capture, which enables all classes to be videotaped so you can review them later. The adjacent Ron Schipper Fitness Center features a 2,000-square-foot human movement and performance area.


If you’re thinking of continuing your education in a graduate program in the health field, look to Central faculty members for expert advice and mentorship. They will ensure that you have a well-rounded background in the sciences and are fully prepared to take your entrance exams. The kinesiology acceptance rate is very high, and Central has a great reputation with graduate schools because they know Central students are prepared and will be successful.

Off-Campus Experiences

Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.

Central College student

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • Kyle Dell ’21, P.E. Teacher, Pella Community School District
  • Susie Lupkes ’20, Wellness Professional, Bethany Village
  • Whitney Burgardt Gray ’19, Registered Behavior Technician, Hopebridge
  • Trevor Ruiz ’18, Physical Therapist Assistant, Select Physical Therapy
  • Brandon Zumbach ’18, minor league athletic trainer, Houston Astros
  • Sam Schmitz ’17, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Simpson College
  • Monica Ruiz ’16, Assistant Strength and Condition Coach, Central College
  • Alayna Bailey Westerkamp ’14, Account Manager, Navigate Wellbeing Solutions
  • Joe Rosauer ’12, Minor League Athletic Trainer, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Nate Weir ’05, Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer, Green Bay Packers

Central’s Kinesiology Team Publishes Research

The prevalence of dementia is rapidly increasing. Central faculty and students analyzed risks associated with diabetes.

Involvement Opportunities

No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group for you!

  • Angling Club
  • Health Professions Club
  • FCA Club
  • Ski Club
  • Student Athletic Advisory Club

Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.

Graduate Placement

  • Colorado State University, public health
  • Creighton University, occupational therapy and physical therapy
  • Des Moines University, public health, physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • Grand View University, athletic training
  • Iowa State University, kinesiology
  • Palmer College of Chiropractic
  • T. Still University, occupational therapy and physical therapy
  • Truman State, athletic training
  • University of Iowa, physical therapy
  • University of Indianapolis, physical therapy
  • Western Michigan University, athletic training
  • University of Nebraska, physical therapy, athletic training and medicine
  • University of Nebraska Omaha, physical activity and health promotion
  • University of South Dakota, occupational therapy
  • University of Washington, St. Louis, Mo., occupational therapy


  • Community Rehab, Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine
  • Des Moines Can Play, adapted physical education
  • Hy-Vee, KidsFit Club
  • Mercy Hospital,
  • Newton and Oskaloosa YMCAs
  • Northern Illinois University, strength and conditioning
  • Quad City Steamwheelers, athletic training
  • Tulsa Football, strength and conditioning
  • United States Air Force, strength and conditioning
  • University of Iowa, strength and conditioning
  • University of Notre Dame, strength and conditioning
  • Wesley Life, adapted activities program
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

The kinesiology major is thoughtfully designed to give students a choice of tracks, all built upon a solid academic core. By design, majors learn all of the content necessary for successful careers and then have the opportunity to practice in an applied setting.

Depending upon their chosen track, students engage the field by doing internships, practical experiences, undergraduate research and laboratory work. Students have the choice of four tracks: health promotions, health and exercise science, physical education or strength and conditioning.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

  • Adam Bradley, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
  • Leslie Duinink, B.A., M.S., Senior Registrar
  • Jim Fuller, B.A., M.S., Lecturer of Kinesiology
  • Katelin Valster, B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
  • Shelli Green, B.A., M.S., D.A.T., Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
  • Kyle Johnson, B.A., M.Ed., Strength & Conditioning Coordinator Fitness Center Director
  • Dave Pavlat, B.S., M.S., Ed.D., Associate Professor of Kinesiology
  • John Roslien, B.S., M.S., Associate Professor of Kinesiology
  • Matt Sagar, B.A., M.S., Lecturer of Kinesiology
  • Sara Shuger Fox, B.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Kinesiology

Sample Coursework

First Year

  • Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology
  • Foundations of Kinesiology
  • First Aid & Sports Injuries
  • Major Electives
  • Core Courses

Sophomore Year

  • Human Anatomy & Kinesiology
  • Fitness Assessment & Exercise
  • Prescription
  • Major Electives
  • Core Courses

Junior Year

  • Sports Nutrition
  • Major Electives
  • Core Courses

Senior Year

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Physiology Lab
  • Major Electives
  • Core Courses


Learn More

Want to find out more about Kinesiology at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.


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