Movement Science

Movement Science prepares students for careers in different health-related disciplines, such as medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physical rehabilitation, and biomedical research. The curriculum includes coursework, laboratory research opportunities, and hands-on learning experiences that focus on understanding the control, mechanics, and physiology of human movement. The program culminates with a B.S. degree in Movement Science with emphasis in three disciplines:  

Biomechanics applies principles of mechanics to human movement. Biomechanics courses offer good preparation for graduate studies in biomechanics, ergonomics, prosthetics, physical therapy, or rehabilitation medicine.

Exercise Physiology focuses on metabolic, hormonal, and cardiovascular responses to acute and chronic physical activity. The curriculum prepares students for careers in health-related fields, as well as for graduate studies in exercise physiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and biomedical research.

Motor Control examines the ways movement is learned and controlled across the lifespan through neural and behavioral mechanisms that include cognitive factors. Motor control knowledge can be applied in physical and occupational therapy careers, as well as other health professions.

Honors students are expected to pursue a rigorous and diversified course of study. Students must complete the regular Movement Science curriculum as well as advanced coursework, independent study, and a thesis during the senior year. Students must maintain a 3.5 GPA throughout the program. For more information, contact Dr. Susan Brown (shcb@umich.edu).

Top 5 reasons
to Major in Movement Science
Study abroad in a partnership program
Small class sizes
Conduct and participate in research
Excellent graduate school preparation
Internationally recognized faculty
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Learn more about Movement Science:

Mission

The Movement Science (MOVESCI) major strives to fully develop the intellectual abilities of each student during their learning experiences in the School of Kinesiology. The program emphasizes the study of human movement from biological and behavioral perspectives across the lifespan. The Movement Science program achieves their mission by offering a diversified program that includes introductory and advanced coursework, research, and laboratory experiences. Success is evaluated by the academic and professional placement of graduates.

 

Program Overview

The Movement Science major comprises coursework that emphasizes the causes and consequences of human movement from biomechanical, motor control and development, and physiological perspectives. The requirements include courses both in and outside of Kinesiology.

The Movement Science curriculum emphasizes competencies in these areas:

  1. The three areas of Movement Science: Biomechanics, Motor Control, and Exercise Physiology;
  2. Research;
  3. Scientific communication, including oral, written, and graphic skills;
  4. Computer literacy.

Students will gain these competencies by mastering concepts in courses, by exposure to research in laboratory sections of courses and in independent study and research courses.
 

Sample 4-Year Curriculum

MVS Sample Curriculum 2014-15
MVS Sample Curriculum 2013-14
MVS Sample Curriculum 2012-13
MVS Sample Curriculum 2011-12
MVS Sample Curriculum 2010-11

Alumni Spotlight

Tamara Christiansen (MOVESCI 1992)
Chiropractor, Ann Arbor Family Chiropractic
 

I always had an interest in both sports and health, and the Kinesiology program had interesting classes pertaining to both. Also, it was the best choice for me to prepare myself for chiropractic college as the final stage of my education.

After graduating from U-M Kinesiology I attended Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa and graduated in 1996 with a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree.

The Movement Science curriculum was a great introduction for the chiropractic degree that followed. Most of the prerequisites I needed to start at Palmer College were completed when I received my Kinesiology degree.

The Movement Science program is a great place to start if you are interested in a career in health care. Also, anyone who is interested in chiropractic as a career should ask a chiropractor if they can shadow them in the office for an afternoon. A short stint in an office setting can give you a great idea if this is the profession for you.


Jennifer Lixey Hankinson (MOVESCI 2007)
State Coordinator, Michigan Strategic National Stockpile & Cities Readiness Initiative
Michigan Department of Community Health, Office of Public Health Preparedness


My love for sports, medicine, and learning about the human body led me to Kinesiology. While in Kinesiology, I found an interest in neuromuscular diseases, which ultimately led to my passion for epidemiology and public health preparedness.

There are many new and interesting fields in preparedness planning that have emerged in the public and private sector over the past ten years, specifically in homeland security and emergency management since the attacks of 9/11. Kinesiology taught me that out of the ordinary career opportunities do exist, and following our passion for learning will ultimately lead us to opportunities we may not have otherwise known about.

Kinesiology opened the door to different career paths in the health arena. The Kinesiology curriculum allows students to obtain the necessary pre-requisites for a variety of graduate programs while taking classes that incorporate sports and exercise. Kinesiology provided me with the flexibility to take classes in multiple of fields of study while an undergraduate, to include courses at the School of Public Health, where I eventually found my passion.


Allison Mankowski (MOVESCI 2007)
Sports Dietician, Eastern Michigan University
 

The Movement Science major was great preparation for graduate school. I received a Masters in Public Health in Human Nutrition/Dietetics from the U-M School of Public Health and completed a Dietetic Internship through the School of Public Health in order to become a Registered Dietitian.

As an undergraduate, I transferred into the School of Kinesiology from LSA my sophomore year hoping to pursue pre-medicine. I chose to transfer because the classes offered through Kinesiology were much more appealing than those in LSA and it seemed like they would better prepare me for a career in a health related field.

Although I ended up changing my plans from pre-med, to physical therapy, to nutrition throughout my three years in Movement Science, the program would have prepared me for any of these careers. Learning the fundamentals of how the body works in the exercise science, motor control and biomechanics classes, in addition to general science classes helped provide me with the background information needed in my current field. Having studied Movement Science is also a great advantage now that physical activity is becoming such a big part of our field.

My experience in Kinesiology was great. Transferring was one of the best decisions I ever made. I loved the people (peers, faculty, staff) and the classes. For students considering Movement Science, I recommend getting experience in the career field you are considering. If I had not, I would probably be in physical therapy school and not nearly as happy as I am now. Also, don't be afraid to look into careers that really tie into your interests, even if they are not the typical MVS careers. There is so much you can do with a degree in Movement Science -- don't be afraid to explore the options!

Courses

Sample MOVESCI Course Offerings

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Human Musculoskeletal Anatomy
  • Motor Control
  • Exercise, Nutrition, and Weight Control
  • Biomechanics

Browse the Course Catalog