Master's in Movement Science

Program Overview


Students who pursue a Master of Science in Movement Science study human movement in depth from different perspectives. Our graduate faculty are leading scholars in several movement-related areas including exercise physiology, motor control and development, biomechanics, and sport-related injury prevention.

In addition to coursework, our program provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable and relevant research experience focused on topics such as obesity, diabetes, mechanisms and prevention of joint injury, concussion, movement-based rehabilitation, and learning and adaptation of motor behavior across the lifespan.

Graduate training often involves collaborations with other units on campus including engineering, psychology, public health and medicine. An important aspect of our program is the flexibility in course selection and research areas which allow students to tailor their program of study to fit individual interests. Graduates are well-prepared to pursue doctoral research studies, professional health care programs including medicine and rehabilitation, health and wellness, as well as positions in the private and public sector.

  • Master's students getting hands on experience
Top 5 reasons
to Get a Master’s Degree in Movement Science at Michigan
Excellent preparation for health/research careers
Small class sizes
Flexible course selection
Participate in cutting-edge research
Internationally-recognized faculty
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About Our
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February
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Learn more about our MS in Movement Science Program:

Movement Science Master's Curriculum

Degree Requirements

Students in the Master of Science in Movement Science program must:

  • Complete a minimum of 30 credit hours for the MS degree;
  • Complete KINESLGY 615 (Philosophy of Science in Kinesiology Research);
  • Complete one graduate-level research statistics course outside of Kinesiology;
  • Elect at least 9 hours of Kinesiology course work. Five of these may be for independent research (e.g. KINESLGY 684), practicum experience, or internships (e.g. KINESLGY 680 and 686);

The courses you take will vary, depending on your educational goals.  Courses taken for graduate credit will carry MOVESCI or KINESLGY program codes, and are numbered 500 and above.

Browse only KINESLGY courses in the Course Catalog

Browse only MOVESCI courses in the Course Catalog

Browse entire Course Catalog

Thesis Option

A student with a B+ average for the first twelve credit hours of graduate work will be permitted to proceed with writing a master’s thesis. In addition to a thesis advisor, the student must have two other faculty members serve on his/her thesis committee. Students considering writing a thesis are strongly encouraged to discuss possible topics with potential thesis advisors soon after entering the program.

Movement Science Graduate Faculty

Our Movement Science graduate faculty are leaders in their fields, and have a variety of interests and specialties. Here's a list:

  • Steven Broglio, PhD: Sports medicine: mild traumatic brain injury prevention, biomechanics, assessment, and treatment, postural control.
  • Susan Brown, PhD: Motor coordination, Aging, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Rehabilitation.
  • Greg Cartee, PhD: Exercise, diet, and age effects on insulin signaling and glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle.
  • Weiyun Chen, PhD: Innovative and technology-enhanced physical activity interventions; determinants of developing physically active habits; impact of physical activities on physical and psychosocial health and brain cognitions.
  • Natalie Colabianchi, PhD: The role of environments and policies in facilitating physical activity behavior in children and adults. She is also interested in physical activity measurement, including accelerometry and direct observation.
  • Deanna Gates, PhD: Biomechanics, rehabilitation, prosthetic and orthotics, control of repetitive movements, nonlinear dynamics.
  • Melissa Gross, PhD: Biomechanics; expression of emotion and mood disorders in body movements; impact of action-based learning activities on student learning outcomes.
  • Rebecca Hasson, PhD: Causes and consequences of childhood obesity in multiethnic populations.
  • Jacob Haus, PhD: Protein metabolism and skeletal muscle function with aging, as well as glucose and lipid metabolism with obesity, diabetes, and aging.
  • Jeff Horowitz, PhD: Regulation of fuel mobilization and oxidation and the impact of this regulation on human health.
  • Lindsey Lepley, PhD, ATC: Therapeutic approaches to combat the negative neuromuscular effects that follow traumatic joint injury; effects of ACL injury on neuromuscular function in a rodent model; ability of exercise to promote muscle and joint health.
  • David Lipps, PhD: Biomechanics; musculoskeletal imaging; injury mechanisms; upper extremity injuries; rehabilitation.
  • Andrew Ludlow, PhD: Telomeres, telomerase, alternative splicing regulation, chromatin biology, miRNAs, RNA biology, diseases of aging, and cancer.
  • Riann Palmieri-Smith, PhD: Neuromuscular consequences of joint injury relating to arthrogenic muscle inhibition; mechanisms of post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
  • Lori Ploutz-Snyder, PhD (Professor and Dean of the School): Integrative exercise physiology. Physiologic adaptations to long term disuse including spaceflight, bed rest and deconditioning, exercise training to maintain physical function in astronauts and clinical populations, fitness thresholds required for optimal physical task performance.
  • Leah Robinson, PhD: 1) Assessment of motor performance and physical activity along with the implementation of evidence-based interventions to maximize physical activity, motor skills, and physical health and development in pediatric populations; 2) The effect of evidence-based interventions on school/academic readiness and cognitive outcomes.
  • Thomas Templin, PhD: Templin’s academic research/ scholarship has focused on role and socialization theory. Specifically, he has examined socialization processes linked to pre-service and in-service teachers alike.
  • Dale Ulrich, PhD: Motor behavior and development in infants and children with Down syndrome and autism; assessment of motor behavior and performance in children; designing and testing interventions to maximize physical activity, motor skill development, community participation, and quality of life in children with Down syndrome and autism.
  • Brian Umberger, PhD: Biomechanics, energetics, computer modeling and simulation, optimal control
  • Michael Vesia, PhD: Cognitive Psychology, Neuropsychology, Cognitive Science
  • Ron Zernicke, PhD: Functional adaptation of bone to physiological stimuli (exercise, disuse, diet, and disease); joint injury and post-traumatic osteoarthritis; biomechanical mechanisms underlying control of normal and pathological movements.

Alumni Spotlight

Taritonye B. Burutolu (MS 2010)


Continuing on from the undergraduate program to the comprehensive MS program in Kinesiology was an undeniably great decision for me. Not only because I could continue my world-class U-M Kinesiology experience, but also because the MS program allowed me to shape my education in a way that best fit my career goals and interests. Through this program, I've collaborated with students and faculty, conducted research, and learned more about Kinesiology and myself than I could have imagined. My experience here at U-M Kinesiology’s graduate program simply cannot be duplicated elsewhere—it's truly unique.

Forms & Bulletins

Bulletins contain important information about graduate study in the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology. They provide key information about academic program requirements, rules, and regulations of our School. Please also consult U-M’s Rackham School of Graduate Studies website at www.rackham.umich.edu for more expansive and detailed information.