Jun 15, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 
USC Catalogue 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Biokinesiology (MS)

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Graduate study for the Master of Science in Biokinesiology is open to individuals who have a bachelor’s degree and who have a strong interest in movement science.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements include a superior grade point average in cumulative undergraduate and graduate course work (if applicable). Applicants should score at least 150 in each area of the Graduate Record Examinations. Applicants are to provide the department with three letters of recommendation. The faculty may request a personal interview before making a decision on admission. Admission will be considered for the fall semester only. The application deadline is November 1. All applicants should contact the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy for advisement.


The prerequisite for applicants to the Master of Science program in biokinesiology is either: (a) a bachelor’s degree or higher with a science major or equivalent; or (b) a bachelor’s or master’s degree in physical therapy with appropriate basic science content. Courses completed at the time of application must include work (with appropriate laboratory study) in chemistry, physics, calculus and biology. Highly recommended is course work in anatomy, physiology, histology, kinesiology, trigonometry, neuroscience, analytical geometry, exercise physiology, biochemistry and computer programming. Applicants with no background in cellular or molecular biology may be required to take PT 509  in the entry-level DPT program. Candidates should have some degree of computer literacy. International applicants will be considered on a special evaluation of credentials.

Students deficient in certain prerequisites may be admitted subject to completion of requirements within two years after admission. An additional year may be granted upon review of the student’s program by a faculty committee. Work in any prerequisite subjects will not be part of the required units for the Master of Science.

Degree Requirements

Completion of the degree requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of 32 credits of course work at the 500 level or above, a research project (BKN 559  and BKN 590 ), and a summative experience.

Required Courses

Select 2 of the 3 required core discipline focus areas of Biokinesiology: BKN 550, BKN 551 and BKN 552.

Additional Requirements

Students must complete the biokinesiology core courses before sitting for their comprehensive examination. Substituting a course for one of the core courses may be allowed after receiving approval from the Biokinesiology Program Committee prior to the beginning of the course.

In order to fulfill the research project requirement, the following plan is suggested; however, each plan can be individualized based on the needs of the student and/or adviser:

  1. Select a research professor (from the department) whose work interests them. This should be done by the end of the first year of study.
  2. After receiving the professor’s approval, sign up for BKN 559  (4 units) and complete a semester reading the literature pertinent to the professor’s work.
  3. The following semester, sign up for BKN 590  (4 units) and participate in an ongoing research project that is being conducted by the professor. The research paper must be completed within the semester for which BKN 590  units are being given.

See the Doctor of Philosophy in Biokinesiology  section for a list of courses available to MS students.

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