New kinesiology degrees appeal to working professionals

The kinesiology program at Fresno Pacific University is expanding on 10 years of success with two new degree options.

The first cohorts of the Master of Arts in Athletic Training and Master of Arts in Sport Administration are set to begin in May 2016. Both degrees can be earned completely online, with the athletic training program being perhaps the only one of its kind, according to Jim Ave, Ph.D., ATC, program director and associate professor of kinesiology.

Each degree is 30 units and is designed to take 13 months to complete. Potential students are already in or wish to enter athletics at the college level.

The M.A. in Athletic Training is a post-professional graduate program. Candidates will have already completed their bachelor’s degrees and the classwork to become a board-certified athletic trainer and passed, or be eligible to take, the certification examination. “They’re already allied health professionals working in their field and they want to advance their preparation,” Ave said.

Classes focus on:

  • Evidence-based practices

  • Advanced therapeutic exercise

  • Advanced administration

  • Athletic training education

The M.A. in Sport Administration is for people who want to be athletic directors or hold other positions on the business side of athletics. While high schools don’t always require athletic directors to have a master’s degree, colleges and most professional sports do, Ave said.

Coursework emphasizes:

  • Career development

  • Financial/revenue development

  • Sports sales/sponsorship

  • Leadership

Both programs had been emphases in the kinesiology program. Expanding to separate degrees better serves the many coaches, physical education teachers, athletic trainers and others FPU is attracting who want to enhance their careers, Ave said.

Since the kinesiology program began in 2005, at least 250 students have completed M.A.s, with about 80 enrolled as of January 2016. “It opens up the door to specific areas of employment,” Ave said.

More about FPU graduate kinesiology at