UC Davis Kinesiology

Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

UC Davis Kinesiology is an online information guide for prospective students of kinesiology at UC Davis. Be informed so you can enroll to the program that will bring you success. The Complete Kinesiology Program at UC Davis is a top-rated program that offers rigorous undergraduate preparation for careers in medicine, physical therapy, and other health related fields as well as graduate programs leading to MS/PhD degrees.

Collegelearners is the right stop for you to obtain all the relevant information you need on UC Davis exercise science, UC Davis majors, UC Davis minors, UC Davis exercise biology, UC Davis tuition, amongst many others. Be sure to visit our catalog for more information on related topics. You don’t want to miss this.

what is uC davis known for

Here for the UC Davis Kinesiology guide? Check out UC Davis kinesiology graduate program and UC Davis acceptance statistics. The Department of Kinesiology at the University of California, Davis is one of the top departments in the United States. It offers a multidisciplinary approach to understanding human movement and its relation to health, fitness and performance.

The department is made up of more than 50 faculty members who are leaders in their fields. They conduct research on topics ranging from biomechanics to motor control and plasticity to exercise physiology. The department has been ranked first among all academic institutions in NIH funding for over 20 years. The department also has an extensive outreach program that includes classes for community members who want to learn more about how movement impacts their health and well-being.

The UC Davis Department of Kinesiology is the largest department in the College of Biological Sciences, with approximately 60 faculty members, 250 graduate students and 150 undergraduate majors. The department offers both a B.S. and a Ph.D. degree in kinesiology.

Our mission is to support and enhance the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities through research, education and service. We do this by providing excellent instruction that includes an emphasis on the scientific principles underlying current practices in kinesiology; by conducting research to advance our understanding of human movement; by disseminating information through teaching and public service; by providing professional services to people who need help with their health or their performance; and by contributing to society through community service activities.

The department has extensive laboratory facilities for studying human movement from both a mechanical engineering perspective (physical systems) as well as from biological perspectives (human systems). Core courses include biomechanics (the study of how muscles work), exercise physiology (the study of how physical activity affects your body), motor learning (how people learn new skills), sports psychology (how athletes think about themselves), exercise prescription (how exercise should be prescribed for different individuals), exercise prescription for special populations such as children and older adults, nutrition science.

uC davis kinesiology graduate program


uC davis kinesiology graduate program

Does UC Davis have a kinesiology major?


UC Davis does not provide any program for a major in the course for kinesiology. The university provides various courses for the students to choose for their majors and minors, along with several programs in professional and graduate courses. The field in which the university provides courses for the various degree levels incudes, Agriculture and Environmental Studies, Biology and Life Sciences, Business, Communications, Engineering and Computer Science, Ethnic and Area Studies, Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Sciences, Foreign Language and Literature, Health, Humanities. Mathematics, Performing and Fine Arts, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences.

A few programs for the graduate degree and majors provided by the university include subjects like child development, chemistry, business administration, biophysics, biostatistics, art, energy systems, education, English, entomology, geography, German, and many other courses as such.

The major in kinesiology course contains a number of different concepts related to the courses provided at the university, and they are very closely related to Motor behavior, Exercise physiology, Biomechanics, Neuroscience, among a few others.

To know more about the courses related to Kinesiology, click on this article: Kinesiology Courses and Classes Overview

Kinesiology is the scientific study of human body movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, biomechanical, and psychological principles and mechanisms of movement. Applications of kinesiology to human health include biomechanics and orthopedics; strength and conditioning; sport psychology; motor control; skill acquisition and motor learning; methods of rehabilitation, such as physical and occupational therapy; and sport and exercise physiology. Studies of human and animal motion include measures from motion tracking systems, electrophysiology of muscle and brain activity, various methods for monitoring physiological function, and other behavioral and cognitive research techniques.

The word comes from the Greek κίνησις kínēsis, ‘movement’ (itself from κινέω kinéō, ‘to move’), and -λογία -logía, ‘study’.


Kinesiology is the study of human movement, performance, and function by applying the sciences of Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Nutrition, Anatomy, Biomechanics, Biomathematics, Biostatistics, and Neuroscience. Applications of kinesiology include physical education, rehabilitation, health and safety, health promotion, workplaces, sport and exercise industries. A bachelor’s degree in kinesiology can provide strong preparation for graduate study in biomedical research, as well as in professional programs, such as medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.

Whereas the term “kinesiologist” is neither a licensed nor professional designation in the United States nor most countries (with the exception of Canada), individuals with training in this area can teach physical education, work as personal trainers and sport coaches, provide consulting services, conduct research and develop policies related to rehabilitation, human motor performance, ergonomics, and occupational health and safety. In North America, kinesiologists may study to earn a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, or Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Kinesiology or a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree, while in Australia or New Zealand, they are often conferred an Applied Science (Human Movement) degree (or higher). Many doctoral level faculty in North American kinesiology programs received their doctoral training in related disciplines, such as neuroscience, mechanical engineering, psychology, and physiology.

In 1965, the University of Massachusetts Amherst created the United States’ first Department of Exercise Science (now called Kinesiology) under the leadership of visionary researchers and academicians in the field of exercise science. In 1967, the University of Waterloo launched Canada’s first kinesiology department.


Adaptation through exercise

Summary of long-term adaptations to regular aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise can cause several central cardiovascular adaptations, including an increase in stroke volume (SV) and maximal aerobic capacity (VO2 max), as well as a decrease in resting heart rate (RHR).Long-term adaptations to resistance training, the most common form of anaerobic exercise, include muscular hypertrophy,an increase in the physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) of muscle(s), and an increase in neural drive,both of which lead to increased muscular strength. Neural adaptations begin more quickly and plateau prior to the hypertrophic response.

Adaptation through exercise is a key principle of kinesiology that relates to improved fitness in athletes as well as health and wellness in clinical populations. Exercise is a simple and established intervention for many movement disorders and musculoskeletal conditions due to the neuroplasticity of the brain and the adaptability of the musculoskeletal system.Therapeutic exercise has been shown to improve neuromotor control and motor capabilities in both normaland pathological populations.

There are many different types of exercise interventions that can be applied in kinesiology to athletic, normal, and clinical populations. Aerobic exercise interventions help to improve cardiovascular endurance.Anaerobic strength training programs can increase muscular strength,power,and lean body mass. Decreased risk of falls and increased neuromuscular control can be attributed to balance intervention programs.Flexibility programs can increase functional range of motion and reduce the risk of injury.

As a whole, exercise programs can reduce symptoms of depression and risk of cardiovascularand metabolic diseases. Additionally, they can help to improve quality of life, sleeping habits, immune system function,and body composition.

The study of the physiological responses to physical exercise and their therapeutic applications is known as exercise physiology, which is an important area of research within kinesiology.

uC davis acceptance statistics


Physical Therapy Schools Ranked By Price

If you’re looking for an inexpensive physical therapy school, I suggest starting with your home state. Broadly speaking, state schools offer some of the lowest tuition rates to resident students. 

Not all states have inexpensive PT programs, though, so I made this list to showcase schools with below-average tuition rates for both in- and out-of-state students.

Remember, these rates reflect the minimum tuition cost and are subject to change. Plus, many universities charge additional fees anywhere from $1,000-20,000 on top of the total tuition. When selecting a program, make sure you account for PT-specific departmental fees.

10. Northern Arizona University

Best PT School Arizona

The first school on the list is Northern Arizona University, which comprises two campuses – Flagstaff and Phoenix. The application process is streamlined for both campuses, so you don’t need to worry about applying to both if you have no residential preference. Wherever you study, you’ll benefit from NAU’s award-winning physical therapy faculty – and their graduates’ 100% employment rate.

For 98 credit hours over 7 semesters, here’s what you’d pay:

ResidencyTuition/SemesterTotal Program Tuition
Arizona state$5,084$35,594

9. University of Iowa

university of Iowa DPT

The University of Iowa’s physical therapy program has been ranked 4th in US News & World Reports’ Best Grad Schools, tied with Northwestern and USC. (Though, if you want to hear what I honestly think about school rankings, read this article!) Those other two schools, while on-par with its program, can’t compete with UI’s affordability. Whether or not you hail from Iowa, you’ll get a bargain on top-notch DPT training in one of the largest university-owned teaching hospitals in the country.https://346417223206b73b4e69ac75602b00e1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

For 124 credits over 8 semesters, here’s what you’d pay, including fees:

ResidencyTuition/YearTotal Program Tuition
Iowa State$17,304$43,260

8. University of Rhode Island

What began as an agricultural school on farm-owned property in 1892 is now a major, multi-site research university and one of the most beautiful coastal colleges nationwide. URI’s DPT program includes three years of standard training as well as a unique opportunity to practice therapy in an underserved country. To top it off, URI offers three affordable tuition rates, including a regional discount for New England residents.  

Here’s how much 3 years of 112 credit hours will cost:

ResidencyTuition/YearTotal Program Tuition
Rhode Island state$14,096$42,288
New England$21,144$63,432

7. Wichita State University

wichita state dpt

URI isn’t the only school with regional tuition rates. Several states qualify for discounted tuition to Kansas’s Wichita State University, making its DPT program affordable to students across the Midwest. The astounding value you get from this Shocker school goes beyond its price point, however. 100% of DPT grads are employed within six months – likely due to the holistic, patient-centered approach they learned from WSU’s interprofessional education. https://346417223206b73b4e69ac75602b00e1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Here’s what their 3-year, 124-credit program costs:

ResidencyTuition/Credit HourTotal Program Tuition
Kansas state$308$38,189
Plains or Midwest$462$57,288

6. Arkansas State University

arkansas state DPT

Another school in the midwest worth your money is Arkansas State in Jonesboro. Although ASU boasts over 14,000 students across 11 academic colleges, you’d be one of just 30 students in the DPT program, working closely with internationally-recognized faculty and staff. Furthermore, ASU offers an international rate that is as affordable as out-of-state tuition; so whether you’re a continental neighbor or hail from farther abroad, you’ll feel at home at Arkansas State.

For 106 credits over 3 years, here’s what you’d pay:

ResidencyTuition/Credit HourTotal Program Tuition
Arkansas state$333$35,298
Out-of-state / international$666$70,596

5. University of Tennessee Chattanooga

chattanooga dpt

If you live in Tennessee, you can’t go wrong with UTC’s physical therapy program. Graduates demonstrate a 100% first-time pass rate on the National Physical Therapy exam and a resulting 100% employment rate within one year of graduation. (Honestly, these are the stats that matter – not school rankings.) Before graduating, you can opt to complete your clinical studies in one of hundreds of UTC-contracted facilities across the US – but considering the culture and beauty of Chattanooga, you just might choose to stay. This low-cost, high-value DPT experience is a steal no matter where you reside; the out-of-state tuition is among the lowest on this list, and neighboring residents of select Alabama and Georgia regions qualify for an additional discount. https://346417223206b73b4e69ac75602b00e1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Here’s the price breakdown for 120 credit hours over 8 semesters:

ResidencyTuition/SemesterTotal Program Tuition
Tennessee state$5,135$41,080
AL/GA regions$7,151$57,208

4. East Carolina University

East Carolina University DPT

Nearby North Carolinians should consider the DPT program at East Carolina University, where in-state tuition is just over 20k total – that’s crazy cheap! However, saving so much money on tuition won’t cheat you on career-preparedness: 100% of ECU grads pass the National Physical Therapy Exam and find employment within just six months of graduating. In addition to the DPT program, you just may fall in love with the setting: the coastal plain and tidewaters of the Carolinas. All in all, the DPT program at ECU is a prime contender for a quality education at – if you live in NC – an unbeatable price.

For 106 credits over 9 semesters, here’s how much you’d pay:

ResidencyTuition/SemesterTotal Program Tuition
North Carolina$2,374$21,366

3. University of Texas El Paso

Best Texas Physical Therapy School

Moving further south, you’ll find the temperature rising – but not the cost of a PT education. The following three Texas schools provide some of the lowest tuition rates in the country to residents down in the Lone Star State. Right on the border with Mexico, University of Texas El Paso offers a unique setting for your DPT among students and patients of diverse backgrounds. Other perks include access to an extensive simulation center, a broad emphasis on interprofessional education, and the opportunity to work in multi-lingual clinics. Taken together, the offerings at UTEP have equipped 100% of their DPT candidates to pass the National Physical Therapy exam and find employment within a year.https://346417223206b73b4e69ac75602b00e1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Here’s how much 3 years and 99 credits cost:

ResidencyTuition/YearTotal Program Tuition

2. Texas Women’s University

texas womens dpt

For more Texan tuition savings, take a look at the DPT program at TWU. Located in Denton, the now coeducational Texas Women’s University is an excellent choice for prospective DPTs of various demographics and strengths. Students interested in neurologic therapy can complete their clinical residency at TWU’s Institute of Health Sciences in nearby Dallas or further south in Houston, home of the nation’s largest medical center. With TWU, you’ll be getting a Texas-sized value at a bargain price, in-state or out-of-state.

Here’s how little you’d pay for 98 credits over 8 semesters:

ResidencyTuition/Credit HourTotal Program Tuition
Texas state$280$27,508

And Now – The Cheapest PT School 

1. U.S. Army-Baylor Program at Baylor University

baylor DPT army

The #1 cheapest Physical Therapy program is the Army-Baylor DPT at San Antonio’s Baylor University – and it’s actually free. How so? By enlisting in the army, you can earn a Doctorate of Physical Therapy without incurring a single dollar of tuition debt. (Note that Baylor has a separate DPT degree which would cost you over 100 grand.)

Baylor instituted the Army-Baylor program in 1971, after nearly 50 years of training physical therapists to aid injured US soldiers. Now a fully-accredited DPT, the Army-Baylor program offers you both the training and the 100% employment rate you’d get from other schools on this list without costing tens of thousands of dollars. If you can acquiesce to basic training and a few years of army enlistment, the Army-Baylor DPT is absolutely worth a look.

The University of California, Davis is a public research university located in the city of Davis, California. The campus is approximately 5 miles from Sacramento and 60 miles from San Francisco.

UC Davis is consistently ranked as one of the top public universities in the United States and the world. It is currently ranked 29th in the world by U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Global University Rankings and 21st among public institutions by Washington Monthly. In 2018-19, UC Davis was ranked 2nd among all American universities by Forbes magazine on its annual list of America’s Top Colleges. The university has also been recognized by Times Higher Education as one of the best universities in the world under 50 years old, ranking 4th among all universities globally in 2016.

The school’s sports teams compete in NCAA Division I athletics with the exception of football (FBS). UC Davis is a member of the Big Sky Conference and offers a variety of varsity sports programs for men and women including basketball (men’s & women’s), cross country (men’s & women’s), golf (men’s & women’s), soccer (men’s & women’s), track & field (men&women), volleyball (women’s).

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