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Application and Admission: Kinesiology–Exercise and Movement Science Program

Admission to the School of Education as a Pre-Kinesiology Student

New freshmen and transfer students from off-campus are admitted directly to the School of Education with a “pre” classification that reflects their area of interest—Pre-Elementary, Pre-Kinesiology, etc. Students interested in the Exercise and Movement Science option within Kinesiology or the Athletic Training program receive a classification of PKN. This classification indicates that a student is interested in one (or both) of these programs, but hasn't completed the eligibility requirements for admission into the professional part of the undergraduate program. To be eligible for admission to the School of Education with a PKN classification, UW–Madison students must have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.5 based on UW–Madison coursework. This GPA requirement may be modified by the Last 60 Credits Rule (see below).

On-campus students wishing to be admitted to the School of Education while working on a program’s eligibility requirements can apply for admission to the School of Education by completing a pre-professional application form. However, it is not necessary to have a "pre" classification before applying to any of the School of Education's professional programs.

It is strongly recommended that students interested in a School of Education program meet with an academic advisor in Education Academic Services (EAS), 139 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1651.

Admission as a pre-professional student does not guarantee admission to the professional program.

Transitioning to the Professional Program

Students complete prerequisite coursework in liberal studies and sciences and then apply for admission to the professional program, usually during the sophomore year. Students are admitted only once a year, effective for the summer following admission. Once admitted, Exercise and Movement Science students typically spend two years completing remaining coursework.

Professional program applicants not already enrolled on the UW–Madison campus must be admissible to the University to enroll in a School of Education professional program. Thus, program admission is contingent upon admission to the campus. Admission to UW–Madison requires a separate application and admission process. See Office of Admissions and Recruitment for application information.

Requirements and selection criteria may be modified from one application/admission period to the next. Any changes to these criteria may occur up until the application period begins and will be reflected below.

Eligibility for Admission to the Professional Program—Fall 2016

To be eligible for admission, applicants must:

  • Complete at least 54 credits of college coursework by the end of the spring semester of the application year.
  • Complete the following coursework by the end of the spring semester of the application year:
    • Chemistry 103/104 or Chemistry 109 (fall semester only) or Chemistry 115/116
    • Biology 101/102 or Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Biology score of 4 or above or Biology 151/152 or Biocore 381/382. Important: Students earning Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Biology scores of 4 or 5 are given credit for Biology 151 at UW–Madison. This course fulfills the entire eligibility requirement for admission and the degree. Students taking Biology 151 coursework at UW-Madison, or transfer it from another campus, must complete both 151 and 152 to be eligible for admission and to complete the degree.
    • Kines 119 Introduction to Kinesiology
    • Physics 103 or 201 or 207 (first semester of Physics required for admission, second semester required for graduation).
  • Complete all but two of the prerequisite courses listed above by the end of the fall semester of the application year. Exception: Students enrolled in Biology 152 during the spring semester of the application year may have this course and up to two additional prerequisites above in progress during the spring semester of the application year. For this purpose, Chem 109 satisfies the full general chemistry requirement but constitutes one course. Biology 101 and 102 are counted as two courses in determining eligibility for the program.
  • Earn a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA or last 60 credits GPA by the end of the fall semester of the application year.
  • File by February 1, 2016, the materials indicated below. Applications are available in October. Off-campus students must also submit an undergraduate application to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by February 1.
    • Application form including personal statement, biographical sketch, and checklist
    • Official, non–UW–Madison transcripts
    • Two (2) letters of recommendation

Selection to the Program for Fall Semester 2016

The Admissions Committee will review application files with four key areas in mind: (1) academic qualification; (2) goals; (3) recommendation letters; and (4) other contributions.

Academic Qualifications. The Kinesiology Program seeks students with strong academic credentials. This includes cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA), course selection and trend of college grades.

Goals. The required personal statement provides an opportunity for students to express their reasons for studying kinesiology and can provide insight into the student's long-term goals.

Recommendation Letters. Thoughtful letters from teachers or employers addressing the student's interest and experience are beneficial to the selection process. Recommendation letters should provide information about a student's intellect, imagination, or diligence that is not evident in other parts of the application.

Other Contributions. The Kinesiology Program seeks students whose diverse work experience, life experience, stated goals, and cultural background are assets to the learning environment in the Kinesiology Program.

Instructions for the Personal Statement. The personal statement provides the student with an opportunity to share with the Admissions Committee personal characteristics and goals, and to give the committee insight into the student's experiences and background. The student is asked to divide the personal statement into two sections. In the first section, the student expresses his or her motivations for choosing Kinesiology as a major and how it relates to future goals in no more than 250 words. In the second section, the student reflects on how background and experiences pertain to future success as a kinesiology student and ultimately, future goals. The limit is 500 words for this section.

Application Review and Selection. Applicants for Exercise and Movement Science will compete for an identified number of admission openings assigned to this program. Each application will be reviewed by at least two academic faculty or staff from the Admissions Committee. Each committee member will independently examine and rate applicants' files on a scale of 1 (do not accept) to 5 (definitely accept) based on the criteria above. Committee members will then share and discuss their ratings and select the final cohort for admission.

Students will be provisionally accepted in April. The offer of admission will be revoked and the student withdrawn from fall Kinesiology courses (typically during July) if any of the following requirements are not met:

  • all prerequisite courses completed by the end of the spring semester of the application year
  • maintenance of a cumulative GPA or last 60-credit GPA of at least 2.75

Last 60 Credits Rule

Two grade point averages will be calculated to determine candidates' eligibility to programs. GPAs will be calculated using (1) all transferable college level coursework attempted, and (2) the last 60 credits attempted. The higher GPA of these two will be used for purposes of determining eligibility. If fewer than 60 credits have been attempted, all credits will be used to calculate the GPA. Graded graduate coursework will also be used in all GPA calculations. ("Attempted" coursework indicates coursework for which a grade has been earned.) More information on this rule is available here.

Students with a Previous Degree

Persons who already hold an undergraduate degree are admitted to the School of Education as either an Education Special student or a Second Degree student, depending on their interests and academic background. The term Special student indicates that the student has an interest in pursuing certification in a subject area studied during the initial degree; the student does not receive a degree for this "certification only" coursework. Second Degree students are seeking a second, unrelated degree from the School of Education, which may, or may not, include teacher certification. Candidates for limited enrollment programs must meet all admission eligibility requirements for the program and must compete with the eligible applicants for program admission. More information is available here.

Criminal Background Investigation and Disclosure Statement

Criminal background investigations will be conducted for all students admitted to this program. Detailed instructions on how to complete the required criminal background check will be included in offers of admission. This is not completed until after an applicant has been offered admission.

Applicants to School of Education programs that involve a practicum, internship, or other field placement must complete a disclosure statement indicating (1) whether they have been admitted to, then withdrawn from, asked to withdraw from, or been dropped from a student teaching, clinical experience, or other intern/practicum program, and (2) if they have ever been placed on probation or disciplined by any college or university for academic dishonesty.

More detailed information is available here.

Advising after Admission

Included with the offer of admission is information about mandatory spring orientation sessions for new majors, led by a departmental advisor. Sequencing of coursework and enrollment in Kinesiology courses will be addressed at these meetings. Students will be authorized to enroll in Kinesiology courses after the orientation meetings are completed. Upon formal admission to the program, advising about the major will be provided by the Department of Kinesiology. Majors are required to meet with the departmental advisor at least once per semester.