Kinesiology and Physical Education

Why study Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Maine?

KPE majors have outstanding opportunities for professional development in an ideal location. The Appalachian Trail, lakes, hiking trails and the Atlantic Ocean are all within an easy drive of campus, providing many venues to study and practice in the field. UMaine’s KPE faculty are known for their expertise in fitness, obesity and athletic performance. KPE majors have the opportunity to work within the College of Education and Human Development community, yet take advantage of the vast resources available at Maine’s largest and most comprehensive university. Students in the College of Education and Human Development also have the option of studying in the Honors College, which offers intensive work in small classes, as well as the chance to pursue undergraduate research. They also have the option of minoring in Innovation Engineering. This program allows students to create, communicate and realize/commercialize unique ideas in their field.

What can I do with a degree in KPE?

The kinesiology and physical education major offers students a diverse range of choices, including courses in laboratory science, business, outdoor recreation and education. This prepares them for equally diverse options after graduation. Some graduates go on to medical school or pursue graduate study in other health-related disciplines. Others find careers in allied health or the private health and fitness industry. Some of our graduates choose to work in outdoor recreation, and the major prepares them to sit for the rigorous Maine Guide certification, while others gain certification to teach and coach in K-12 schools.

Our undergraduate program

KPE majors enjoy a combination of classroom and hands-on learning through laboratories, internships or student-teaching experience. Within the degree program, students can choose between three concentrations: exercise science, outdoor leadership, or teaching and coaching. Students in exercise science can choose from several tracks, including laboratory science, which prepares students for graduate programs in allied health. The outdoor leadership concentration, which includes a minor in outdoor leadership requires students to earn no less than four national certifications, including Wilderness First Responder. Students in the teaching/coaching concentration can become certified to teach K-12 physical education and health.

Our faculty

UMaine’s KPE faculty are known for their expertise in fitness, adapted physical education, exercise physiology and comparative physiology. This informs their classroom teaching, allowing UMaine students to learn from the most respected and innovative thinkers in the field.

Opportunities to excel

UMaine is the state’s largest research institution, and our undergraduates are able to work alongside faculty on groundbreaking studies. A unique option is the Logan 3+3 program, which allows KPE students to spend three years at UMaine and three years at Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, MO. When they complete their studies, they earn a degree and license in chiropractic medicine. The outdoor education minor offers hands-on experience in paddle sports, climbing wall instruction and challenge course facilitation. This minor also prepares students to sit for the rigorous Maine Guide exam offered by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. UMaine’s Health Professions Office offers close advising and career counseling for students interested in applying to medical school.

Tuition and fees

For the latest information on undergraduate tuition and fees, please visit the University of Maine Bursar’s Office.

I’m ready to apply. Where do I go?

Visit for an application, as well as information about academics and life at UMaine.

“All of my professors and advisers throughout my undergrad were extremely supportive and motivating. They pushed me every day to be better, and to actually want to be better. The entire department wants to put each student in the right position to succeed, and I feel that they do an amazing job with that.” — Oscar Degnan, class of 2018, Bangor, Maine, kinesiology and physical education major.