The Kinesiology Department is a great place to learn about science, research and the human body as they relate to health. Students in each of our majors share the desire to help the general population stay healthy, become educated about various health practices and be able to design programs to help regain function and mobility following injury, illness, or disease. We have three majors, Exercise and Movement Science (EMS), Health Promotion and Health Equity (HPHE) and Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE). Our students generally head to graduate school in various allied health professions including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Medical School or Public Health and these fields recognize the educational opportunities that accompany studying abroad.
Broadening your perspective about health, health care systems and culture in an international setting would be incredibly valuable for your future profession. The study abroad experience will help you to gain insight about your own beliefs and challenge you to consider the influence of contributing variables that are unique to a new and different setting. The programs recommended on this advising page were selected in cooperation with the International Academic Programs (IAP). Even if there aren’t specific Kinesiology courses offered by your desired abroad program, there are a lot of opportunities for personal and professional growth in the experience that would benefit your education.
On this advising page, there are programs that have preapproved courses for your elective credits and a tentative plan for studying abroad and your UW-Madison coursework.
Information for Prospective Major Students
Undeclared students considering a major in the Department of Kinesiology: You should be able to study abroad in any semester! Be sure to meet with an advisor beforehand to do some careful planning as there are a number of classes that are requisites to be eligible for a few of our majors. If you are able to fit the requisites into your plan, then your abroad experience, reflection of your learning, and unique perspective would strengthen your application. Once accepted or declared in our majors, there is still time to study abroad.
Students apply for the Exercise and Movement Science major the Spring semester of their Sophomore year and it is highly recommended to speak with a School of Education Advisor about eligibility and the application process. Large science requisites to the EMS degree program include biology, chemistry, physics and Kines 119: Introduction to Kinesiology. The degree includes Liberal Arts, a Science Core, Kinesiology Core, Electives and a Kinesiology Communication B class. A study abroad program in the summer of your first or second year could be a good option if these requisites are part of your academic plan.
Major Course Considerations
Our department is willing to review courses ahead of time and be able to identify whether courses can count as electives towards the major.
There are a number of Kinesiology core courses that should be taken in our Department and these include:
- Kines 119: Intro to Kines
- Kines 300: Practicum in Kines
- Kines 314: Physiology of Exercise
- Kines 318: Biomechanics of Human Movement
- Kines 330: Research in Kines
- Kines 350: Intro to Exercise Psychology
- Kines 361: Motor Learning & Performance
- Comm B requirement: One of the following, Kines 355, 521, or 600
- Some of the Science Core and elective classes for the major can be taken abroad.
While studying abroad, or away you may choose to take up to two electives.
Mapping your Study Abroad Experience
The general recommendation for going abroad is to plan for the Spring of Junior Year and to go wherever you are most interested! Our curriculum is flexible and if there is some planning ahead, we can be sure you get your degree requirements so that you don’t have to delay time to graduation. Most abroad equivalencies come in as a specific Kinesiology elective and these are part of the 11 credits of electives for the major. It is not recommended to take any of the Kinesiology Core courses or the Comm B degree requirement outside of our department. If you go abroad the spring of your Junior year, you will need to take the 5 credits of anatomy (lecture and lab) either over the summer or the Fall of your Senior year. There are many good options for finding abroad programs that include Kinesiology coursework listed on this page and they include Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
Summer Freshman or Sophomore years
Fall Junior Year
2 Kines Core classes
Spring Junior Year
Kines elective(s) abroad
Summer Junior Year
ANAT&PHY 337 &/or 338
OR Kines elective
OR Kines Core class
Fall Senior Year
2 Kines Core classes
Spring Senior Year
2 Kines Core classes
Questions to Ask
To Ask Your Academic Advisor in the Department of Kinesiology
Exercise Movement Science (Morgan Shields: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- What classes must I complete for my degree (breadth/depth, major requirements, etc.)?
- Do I need to be on UW-Madison’s campus for any courses in my major?
- How many electives do I have outside of my major?
- Do I need to choose a program that offers Kinesiology courses?
- Can I take any remaining Liberal Arts classes abroad?
To Ask Your Study Abroad Advisor
- What may be some programs that fit with my interests?
- What are the costs associated with study abroad?
- How does financial aid work when studying abroad?
- What scholarships are available for studying abroad?
- What are the factors that may influence which program I choose given that there are so many choices for programs that allow me to take liberal studies and electives?
- What classes can I take abroad?
- How and when do I select courses for my program?
- When will I know course equivalents for my program?
- What is the class structure like abroad?
- How do programs differ in the types of intercultural opportunities or living situations offered?
Identifying programs that are right for you
Consider programs that are a good fit for your interests and what you want to get out of your international experience. Kinesiology students may choose to study in virtually any study abroad program! Some students choose programs with a focus on Kinesiology while others choose their program because it has a focus on health education, community health and development or has an internship opportunity in health.
The following are study abroad programs focused around themes that can be directly related to Kinesiology. These programs may include internships, fieldwork or directed study opportunities. This is not an exhaustive list. Please explore all of your many options with IAP and find the program that fits your interests best!
If you are looking for a semester program that may allow you to enroll in Kinesiology coursework with local students from the host country OR with other US students, consider:
Australia: Macquarie University Exchange
Denmark: DIS Copenhagen
England: University of Leeds Exchange
England: University of Westminster
New Zealand: Massey University Exchange
Scotland: University of Glasgow Exchange
If you are looking for a summer program that has a focus on health and community development and allows you to travel with a UW faculty member and a group of UW students, consider:
Austria: UW Obesity and Health
Costa Rica: UW Teambuilding in Costa Rica
Ecuador: UW Wellbeing through Indigenous Knowledge and Environmental Health
Ghana: UW Ghanaian Health & Food Systems: Human, Agricultural & Environmental Health
Ireland: UW Inclusive Physical Activity & Sports in Ireland
Nepal: UW Global Health, Community Health and Health Disparity
Portugal: UW Movement as Medicine in Portugal
Sri Lanka: UW Global Health, Community Health, and Asset-based Community Development in Sri Lanka
Tanzania: UW Health, Education, & Tanzanian Culture
Uganda: UW Agriculture, Health & Nutrition in Uganda
Uganda: UW Mobile Clinics & Health Care
If you are looking for a semester program that focuses on health and community development, possibly with an internship opportunity or directed research project, consider:
Botswana: CIEE Community Public Health
Chile: SIT Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment
France: UW in Paris
Ghana: CIEE in Ghana
Jordan: SIT Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action
Senegal: UMN MSID International Development in Senegal
South Africa: SIT Community Health and Social Policy
United States: UW Wisconsin in Washington