Discover the science of human movement

A group of Kinesiology students at the University of Waterloo.

Help an Olympic hopeful recover from a torn ligament. Prevent workplace injuries by improving a company’s ergonomic standards. Give a child with cerebral palsy an enhanced quality of life. Learn to prevent and treat movement-related illness and injury – and if you opt for the co-op stream, you can get 20 months of paid career experience along the way.

In addition to traditional science courses in biomechanics, neuroscience, and physiology, you’ll have five kinesiology-related minors and specializations (such as neuroscience, medical physiology, and rehabilitation sciences) and dozens of campus-wide minors to choose from. You can also include courses to prepare you for professional health programs such as medicine and physiotherapy.

Once you graduate from Waterloo's program, you'll be able to write provincial exams, such as the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario (CKO) exam.

Program highlights

Get hands-on experience in class. You'll have 20 required and optional lab experiences to choose from. Gain the practical skills to understand movement problems that occur in sports, industry, rehabilitation, and fitness.

Study anatomy in depth. Waterloo is one of Canada’s first non-medical schools to house a School of Anatomy, giving you the chance to study anatomy on real human cadavers right in your first year.


Discover if Kinesiology is right for you.


What will you learn?

First-year courses

You'll take a mix of courses from the Faculty of Health and the Faculty of Science to give you the foundations for your upper-year classes.

After first year, about half of the classes you’ll take will be Kinesiology courses.

Learn about courses you'll take for your Kinesiology degree.

Customize your degree

At the end of first year, you can choose to start one of the minors available within the program, such as

  • Ergonomics and Injury Prevention
  • Human Nutrition
  • Medical Physiology (a great choice if you’re thinking of medical school)
  • Rehabilitation Sciences (a great choice for physiotherapy, chiropractic, or other rehabilitation professional programs)
  • Neuroscience

You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular choices include Psychology, Human Resources Management, French, and Management Studies.


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Questions? Ask a student!

Connect with a current student ambassador to learn about their experience in the program.

Ask them questions such as why they chose a Kinesiology, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

Waterloo's co-op program, the largest in North America, is an amazing way to explore potential careers, learn to interview for jobs, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience – and make money!

Sample co-op job titles

  • Student ergonomist
  • Physiotherapy assistant
  • Health & safety program coordinator
  • Clinical research assistant
  • Chiropractic assistant
  • Outdoor education student

Co-op work-study sequence

Starting in second year, you'll normally alternate between school and work every four months, integrating your classroom learning with real-world experience. You can return to the same employer for a couple of work terms to gain greater knowledge and responsibility or work for different employers to get a broad range of experience.

Year September to December (Fall) January to April (Winter) May to August (Spring)
First Study Study Off
Second Study Co-op Study
Third Co-op Study Co-op
Fourth Study Co-op Co-op
Fifth Study Study -

Your first term will be halfway through second year (January - April 2026).

Learn more about co-op →


megaphone icon"Kinesiology was the perfect preparation for my career as a physiotherapist. The variety of courses and learning opportunities is incredible. This helped me explore so many things and gave me a well-rounded understanding of the human body."Surabhi, Kinesiology graduate
megaphone icon"The best thing about my program is hands-on learning. Labs teach you to apply your knowledge and develop practical skills. Professors involve students in research through co-op and volunteer positions – an amazing way to learn from passionate mentors"Vanessa, fourth-year Kinesiology student
megaphone icon"The program's strength is its multidisciplinary nature. By integrating physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, neuroscience, nutrition, and psychology, you get a comprehensive view of human health. You'll join a community focused on promoting healthy living."Nathania, fourth-year Kinesiology student
megaphone icon"There are so many opportunities for hands-on experience outside the classroom! You can dissect human cadavers, volunteer in research labs, or work with varsity athletes. My volunteer experiences were invaluable, and I made great friends along the way!"Emily, third-year Kinesiology student

Kinesiology admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Any 4U English (minimum final grade of 70%)
  • Advanced Functions or Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70%)
  • Any two of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics (minimum final grade of 70%)

Admission averages: Regular: low 80s, Co-op: mid-80s

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

How to apply?

Apply directly to this program on your application.

Connect with us

Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?

Please contact Clare Stevens, our Faculty of Health recruitment co-ordinator who can answer any questions you have.

Headshot of Clare Stevens


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