Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

Kinesiology is the study of human movement. It is a course of study that can lead to a B.S. or B.A. degree and is housed in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Specifically, it is the study of how people move, why some people are able to move faster or for a longer period of time than others (i.e. endurance) and why they fatigue. The use of physiological, biochemical, biomechanical, neurological and psychological principles are at the crux of the course of study. In addition to specific coursework, students are encouraged to participate in ongoing faculty and graduate student research efforts in the many departmental laboratories.

Kinesiology is an ideal course for students wishing to enter health professions, such as medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, and nutrition/dietetics. The required core and elective units allow sufficient flexibility to complete course prerequisites for any of the health fields. In addition to the post-graduate health fields, students interested in the general area of corporate fitness-wellness will find kinesiology an ideal major.

Students must obtain a minimum 2.0 GPA in the major with 24 units of required core, 24 units of required collateral, and 16 units of required electives. In addition, a minimum grade of C- is required for each of the required core courses. These requirements will be effective for all incoming students (freshmen or transfer) who enroll fall semester 2009 or later.

Required Core Courses - 24 units

EXSC-200L* Nutrition: Macronutrients and Energy Metabolism
EXSC-300L* Physiology of Exercise
EXSC-301L* Human Anatomy
EXSC-405L* Applied Systems Physiology
EXSC-406L* Exercise and Energy Homeostasis
EXSC-408L* Introduction to Biomechanics

Required Collateral Courses - 24 units

BISC-120L General Biology: Organismal Biology and Evolution
BISC-220L General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology


General Chemistry
Advanced General Chemistry

General Chemistry
Advanced General Chemistry
MATH-108 Precalculus
PHYS-135aL Physics for the Life Sciences

In addition, 16 units of electives are required from the list of science courses that follows. Choices will benefit the student’s future course of study.

BISC-307L General Physiology
BISC-320L Molecular Biology
BISC-330L Biochemistry
BISC-421 Neurobiology


Organic Chemistry
ITP-101x Introduction to Information Technology
GERO-310 Physiology of Aging
GERO-437 Social and Psychological Aspects of Death and Dying
MATH-125 Calculus I
PSYC-274 Statistics I
EXSC 203L* Individualized Exercise Prescription (2 units)
EXSC-250* Drugs and Ergogenic Aids in Sport and Weight Control
EXSC-310* Sociopsychological Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity
EXSC-350* Nutrition: Micronutrients and Homeostasis
EXSC-400L* Principles of Perceptual-Motor Learning
EXSC-409* Metabolic Diseases
EXSC-439L* Human Performance and Bioenergetics (2 or 4 units)
EXSC-441L* Prevention of Athletic Injuries
EXSC-442L* Advanced Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
EXSC-490L* Directed Research
EXSC-491L* Lab Experience in Exercise Science (2 or 4 units)
EXSC-499* Special Topics

*Current syllabi for all Kinesiology (EXSC) courses can be found in the USC Schedule of Classes.

Learning Objectives:

  • To cultivate the students’ development of a deeper understanding of the central and cross-disciplinary concepts of the discipline and sub-disciplines of kinesiology, which include, but are not limited to behavioral, physiological and mechanical factors.
  • To foster the students’ process of identifying, exploring, assessing and solving real world problems through independent study and self-directed group projects that solidify their understanding of the scientific method, and basic kinesiology-related scientific principles.
  • To provide students with learning opportunities beyond the classroom and across traditional disciplinary boundaries using technical equipment and modern methodologies pertinent to research in kinesiology-related, biological and physical sciences.
  • To engage and mentor the formulation of critical thinking and problem solving skills which facilitate the application of knowledge in kinesiology as the individual interfaces with both supportive and opposing perspectives throughout society and the environment.
  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • University of Southern California
  • Allan Hancock Foundation Building
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371