Adapted Physical Activity

MS or PhD in Kinesiology

Interested in furthering your education in the specialized areas of adapted physical education or adapted sports? Our nationally recognized program offers both master’s and doctoral Kinesiology degrees focused on educational theory and fitness for special populations.

Courses include a combination of online and classroom instruction in the evenings in Denton.

Careers & Salaries

This master’s degree in Kinesiology allows you to specialize as either an adapted physical education teacher or adapted sport and fitness specialist for special populations. Related fields include special education, coaching, sport management and family science. According to, the average annual salary for adapted physical education teachers is $53,800.

Those earning their PhDs most frequently enter the higher education field as assistant professors (average annual salary of $73,600) or serve as adapted physical education coordinators in public schools or adapted sport specialists for organizations or agencies.

Why Adapted Physical Education at TWU?

When you are part of this program at TWU, you will learn from faculty members who have helped mold the field now known as adapted physical education. TWU has a long history of preparing educators to impact the lives of individuals with disabilities through physical activity and involvement in physical education.

Master’s Program Requirements

A thesis, non-thesis, professional project or culminating experience is required in this program, in addition to the 36 credit semester hours. See the Graduate Catalog for full program requirements.

This program has two tracks:

  • Adapted Physical Education (APE), designed for a student with an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology or related field, who has a teaching certificate in physical education. special education or a related field.
  • Adapted Sport and Fitness, designed for a student who is not seeking teacher certification but has a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology or a related field, or an individual with a certification from ACSM, NCHPAD or other adapted sports certifications (e.g., CDSS, ASSP, SO).

As a full-time student, you can complete the coursework for this master’s degree within one year.

Doctoral Program Requirements

This program requires 96 credit hours, including credit hours from graduate-level work and six semester credit hours for dissertation. (See full program requirements in the Graduate Catalog.)

To be considered for this program, you must have a master’s degree in Kinesiology or a related field with a major in adapted physical education, coaching, special education, exercise physiology or similar area of study. Also, at least two years of teaching/professional experience is highly recommended.

As a doctoral candidate, you will present a minimum of two research projects and publish at least one manuscript before graduation. A manuscript based on your dissertation must be submitted for publication before graduation, also.

How to Apply

All graduate-level applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 60 hours of undergraduate study. All prospective doctoral students must have a 3.2 GPA for all prior graduate work. No GRE is required.

Application Steps:

  1. Apply to the TWU Graduate School. (See the Graduate School Catalog for admission requirements.)
  2. Following review of your Graduate School application, the Kinesiology Graduate Coordinator will send you the APA department application materials.
  3. Return the completed APA packet back to the graduate coordinator.
  4. The Kinesiology department will review your materials and determine if you qualify for an interview.

You cannot be admitted into the APA graduate program unless you have an interview with the Kinesiology department.

For More Information

David Nichols, PhD
Graduate Program Coordinator & Interim Department Chair
Department of Kinesiology

Lisa Silliman-French, PhD, CAPE
Adapted Physical Education

Page last updated 12:24 PM, February 5, 2019