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Kinesiology, M.S., Integrative Wellness

We are committed to providing students with a face-to-face education. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have made the decision for all Spring 2021 Graduate and Professional Studies programs to be conducted remotely. Please reach out at (619) 329-6799 for more information.

Program Overview

At the heart of your interest in the study of holistic health and wellbeing is a passion to serve others in body, mind, and spirit. PLNU’s one-year, online Master of Kinesiology in Integrative Wellness will prepare professionals who can improve health in the U.S. through interventions in behavior change, nutrition, and physical activity. 

Corporate wellness program directors can facilitate health change at the workplace and ultimately save their companies money. Personal trainers and other fitness professionals can learn how to better lead their clients along personal journeys toward better health. Registered dietitians, RNs, and medical assistants can use the degree to deliver obesity interventions to patients. 

No matter how the degree is applied, it can become the vehicle that health and wellness professionals will use to apply evidence-based strategies that facilitate sustainable health behavior change that can lead to weight loss, healthy eating, regular physical activity, stress reduction, and overall improvements to health and wellbeing. 

The integration of lifestyle medicine within healthcare systems is not just effective, but powerful and life-changing for individuals and society.

Ranked in the top five percent by The Economist out of 1,275 colleges in their first ever university rankings, PLNU offers a convenient, fully online format tailored to accommodate your work and life commitments.

Reclaiming Wellness

What does it mean to truly live well?

Dr. Jessica Matthews presents at TEDxPLNU on cultivating the conditions for positive health and high-level wellness.

Watch Video:
Reclaiming Wellness

Relevant Experience

Take courses that pair an applied learning approach with the latest industry research and trends, giving you the real-world experience today to be successful tomorrow.

Professional Preparedness

Foster relationships with industry leaders, gain exposure to internship and job opportunities, and learn from faculty and professional colleagues through a robust, flexible curriculum.

Pursue Your Purpose

Develop a deeper understanding of how to faithfully apply your work to the wellness of the whole person — body, mind, and spirit.

Headshot of Jessica Matthews


Jessica Matthews, M.S.

With the rise of technology, how is the academic world answering the call to create a trusted bridge between the knowing and the doing when it comes to applying technology and facilitating positive health outcomes?

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When you complete the program, you will be able to:

  • Apply evidence-based coaching strategies and behavior change techniques to facilitate meaningful lifestyle changes and improved health outcomes.

  • Collaborate with colleagues in a wide variety of settings to provide an integrative and holistic approach to healthcare, health education, and health promotion.

  • Evaluate the influence of biopsychosocial factors on health, healing, and well-being to design lifestyle interventions to prevent and manage chronic diseases.

A group of students walk past the Greek Amphitheatre.

Karen Woodmansee on Making a Change Mid-Career

Karen Woodmansee graduated from PLNU’s Master of Kinesiology in Integrative Wellness program in 2018. She originally started her career as an elementary school teacher, and although she always enjoyed teaching, she knew it wasn’t the right fit for her.

Course List

Integrative Wellness Online Program 

Total 30 units

Concentration Courses

Total 21 units

PLNU's Master of Kinesiology in Integrative Wellness program is an Approved Health and Wellness Coach Training and Education Program by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).

KIN 6007 - Evidence-Based Practice and Research Methods

(3) This course provides an introduction to research methods, including exploring quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches, to acquaint students with analyzing the professional literature. Students will practice the judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients and clients, as well as the development and delivery of integrative health programs and services. Students will learn to: ask a focused question to satisfy the health and wellness needs of a specific patient or client demographic; find the best evidence by searching the literature; critically appraise the literature; apply the results in professional practice; and evaluate the outcomes. 

KIN 6017 - Lifestyle Medicine and Integrative Health

(3) This course provides an overview of paradigm shifts in the field of healthcare, highlighting an increasingly integrative approach to medicine centered on treating the whole person- body, mind and spirit. Students will explore evidence-informed conventional, complementary and alternative approaches to health care, and examine lifestyle interventions in areas such as stress management, nutrition, sleep hygiene and physical activity in order to provide a multidimensional approach to optimal health and well-being. 

KIN 6027 - Behavior Change Models, Methods and Theories

(3) This course examines widely accepted theories, models and methods for facilitating health behavior change. Topics include, but are not limited to, the transtheoretical model of behavioral change, self-determination theory, positive psychology, and motivational interviewing. 

KIN 6037 - Exercise and Nutrition for Health and Healing

(3) This course evaluates the critical role that physical activity, exercise, and nutrition play in preventing and treating chronic diseases. Students will examine current research, established guidelines and best practices in order to design and deliver comprehensive lifestyle interventions that optimize health, healing, and well-being. 

KIN 6047 - Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching

(3) In this course, students will apply evidence-based behavior change strategies and effective communication techniques to facilitate client-centered coaching interventions. Emphasis will be placed on the development and refinement of practical coaching skills in order to empower clients to make meaningful and sustainable lifestyle changes. This course will also survey the current landscape and future opportunities within the evolving field of health and wellness coaching in order to prepare students for work in a variety of settings. 

KIN 6077 - Advanced Health and Wellness Coaching

(1) This course is specifically designed to deepen and refine the foundational health and wellness coaching skills developed in KIN 6047. Through case-based learning and real-world application, students will apply health and wellness coaching knowledge and skills in working with both individuals and groups. This course will also evaluate key considerations for designing and implementing integrative health and wellness coaching programs and services in a variety of professional settings. 

KIN 6087 - Mind-Body Medicine

(3) This course explores the dynamic interplay between mind, body, and behavior.  Students will examine how emotional, mental, social, and spiritual factors affect health and well-being.  Emphasis will be placed on evaluating integrative health approaches to increase self-awareness, enhance self-care, and cultivate resilience in both patients and wellness professionals.  

KIN 6097 - Project Seminar in Integrative Wellness

(2) This course provides students with guidance in developing an applied project to deepen knowledge in a health or wellness-related area of their professional interest. Students will create and present either an original research project, curriculum-based project, or wellness-focused business plan. 

Concentration Electives

Total (6–9)  units

Choose two courses from the following if choosing Capstone Project.

Choose three courses from the following if choosing Comprehensive Exam.

KIN 6025 - Special Topics in Exercise and Sports Science

(3) The topics of this course will alternate based on faculty expertise and student interest. Each topic will provide students with a unique opportunity to gain certification or advanced specialization in an area of their choosing. Topics may include: Applied Function and Corrective Exercise; Exercise as Preventive Medicine; Movement Interventions for Aging, Disease Prevention and Health promotion;  and Electrocardiography and Interpretation.

KIN 6026 - Sport and Exercise Nutrition for Peak Performance

(3) Students in the fitness and sport performance professions will learn the science of nutrition, including cellular biology, digestion, and metabolism of macronutrients and micronutrients, as well as the practical applications of coaching individual clients in nutrition to enhance performance.

KIN 6051 - Seminar in Kinesiology

(2) This course will engage students in relevant Kinesiology issues in order to solve current problems and lead future initiatives. Industry experts will be invited to present on a broad range of topics including sport and fitness entrepreneurship, faithful leadership, media and public relations, sport and fitness technology, corporate wellness, behavior change and other topics of interest to students.

KIN 6056 - Clinical Exercise Prescription

(3) This course prepares students to utilize scientific rationale to design, implement and supervise exercise programming for patients with chronic diseases, conditions and/or physical dysfunctions of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and immunologic systems.  Students will be prepared to pursue certification as an ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist. Note: 600 hours of preceptor-supervised clinical experience are also required for ACSM certification. 

Prerequisite(s): KIN 6036 or consent of instructor.

KIN 6057 - Wellness Entrepreneurship

(3) This course provides health and wellness professionals with a practical framework for entrepreneurship, emphasizing key principles for business success. Students will develop and apply entrepreneurial knowledge and skills necessary to make informed professional decisions regarding starting a new entrepreneurial opportunity, joining an entrepreneurial endeavor, acquiring an established business or creating a new venture within an existing organization. 

KIN 6067 - Disruptive Health Technologies

(3) This course evaluates effective uses of disruptive health technologies within the health and wellness industries to support long-term behavior change and improved well-being. Students will examine the science, design and real world application of these innovative technologies as an affordable and practical tool to deliver lifestyle interventions aimed at preventing and managing chronic disease. 

KIN 6088 - Internship or Practicum in Kinesiology

(1-3) The Internship or Practicum experience provides the student with practical knowledge and direct and relevant experience in their chosen discipline.  Students may arrange the site(s) of internship or may inquire with their faculty advisor about opportunities in the San Diego region. Students can repeat KIN 6088 and are required to complete three units total. 

Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor.

Culminating Experience

Total (0–3)  units


Choose one course from:

KIN 6095 - Comprehensive Examination

(0) The comprehensive examination tests mastery of applied and theoretical concepts appropriate for the Master of Science degree. Exams consist of a one-day written exam (4-6 hours).  $150 

Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor.

KIN 6098 - Capstone Project

(3) This course provides an extended experience for the student to produce a final project on a specific topic of professional interest.  Under the direction of a faculty advisor and thesis committee, and after completing KIN 6000 and KIN 6005, the student will conduct further data and will advance through the preparation and defense of a capstone project*. This course aims to enable graduate students to gather and/or analyze data to advance their field and professional standing. The qualified student will have previously defended a project proposal successfully in KIN 6005 .

*Note: If a student does not successfully defend their Capstone Project, a Program Extension Fee of $600 will be charged to the student’s account each semester until they complete the project. 

Prerequisite(s): KIN 6005 or equivalent, and consent of Program Director.

Department Faculty

Application Information

Program Start Date(s):

  • Fall 2021 – August 30, 2021

Priority Application Date(s):

  • Fall 2021 Early Admissions Scholarship – May 21, 2021
  • Fall 2021 – August 2, 2021

Start Application

The Selection Process

The educational context at PLNU will challenge you to live a full life that integrates the pursuit of knowledge with beliefs, values, and actions. While honoring diverse perspectives and beliefs, Christian values and principles are woven into the educational experience. We understand your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it reflects you as a person. At PLNU, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admission into a graduate program. Your undergraduate GPA is an important piece of your application, but if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0, you may still be eligible for admission based on your application package as well as the exceptions policy per your particular program.* Therefore, we strongly encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor, who will advise you regarding your qualifications and provide specific information about the admission under exceptions process.

To be admitted into PLNU's MS-KIN, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution in a health, wellness or fitness related program, as evidenced by an official transcript from that institution indicating the completion of an undergraduate degree OR non-health related baccalaureate degree and an NCCA accredited health, fitness, or wellness certificate. If you have any questions about your qualifications or the program in general, we encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor.

Application Checklist

Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

  1. Submit an online application for admissions (including $50 non-refundable application fee, which is waived for PLNU alums, current or former military and their dependents, and PLNU employees).
  2. Submit official transcripts with proof of earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. (If you are a PLNU alumnus, please notify your counselor to have your transcripts retrieved. You do not need to request transcripts from the PLNU Office of Records.)

    Official transcripts must be sent to:
    Point Loma Nazarene University
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    3900 Lomaland Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:
  3. Submit personal essay. Specifically state how you would like to use your master’s degree from PLNU to further your career. Make sure you clearly touch on the three points below:
    • Clarify what job setting you see yourself pursuing upon completing the MS in Kinesiology and specify how this degree program will help you in that setting.
    • Describe what wellness means to you and explain how you intend to provide a whole-person approach to health in your professional practice. 
    • State how your previous education and work experiences have uniquely prepared you for success in this program.
  4. Submit a resume/vita.
  5. Submit three professional references including name, title, phone, email for each reference.

*Exceptions Policy: If you have below a 3.0 GPA in your baccalaureate degree you will need to speak with your enrollment counselor for more information on the exceptions materials needed for your particular program.

Start Application

State Authorization

State authorization is a formal determination that PLNU is approved to conduct educational activities regulated by that state or U.S. Territory. PLNU is not required to obtain state authorization in every state or U.S. Territory, and the university has opted at this time not to seek authorization in certain states and U.S. Territories. Additionally, PLNU meets the criteria for exemption from authorization in certain states.

At this time, PLNU does not have authorization in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Territories. 

Authorizations in specific states may change periodically. PLNU recommends contacting PLNU admissions at (800) 733-7770 for the latest information.

Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

What inspires me most about working in the field is the privilege of faithfully serving others physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually — it's what fuels my passion. This whole-person approach to wellness is not only the cornerstone of the integrative wellness program but it’s the key to positively transforming the health of individuals and society as a whole.

Jessica Matthews, M.S. 
Adjunct Professor of Kinesiology

Career Opportunities

PLNU’s integrative wellness master's degree will prepare you for leadership in a variety of fields:

  • Health Coaching
  • Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Personal Training
  • Director of Wellness
  • Corporate Wellness
  • Nursing
  • Health Educator
  • Exercise Science
  • Health Promotion
Ted Vickey Headshot


Ted Vickey, Ph.D.

On many days, walking into Professor Ted Vickey’s class is like walking into the boardroom of a prestigious organization. Students find themselves in positions of leadership where they must work collectively to solve complex, real-world challenges.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is required to be admitted into this program?

To be admitted into PLNU's Kinesiology, M.S., Integrative Wellness program, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript that indicates the completion of an undergraduate degree. You must also have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. If you don’t meet the minimum GPA requirement, please contact your enrollment counselor regarding the exceptions process.

Can I work while completing the program?

Absolutely. The integrative wellness program consists of all-online courses that allow for a flexible schedule, so you can continue to work full or part time.

What scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available to me?

You will have the option to apply for a number of scholarships through Student Financial Services. This program qualifies for state and federal financial aid options. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The expected completion time is 12 months.

How large will the classes be?

Class sizes are estimated to be 20 to 25 people.

Are international students eligible to apply?

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to apply for our 100% online programs at this time.

PLNU is a Christian university, but I am not a Christian. Would I feel out of place in this program?

We welcome and encourage people of all backgrounds as students in our programs. Issues that relate to faith may be discussed in some classes, and engaging in discussion with individuals with alternative points of view will be encouraged as learning opportunities. Students will work within a learning community that is supportive academically, spiritually, and emotionally.