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Availability: Hattiesburg Options


How is Kinesiotherapy unique?

Kinesiotherapists were the pioneers in using adapted exercise and movement education to help individuals restore muscular strength and endurance thus regaining functional independence. The curriculum focuses on the basic assessment and treatment skills that are applied in a variety of clinical settings. 

Kinesiotherapy programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). All CAAHEP accredited programs are assessed on an ongoing basis to assure that they meet the Standards and Guidelines of the profession.

Kinesiotherapy is the only major on campus that includes two semesters of clinical internship in a therapeutic setting, which makes it a favorable major for those seeking any health professions career. 

The Southern Miss program prepares students to become Registered Kinesiotherapists (RKT) and take the RKT exam. During the most recent test cycle, 81 percent of Southern Miss graduates who took the exam passed on their first attempt.

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What Will I Learn?

Kinesiotherapy is a demanding discipline as there are only three years of coursework followed by a full year of hands-on internship experience. To be successful in the kinesiotherapy program, students must master the basic concepts of human anatomy and physiology as it applies to functional movement. They must be able to move from memorization to conceptualization and be fundamentally sound in their ability to critically think abstractly.

Students enrolled in the Kinesiotherapy program will learn specific clinical skills such as:

  • Manual muscle testing
  • Goniometric measurement
  • Manual resistance exercise
  • Therapeutic exercise application
  • Correct fitting and instruction in the use of canes, crutches, and walkers
  • Progressive ambulation and gait training to include amputee prosthetic ambulation
  • Aerobic exercise implementation
  • Patient treatment documentation
  • ECG interpretation
  • Health Coaching Concepts and Application 

As a kinesiotherapy major you will complete two semesters of clinical internships, providing you with an opportunity to complete hands on practice and enhance skills gained in the classroom.

Student and Faculty Engagement with National Leaders of the Profession

Jerry Purvis, a 1967 Southern Miss graduate, serves as the program coordinator and is the Coordinator of the Council on Professional Standards for Kinesiotherapy. Melissa Ziegler, a 2000 Southern Miss graduate, served as the Executive Director of the American Kinesiotherapy Association alongside her faculty duties from 2005-2018. She currently serves on the Medical Fitness Association Foundation board and as a member of many committees within the Medical Fitness Association.  Both are committed to continuous student interaction as both teaching approaches use a balance of both didactic instruction with hands-on practice of basic evaluation and treatment skills.

The American Kinesiotherapy Association sponsors the Lou Montalvano Memorial Scholarship. This five hundred dollar scholarship given to one Kinesiotherapy student each year that shows academic excellence, displays exceptional promise as a clinician and educator, expresses definite intentions to pursue certification and a career in Kinesiotherapy and shows potential for professional leadership. More Information


Degree Plan Availability
Kinesiotherapy BSHattiesburg
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Centers
  • Workman’s compensation programs
  • Pre/Post rehabilitation Exercise Consultant
  • Hospitals, Wellness, and Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Department of Defense
  • Medical Fitness facilities
  • Don Howell, 1967, 
    Past President, American Kinesiotherapy Association, Retired from the Veterans Administration
  • Susan Brown, 2004, 
    Registered Kinesiotherapist, James A Haley VA Hospital and President of the American Kinesiotherapy Association, Tampa, FL
  • Julia Brady, 2014,
    Registered Kinesiotherapist, Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System, Pensacola, FL
  • Megan Newman, 2013, 
    Graduate student, Occupational Therapy Program, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
  • Travon Robinson, 2010, 
    Registered Kinesiotherapist, Memphis VA Medical Center, Memphis TN
  • Angela Larke Bickham, 2018,
    Graduate Student Physical Therapy, William Carey University Hattiesburg, MS