Best Courses in Kinesiology at the University of Calgary

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As a highly regarded sport science school, the University of Calgary has become the best in North America, and No. 11 globally. In 2020, the prestigious Shanghai Ranking Academy rated this institution’s research in sport science as the top school in North America for not the first, but second time. This truly speaks to the caliber of their research. U of C’s Faculty of Kinesiology has developed a world class environment for research and learning, as well as an atmosphere that continues to work to improve the health and mobility of society, with the benefits of exercise for all ages. For all those who are considering this faculty, Kinesiology students at this institution receive high-quality and relevant, experiential learning opportunities that help build their future careers, and contribute to research and scholarship in the faculty and university. If this is a program that speaks to your interest, here’s the most important things you need to know about it. 

How to Get Into the Faculty of Kinesiology at UCalgary

The University of Calgary seeks to attract excellent academic students and recognizes those who have achieved excellence outside of academics as well. Your first step in getting into a program at this university is to check the specific program requirements. The Faculty of Kinesiology is quite competitive, with an estimated competitive admission average of low 90s, and required courses to get into this program are: English Language Arts 30-1, Mathematics 30-1, Chemistry 30, Biology 30, and an approved course or option. Once you ensure that you’re eligible under these requirements, it’s time to apply! All you need to do is fill out some basic information about yourself and prior schooling, and upload your transcripts to verify your grades – all of which is easily done through the application portal on the UCalgary website. 

Popular Courses at UCalgary Kinesiology Edition 

Human Anatomy

As a KNES student, Human Anatomy is a class that many first years’ will find themselves facing. In all honesty, embarking on this class will potentially be the hardest class of your life. In essence, anatomy requires lots of memorization: names of bones, names of specific features of bones, which bones articulate together via which bones, names of muscles, etc, etc. It’s the mastery of these concepts and the ability to thoroughly explain them. With this in mind, don’t procrastinate! Take your time in studying and don’t wait until the last minute to do it all in one night before that big exam, believe me it will not help you at all. Keep yourself motivated. The lectures are long and gruelling and packed with an overwhelming amount of information to digest, so be sure to pace your work and find resources for yourself to stay motivated. Despite the intense workload and high expectations, Human Anatomy is sure to grow near and dear to your heart, and without a doubt will be your favourite course. It’s a class where you and your peers really bond and grind through the challenges together, and is an exciting process of relating to the material and seeing a full view of what the human body is capable of. 

Exercise and Sport Psychology 

Have you ever had a big exam coming up, and in effort to do well on that exam, you tell yourself and visualize yourself actually acing the exam? We’ve all, at some point, used this technique to help us reach our goals. Visualization is just one mental method that sport psychology applies and studies in the area of sport and exercise. Exercise and Sport Psychology uses specific  physiological assessment and mental skills training to address optimal performance and well-being of athletes, developmental and social aspects of sport participation, and systematic issues/constructs associated with sport settings and organizations. This interdisciplinary science draws on knowledge from many related fields, and applies to so many performance domains. Exercise and Sport Psychology at UCalgary is also taught by a mass favourite prof across the KNES Faculty, Nicole Culos-Reed. This course is seriously one you must take, you won’t regret it!

Adapted Physical Activity 

Within the world of sport and play, not everyone is afforded the same accessibility to sport and play-related opportunities. In fact, many people are excluded from these opportunities simply because of the attitudes and environmental barriers around them. Adapted Physical Activity is a course that dives into studying issues related to engagement and inclusion of children and adults in physical activity, recreation and sport settings. It is a cross-disciplinary body of practical and theoretical knowledge directed towards impairment, activity limitations, and participation restrictions in physical activity. This course will broaden your perspective to understand the ableist society that we live in and how it’s facilitated everywhere around us, but also will teach you an attitude of acceptance of differences, how to facilitate inclusive and meaningful experiences in play, sport (parasport) and people who experience disability, and advocate access to active lifestyles and sport. Adapted Physical Activity will become one of your most loved courses – don’t hesitate to register!

Top Three Professors of the Kinesiology Faculty, the Student Favourites

Professor Cari Din is a favourite of the Kinesiology Faculty. Students describe Din as fun, caring, inspirational, and simply one of the best professors they have ever met. If you’re registered for a class with her, you can expect highly engaging and informative lectures, and honestly a lot of work. However, don’t let the sound of this workload scare you. Students assure that her tests are fair, expectations are made crystal clear, and that Din genuinely cares about the success of her students. 

A super nice, funny and all around awesome prof in the Kin Department is Professor Jonathan Smirl. While there is a significant weighting on the final assignments in his class, Smirl makes sure to point out what is important so you know what to focus on while you study. Students have expressed their appreciation for his approachable energy, and his accessibility outside of class. Above all, Smirl clearly cares about the success and learning experience of his students through his dedication to the content of the class and the environment he creates. 

Another gem that is not to be overlooked is Professor Nicole Culos-Reed. Students report Culos-Reed as an engaging speaker who really knows her stuff. As passionate and knowledgeable as she is, students also exclaim their excitement for the various research opportunities available to undergraduate students in her lab. Any class with Culos-Reed will certainly have you signing up for another with her!


Published on August 28, 2021

About Haylee Tougas

Haylee is a third-year Kinesiology student at the University of Alberta. With a minor in Community Development, she is passionate about delivering sport and free play to children and youth who are vulnerable and believes that access to physical activity for everyone is essential. On the side, she enjoys coaching soccer, volunteering, and living an active lifestyle!