The graduate program in Motor Control and Behavior involves advanced study of the psychological and neurophysiological foundations of motor control, motor learning, motor development, and disorders of movement. The program emphasizes the development of a competent independent researcher and is designed to provide a thorough grounding in the area of motor performance, exposing the student to the underlying theoretical processes that influence the control, acquisition, and development of motor behavior. Students may focus specifically on control, learning, or developmental issues, or design their program to expose them to a broad range of study in motor behavior. The graduate student will work closely with their advisor in both formal and informal educational settings. The Motor Control and Behavior named option in the Kinesiology MS is designed toward 1) introducing the beginning graduate student to the field of Motor Control and Behavior including the areas of the neural control of movement, motor learning, and motor development, and 2) preparing students for advanced Ph.D. work.
Several laboratories (human, animal) are available for research in the area of Motor Control and Behavior. The Human Motor Behavior Laboratory is an active research environment where faculty and students collaborate on projects aimed at gaining a better understanding of the planning and performance of simple and complex upper and lower limb activities in both natural and virtual environments. The Motor Systems Physiology Laboratory focuses on understanding the neural control of reaching to grasp, which is essential to primate motor behavior and strongly depends on cerebellar function. The Sensory Motor Integration Lab (SMIL) focuses on improving the everyday lives of older adults through the implementation of physical activity interventions—delivered in-home via telehealth and through group classes held at community-based facilities. The Neuromuscular Coordination Laboratory conducts fundamental research on the interactions between mechanics, neural control, and muscular coordination that allow humans and other animals to navigate their environments.
Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.
Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.
|Fall Deadline||February 15|
|Spring Deadline||December 1|
|Summer Deadline||This program does not admit in the summer.|
|GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)||Not required.|
|English Proficiency Test||Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency)|
|Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT)||n/a|
|Letters of Recommendation Required||3|
Applications may be considered after February 15.
For admission, the Graduate School requires, as does the Kinesiology department, a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0=A scale) on the last 60 semester hours (or equivalent) of undergraduate coursework. An applicant must submit academic transcripts from each institution attended and a statement of reasons for graduate study. If a professor in the area of interest agrees to serve as the prospective student's advisor, then the department's graduate office recommends the applicant for admission to the Graduate School. Please consult the kinesiology website for further details of these requirements and procedures.
Graduate School Resources
Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.
Named Option Requirements
mode of instruction
|Face to Face||Evening/Weekend||Online||Hybrid||Accelerated|
Mode of Instruction Definitions
Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.
Evening/Weekend: Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules. Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.
Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.
Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats. Contact the program for more specific information.
Online: These programs are offered 100% online. Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.
|Minimum Credit Requirement||30 credits|
|Minimum Residence Credit Requirement||16 credits|
|Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement||15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).|
|Overall Graduate GPA Requirement||3.00 GPA required. This program follows the Graduate School's policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203|
|Other Grade Requirements||n/a|
|Assessments and Examinations||Not required.|
|Language Requirements||No language requirements.|
|KINES 900||Seminar in Kinesiology 1||4|
|KINES 990||Research or Thesis||4+|
|KINES 991||Research in Physical Activity- Theory and Design||3|
|Statistics courses (2 courses, chosen in consultation with advisor, example sequences below):||6-8|
| Statistical Methods Applied to Education I|
and Statistical Methods Applied to Education II
| Statistical Methods for Bioscience I|
and Statistical Methods for Bioscience II
|Suggested Elective Courses 2||11-13|
|Neural Basis of Normal and Pathological Movement|
|Neural Basis for Movement|
|Principles of Motor Control and Learning|
|Seminar in Motor Control and Learning|
All Kinesiology M.S. and Ph.D. students are required to register for KINES 900 Seminar in Kinesiology for 1 credit each semester they are enrolled in the program, for a minimum of 4 credits.
Elective courses to meet the degree requirements are chosen in consultation with the advisor from this list or any other 300-level or higher numbered courses on campus. Each candidate’s program of formal course work and independent study is tailored in a personalized manner to accommodate the individual’s research and career goals.
Graduate School Policies
The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.
named option-specific policies
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 15 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
No credits from a UW-Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.
UW-Madison University Special
Primary faculty mentor will be the main advisor. The Director of Graduate Studies and Graduate Program Manager will provide additional support and advising as needed.
CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED
Within the Department, completion of required courses within two years of matriculation is considered satisfactory progress. See the Graduate Program Handbook link in Contact Information for more information.
Grievances and appeals
These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:
- Bias or Hate Reporting
- Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures
- Hostile and Intimidating Behavior Policies and Procedures
- Dean of Students Office (for all students to seek grievance assistance and support)
- Employee Assistance (for personal counseling and workplace consultation around communication and conflict involving graduate assistants and other employees, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff)
- Employee Disability Resource Office (for qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities)
- Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
- Office of Compliance (for class harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence)
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts involving students)
- Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for employed graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
- Title IX (for concerns about discrimination)
Any student who feels that they have been treated unfairly by a faculty or staff member has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing of the grievance, following these grievance procedures. The complaint may concern course grades, classroom treatment, program admission, or other issues. To insure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect both the rights of the student and the person at whom the complaint is addressed, the procedures below are used in the School of Education.
The person whom the complaint is directed against must be an employee of the School of Education. Any student or potential student may use these procedures unless the complaint is covered by other campus rules or contracts. The following steps are available within the School of Education when a student has a grievance:
- The student should first talk with the person against whom the grievance is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. If the complaint is directed against a teaching assistant, and the student is not satisfied, the next step would be to talk to the TA's supervisor, who is usually the course professor. If the complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, the student may continue to step 2.
- If the complaint does not involve an academic department, the procedure outlined in Step 4 below should be followed. If the complaint involves an academic department, the student should contact the chair of the department. The chair will attempt to resolve the problem informally. If this cannot be done to the student's satisfaction, the student may submit the grievance to the chair in writing. This must be done within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
- On receipt of a written complaint, the chair will refer the matter to a departmental committee, which will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed. This response shall be shared with the person filing the grievance. The chair will provide a timely written decision to the student on the action taken by the committee.
- If either party is not satisfied with the decision of the department, they have five working days from receipt of the decision to contact the dean's office (at the number below), indicating the intention to appeal. If the complaint does not involve an academic department in the school, the student must contact the dean's office within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
- In either case, there will be an attempt to resolve the issue informally by the associate dean. If this cannot be done, the complaint can be filed in writing with the dean's office. This must be done within 10 working days of the time the appealing party was notified that informal resolution was unsuccessful.
- On receipt of such a written complaint, the associate dean will convene a subcommittee of the school's Equity & Diversity Committee. This subcommittee may ask for additional information from the parties involved and may hold a hearing at which both parties will be asked to speak separately. The subcommittee will then make a written recommendation to the dean of the School of Education who will render a decision. Unless a longer time is negotiated, this written decision shall be made within 20 working days from the date when the grievance was filed with the dean's office.
Questions about these procedures can be directed to the School of Education Dean's Office, 377 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1763.
State law contains additional provisions regarding discrimination and harassment. Wisconsin Statutes 36.12 reads, in part: "No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility of the system or its institutions or center because of the student's race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status." In addition, UW–System prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. Students have the right to file discrimination and harassment complaints with the Office of Compliance, 361 Bascom Hall, 608-265-6018, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate School Resources
Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.