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New Mexico State University

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NMSU College of Education changes department name to Kinesiology & Dance

The Human Performance, Recreation and Dance Department in New Mexico State University’s College of Education will now be known as the Kinesiology & Dance Department, following Board of Regents’ approval to change the name at the board’s Dec. 12 meeting.


A man sitting in front of an ultrasound machine screen.
New Mexico State University College of Education kinesiology professor David Keeley demonstrates how to use an ultrasound machine for musculoskeletal imaging. The NMSU Board of Regents approved a name change for the department at its Dec. 12 meeting. (NMSU Photo by Darren Phillips)

Department Head Bob Wood said kinesiology is a much more accurate name for describing the degree programs offered by the department.

Kinesiology is an academic discipline that involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society and quality of life.

“Kinesiology is the single most descriptive term that embodies the full breadth of the academic programs in our department,” Wood said. “Kinesiology has become the most broadly adopted name for departments such as ours. Many prospective students identify academic programs and departments based on Internet searches. With kinesiology being the preferred degree for many pre-medical and pre-health related programs, we must present a greater visibility of our programs through name recognition.”

Wood said 75 percent of the majors in the department are kinesiology majors and the program has seen significant growth in the last few years. The faculty in the department also are active researchers who are gaining national and international recognition.

Regarding dance, Wood said while academics embrace dance in the field of kinesiology, the department determined it would be easier for prospective students to the dance program and easier for graduates to find jobs if dance is in the title of the department where they would pursue and receive their degree.

Wood said the name change will positively impact the students and faculty in the department.