12 Best Online Schools for Bachelor’s of Kinesiology and Exercise Science Degree Programs 2019

kinesiology degree programs

Kinesiology is the study of the body and body movement as it relates to sport and exercise. A Bachelor in Kinesiology, Exercise Science, Sports Science, or its equivalent, trains students in the creating and executing health and wellness plans for fitness, care, and prevention for the human body. Professionals in this field analyze muscle and look for imbalances in the body and create ways to maximize performance. Many students who study kinesiology go on to become physical therapists, occupational therapists, fitness instructors, and coaches and are involved in the health care community.

Methodology:

This list was composed according to the following criteria:

  • Online availability of coursework;
  • A Bachelor in Kinesiology, Exercise Science, Sports Science, or its equivalent;
  • Regional accreditation of the school;
  • Retention rate (which is a sign of student satisfaction) of no less than 50%
  • And prestige and notability of the online school.

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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-SUPERIOR

Program Standouts:
The University of Wisconsin-Superior offers an online bachelor’s and an online master’s degree in Health and Wellness Management, both of which have a concentration in corporate wellness and health promotion. The degree is offered through a multi-campus partnership within the University of Wisconsin System, bringing together all of the most distinguished expert instructors. Students in this program learn to positively change the everyday lives of an entire corporation or organization. Students gain strong connections in working very closely with both classmates and professors through field experience courses involving hands-on projects wherein they learn skills in business management, health management, fitness training, and more!

Campus Location: Tempe, AZ

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Physical Activity and Nutrition
  • Changes Across the Lifespan
  • Health Coaching for Wellness Managers

Acceptance Rate: 94%

Retention Rate: 68%

Graduation Rate: 43%

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRYAN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE EXERCISE SCIENCE DEGREE

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CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
The purpose of the online degree in Healthy Lifestyle Management from Creighton University is to prepare students to work as Health Educators, Health Coaches, Wellness Coordinators, and Community Health Professionals. The curriculum focuses on developing and understanding physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of health, and how to coach others toward attainable goals. The professors in this program educate students in all of the factors that can affect future clients’ health—stresses induced via emotion, environment, economic welfare, physical movement, etc. The coursework is well-regarded by U.S. News and World Report, which includes core coursework, as well as required emphasis classes in Communication, Psychology, and Social and Cultural Studies.

Campus Location: Omaha, NE

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Healthy Eating and Whole Person Health
  • Physical Activity and Whole Person Health
  • Lifestyle Medicine

Acceptance Rate: 70%

Retention Rate: 89%

Graduation Rate: 78%

LEARN MORE ABOUT CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

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CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Program Standouts:
This online Bachelor in Exercise Science program from California University of Pennsylvania provides an excellent foundation in fitness, health, and wellness, while also laying the groundwork for skills in business management and marketing. This accelerated degree can be completed in only three years and qualifies graduates to sit for certification examinations for the roles of Personal Trainer and Speed Coach. There is also an accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s option available. The coursework has an emphasis on leadership and professional development and is intended to prepare students for the job market. Individuals exiting this online degree have gone on to work with professional sports teams, in hospitals, in corporate fitness settings, and more.

Campus Location:

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Program Options:

  • Professional Golf Management
  • Sport Management
  • Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree

Acceptance Rate: 85%

Retention Rate: 72%

Graduation Rate: 53%

LEARN MORE ABOUT CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA’S ONLINE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN EXERCISE SCIENCE DEGREE PROGRAM

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EASTERN OREGON UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
In Eastern Oregon University’s online Bachelor of Physical Activity and Health, students have three unique concentration options, all of which are enmeshed in the field of kinesiology. The instructors at this online school are highly qualified and experienced, and the curricula have a strong focus on community-based and scientific approaches to the discipline, giving students an excellent understanding of the physiology and muscle activity in the body. Students have extraordinary things to say about this online program, for example about the close-knit virtual community that is nurtured by the excellent professors. The Exercise Science concentration is an excellent jumping off point for students who are seeking careers as trainers and coaches, or who are seeking further education in physical therapy or dietetics.

Campus Location: La Grande, OR

Accreditation:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Program Options:

  • Physical Education and Sport
  • Exercise Science
  • Community Health

Acceptance Rate: 97%

Retention Rate: 73%

Graduation Rate: 34%

LEARN MORE ABOUT EASTERN OREGON UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND HEALTH DEGREE

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UNITED STATES SPORTS ACADEMY

Program Standouts:
The United States Sports Academy provides an online Bachelor of Sports Science that includes concentration areas in Sports Coaching, Sports Management, Sports Studies, and Sports Strength and Conditioning. For Kinesiology- and Exercise Science-driven students, the Sports Strength and Conditioning curriculum would be best suited to their academic and professional pursuits. However, each specialization from this online school is well-ranked by U.S. News and World Report and provides an excellent entry into the field. The curricula include excellent courses in sports management to give students an understanding of leadership and administration in the health, wellness, and fitness world.

Campus Location: Daphne, AL

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Program Options:

  • Sports Coaching
  • Sports Management
  • Sports Studies
  • Sports Strength and Conditioning

Acceptance Rate: unavailable

Retention Rate: unavailable

Graduation Rate: 22%

LEARN MORE ABOUT UNITED STATES SPORTS ACADEMY’S ONLINE BACHELOR OF SPORTS SCIENCE DEGREE

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ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
There are many advantages to earning an online bachelor’s degree in Healthy Lifestyle Coaching from Arizona State University, aside from attending one of the most popular and well-established institutions of distance education in the country. At ASU, students have the advantage of accelerated courses that are completed over 7.5-week terms, which drastically reduces their time spent in school, yet sacrifices no quality in instruction. The curriculum includes classes in exercise, nutrition, and health sciences that increase knowledge in both care and prevention. This program has a strong emphasis on community involvement through local organizations in experiential learning opportunities and internships. Graduates are prepared to complete the National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach examination.

Campus Location: Tempe, AZ

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Human Sexuality for Health Education
  • Body Image and Wellness
  • Physical Activity in Health and Disease

Acceptance Rate: 82.9%

Retention Rate: 81%

Graduation Rate: 43%

LEARN MORE ABOUT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN HEALTH SCIENCES/HEALTHY LIFESTYLES COACHING PROGRAM

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CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
This online school’s Bachelor in Kinesiology degree is challenging, yet gratifying, and rigorously trains students in exercise science, physical education, and sports medicine. The curriculum is designed so that graduates have the knowledge and skill to enter immediately into health and wellness careers related to sports science, or to continue their education to become trainers and teachers and are well-situated to do so with a degree from California Baptist University. The program is designed to approach the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of students’ academic and professional careers, and is firmly rooted in the ethical principles and tenets of Christianity.

Campus Location: Riverside, CA

Accreditation:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Behavioral Aspects of Sport
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Care and Prevention of Athletic Injury

Acceptance Rate: 65.4%

Retention Rate: 76%

Graduation Rate: 67.2%

LEARN MORE ABOUT CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN KINESIOLOGY PROGRAM

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CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO

Program Standouts:
Concordia University Chicago’s online Bachelor in Kinesiology includes a foundation in disease prevention and health promotion to give students a clearly defined approach to the fundamentals of exercise science. The program is designed to give students a broader understanding of combatting problems like obesity to improve health over a lifespan. The curriculum includes accelerated coursework such that the program can be completed in as few as 16 months, depending on students’ applicable transfer credits. The degree offers students small class sizes and invaluable opportunities to form strong relationships with professors and classmates who develop a strong network of professional peers in the future.

Campus Location: River Forest, IL

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Health and Fitness Assessment
  • Nutrition, Exercise, and Behavior
  • Managing Lifetime Fitness

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Retention Rate: 66%

Graduation Rate: 57.8%

LEARN MORE ABOUT CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO’S ONLINE BACHELOR OF KINESIOLOGY DEGREE

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Program Standouts:
This online program from the University of Florida offers a more general approach to kinesiology and exercise science through the Bachelor in Health Education and Behavior. This coursework prepares students to work in the fitness industry, while also training them for positions as community and family health educators with various titles. Individuals of this major can also take advantage of the numerous workshops and virtual seminars available through UF, such as those in Sport Management and Health Education and Behavior, that gives them a stronger kinesiology edge to their education. Graduates of this program are well-suited to enter into the professional field or into graduate programs at prominent universities and colleges.

Campus Location: Gainesville, FL

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Community Health Methods in Injury Prevention and Control
  • Worksite Health Promotion
  • Planning and Evaluating Health Education Programs

Acceptance Rate: 48%

Retention Rate: 97%

Graduation Rate: 87.1%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA’S ONLINE HEALTH EDUCATION AND BEHAVIOR PROGRAM

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AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY

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Program Standouts:
The American Public University System (comprised of both American Public University and American Military University) offers an online Bachelor in Sports and Health Sciences that is designed to have students enter directly into the profession upon graduation. Students engage in exercise programming and testing and learn to develop individualized action plans for clients with various needs. Alumni of APU have gone on to work in corporate wellness programs, with individual clients, and in the fitness industry. The curriculum is implemented according to the principles and guidelines according to the American Sport Education Program, and allows students to choose one of four unique concentration options.

Campus Location: Charles Town, WV

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Program Options:

  • General Sports and Health Sciences
  • Coaching Studies
  • Exercise Science
  • Fitness and Wellness Professional Studies

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Retention Rate: 76%

Graduation Rate: 22%

LEARN MORE ABOUT AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE SPORTS AND HEALTH SCIENCES DEGREE

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UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT LAFAYETTE

university of louisiana lafayette

Program Standouts:
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s online Bachelor in Kinesiology includes a specialization in Health Promotion and Wellness, which opens up opportunities for students to become community health workers and health educators. These online courses can be taken at either a standard or an accelerated rate and are specifically intended to prepare students for the Certified Health Education Specialist examination. The curriculum explores topics from health planning to business management. Students gain leadership and management skills, particularly through the clinical experiences and internship programs that drastically enhance their professional growth. In-state and out-of-state tuition rates are the same for all students.

Campus Location: Lafayette, LA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Health Behavior Theories and Planning Models
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Basic Life Support
  • Health Promotion Program Planning

Acceptance Rate: 48%

Retention Rate: 75%

Graduation Rate: 55%

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT LAFAYETTE’S ONLINE BACHELOR IN KINESIOLOGY DEGREE

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CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL

Program Standouts:
This online Bachelor in Exercise Science from Concordia University, St. Paul is specifically designed for working adults who either have experience or who are newcomers to the field. Coursework is flexible and individualized, giving students control over their subject areas and when they complete classes. The curriculum concentrates on exercise, human movement, and management, and prepares graduates from numerous roles, such as Athletic Coach, Wellness Coach, Personal Trainer, and more. CSP maintains an impressive 95% job placement rate for alumni within a year of graduation, who also earn 44% more than average.

Campus Location: Saint Paul, MN

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Sport Business
  • Exercise Assessment
  • Biomechanics

Acceptance Rate: 55%

Retention Rate: 72%

Graduation Rate: 65%

LEARN MORE ABOUT CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, ST. PAUL’S ONLINE BACHELOR OF ARTS (BA) IN EXERCISE SCIENCE

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These online schools are guaranteed to give students a thorough and rigorous education in kinesiology, which will prepare them to enter into the field immediately, or into prominent masters degree programs in a related field. No matter their online school of choice, these students will complete fulfilling community-based projects, experiential learning opportunities, and internships that drastically enhance their knowledge and skills as kinesiologists. Graduates have gone on to work as athletic and personal trainers, exercise physiologists, coaches, sports administrators, sports therapists, instructors, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference between kinesiology and exercise science?

These two fields are similar enough that the terms are frequently used interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences: kinesiology focuses more on the physiology, muscle control, and mechanics of the human body, whereas exercise science has more of a focus on physical activity and strength conditioning. However, a degree of either title will include similar science and physical activity-based coursework.

Will I have job security in the kinesiology and exercise science field?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the job outlook for exercise physiologists at around 13% over the next 5 years, which is faster than average and gives these professionals an excellent amount of job security. As of 2016, there are 15,100 positions available in the United States.

How much money will I make in the field of kinesiology?

Exercise Physiologists earn about $50,000 per year. Fitness Trainers and Instructors earn about $40,000 per year. Coaches and Scouts earn about $32,000 per year. These wages are only an average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and can certainly vary from industry to industry, depending on where graduates choose to focus their professional skills.