Kinesiology is the study of movement of the human body through a physiological, biochemical, and psychological lens. On this page, readers can find a list of the top online bachelor's degrees in kinesiology.

Readers can also discover information about common courses for kinesiology majors, potential careers for graduates, typical admission requirements, and frequently asked questions.

What Are the Best Kinesiology Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top Three:

Rank School Location
1 University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC
2 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
3 Concordia University, Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN

Earning an online bachelor's degree in kinesiology opens the door to many entry-level positions in the field. Graduates can also further their education and pursue a master's or a doctorate in kinesiology or a related field.

Students who immediately enter the workforce can begin careers as exercise physiologists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that exercise physiologists earn a median annual salary of $49,170. Additionally, the BLS projects 10% growth in this field between 2018 and 2028.

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2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Kinesiology Programs

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Wilmington, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

The University of North Carolina Wilmington serves more than 16,000 students each year, many of whom earn their credentials remotely through Blackboard Learn. The school's online bachelor of science in exercise science prepares candidates to pursue work as physical therapists, clinical exercise physiologists, and physician assistants.

Like other bachelor's in kinesiology programs, this degree plan covers topics like human anatomy and physiology, sports nutrition, and facilitating behavior change. Students take advanced courses in their concentration, choosing either allied health or exercise physiology. They gain hands-on experience by completing a field experience.

Incoming first-year students must submit ACT or SAT scores. To enroll as a transfer student, applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

2

California Baptist University

Riverside, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Based in Riverside, California Baptist University delivers over 40 remote academic programs, including an online bachelor of science in kinesiology. This degree prepares graduates to work in areas like fitness and exercise, athletic training, and allied health. Major classes total 50 credits, which the average candidate completes in 18 months.

Course topics include applied movement anatomy, lifelong motor development, and care and prevention of athletic injury. Students also explore research and evaluation methods, learning to collect, analyze, and apply empirical data through scientific writing. They personalize their degree plan with electives, choosing from options like movement experiences for children and principles of conditioning athletes.

To enroll in this online bachelor's in kinesiology program, applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA. CBU prefers candidates with at least 24 transferable credits.

3

Concordia University, Saint Paul

Saint Paul, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Concordia University, St. Paul is a leader in distance education, offering over 40 remote certificates and degrees. The school's online bachelor of arts in exercise science program prepares learners for positions related to wellness coaching, occupational therapy, and personal training. Faculty deliver classes through seven-week sessions.

Required coursework includes applied nutrition; functional anatomy; and motor development, control, and learning. Like many online bachelor's degrees in kinesiology, this program requires students to complete an internship. Students can use electives to pursue specialized topics in the major or complete a complementary minor.

Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA. CSP powers distance education with the Blackboard learning management system. The university provides tuition discounts to military personnel and general scholarships based on financial need and academic merit.

Online Bachelor's in Kinesiology Program Overview

Students who earn an online bachelor's degree in kinesiology learn about the biological aspects of exercise and movement. Degree-seekers learn how to design exercise regimens, provide injury diagnosis, and layout treatment plans.

Students must typically complete a clinical component to gain practical experience. Some programs also require a capstone project.

The curriculum of an online bachelor's program in kinesiology features science courses in anatomy, biology, and physiology. These programs also include math requirements to increase students' understanding of more complicated scientific principles. Many kinesiologists work closely with patients and must learn to develop lasting, impactful relationships with their clients.

Many graduates enter the workforce directly after graduation. A bachelor's degree prepares students for many kinesiology careers and licensure exams. Students interested in teaching kinesiology or pursuing a more advanced degree -- including a medical degree -- should apply to graduate school once they have earned their bachelor's degree.

Common Bachelor's in Kinesiology Degree Courses

Human Nutrition

This course explores the intricacies of proper nutrition, including the effect of major food groups on energy production and health promotion. Students learn how proper nutrition can reduce health risks, improve athletic performance, and aid in injury recovery. This course directly relates to kinesiology jobs like athletic trainer and physical therapist.

Human Physiology

This class investigates the physical and biochemical functions of the human body. Online learners study organs, muscles, tissues, and cells. Coursework provides foundational knowledge of the human body, preparing students to pursue careers in medicine, healthcare, and physical therapy.

Motor Learning

This course teaches students about psychomotor development and the theoretical principles of learning movement skills. Students use case studies with athletes and dancers to gain a deeper understanding of how to gain and maintain control of skilled movement. This course serves future physical therapists and trainers.

Prevention and Care of Athletic Injury

Kinesiologist professionals who work directly with patients must learn how to prevent and care for injuries. Athletic trainers in particular need a critical understanding of injury diagnosis and prevention. Students learn how to teach these skills to athletes and other patients. This course also covers how to use protective equipment properly.

Biomechanical Basis of Movement

This course delves into the fundamentals of kinetics or kinematics -- a branch of biochemistry that studies rates of reaction. Students learn to apply this knowledge to injury prevention and performance improvement for athletes and other patients.

Online Bachelor's in Kinesiology Admission Requirements

  • Minimum GPA

    Many colleges require a minimum GPA for applicants -- typically between 2.0 and 3.0. Students who do not meet this threshold can sometimes still earn conditional admission.

  • High School Diploma/GED Certificate

    Most colleges require a high school diploma or GED equivalent from their applicants. Students usually need to submit transcripts to demonstrate their accomplishments.

  • Standardized Test Scores

    Many colleges require ACT or SAT scores, and some institutions prefer one exam over the other. Standardized test scores allow schools to compare candidates. Some institutions may also set minimum score requirements.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    In many cases, applicants must submit one or more letters of recommendation. These letters should come from teachers, bosses, and/or coaches. These letters help colleges determine how other members of the community view the applicant.

  • Statement of Purpose

    A statement of purpose usually describes what an applicant plans to do with their degree. It explains how the candidate would benefit from the program and vice versa.


Online Bachelor's in Kinesiology Career Paths

Some graduates who earn an online bachelor's degree in kinesiology become athletic trainers. These trainers specialize in diagnosing and treating muscle and bone injuries received during athletic activity. Almost all states require licensure or certification for this career. The BLS projects 19% growth in this industry between 2018 and 2028.

Alternatively, exercise physiologists develop fitness programs to help sick or injured patients regain their strength. These professionals must perform fitness tests and examine medical charts to create effective recovery programs. The BLS notes that only Louisiana requires licensure for this career -- although similar legislation is pending in other states -- and projects 10% growth in this industry between 2018 and 2028.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a kinesiologist do?

A kinesiologist studies the movement of the human body, determining how to improve basic motor functions. Kinesiologists can help improve existing physical injuries or show patients how to prevent future injuries. These professionals can also work with patients with neurological disorders.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in kinesiology?

It usually takes about four years to earn an online bachelor's degree in kinesiology. Students may finish their program faster if they receive credit from previous education, military service, AP exams, and/or work experience.

Is a kinesiology degree hard?

A kinesiology degree requires several different types of science classes, such as biology and physiology. The rigor of the program depends on the specific university.

How much does a kinesiologist make?

Kinesiologist salaries differ depending on each professional's specific career, level of education, and location. However, the BLS reports that athletic trainers and exercise physiologists -- two common positions in this field -- earn median annual salaries of around $50,000.

Can you get into med school with a bachelor's in kinesiology?

Yes. However, students must meet all prerequisites for med school, including courses in biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Kinesiology students interested in med school should speak with academic advisors for guidance.

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