2022 Best Online Kinesiology Degrees

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If you enjoy the study life sciences and have an interest in the health and wellness sector, then you might consider pursuing an online kinesiology degree.

Best Online Kinesiology Degrees

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Kinesiology is the study of human movement and locomotion. This degree can open doors to intriguing career pathways for those interested in research, sports, fitness, or healthcare.

Kinesiology Degrees Online

Kinesiology Degrees Online

Kinesiology degrees offer opportunities to explore the fascinating world and science of human movement and biomechanics.

Kinesiology training can lead to a range of medical research and medical care career pathways, but it can also lead to roles in other industries, such as sports, fitness, and education. Getting a kinesiology degree can have many benefits. Studying kinesiology can help you get solid training in life science and pre-med coursework, such as anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and more.

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The scientific understanding of human movement can be applied in a number of roles. Kinesiology professionals include:

  • Athletic trainers
  • Sports coaches
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Exercise science specialists
  • Fitness instructors

A physical therapist is also considered a kinesiology professional, but this occupation requires a doctorate in physical therapy. Other therapy roles also require advanced training and graduate degrees in their respective field.

Pursuing more advanced studies in kinesiology may open other doors to experimental research roles. Some specialize in sports medicine and athletic training, physical rehabilitation, medical technology development, robotics design, and more. A kinesiology degree program offers intriguing opportunities for investigative experimental research, a solid foundation in pre-med related course offerings, and diverse career pathways.

Common Online Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology Concentrations

Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology

Degrees in kinesiology can help you develop skills that are useful in various fields. Here are some areas of concentration you may have the opportunity to choose from, depending on the program:

  • Physical Therapy. Some students study kinesiology to prepare for graduate studies in physical therapy. Earning a concentration in physical therapy during undergrad could be beneficial if this is your goal.
  • Athletic Training. Athletic trainers typically study kinesiology. They might find jobs in gyms, with sports teams, with private clients, or at rehabilitation facilities. They typically help athletes improve their athletic performance and prevent or recover from sports-related injuries.
  • Physical Education. Students with this concentration typically learn about physiology, nutrition, kinesiology, and exercise physiology. They may go on to work in schools or recreation programs, leading physical activities or teaching physical education classes.
  • Experimental Research. Some professionals with training in kinesiology go on to get advanced degrees and pursue careers in medical- or technology-related research in kinesiology, biomechanics, or exercise science.
  • Exercise Science. Professionals who study exercise science often work as personal trainers, fitness or conditioning specialists, exercise physiologists, or cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialists.

A kinesiology major can provide training and insights that are applicable in a range of roles. Choosing a concentration can help you develop skills that are specialized to your personal interests and career goals.

Kinesiology Careers and Salaries

Kinesiology Careers and Salaries

A kinesiology degree can help you prepare for a number of careers. Thinking more about which careers most interest you can help you select an accredited online program in kinesiology with course offerings and concentrations that match your career goals.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are many careers offering meaningful work in fields related to healthcare, fitness, and sports medicine.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Occupational Therapy Assistants $62,940
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers $60,660
Physical Therapist Assistants $59,770
Health Education Specialists $56,500
Exercise Physiologists $50,280
Athletic Trainers $49,860
Fitness Trainers and Instructors $40,510
Coaches and Scouts $36,330
Occupational Therapy Aides $30,180
Physical Therapist Aides $28,450

Some therapy-related careers, such as physical or occupational therapy assistant, often require additional training or licensing. In order to become a K-12 physical education teacher, it may be necessary to acquire teaching licensure, depending on the school and state.

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You can also choose to get advanced degrees down the road in order to pursue careers in experimental research related to human movement, locomotion, and exercise physiology.

Online Degree in Kinesiology Curriculum & Courses

Online Degree in Kinesiology

The courses you take in a kinesiology degree program online can introduce you to a broad range of topics and concepts. Here are examples of the types of courses you may come across:

  • Introduction to Kinesiology: This course is an overview of fundamental principles of kinesiology, including foundational concepts and an overview of methods and research.
  • Human Physiology: You’ll learn how the human body works physically, from the chemical, molecular, and cell levels to holistic body functions.
  • Human Anatomy: This essential course for all forms of kinesiology practice provides a thorough survey of body components, organs, and body systems.
  • General Physics: This course is an overview of scientific principles related to the dynamics of energy, momentum, force, resistance, and motion.
  • Human Biomechanics: This course studies and analyzes the dynamics, mechanics, and principles of human movement, combining principles from physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, and physics.
  • Sport and Exercise Physiology: You’ll learn about prevalent topics related to the physiological dynamics of sport and exercise, including assessment methods, preventive measures, performance enhancement, and types of injuries and interventions.
  • Principles of Physical Therapy: You’ll learn basic principles and methods in physical therapy, including patient assessment methods and treatment methods.
  • Cardiopulmonary Health: Since biomechanics and kinesiology are related to exercise, holistic approaches to exercise physiology rely on understanding heart and lung functions and health factors.
  • Motor Development: In addition to learning the developmental stages of motor development, you’ll learn about mind-body motor interactions and principles related to movement, balance, and physical coordination.
  • Introduction to Applied Statistics: You’ll learn about the statistical methods used in medical investigation, research, and reporting.

Kinesiologists apply concepts from a range of scientific domains at the intersection of physical mechanics, biology, and physiology.

How to Choose an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology Program

Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology Program

Taking stock of your professional goals, learning styles, and personal interests can help you choose an online kinesiology degree program that’s right for you. Here are some factors to consider as you compare programs:

  • Course offerings. Most kinesiology programs will offer similar foundational courses in anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics. Some programs will also offer courses aligned with different kinds of career pathways, such as sports medicine, prosthetics, kinesiology research, or performance coaching.
  • Hands-on learning. Some online programs require a few in-person classes for hands-on training, while other programs may offer a fully online learning option.
  • Capstone activities and internships. Some programs offer exposure to practical workplace experiences in the form of capstone practicums, internship support, or lab learning opportunities.

As you compare programs, it’s beneficial to keep your individual learning objectives in mind. You can also watch for program designs and options that you may not have anticipated.

Bachelor of Kinesiology Admissions Requirements

Bachelor of Kinesiology Admissions

Some schools have less barriers to admissions than others, but you’ll generally find that getting into a bachelors in kinesiology online program requires the following:

  • SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Satisfactory GPA
  • Letters of recommendation

If you have questions about admissions requirements or special admissions circumstances for a particular school, you can request more information from the school’s admissions office.

Accreditation

Bachelor of Kinesiology Accreditation

Looking for schools with regional accreditation can help ensure that your prospective schools have rigorous academic standards, adequate student support services, and fully qualified faculty.

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Regional accreditation can also be a precondition for some forms of financial aid, for admissions to credible graduate programs, and for some forms of professional licensing. Organizations such as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) offer information about accreditation and resources for finding accredited schools.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Bachelor of Kinesiology financial aid

When you’re not sure how to pay the upfront costs of getting an online bachelor’s degree, financial aid offerings can typically help you move forward.

There are different forms of financial aid available for qualifying students, often based on your financial need. Common forms include federal and state grants, school scholarships, employer-based tuition assistance programs, and student loans. There are also a number of merit-based scholarships and tuition assistance opportunities.

Terms and conditions can vary, so it’s helpful to fully review all offers. If you anticipate applying for need-based aid, submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is often a good first step.

Is Kinesiology a Good Major?

Kinesiology major

Yes, kinesiology is a good major for many undergraduate students. As a kinesiology major, you can learn about many practical topics that are beneficial for future careers in a range of healthcare, science, and fitness industries. For example, kinesiology is applicable to medicine, life science, physical therapy, sports medicine, and athletic coaching.

Some kinesiology graduates go on to earn advanced degrees in medicine, physical therapy, or kinesiology research. Others enter the workforce as sports medicine specialists, athletic trainers, physical education teachers, coaches, or exercise physiologists.

What Can You Do with a Bachelors in Kinesiology?

Bachelors in Kinesiology degrees

Many kinesiology professionals work in rewarding careers that range from sports to healthcare fields, including experimental research in sports, medicine, and technology.

Many professionals with kinesiology degrees work in fitness and sports fields as trainers, PE teachers, coaches, or exercise and fitness specialists. Many others go into the healthcare field, working as exercise physiologists and kinesiotherpists.

Having a bachelors in kinesiology could also help prepare you for graduate degree programs. For instance, it’s common for physical therapists to major in kinesiology before entering a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.

What Does a Kinesiologist Do?

Kinesiologist careers

Some kinesiologists work as exercise physiologists, designing exercise and fitness programs to help their patients recover from physical injury or improve mobility.

Because kinesiologists learn about the physics and physiology of human movement and locomotion, many kinesiologists also work with athletes. Athletic trainers can help athletes improve their performance and prevent or recover from injuries.

Kinesiologists can also become fitness instructors and coaches. Some kinesiology majors receive further training to become licensed physical therapists or sports medicine specialists.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Kinesiology Degree Online?

Kinesiology Degree Online

Completing all the requirements for a bachelor’s degree generally takes 4 years. If you opt to enroll part-time, it will often take longer.

Some accredited online programs offer accelerated study options and timelines. These may require following an 8 week semester and continuous, year-round enrollment. If you study full-time with shorter term classes, you may be able to complete your program in less time.

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Getting a bachelors in kinesiology from an accredited school can also open doors to more advanced degree programs. Complementary grad degrees include physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, physical education, sports medicine, and more.

What Jobs Can I Get with a Kinesiology Degree?

Kinesiology Degree jobs

What jobs you can qualify for will often depend on a number of factors, including work experience, your chosen industry, and your level of training.

That said, getting a degree in kinesiology could help you develop skills that are applicable in a number of kinesiology roles. Exercise physiologists typically need a bachelors degree, and they typically work with patients in a healthcare setting.

Other kinesiology majors pursue careers in the sports industry, often as coaches or athletic trainers. Fitness instructors can also benefit from earning a bachelors in kinesiology.

What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology vs. Exercise Science?

Exercise science is a subfield of kinesiology, so these two degree programs can study some overlapping topics.

Kinesiology Degree Exercise Science Degree
  • Deals with the study of human movement and locomotion
  • Studies foundational topics in physiology, physics, anatomy, and biomechanics
  • Covers applied statistics and methods used in kinesiology research
  • Deals with principles from kinesiology and exercise physiology
  • Studies how exercise impacts human health and fitness
  • Covers related topics in nutrition and sports medicine

 Principles from kinesiology have practical applications in both physical therapy domains and sports medicine roles. First and foremost, though, kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement and biomechanics, informed by anatomical and experimental research.

What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor in Kinesiology vs. Physical Therapy?

Both kinesiology and physical therapy degrees cover the dynamics of human movement, but they each differ in their study and application of the topic.

Kinesiology Degree Physical Therapy Degree
  • Studies the science of human movement and biomechanical dynamics
  • Covers experimental methods and designs used in kinesiology research
  • Explores how to help people improve their wellness and mobility through exercises
  • Studies treatment methods related to physical injuries, range of motion, and physical rehabilitation
  • Covers techniques to providing direct therapeutic assessments and treatments
  • Explores how to help people recover from a physical injury through exercises as well as medical techniques and tools

A bachelor’s degree is often sufficient for many kinesiology roles, such as athletic trainer and exercise physiologist. A doctorate in physical therapy and licensure is required to become a physical therapist.

Is a Kinesiology Online Degree Worth It?

Kinesiology Online Degree

Yes, a kinesiology online degree is worth it for many professionals. Kinesiology is a fascinating area of human and medical science. A degree in this field can open pathways for rewarding careers in fitness, sports, or healthcare.

Many kinesiology professionals use their skills in careers related to athletic training and exercise physiology, for example. Kinesiology is also a common undergrad major for those who wish to pursue doctoral studies in physical therapy.

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Over the next ten years, employment for exercise physiologists, athletic trainers, and coaches and scouts is expected to grow 13%, 23%, and, 26%, respectively (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Kinesiology Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

California Baptist University

California Baptist University

California Baptist University offers a Bachelor of Kinesiology. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours, with 60 credits dedicated to the major. To be eligible for the program, applicants must provide proof of a high school diploma and have a minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher. Though not required, the program recommends students to have 24 transferable credits as well.

California Baptist University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Concordia University – Chicago

Concordia University - Chicago

Concordia University—Chicago offers an online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology program. To graduate, students must complete 128 credit hours. The program offers online classes that are 8 weeks long. To be eligible for the program, applicants must submit official transcripts and have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Concordia University Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

East Central University

East Central University

East Central University offers a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Students must complete 124 credit hours to graduate. All courses are 8 weeks long and offered online. Those interested in the program must submit official high school transcripts, ACT or SAT test scores, a resume, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.

East Central University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University

Kansas State University offers an online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology program. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate. To be eligible for the program, applicants must either have a minimum high school GPA of 3.25, an ACT score of 21, or an SAT score of 1060.

Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Montreat College

Montreat College

Montreat College offers a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. The program requires the completion of 120 credit hours and can typically be completed in 4 years. Each of its online classes is 8 weeks long. To be eligible for the program, applicants must submit copies of their official transcripts and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Montreat College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University offers a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Students may choose to add a concentration in Fitness and Wellness. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours. Those interested in the program may apply online through the school’s website with copies of their transcripts.

North Carolina Central University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University

Oregon State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Students must complete 180 quarter credit hours. Applicants must have a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher. Official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores must be submitted to the school.

Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Tarleton State University

Tarleton State University

Tarleton State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. The program requires 120 credit hours and can typically be completed in 4 years.

Students may add one of six concentrations to their degree, including Athletic Training, Exercise and Sport Studies, and Fitness, Athletic, and Strength Training. Those interested in the program may apply online with their official high school transcripts.

Tarleton State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise and Sport Physiology. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours with a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Applicants must submit an application along with their SAT or ACT test scores and an application essay.

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Kansas

University of Kansas

The University of Kansas offers both a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. Both programs require students to complete 120 credit hours to graduate. Classes can be taken online or on campus. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.25 and submit ACT or SAT test scores and official transcripts.

The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Bachelors in Kinesiology Online

Bachelors in Kinesiology Online

Studying kinesiology and related topics in biomechanics and physiology can help you develop in-demand skill sets.

There are many kinesiology bachelors degree online programs offering unique curriculum designs and course concentrations. Also, a growing number of universities offer masters in kinesiology online programs as well. Online programming can also add flexibility and convenience to your educational journey.

You can start exploring kinesiology programs from accredited universities today to find the study options and specializations that best align with your goals and interests.

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Keith Nickolaus
WRITTEN BY
Keith Nickolaus
Keith has a Ph.D. and Master's in Comparative Literature from the University of California - Berkeley and a Bachelor's in Literature from the University of California - Santa Cruz. A retired educator, Keith lives in Berkeley and researches and writes about trends in innovation, policy, and education leadership.