Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Explore the coursework in these programs, which are typically offered in on-campus formats. Read about several career options related to kinesiology, and check the salary potential for each position. Schools offering Exercise Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Expect from a Kinesiology Program?

Kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement and physical activity. Bachelor's degree programs usually award a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Kinesiology. Programs might seek students with good communication skills who enjoy working with people on a daily basis. You also usually should hold an interest in physical fitness and staying healthy.

You sometimes can select a concentration such as fitness, athletic training or exercise science. During the program, you usually can conduct kinesiology research and laboratory work under the guidance of professors. Some programs also offer internships and volunteer opportunities assisting instructors and researchers. You might intern or volunteer at a health center, a gym or a laboratory.

Although some programs may allow you to take select kinesiology undergraduate courses online, fully online bachelor's degree programs in kinesiology are extremely rare. You can, however, enroll in an online bachelor's degree program in health fitness to gain similar knowledge about human mobility, exercise, human anatomy, nutrition and physiology.

Concentration Options Athletic training, fitness, exercise science
Common Courses Human anatomy, physiology, sports psychology, sociology of exercise, athletic injury rehabilitation
Career Options Aerobics instructor, athletic trainer, athletic coach, fitness trainers
Mean Annual Wage (2014) $44,580 (for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors); * $49,280 (for athletic trainers); * $43,870 (for coaches and scouts); *
Job Outlook (2016-2026)23% growth (Athletic Trainers)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Kinesiology classes explore various facets of human movement, from mechanical processes to the psychological and sociological effects of physical activity. You'll also examine the nutritional and exercise needs of athletes and non-athletes alike. Typical kinesiology subjects of study can include:

  • Motor learning
  • Human anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and wellness
  • Sports psychology
  • Sociology of exercise
  • Emergency first aid
  • Athletic injury rehabilitation
  • Conducting health assessments

What Careers Can I Enter?

With your B.S. in Kinesiology, you can pursue a career in health, fitness and sports. One possible career path is personal training and fitness instruction. For these jobs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recommended that you receive your fitness certification from an organization that has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies ( Certification usually involves taking CPR training and passing an examination, according to the BLS. The BLS reported that fitness trainers and aerobics instructors earned an average of $44,580 per year in 2018.

You also can become an athletic trainer and treat sports and exercise injuries. The BLS stated that you usually must receive licensure, which may require you to gain certification from the Board of Certification, Inc. According to the BLS, the certification process typically requires you to receive your bachelor's degree from an accredited university, pass an exam and seek continuing education. The BLS reported that athletic trainers made an average salary of $49,280 in 2018.

With your bachelor's degree, you also can find work as an athletic coach for a school or community sports team. The BLS reported that the job field for coaches and athletic instructors was expected to expand in the coming years due to a growing population and an increase in school sports programs. According to the BLS, coaches and scouts made an average of $43,870 in 2018.

A bachelor's degree program in kinesiology prepares you to apply to graduate programs in the health and exercise fields. For example, you can enroll in a sports psychology master's or doctoral degree program to become a sports psychologist, or you can enroll in a Doctor of Physical Therapy program to become a physical therapist.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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