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Kinesiology programs are similar to exercise science and athletic training programs. Kinesiologists study human movement and physical activity, often working as fitness trainers, occupational therapists, massage therapists, and sports coaches. Such exercise physiologists are in high demand, with job growth of around 9% and an average annual salary of $47,940.

An online bachelor’s in kinesiology degree will take a full-time student approximately four years to complete, requiring 120 credit hours on average. As of 2021, the average yearly cost of a bachelor’s degree is $25,910 for public schools and $45,920 for private schools.

How to Choose an Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology Program

Choose your area of study

Kinesiologists will study subjects in the sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, and physics. They will focus on rehabilitative exercise, physical education, and reconditioning, but they have a wide range of options for specialization. For example, kinesiologists may choose to specialize in aquatics therapy or occupational therapy, or they might prefer to work for private hospitals or public gyms.

If you hope to work with and help manage sports teams, you may want to choose elective courses that include business and management skills. If you’d prefer to work with athletes individually, sports psychology and exercise programming might be beneficial. There are many possibilities for kinesiologists to choose from, so look and decide which area of study appeals most to you.

Research schools and programs

One of the most important things to keep in mind is whether the schools and their respective programs are accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The financial aid for which you qualify depends on the accreditation, and other factors, like the quality of the education and the jobs or postsecondary programs for which you are eligible, may be similarly impacted.

Many kinesiology programs require supervised clinical work, so be sure to include this in your research. Online students may have different requirements than on-campus students, but contact an admissions representative to ensure you fully understand the course load and demands of the program.

In addition, keep your personal preferences in mind as you research schools. If you like working in groups, ask your admissions counselor if any student meetups or study groups are available to online students. If you enjoy working alone, an asynchronous delivery format might give you more self-direction. At first, you may not think to include these preferences in your research, but they can significantly impact your learning experience.

Prepare for tests and applications

It’s best to start early when preparing your application materials. It can take time to gather and submit all the documentation that the application asks for. Most bachelor’s degree programs will request your high school transcript, standardized test scores such as the SAT or ACT, and recommendation letters. Applying online is likely the easiest way to keep track of deadlines and ensure all your documents are submitted to the correct place, but you can also print and send in your applications by mail.

Select your program

While an online bachelor’s degree program offers many advantages, there are some extra considerations to think about. For instance, what kind of delivery format works best for you? Do you prefer to learn at your own pace, or do you want a synchronous experience with instructor-led delivery? Do you have access to the necessary technology and software for online learning? These are all considerations that will affect your experience as an online student.

In addition, you may want to ask your admissions counselor the following questions:

  • Is this program nationally or regionally accredited?
  • How long has this online program been offered?
  • Do most students attend part-time or full-time?
  • What kind of student support is available to online students?

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

It’s never too early to begin planning for the costs of your degree. Most students start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can help determine which funding options are available. Your school’s financial aid office can also provide information about grants, scholarships, and other tuition assistance that may be available.

Best 50 Accredited Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in Kinesiology Programs Badge

Concordia University at St. Paul

University of Kansas

University of North Dakota

California Baptist University

University of Louisiana Lafayette

University of Louisiana Monroe

East Central University

Tarleton State University

Ottawa University

Concordia University-Chicago

North Carolina Central University

California University of Pennsylvania

Franklin University

Abilene Christian University

Arizona State University

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How We Rank Schools

This list covers undergraduate programs in kinesiology that are taught online or with a mix of online and on-campus coursework. Graduates are often awarded either a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology, Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, or Bachelor of Science in Health & Wellness.

The programs on this list have been accredited by institutions such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

What Can You Expect from an Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology Program?

Bachelor’s degree programs are typically 120 credit hours on average. These programs are designed to be completed in approximately four years for full-time students.

Kinesiologists use their expertise to help patients recover their range of motion and mobility. They use their knowledge of physiology to develop fitness regimens that help people improve their lives through exercise.

Their training will require innovative and critical thinking, social perceptiveness, and an inherent desire to help people. Students will develop a greater understanding of human anatomy, physical injury, and biomechanics. They will also refine their assessment and record-taking skills along with their research and organization skills.

These skills allow kinesiologists with a bachelor’s degree to choose from a range of careers, including:

  • Personal trainer
  • Fitness instructor
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Fitness or club/gym manager
  • Strength and conditioning coach

Potential courses you’ll take in an online bachelor’s in kinesiology degree program

  • Methods of Exercise Instruction. Students learn the proper techniques for demonstrating cardiovascular, resistance, and flexibility exercises to patients or clients. The course covers a variety of exercise equipment, machines, and free weights.
  • Endurance Sports Program Design. This course teaches appropriate and safe methods for training individuals participating in endurance sports. Topics include nutrition, injury reduction, training techniques, safety, and physiological and psychological aspects of endurance competitions.
  • Behavior Modification for Physical Activity. Students examine theories associated with exercise physiology and health behavior change. This course covers behavioral interventions to encourage healthy behaviors and improve adherence to fitness regimens. The effects of exercise on mental health are also explored.
  • Principles of Human Nutrition. Students assess nutrient requirements for people of all ages, emphasizing diet in relation to physical activity and weight loss.
  • Exercise Testing and Evaluation. Students practice the assessment and evaluation process of determining physical fitness. This class introduces laboratory and field-based methods for measuring and evaluating health and fitness.

Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology Degree Program Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online bachelor’s in kinesiology degree program?

Your admissions counselor can help you through the application process, but researching the application process of your school via its website and applying online is often the most convenient way to ensure all your document submissions meet deadlines. In addition to official transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and letters of recommendation, you should be prepared to offer any of the following documents if they apply:

  • Completed FAFSA
  • Advanced placement test scores
  • Resume
  • Information about your extracurricular activities, internships, or volunteer work
  • Personal statement or letter of intent
  • Information about any fieldwork in your area of study

It’s never a bad idea to have a trusted family member or close friend take a look at your application for you once you’ve completed it. Sometimes a second pair of eyes will catch mistakes or offer suggestions that can be very helpful.

How much does an online bachelor’s in kinesiology degree program cost?

According to U.S. News & World Report, the average cost of a bachelor’s degree is between $38,496-$60,593. However, some schools charge additional student fees, library fees, and software or technology fees that may not be included in tuition. Be sure to ask your admissions counselor or financial aid advisor about these types of fees early in your planning process.

How long does it take to earn an online bachelor’s in kinesiology degree?

An online bachelor’s degree usually requires the completion of approximately 120 credits. Undergraduate students can typically finish their degrees within four years. However, some schools offer dual-degree pathways or accelerated courses that condense the coursework into fewer semesters, so this may be an option if you are hoping to finish your program in under four years.

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