Why This Matters


    Of those surveyed, 25% of athletic trainers say that a bachelor’s degree is the minimum education needed to succeed in this profession.


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for athletic trainers is expected to rise 16% by 2029 due to increased awareness of sports-related injuries.


    The BLS indicates that the average athletic trainer earned $49,860 per year as of May 2020. The highest 10% of earners in this profession made more than $75,810 annually.

Our Research

This list focuses on bachelor’s degree programs in exercise science that are offered online. Because this field is science-based, most programs award a Bachelor of Science. While most of these programs allow students to work at their own pace, some may require you to adhere to a schedule that includes online lectures and virtual study times.

Programs on this list are accredited by organizations such as the Higher Learning Commission and the National Committee for the Accreditation of Coaching Education. This ensures that any degree earned from these programs will be recognized by employers and credits will be recognized by other educational institutions.

  • 54 hours to write this article
  • 44 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 74 education programs we compared

The Top 22 Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

When preparing for a career in athletics, you may be considering several degrees. In addition to looking into a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, you may also be considering a degree in sports medicine. The path you choose should depend on your career goals. While a degree in exercise science prepares you to train athletes, a degree in sports medicine is focused on the treatment of sports-related injuries.

As with any postsecondary program, accreditation is important if you want your degree to be recognized by employers. Check the status of any degree you’re considering by searching the U.S. Department of Education’s accreditation database.

This degree can lead to a career as an athletic trainer, anatomist, athletic director, or aerobics instructor.

In addition to obtaining your degree, working as an athletic trainer or director may also require you to obtain certification from an organization such as the National Athletic Training Association.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s in exercise science programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Most bachelor’s programs, including those in exercise science, require students to have minimum SAT scores. For Bachelor of Science programs, you may need particularly high scores in math.
  • How long does it take to complete this degree online? While some schools offer fast-track options to help you earn your bachelor’s in exercise science in as little as two years, most students take about four years to complete these programs.

As you research degree options, be sure to keep track of important information about the programs you’re interested in. That includes application deadlines and procedures, start dates, and costs.

If you need financial help to cover the cost of your education, be sure to look into Federal Student Aid and take note of application deadlines as well. You may also want to consider grants, scholarships, and employer tuition assistance programs.