Compare School Options

Most schools have rolling admissions and financial help so you can start your degree in a few weeks!

A bachelor’s degree in exercise science is a significant step to becoming a professional in the physical health field. Graduates help others achieve their fitness, health, and sports performance roles as fitness trainers and instructors. Degree holders seek careers in physical therapy, personal training, exercise physiology, health promotion, and health education.

Jobs for fitness trainers and instructors are expected to grow 19% by 2031. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly salary for fitness trainers and instructors is $40,700 or $19.57 per hour.

Tuition rates vary by school for a four-year program of 120-128 credit hours but average between $250 and $650 per credit hour. A College Board 2022 report states the average yearly tuition is $10,940 for public schools and $39,400 for private schools.

How to Choose an Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science Degree Program

Choose your area of study

Decide if you want to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in exercise science. A BS might require you to select elective courses with a science focus like physiology, anatomy, and nutrition. You can choose a BA and include a focus in an exercise science area, such as kinesiology. Keep in mind the following suggestions:

  • Concentrate on an area of study that stimulates your passion and can lead to a satisfying career path.
  • Taper choices to the programs offering coursework that interests you.
  • Ask if experiential learning is required or on-campus visits.

Research schools and programs

Consider the most important criteria when researching schools and programs: accreditation, cost, and curriculum. Read all class descriptions to ascertain if the program presents what’s most important to your professional goals and learning preferences. During exploration, keep in mind the following:

  • Does the program consist of asynchronous courses that let students access course materials and finish assignments on their own schedule?
  • Is a support system in place for online students that offers tech support, mentorship, virtual tutoring, and career counseling?
  • What is the program really like? Public reviews on the school’s website, social media comments, or talking to graduates or current students might present a better picture of the program’s reputation.

Prepare for tests and applications

Speak with an admissions counselor first for information about application procedures and if a standardized test is required. The school’s website likely has details and links. The majority of schools demand a high school diploma or GED. Some colleges only accept applicants with a high school grade point average of 2.8 or higher. Applicants with low grade point averages might be accepted with a high ACT or SAT score. Collect needed materials:

  • Official transcripts from high school and any prior colleges
  • A resume or CV that lists experience, jobs, extracurricular activities, and particularly positions of leadership
  • Two to three letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, or mentors who can attest to your characteristics, work ethics, and achievements.
  • An application essay to highlight career goals, interest in school, and academic accomplishments

The most selective schools usually set earlier application deadlines. Most schools accept applications and supplemental materials electronically.

Select your program

Take into account the program’s curriculum, faculty credentials, and reputation. It’s essential to think about your academic goals and personal learning preferences. Considerations for selecting a program:

  • Visit the college campus to get a feel for the school’s culture and meet faculty and staff. You’ll get a sense of whether the school is suitable.
  • Assess the curriculum to see if it aligns with your interests and professional goals.
  • Research the faculty’s credentials and expertise.
  • Factor in the total cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Talk with a financial aid advisor who can create a plan to pay for education. Start planning early. Fill out the FAFSA to be eligible for income-based and loan-forgiveness aid. Student must complete the FAFSA annually to continue receiving aid. If employed, let Employee Tuition Assistance make arrangements with your employer to reimburse the cost of classes you paid for. Some of the most common payment options:

  • Federal student loans
  • Scholarships
  • Work-study programs
  • Assistantships
  • Fellowships
  • Free financial-need grants

Military service members and veterans might qualify for educational assistance from the Department of Administrative Affairs.

Best 50 Accredited Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science Degree Program

Best Online Bachelor's in Exercise Science Programs Badge

Concordia University at St. Paul

California Baptist University

University of Kansas

University of North Dakota

University of Louisiana Monroe

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Tarleton State University

East Central University

California University of Pennsylvania

Ottawa University

Eastern Oregon University

North Carolina Central University

Arizona State University

Maryville University

Concordia University Chicago

Cameron University

Franklin University

United States Sports Academy

Abilene Christian University

Discover More Options

How We Rank Schools

This list focuses on undergraduate programs offering bachelor’s degrees in exercise science or a related field. All programs on the list are available at nonprofit, accredited institutions, either public or private, with high-quality standards for post-secondary education. We reviewed fully online and in-person/online hybrid programs.

We evaluated each degree program on factors like tuition costs, faculty, reputation, student resources, and admission, retention, and graduation rates. We then calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

We also compared our picks to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

What Can You Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science Degree Program?

The 120-128 credit hour program incorporates general education classes and major classes. A bachelor’s in exercise science program usually consists of specialized courses offering basics on movement, human anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and sports psychology. Within the subcategory of exercise science are many subdisciplines of study: health and wellness, exercise physiology, and movement science. Various programs offer concentrations in strength and conditioning, kinesiology, and coaching.

Students can major in one of these subjects or include it in an exercise science degree as a concentration. Learners explore how the human body moves and reacts to physical exertion. They also learn how body mechanics and environmental factors affect bodily movements at the molecular and cellular levels. Students will master key terms and functions of various body systems, and explore the link between human activity and nutrition.

Some programs require students to complete a capstone project in the final semester to express different theories and concepts. An internship or supervised hands-on field placement is necessary with some degrees. Programs may include anatomical tests in a laboratory or home lab kit.

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

  • Community Health. Students explore health issues and resources applying to a variety of different populations. Students examine methods to improve health quality in high-risk areas.
  • Health Psychology. Learners experiment with ways to incorporate clients’ thoughts and feelings into education and health delivery. By studying the key characteristics of psychology, students realize how to integrate this aspect into their work.
  • Nutrition and Performance. Lectures concentrate on metabolism, nutrients, digestion, and hydration. Enrollees design diets for assorted body types and use strategies to motivate and encourage clients to stick to health plans.
  • Biomechanics. Class members receive an overview of human body movement. Topics feature the relationship and elasticity of muscles, tendons, and bones.
  • Behaviors in Fitness. Students familiarize themselves with the behaviors related to poor and optimal health and wellness, and learn how to develop techniques to improve health through behavior change.

Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science Degree Frequently Asked Questions

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

Contacting an admissions counselor is the most effective way to get all the information about application requirements and procedures. Start by keeping track of all significant dates and deadlines with a checklist. Group together all required materials:

  • ACT or SAT scores
  • Official transcripts from the registrar’s office of previous schools.
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Application essay

Some schools have links on their websites for recommenders to submit forms. Send the application by mail or fill out online.

How much does an online bachelor’s in exercise science degree cost?

The school, the program, and the student’s circumstances affect the cost of attaining a bachelor’s degree. Costs average between $250 and $650 per credit hour. The median annual tuition for a bachelor’s in exercise science four-year degree program is $10,940 for public schools and $39,400 for private schools. Institutions may add fees for technology, labs, libraries, and other resources. Books and supplies can add $1,240 to the annual expense. Other potential costs:

  • Tablets, software, laptops, headphones
  • High-speed internet access
  • Experiential learning activities like an internship or practicum requiring travel

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

Enrollment time might differ due to the number of required credits, the student’s prior education, and the pace of study. Typically, it takes four years of full-time study to obtain a degree. Elements that might contribute to program length:

  • Learners who can take more credits per semester or summer courses might finish in less than four years.
  • Experiential learning can add time to the program.
  • Students with an associate’s degree in exercise science might be able to transfer credits to lessen enrollment time.

Compare School Options

Related Degrees