It can be very easy to take ‘movement’ for granted when, for so many, it is second nature. Thankfully, when movement is limited or needs to be increased, kinesiologists are the first professionals most people turn to.

The entire field of kinesiology is dedicated to examining how people move, how movement affects well-being, and how to help people move better. This broad field encompasses a variety of different careers, including fitness trainers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other movement-related professions. Kinesiologists are employed at hospitals, clinics, gyms, rehab centers, and long-term care facilities to help patients and clients reach their mobility and fitness goals.

Job duties vary based on education and job title. They can encompass writing fitness plans, choosing the best exercises for a client’s goals, helping with rehabilitation exercises, assessing current fitness levels, and assisting with exercises.

Education is critical toward becoming a kinesiologist. At a minimum, kinesiologists must earn an associate degree, which is suitable for careers such as fitness trainer or massage therapist. Those who have earned a bachelor’s in kinesiology can pursue careers such as occupational therapy assistants, chiropractors, long-term care facility fitness instructors, or professional athletic trainers. Further education, such as a master’s or doctorate in physical therapy, can result in careers in physical therapy, occupational therapy, physical education teaching, or research.

While there isn’t an overarching certifying body for kinesiologists, certifications in specialties or chosen careers can be pursued. The American College of Sports and Medicine (ACSM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) both certify fitness trainers. Physical therapists are licensed by their state’s board and typically test with the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). Occupational therapists are certified by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

Kinesiology offers a wide array of career options with strong earning potential and high job growth.

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Ask an Expert: David Ferguson, PhD, FACSM, ACSM-CEP

Alex Ledbetter

Dr. David Ferguson is an associate professor of kinesiology at Michigan State University. With a strong foundation in exercise science and a passion for promoting physical health, Dr. Ferguson has dedicated his career to advancing the understanding of human movement, exercise physiology, and the impact of physical activity on overall well-being.

As a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) and a Clinical Exercise Physiologist certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM-CEP), he brings a wealth of expertise to his role, combining academic rigor with practical insights from the field. A commitment to excellence in research and education has marked his professional journey. His work encompasses various topics, from the physiological responses to exercise to developing evidence-based exercise interventions for diverse populations. His most recent publications have centered on how early life growth restriction can affect an individual’s chronic disease risk.

Medical Technology Schools: What is something you wish the public understood about kinesiology?

Dr. Ferguson: The joke with my family when I started in this field was “What is that?” It’s not a well-known or understood field. It used to be that all kinesiologists were PE teachers. We haven’t done that since the 60s. What we do in this field now is train our students to go out in the world and work in an allied health field. We know a lot of students who go on to earn degrees in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistance, or even attend medical school. We’re a foundation for building healthcare team members.

Medical Technology Schools: What advice would you give to aspiring students in kinesiology?

Dr. Ferguson: We joke that kinesiology is the liberal arts for the health sciences, but it’s true. You can do a lot within this field.

Think of kinesiology as the greatest foundation you can get in your education for allied health. An undergraduate kinesiology degree is a great start to a career in any healthcare setting, right, be it physical therapy, nursing, occupational therapy, and more. You’re going to get a comprehensive understanding of how exercise, nutrition, and physical activity all work to promote health and decrease disease risks. As for graduate students, that is an excellent choice for those who want to pursue a job in research.

Kinesiologist (Exercise Physiology) fast facts
Projected Jobs Created1,700
Projected Job Growth10%
Average Salary$55,820
Low Salary$39,250
Median Salary$51,350
High Salary$77,980
Entry-Level EDU Bachelor’s, Master’s Preferred
Sourced from BLS, February 2024

Accredited Degree & Certification Programs in Kinesiology

Kinesiology is a wide field and the desired career determines what type of degree is necessary. Occupational therapists, for example, can be licensed and work in their field with a master’s degree. Physical therapists, on the other hand, will need to earn a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree in order to practice.

Admission requirements for kinesiology programs vary based on the type of degree pursued but typical requirements include:

  • High school diploma or GED for bachelor’s programs
  • Bachelor’s degree for master’s or doctorate programs
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Test scores such as GRE, SAT, or ACT
  • English fluency. Many programs require an IELTS or TOEFL score for international students
  • Resume or CV
  • Official transcripts

Top programs in kinesiology, for all levels of degrees, include:

Arizona State University – College of Health Solutions

With undergraduate degrees in exercise science and kinesiology and graduate degrees in clinical exercise physiology, physical activity and health, and strength and conditioning, students have many options to choose from. Programs offered here are research-based with an emphasis on how to improve physical activity for better health outcomes. Ambitious students can even complete a five-year program and earn both a graduate and undergraduate degree. There is also a certificate program in personal fitness training.

The BS in kinesiology program provides students with an in-depth understanding of how the human body works. The program’s 120-credit curriculum includes courses such as introduction to kinesiology; introduction to evidence-based practice; motor behavior; psychosocial aspects of physical activity; biomechanics; physiology of exercise; and functional anatomy and kinesiology.

The MS in clinical exercise physiology program is made up of 31 credits and includes courses such as advanced exercise assessment and prescription; health promotion; cardiopulmonary rehabilitation; cardiovascular and pulmonary physiology; management and treatment of chronic disease for the clinical exercise physiologist; and advanced exercise physiology.

  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to four years

Indiana University – School of Public Health

The master’s in science (MS) in kinesiology at the Indiana University School of Public Health offers students six tracks and two majors. Students all gain a broad foundation in kinesiology and then can specialize in biomechanics; exercise and sports psychology; motor control; exercise physiology; or sport and coaching science. All tracks feature a thesis or non-thesis option, depending on wether students want to continue in research or have plans to immediately begin working.

This 35-credit program includes 17 credits of core courses and 18 credits of concentration courses. The core courses include advanced topics in athletic training research; mechanical analysis of human performance; physiological basis of human performance; psychological foundation of exercise and sport; and cortical control of human movement.

  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Accreditation: Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH); Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

University of Iowa – College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Health and Human Physiology offers six bachelor’s, four master’s, and one PhD program. Students can earn arts degrees in health promotion or recreation management and science degrees in human physiology or therapeutic recreation. All of the degree programs place an emphasis on research with the goal of creating a better understanding of sport, recreation, and health.

The BS in exercise science program has an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)-approved curriculum preparing students for certification by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. This 120-credit program includes courses such as fundamentals of human physiology; physical activity and health; nutrition and health; biomechanics of sport and physical activity; physical activity psychology; and musculoskeletal exercise testing and prescription.

  • Location: Iowa City, IA
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to four years

Pennsylvania State University – College of Health and Human Development

Studying movement and how it impacts health and wellness is at the core of the kinesiology programs at Penn State College of Health and Human Development. Offering bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degree options, this department has a degree for every level of study. They even sponsor an innovative “exercise is medicine” campaign on campus to educate all students, faculty, and staff on how to stay mobile and healthy.

The master of science program in kinesiology offers six interdisciplinary areas of study: psychology of physical activity; motor control; history and philosophy of sport; exercise physiology; biomechanics; and athletic training and sports medicine.

  • Location: State College, PA
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to four years

Michigan State University – College of Education

The Department of Kinesiology at Michigan State College of Education intertwines research and education in each of its five graduate and undergraduate programs. This 100-year-old department is a leader in the field as a member of the American Kinesiology Association (AKA), a faculty member as president-elect of the AKA, and three faculty in the prestigious National Academy of Kinesiology. This department places an emphasis on youth and the study of physical activity across a lifespan.

The 30-credit master’s degree in kinesiology involves an interdisciplinary and disciplinary research focus on sport and physical activity across the lifespan with special emphasis on youth. Concentration options athletic training; student-athlete development; exercise physiology; strength and conditioning; cognitive and motor neuroscience; sports administration; and psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity.

  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to four years

SELECT * FROM `mts_online_offline_data` WHERE `page_url` = '/kinesiologist' AND ( `table_type` = 'Offline' OR `table_type` = 'BOTH (Online + Offline)' ) ORDER BY `grads` DESC

List of Kinesiologist Schools

Filter by state :
School City State Website grads
The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio Texas 506
Texas State University San Marcos Texas 464
Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington Indiana 447
Michigan State University East Lansing Michigan 419
University of Houston Houston Texas 401
University of Iowa Iowa City Iowa 399
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg Texas 394
Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick New Jersey 359
Mississippi State University Mississippi State Mississippi 310
Texas A & M University-College Station College Station Texas 308
University of North Texas Denton Texas 294
Tarleton State University Stephenville Texas 289
The Pennsylvania State University University Park Pennsylvania 285
University of Utah Salt Lake City Utah 269
University of Nevada-Las Vegas Las Vegas Nevada 263
Georgia Southern University Statesboro Georgia 257
The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa Alabama 255
The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington Texas 253
Iowa State University Ames Iowa 251
Grand Valley State University Allendale Michigan 250
Appalachian State University Boone North Carolina 249
Colorado State University-Fort Collins Fort Collins Colorado 242
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Knoxville Tennessee 241
Oregon State University Corvallis Oregon 239
University of Maryland-College Park College Park Maryland 239
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro North Carolina 232
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Wisconsin 212
The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso Texas 209
The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Chattanooga Tennessee 205
The University of Texas at Austin Austin Texas 196
University of Mississippi University Mississippi 190
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton Florida 189
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant Michigan 182
Stephen F Austin State University Nacogdoches Texas 177
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Champaign Illinois 175
University of Northern Colorado Greeley Colorado 174
University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus Norman Oklahoma 173
Miami University-Oxford Oxford Ohio 169
University of Rhode Island Kingston Rhode Island 164
University of Georgia Athens Georgia 163
Texas Woman's University Denton Texas 159
Arizona State University Campus Immersion Tempe Arizona 158
University of Illinois Chicago Chicago Illinois 155
Sam Houston State University Huntsville Texas 148
Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi Texas 144
Towson University Towson Maryland 140
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Michigan 140
University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg Mississippi 137
Coastal Carolina University Conway South Carolina 135
California State University-Chico Chico California 132
Kennesaw State University Kennesaw Georgia 131
Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro Tennessee 130
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff Arizona 129
Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette Indiana 129
University of Delaware Newark Delaware 127
Utah State University Logan Utah 123
Montclair State University Montclair New Jersey 120
Missouri State University-Springfield Springfield Missouri 119
SUNY Cortland Cortland New York 119
Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond Louisiana 117
University of Virginia-Main Campus Charlottesville Virginia 117
The University of Texas at Tyler Tyler Texas 116
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Indianapolis Indiana 114
University of Toledo Toledo Ohio 113
University of Central Arkansas Conway Arkansas 112
Salisbury University Salisbury Maryland 111
Temple University Philadelphia Pennsylvania 111
University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu Hawaii 105
Colorado Mesa University Grand Junction Colorado 103
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison Wisconsin 103
Angelo State University San Angelo Texas 101
Saint Louis University Saint Louis Missouri 101
Southern Utah University Cedar City Utah 101
George Mason University Fairfax Virginia 99
Carroll University Waukesha Wisconsin 98
Washington State University Pullman Washington 97
University of Wyoming Laramie Wyoming 96
SUNY Brockport Brockport New York 95
University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe Louisiana 95
Grand Canyon University Phoenix Arizona 94
Georgia College & State University Milledgeville Georgia 91
Truman State University Kirksville Missouri 91
University of Massachusetts-Lowell Lowell Massachusetts 89
University of Indianapolis Indianapolis Indiana 88
Lindenwood University Saint Charles Missouri 87
McNeese State University Lake Charles Louisiana 87
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee Wisconsin 87
CUNY Queens College Queens New York 86
Augusta University Augusta Georgia 85
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania East Stroudsburg Pennsylvania 85
Fresno City College Fresno California 85
Lebanon Valley College Annville Pennsylvania 85
Ball State University Muncie Indiana 81
New Mexico State University-Main Campus Las Cruces New Mexico 81
Arkansas State University Jonesboro Arkansas 76
Citrus College Glendora California 76
University of Central Oklahoma Edmond Oklahoma 76
West Texas A & M University Canyon Texas 76
Boise State University Boise Idaho 75
University of New Hampshire-Main Campus Durham New Hampshire 74
Azusa Pacific University Azusa California 73
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond Kentucky 73
Texas A&M University-San Antonio San Antonio Texas 73
William Paterson University of New Jersey Wayne New Jersey 73
Texas A & M International University Laredo Texas 72
University of Central Missouri Warrensburg Missouri 72
University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha Nebraska 72
Texas A & M University-Kingsville Kingsville Texas 71
California State University-Los Angeles Los Angeles California 70
Youngstown State University Youngstown Ohio 70
Eastern Illinois University Charleston Illinois 69
Illinois State University Normal Illinois 69
Mt San Antonio College Walnut California 69
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus Stillwater Oklahoma 68
Western Washington University Bellingham Washington 68
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus Bowling Green Ohio 67
CUNY Lehman College Bronx New York 66
Long Beach City College Long Beach California 66
Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego California 66
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Edwardsville Illinois 66
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem North Carolina 66
Georgia Gwinnett College Lawrenceville Georgia 65
Western Kentucky University Bowling Green Kentucky 64
Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem North Carolina 64
Bethune-Cookman University Daytona Beach Florida 63
CUNY Brooklyn College Brooklyn New York 63
University of Scranton Scranton Pennsylvania 63
Winona State University Winona Minnesota 62
Troy University Troy Alabama 61
Campbell University Buies Creek North Carolina 60
Central Connecticut State University New Britain Connecticut 60
Kent State University at Kent Kent Ohio 60
University of Houston-Clear Lake Houston Texas 60
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Carbondale Illinois 59
Winthrop University Rock Hill South Carolina 58
Metropolitan State University of Denver Denver Colorado 57
The University of Texas Permian Basin Odessa Texas 57
Central Washington University Ellensburg Washington 56
University of San Francisco San Francisco California 56
High Point University High Point North Carolina 55
Rice University Houston Texas 55
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Oshkosh Wisconsin 55
Aurora University Aurora Illinois 54
California Lutheran University Thousand Oaks California 54
Sul Ross State University Alpine Texas 54
Trine University Angola Indiana 53
University of Minnesota-Duluth Duluth Minnesota 53
University of South Carolina Aiken Aiken South Carolina 53
Dixie State University Saint George Utah 52
Pepperdine University Malibu California 52
Southeastern University Lakeland Florida 52
Western Oregon University Monmouth Oregon 52
Whittier College Whittier California 52
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale Florida 51
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Eau Claire Wisconsin 51
Citadel Military College of South Carolina Charleston South Carolina 50
North Dakota State University-Main Campus Fargo North Dakota 50
University of Central Florida Orlando Florida 50
Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers Florida 49
Gannon University Erie Pennsylvania 49
Wingate University Wingate North Carolina 49
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti Michigan 47
Moorpark College Moorpark California 47
University of North Alabama Florence Alabama 47
De Anza College Cupertino California 46
Indiana State University Terre Haute Indiana 45
Mississippi College Clinton Mississippi 45
Northern Michigan University Marquette Michigan 45
University of Southern Indiana Evansville Indiana 45
Western Illinois University Macomb Illinois 45
Wright State University-Main Campus Dayton Ohio 45
Adams State University Alamosa Colorado 44
College of the Desert Palm Desert California 44
Morehead State University Morehead Kentucky 44
Baylor University Waco Texas 43
College of the Canyons Santa Clarita California 43
Harding University Searcy Arkansas 43
Saginaw Valley State University University Center Michigan 43
Santiago Canyon College Orange California 43
Texas Lutheran University Seguin Texas 43
University of New England Biddeford Maine 43
Columbus State University Columbus Georgia 42
East Los Angeles College Monterey Park California 42
Fort Lewis College Durango Colorado 42
Hampton University Hampton Virginia 42
Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis Indiana 42
Pacific Lutheran University Tacoma Washington 42
John Carroll University University Heights Ohio 41
Pacific University Forest Grove Oregon 41
Southwest Minnesota State University Marshall Minnesota 41
Colorado State University Pueblo Pueblo Colorado 40
Rose State College Midwest City Oklahoma 40
Saint Ambrose University Davenport Iowa 40
University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville Alabama 40
University of Vermont Burlington Vermont 40
Minnesota State University Moorhead Moorhead Minnesota 39
Saint Edward's University Austin Texas 39
University of Kentucky Lexington Kentucky 39
University of St Thomas Saint Paul Minnesota 39
Husson University Bangor Maine 38
Jacksonville University Jacksonville Florida 38
Bellarmine University Louisville Kentucky 37
Cypress College Cypress California 37
El Camino Community College District Torrance California 37
Elon University Elon North Carolina 37
Hartnell College Salinas California 37
Lenoir-Rhyne University Hickory North Carolina 37
Marshall University Huntington West Virginia 37
University of Hawaii at Hilo Hilo Hawaii 37
Westmont College Santa Barbara California 37
Hope College Holland Michigan 36
Syracuse University Syracuse New York 36
University of Mary Bismarck North Dakota 36
Vanguard University of Southern California Costa Mesa California 36
Adelphi University Garden City New York 35
Cumberland University Lebanon Tennessee 35
Glendale Community College Glendale California 35
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Shippensburg Pennsylvania 35
Springfield College Springfield Massachusetts 35
University of Montevallo Montevallo Alabama 35
Wayne State University Detroit Michigan 35
College of the Sequoias Visalia California 34
Endicott College Beverly Massachusetts 34
Huston-Tillotson University Austin Texas 34
Missouri Valley College Marshall Missouri 34
Berry College Mount Berry Georgia 33
Fullerton College Fullerton California 33
Immaculata University Immaculata Pennsylvania 33
Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus Ohio 33
Southwestern College Chula Vista California 33
University of Evansville Evansville Indiana 33
University of Idaho Moscow Idaho 33
Cabrillo College Aptos California 32
Delaware State University Dover Delaware 32
University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne Maryland 32
University of Sioux Falls Sioux Falls South Dakota 32
University of Tulsa Tulsa Oklahoma 32
Skyline College San Bruno California 31
Allan Hancock College Santa Maria California 30
Kean University Union New Jersey 30
LaGrange College Lagrange Georgia 30
Lander University Greenwood South Carolina 30
North Central College Naperville Illinois 30
Avila University Kansas City Missouri 29
Bemidji State University Bemidji Minnesota 29
California State University-Stanislaus Turlock California 29
Houston Baptist University Houston Texas 29
Huntingdon College Montgomery Alabama 29
Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate Tennessee 29
Oakland University Rochester Hills Michigan 29
South Dakota State University Brookings South Dakota 29
University of North Dakota Grand Forks North Dakota 29
University of South Florida Tampa Florida 29
Ventura College Ventura California 29
Belmont University Nashville Tennessee 28
Clovis Community College Fresno California 28
Jarvis Christian University Hawkins Texas 28
Saint Mary's College of California Moraga California 28
Southwestern Oklahoma State University Weatherford Oklahoma 28
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Belton Texas 28
University of West Alabama Livingston Alabama 28
Walsh University North Canton Ohio 28
Foothill College Los Altos Hills California 27
Grove City College Grove City Pennsylvania 27
La Sierra University Riverside California 27
Los Medanos College Pittsburg California 27
Monmouth College Monmouth Illinois 27
University of Mount Union Alliance Ohio 27
Bluefield University Bluefield Virginia 26
Charleston Southern University Charleston South Carolina 26
Franklin College Franklin Indiana 26
Keene State College Keene New Hampshire 26
Merced College Merced California 26
Murray State University Murray Kentucky 26
Orange Coast College Costa Mesa California 26
Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio Texas 26
Santa Monica College Santa Monica California 26
Stockton University Galloway New Jersey 26
Western Colorado University Gunnison Colorado 26
Adrian College Adrian Michigan 25
Bakersfield College Bakersfield California 25
Longwood University Farmville Virginia 25
Manhattan College Riverdale New York 25
Mt San Jacinto Community College District San Jacinto California 25
Regis University Denver Colorado 25
Rocky Mountain College Billings Montana 25
Seattle University Seattle Washington 25
Transylvania University Lexington Kentucky 25
William Jessup University Rocklin California 25
Anderson University Anderson South Carolina 24
Bethel University Saint Paul Minnesota 24
Fairmont State University Fairmont West Virginia 24
Frostburg State University Frostburg Maryland 24
Golden West College Huntington Beach California 24
Grand View University Des Moines Iowa 24
Lamar University Beaumont Texas 24
Los Angeles Valley College Valley Glen California 24
Simmons University Boston Massachusetts 24
Southern Arkansas University Main Campus Magnolia Arkansas 24
County College of Morris Randolph New Jersey 23
Pittsburg State University Pittsburg Kansas 23
Reedley College Reedley California 23
Roanoke College Salem Virginia 23
University of Connecticut Storrs Connecticut 23
Xavier University Cincinnati Ohio 23
Augsburg University Minneapolis Minnesota 22
Manchester University North Manchester Indiana 22
Marian University Indianapolis Indiana 22
Modesto Junior College Modesto California 22
Southwest Baptist University Bolivar Missouri 22
University of Wisconsin-River Falls River Falls Wisconsin 22
Wittenberg University Springfield Ohio 22
Albion College Albion Michigan 21
Austin Community College District Austin Texas 21
Baker University Baldwin City Kansas 21
Carson-Newman University Jefferson City Tennessee 21
Carthage College Kenosha Wisconsin 21
DeSales University Center Valley Pennsylvania 21
Holy Names University Oakland California 21
Loras College Dubuque Iowa 21
San Diego Mesa College San Diego California 21
Southern Adventist University Collegedale Tennessee 21
The Master's University and Seminary Santa Clarita California 21
West Liberty University West Liberty West Virginia 21
Blue Mountain College Blue Mountain Mississippi 20
Brigham Young University-Hawaii Laie Hawaii 20
Concordia University-Nebraska Seward Nebraska 20
Cornell College Mount Vernon Iowa 20
Hanover College Hanover Indiana 20
Hardin-Simmons University Abilene Texas 20
Lake Superior State University Sault Ste Marie Michigan 20
Los Angeles City College Los Angeles California 20
McKendree University Lebanon Illinois 20
Mercy College Dobbs Ferry New York 20
Southwestern University Georgetown Texas 20
St Olaf College Northfield Minnesota 20
St. Mary's University San Antonio Texas 20
Chatham University Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 19
East Tennessee State University Johnson City Tennessee 19
Elmhurst University Elmhurst Illinois 19
Georgian Court University Lakewood New Jersey 19
Imperial Valley College Imperial California 19
Nebraska Wesleyan University Lincoln Nebraska 19
Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach Florida 19
Plymouth State University Plymouth New Hampshire 19
Rio Hondo College Whittier California 19
Saddleback College Mission Viejo California 19
Santa Barbara City College Santa Barbara California 19
Texas Tech University Lubbock Texas 19
American River College Sacramento California 18
Augustana University Sioux Falls South Dakota 18
Concordia University-Irvine Irvine California 18
Cosumnes River College Sacramento California 18
Emmanuel College Franklin Springs Georgia 18
Gavilan College Gilroy California 18
Lewis University Romeoville Illinois 18
Michigan Technological University Houghton Michigan 18
Monterey Peninsula College Monterey California 18
Ottawa University-Ottawa Ottawa Kansas 18
Ouachita Baptist University Arkadelphia Arkansas 18
Oxnard College Oxnard California 18
Salem State University Salem Massachusetts 18
Union College Barbourville Kentucky 18
University of Charleston Charleston West Virginia 18
West Virginia Wesleyan College Buckhannon West Virginia 18
Biola University La Mirada California 17
Cabrini University Radnor Pennsylvania 17
Central State University Wilberforce Ohio 17
Cornerstone University Grand Rapids Michigan 17
Louisiana Tech University Ruston Louisiana 17
SUNY College at Potsdam Potsdam New York 17
University of Arkansas Fayetteville Arkansas 17
University of Pittsburgh-Bradford Bradford Pennsylvania 17
University of Puget Sound Tacoma Washington 17
Victor Valley College Victorville California 17
Barton College Wilson North Carolina 16
CUNY Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn New York 16
Diablo Valley College Pleasant Hill California 16
Irvine Valley College Irvine California 16
Malone University Canton Ohio 16
Norfolk State University Norfolk Virginia 16
Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais Illinois 16
Raritan Valley Community College Branchburg New Jersey 16
Riverside City College Riverside California 16
Saint Xavier University Chicago Illinois 16
San Bernardino Valley College San Bernardino California 16
University of Illinois Springfield Springfield Illinois 16
Belhaven University Jackson Mississippi 15
Catawba College Salisbury North Carolina 15
Central Baptist College Conway Arkansas 15
Cuesta College San Luis Obispo California 15
Greensboro College Greensboro North Carolina 15
Long Island University Brookville New York 15
Seton Hill University Greensburg Pennsylvania 15
Tusculum University Greeneville Tennessee 15
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina 15
University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio Texas 15
Chaffey College Rancho Cucamonga California 14
Colby-Sawyer College New London New Hampshire 14
Crafton Hills College Yucaipa California 14
Dakota State University Madison South Dakota 14
Elizabeth City State University Elizabeth City North Carolina 14
Emory & Henry College Emory Virginia 14
Hamline University Saint Paul Minnesota 14
King's College Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania 14
Las Positas College Livermore California 14
Missouri Baptist University Saint Louis Missouri 14
Old Dominion University Norfolk Virginia 14
Rockford University Rockford Illinois 14
Shaw University Raleigh North Carolina 14
United States Military Academy West Point New York 14
University of Saint Mary Leavenworth Kansas 14
American International College Springfield Massachusetts 13
Barry University Miami Florida 13
Coe College Cedar Rapids Iowa 13
Concordia College at Moorhead Moorhead Minnesota 13
CUNY Bronx Community College Bronx New York 13
Hastings College Hastings Nebraska 13
Hudson County Community College Jersey City New Jersey 13
Lipscomb University Nashville Tennessee 13
Los Angeles Mission College Sylmar California 13
Maryville College Maryville Tennessee 13
MidAmerica Nazarene University Olathe Kansas 13
Mount Vernon Nazarene University Mount Vernon Ohio 13
Newberry College Newberry South Carolina 13
North Carolina Wesleyan College Rocky Mount North Carolina 13
Ohio Dominican University Columbus Ohio 13
Ottawa University-Surprise Surprise Arizona 13
Pfeiffer University Misenheimer North Carolina 13
Rowan College of South Jersey Gloucester Campus Sewell New Jersey 13
Sierra College Rocklin California 13
University of Louisville Louisville Kentucky 13
University of Wisconsin-Parkside Kenosha Wisconsin 13
Antelope Valley Community College District Lancaster California 12
Butte College Oroville California 12
College of Western Idaho Nampa Idaho 12
DePaul University Chicago Illinois 12
Dickinson State University Dickinson North Dakota 12
George Fox University Newberg Oregon 12
Grace College and Theological Seminary Winona Lake Indiana 12
Hillsdale College Hillsdale Michigan 12
Indiana Institute of Technology Fort Wayne Indiana 12
John Brown University Siloam Springs Arkansas 12
Lasell University Newton Massachusetts 12
Lee University Cleveland Tennessee 12
LeTourneau University Longview Texas 12
McMurry University Abilene Texas 12
Missouri Southern State University Joplin Missouri 12
Onondaga Community College Syracuse New York 12
Oral Roberts University Tulsa Oklahoma 12
Point University West Point Georgia 12
Rowan College at Burlington County Mount Laurel New Jersey 12
San Joaquin Delta College Stockton California 12
Santa Ana College Santa Ana California 12
Southern Connecticut State University New Haven Connecticut 12
Sussex County Community College Newton New Jersey 12
University of Northwestern-St Paul Saint Paul Minnesota 12
University of Providence Great Falls Montana 12
University of Southern Maine Portland Maine 12
Warner University Lake Wales Florida 12
Wilmington College Wilmington Ohio 12
Anderson University Anderson Indiana 11
Bethel University Mishawaka Indiana 11
Chabot College Hayward California 11
Coker University Hartsville South Carolina 11
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Edinboro Pennsylvania 11
Eureka College Eureka Illinois 11
Evergreen Valley College San Jose California 11
Norco College Norco California 11
Normandale Community College Bloomington Minnesota 11
Regis College Weston Massachusetts 11
San Diego Christian College Santee California 11
Schreiner University Kerrville Texas 11
Southwestern Christian University Bethany Oklahoma 11
West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester Pennsylvania 11
Willamette University Salem Oregon 11
Wisconsin Lutheran College Milwaukee Wisconsin 11
Bob Jones University Greenville South Carolina 10
Grayson College Denison Texas 10
Kansas Wesleyan University Salina Kansas 10
La Roche University Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 10
Los Angeles Pierce College Woodland Hills California 10
Manchester Community College Manchester Connecticut 10
Marywood University Scranton Pennsylvania 10
Occidental College Los Angeles California 10
Ohio Northern University Ada Ohio 10
Ohio Wesleyan University Delaware Ohio 10
Olivet College Olivet Michigan 10
Saint Augustine's University Raleigh North Carolina 10
Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish Maine 10
San Jose City College San Jose California 10
Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa California 10
Smith College Northampton Massachusetts 10
St. Thomas Aquinas College Sparkill New York 10
Trinity Christian College Palos Heights Illinois 10
University of Mount Olive Mount Olive North Carolina 10
Westminster College Fulton Missouri 10
Alabama A & M University Normal Alabama 9
Alice Lloyd College Pippa Passes Kentucky 9
Buena Vista University Storm Lake Iowa 9
Central Christian College of Kansas McPherson Kansas 9
Chowan University Murfreesboro North Carolina 9
Dordt University Sioux Center Iowa 9
Eastern University Saint Davids Pennsylvania 9
Feather River Community College District Quincy California 9
Laramie County Community College Cheyenne Wyoming 9
Linfield University-McMinnville Campus McMinnville Oregon 9
Midwestern State University Wichita Falls Texas 9
Ohlone College Fremont California 9
Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City Oklahoma 9
Texas Wesleyan University Fort Worth Texas 9
The College of Idaho Caldwell Idaho 9
Union University Jackson Tennessee 9
University of Jamestown Jamestown North Dakota 9
William Penn University Oskaloosa Iowa 9
William Woods University Fulton Missouri 9
Benedictine University Lisle Illinois 8
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg Pennsylvania 8
Brevard College Brevard North Carolina 8
Capital University Columbus Ohio 8
College of Saint Mary Omaha Nebraska 8
Concordia University Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Michigan 8
Davis & Elkins College Elkins West Virginia 8
Drake University Des Moines Iowa 8
East Texas Baptist University Marshall Texas 8
Folsom Lake College Folsom California 8
King University Bristol Tennessee 8
Lansing Community College Lansing Michigan 8
Marian University Fond Du Lac Wisconsin 8
Methodist University Fayetteville North Carolina 8
Sacramento City College Sacramento California 8
Saint Martin's University Lacey Washington 8
Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City Utah 8
Shasta College Redding California 8
Southern Wesleyan University Central South Carolina 8
Texas A&M University-Texarkana Texarkana Texas 8
University of Dubuque Dubuque Iowa 8
West Los Angeles College Culver City California 8
Brigham Young University Provo Utah 7
Bryan College-Dayton Dayton Tennessee 7
Florida International University Miami Florida 7
Greenville University Greenville Illinois 7
Hannibal-LaGrange University Hannibal Missouri 7
Heidelberg University Tiffin Ohio 7
Kentucky Wesleyan College Owensboro Kentucky 7
Mercer County Community College West Windsor New Jersey 7
Mission College Santa Clara California 7
New England College Henniker New Hampshire 7
Northeast Community College Norfolk Nebraska 7
Northwest University Kirkland Washington 7
Palomar College San Marcos California 7
Rhode Island College Providence Rhode Island 7
Saint Peter's University Jersey City New Jersey 7
San Diego Miramar College San Diego California 7
Solano Community College Fairfield California 7
SUNY Morrisville Morrisville New York 7
The University of Montana-Western Dillon Montana 7
University of Arkansas at Monticello Monticello Arkansas 7
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls Iowa 7
Whitworth University Spokane Washington 7
William Peace University Raleigh North Carolina 7
Aquinas College Grand Rapids Michigan 6
Bucks County Community College Newtown Pennsylvania 6
Campbellsville University Campbellsville Kentucky 6
Canada College Redwood City California 6
Cleveland State University Cleveland Ohio 6
Delaware Technical Community College-Terry Dover Delaware 6
Laney College Oakland California 6
Lees-McRae College Banner Elk North Carolina 6
Madera Community College Madera California 6
Northwestern College Orange City Iowa 6
Norwich University Northfield Vermont 6
Rockhurst University Kansas City Missouri 6
San Diego State University San Diego California 6
Seattle Pacific University Seattle Washington 6
Southwestern Adventist University Keene Texas 6
Sterling College Sterling Kansas 6
Texas Southern University Houston Texas 6
Trinity International University-Illinois Deerfield Illinois 6
Truett McConnell University Cleveland Georgia 6
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage Alaska 6
University of Saint Katherine San Marcos California 6
University of Southern California Los Angeles California 6
Valparaiso University Valparaiso Indiana 6
Webster University Saint Louis Missouri 6
Asbury University Wilmore Kentucky 5
Bethel University McKenzie Tennessee 5
Brenau University Gainesville Georgia 5
College of Lake County Grayslake Illinois 5
Columbia College Sonora California 5
Dakota Wesleyan University Mitchell South Dakota 5
Evangel University Springfield Missouri 5
Felician University Lodi New Jersey 5
Georgia State University Atlanta Georgia 5
Goshen College Goshen Indiana 5
Manchester Community College Manchester New Hampshire 5
Midland University Fremont Nebraska 5
Moraine Valley Community College Palos Hills Illinois 5
Oklahoma Wesleyan University Bartlesville Oklahoma 5
Presentation College Aberdeen South Dakota 5
Randall University Moore Oklahoma 5
Redlands Community College El Reno Oklahoma 5
Salem College Winston-Salem North Carolina 5
San Diego City College San Diego California 5
Texas Christian University Fort Worth Texas 5
Three Rivers Community College Norwich Connecticut 5
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati Ohio 5
West Virginia University Morgantown West Virginia 5
Castleton University Castleton Vermont 4
College of Marin Kentfield California 4
Columbia College Columbia South Carolina 4
Columbia University in the City of New York New York New York 4
Dean College Franklin Massachusetts 4
Defiance College Defiance Ohio 4
Eastern Mennonite University Harrisonburg Virginia 4
Harford Community College Bel Air Maryland 4
Lakeland University Plymouth Wisconsin 4
Lewis and Clark Community College Godfrey Illinois 4
Montana State University Bozeman Montana 4
Moreno Valley College Moreno Valley California 4
Northeastern Illinois University Chicago Illinois 4
Northeastern University Boston Massachusetts 4
Northern Vermont University Johnson Vermont 4
Piedmont University Demorest Georgia 4
Simpson University Redding California 4
SUNY Oneonta Oneonta New York 4
Tabor College Hillsboro Kansas 4
Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans Louisiana 4
Cerro Coso Community College Ridgecrest California 3
Contra Costa College San Pablo California 3
Crown College Saint Bonifacius Minnesota 3
Dakota County Technical College Rosemount Minnesota 3
Dutchess Community College Poughkeepsie New York 3
Hope International University Fullerton California 3
Inver Hills Community College Inver Grove Heights Minnesota 3
Lehigh Carbon Community College Schnecksville Pennsylvania 3
Lewis-Clark State College Lewiston Idaho 3
Los Angeles Trade Technical College Los Angeles California 3
Louisiana Christian University Pineville Louisiana 3
North Hennepin Community College Brooklyn Park Minnesota 3
Porterville College Porterville California 3
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester New York 3
Roosevelt University Chicago Illinois 3
Simpson College Indianola Iowa 3
Sinclair Community College Dayton Ohio 3
Thomas More University Crestview Hills Kentucky 3
Triton College River Grove Illinois 3
University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney Nebraska 3
University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras San Juan Puerto Rico 3
Viterbo University La Crosse Wisconsin 3
Western Wyoming Community College Rock Springs Wyoming 3
Andrews University Berrien Springs Michigan 2
Anoka-Ramsey Community College Coon Rapids Minnesota 2
Barstow Community College Barstow California 2
Barton County Community College Great Bend Kansas 2
Benedictine College Atchison Kansas 2
Cedar Crest College Allentown Pennsylvania 2
Cedarville University Cedarville Ohio 2
Coahoma Community College Clarksdale Mississippi 2
College of DuPage Glen Ellyn Illinois 2
Cuyamaca College El Cajon California 2
Gateway Community College New Haven Connecticut 2
Grossmont College El Cajon California 2
Huntington University Huntington Indiana 2
Lake Tahoe Community College South Lake Tahoe California 2
Lassen Community College Susanville California 2
Lourdes University Sylvania Ohio 2
Minnesota State College Southeast Winona Minnesota 2
Northern Wyoming Community College District Sheridan Wyoming 2
Prairie State College Chicago Heights Illinois 2
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona Minnesota 2
San Antonio College San Antonio Texas 2
Taft College Taft California 2
Thiel College Greenville Pennsylvania 2
University of Mobile Mobile Alabama 2
University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Mayaguez Puerto Rico 2
Warner Pacific University Portland Oregon 2
Wartburg College Waverly Iowa 2
Waubonsee Community College Sugar Grove Illinois 2
Western Nebraska Community College Scottsbluff Nebraska 2
Wilson College Chambersburg Pennsylvania 2
Alverno College Milwaukee Wisconsin 1
Bacone College Muskogee Oklahoma 1
Briar Cliff University Sioux City Iowa 1
Casper College Casper Wyoming 1
Central Lakes College-Brainerd Brainerd Minnesota 1
Glendale Community College Glendale Arizona 1
Hagerstown Community College Hagerstown Maryland 1
Lincoln College Lincoln Illinois 1
Los Angeles Harbor College Wilmington California 1
Luther College Decorah Iowa 1
Madonna University Livonia Michigan 1
Marietta College Marietta Ohio 1
Mendocino College Ukiah California 1
Mount Wachusett Community College Gardner Massachusetts 1
Oklahoma Baptist University Shawnee Oklahoma 1
Rider University Lawrenceville New Jersey 1
Roberts Wesleyan College Rochester New York 1
Trinity Bible College and Graduate School Ellendale North Dakota 1
University of Dayton Dayton Ohio 1
University of the Sciences Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1
Yuba College Marysville California 1
School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in September, 2023)

Hybrid & Online Programs in Kinesiology

Students who need greater flexibility in their studies can choose to complete an online or hybrid program. These programs allow students the ability to complete coursework on their own schedule without having to relocate. Also, hybrid and online programs allow students to continue to work while completing their studies or maintain a family/studies balance.

Top online and hybrid kinesiology programs include:

University of Louisiana at Lafayette – School of Kinesiology

The School of Kinesiology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers an online health and wellness degree. This bachelor’s in science program provides a path toward becoming a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). While the program typically takes four years to complete, it can be accelerated. Graduates are prepared to implement wellness programs in workplaces, develop community fitness programs to improve health and evaluate existing programs for efficacy.

This 120-credit program includes courses such as introduction to health promotion and wellness; concepts of fitness and wellness; introduction to psychology; health behavior theories and planning models; nutrition for fitness and sports; epidemiology; and world health issues.

  • Location: Lafayette, LA
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years

The University of Texas at Tyler – College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Faculty at The University of Texas at Tyler College of Nursing and Health Sciences are published in prestigious journals such as the Journal of Physical Education and Sport, the Journal of Biomechanics, and the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Because of the strong publishing tradition at UTT, students have access to cutting-edge research and developments in kinesiology. The master of science program in kinesiology prepares students for health-related degrees and advanced careers in physical therapy, exercise physiology, and rehabilitation or occupational therapy. Courses here are offered in a traditional face-to-face format, entirely online, or a combination of the two offering students the flexibility to pursue their studies as they see fit.

This 36-credit program includes courses such as research design; biometric methods; motor learning; exercise physiology: skeletal muscle & metabolism; exercise physiology; cardiorespiratory; and biomechanics. Students in this program are also required to complete six credits of thesis or internship.

  • Location: Tyler, TX
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

Pennsylvania Western University – College of Health Sciences and Human Services

A master’s in science in exercise science and health promotion can be earned in as little as a year at Pennsylvania Western University College of Health Sciences and Human Services. This 100 percent online program prepares students for careers in athletics, physical fitness, healthcare, and corporate wellness.

Students in this program have ten concentration options to choose from. These include applied sports science; advanced golf performance training; nutrition; group fitness leadership; rehabilitation science; performance enhancement and injury prevention; tactical strength and conditioning; sport psychology; wellness and fitness; and wellness coaching.

Most concentrations are 39 credits and have a 15-credit certificate option. The concentration in applied sport science is 45 credits. Notably, students in this online program can add a second area of focus through the dual concentration option. The program’s core curriculum includes courses such as essentials of human movement science; nutrition for peak performance; exercise science research theory; industrial, clinical, and corporate wellness; and evaluating exercise science research.

PennWest Global also has an online 120-credit bachelor’s degree in exercise science that lets students study exercise science, wellness, and fitness, in addition to building a solid foundation in marketing, business, management, and more.

  • Location: California, PA
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to four years

Fresno Pacific University – School of Natural Sciences

Work and study can happen simultaneously for students earning an online master of arts in kinesiology at Fresno Pacific University School of Natural Sciences. This online master of arts in kinesiology program has an emphasis on physical education and prepares graduates to be educators in fitness and exercise for all grade levels, including college. An undergraduate degree in kinesiology is required for admission but may be substituted for proof of work experience in physical fitness education.

Made up of 36 credits, the curriculum includes courses such as technology in kinesiology; psychology of sport; program design in physical education; history and philosophy in kinesiology; advanced methods of teaching physical education; assessment in physical education; and issues in kinesiology.

  • Location: Fresno, CA
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years

The University of Kansas, Edwards Campus

The University of Kansas (Edwards Campus) offers online and in-person bachelor’s in exercise science. Graduates of this program have the skills to write nutrition plans, help preserve mobility in elderly patients, assist military personnel in readiness fitness, coach in strength and conditioning for athletes, and help treat and prevent chronic diseases through exercise.

The bachelor of applied science in exercise science degree is available online and is designed for students who wish to complete an undergraduate degree and directly advance in a force readiness, fitness, coaching, or corporate wellness career including preparing for industry certifications.

Comprising 120 credits, the BAS degree includes courses such as principles of personal training; tactical strength and conditioning; research and data analysis in health, sport, & exercise sciences; sport and exercise nutrition; care and prevention of athletic injuries; kinesiology; exercise physiology; and biomechanics, among others.

  • Location: Overland Park, KS
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four years
School City State Website grads
University of Memphis Memphis Tennessee 456
American Public University System Charles Town West Virginia 388
Tarleton State University Stephenville Texas 289
Concordia University-Chicago River Forest Illinois 280
California Baptist University Riverside California 277
Georgia Southern University Statesboro Georgia 257
The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa Alabama 255
Oregon State University Corvallis Oregon 239
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro North Carolina 232
The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso Texas 209
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton Florida 189
Liberty University Lynchburg Virginia 175
University of Northern Colorado Greeley Colorado 174
University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington North Carolina 172
Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul Minnesota 162
Texas Woman's University Denton Texas 159
Sam Houston State University Huntsville Texas 148
University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas 127
The University of Texas at Tyler Tyler Texas 116
University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu Hawaii 105
Texas A & M University-Commerce Commerce Texas 104
Pasadena City College Pasadena California 103
Angelo State University San Angelo Texas 101
University of Wyoming Laramie Wyoming 96
University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe Louisiana 95
Logan University Chesterfield Missouri 95
McNeese State University Lake Charles Louisiana 87
Lindenwood University Saint Charles Missouri 87
University of South Dakota Vermillion South Dakota 86
Augusta University Augusta Georgia 85
University of Central Missouri Warrensburg Missouri 72
The University of West Florida Pensacola Florida 71
Texas A & M University-Kingsville Kingsville Texas 71
Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego California 66
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo Michigan 61
Northeastern State University Tahlequah Oklahoma 59
Auburn University at Montgomery Montgomery Alabama 57
The University of Texas Permian Basin Odessa Texas 57
Sul Ross State University Alpine Texas 54
Aurora University Aurora Illinois 54
Citadel Military College of South Carolina Charleston South Carolina 50
California University of Pennsylvania California Pennsylvania 48
Lenoir-Rhyne University Hickory North Carolina 37
Hudson Valley Community College Troy New York 37
University of the Southwest Hobbs New Mexico 33
Cerritos College Norwalk California 31
Columbus State Community College Columbus Ohio 30
LaGrange College Lagrange Georgia 30
East Carolina University Greenville North Carolina 28
West Valley College Saratoga California 27
William Jessup University Rocklin California 25
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Florida 25
Southeastern Oklahoma State University Durant Oklahoma 20
University of Houston-Victoria Victoria Texas 18
Corban University Salem Oregon 17
College of San Mateo San Mateo California 16
Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis Missouri 15
Southern Nazarene University Bethany Oklahoma 14
Peru State College Peru Nebraska 10
Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights Kentucky 10
Wheeling University Wheeling West Virginia 10
United States Sports Academy Daphne Alabama 10
Ashland University Ashland Ohio 9
Compton College Compton California 7
Fresno Pacific University Fresno California 6
Finger Lakes Community College Canandaigua New York 6
Napa Valley College Napa California 6
Georgia Military College Milledgeville Georgia 5
Crown College Saint Bonifacius Minnesota 3
Montana Christian College Billings Montana 3
Faulkner University Montgomery Alabama 2
College of the Redwoods Eureka California 2
Chandler-Gilbert Community College Chandler Arizona 2
East Mississippi Community College Scooba Mississippi 1
St Philip's College San Antonio Texas 1
School Data from IPEDS (Sourced in September, 2023)

Core & Elective Courses in Kinesiology Programs

Kinesiology courses train students to understand and analyze movement. Skills gained in these programs vary based on the level of degree pursued. Depending on the specialization, graduates of a master’s level program will have the ability to:

  • Educate clients on wellness
  • Write exercise programs to improve health
  • Help patients recover from injury with therapy
  • Coach professional athletes on movement to improve performance
  • Teach physical education classes to groups of students
  • Help prevent and treat diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease through physical movement
  • Analyze client movement to recommend exercise to improve mobility

Course requirements vary based on school, degree, and specialization. However, there is a core set of courses that are typically required. These include:

  • Biology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Math
  • Chemistry
  • Nutrition
  • Health promotion
  • Science of exercise
  • Corporate wellness
  • Injury prevention
  • Psychology
  • Coaching
  • Wellness

Because working as a kinesiologist often entails working directly with clients or patients, most kinesiology programs have an internship, practicum, or clinical experience requirement.

Accreditation of Kinesiology Degree Programs

It is important to attend an accredited program for numerous reasons. First, it guarantees that the program has reached a minimum standard of quality of education. Secondly, it makes transferring between programs easier as the courses completed are more likely to have equivalencies and be recognized by other institutions. Third, it can make the path to certification and licensure much quicker.

There are two main kinds of accreditations- programmatic and regional or national. Programmatic accreditation is for a specific course of study and can be for a department or just a single program. Regional or national accreditation is typically for an entire school, college, or university. For example, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) are all regional accrediting bodies. Students should look for both to ensure the highest quality program.

Programmatic accreditation is done based on the kind of kinesiology degree obtained. Top programmatic accreditors include:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
  • Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES)
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)

Career Outlook

Pay for kinesiologists is as varied as the roles they can fill. Typically the more education required for the position the higher the pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2022), the average annual salaries for kinesiologist professions are:

  • Athletic trainer: $57,810
  • Exercise physiologist: $55,820
  • Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors: $50,170
  • Occupational therapists: $92,800
  • Physical therapists: $97,960

The field of kinesiology is rapidly growing. With an aging population and an increased emphasis being placed on fitness and exercise for well-being, there is a steady demand for professionals who know and understand movement. Between 2022 and 2032, there will be an expected 10 to 15 percent increase in jobs in kinesiology nationally.

With such a variety of careers for kinesiologists, there is a wide variety of pay and career outlooks (BLS 2023). Here are the top kinesiologist positions and projected growth from 2022 to 2032:

  • Exercise physiologist: $51,350 (median annual salary) 10 percent job growth
  • Occupational therapists: $93,180 (median annual salary) and 12 percent job growth
  • Athletic trainer: $53,840 (median annual salary) and 14 percent job growth
  • Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors: $45,380 (median annual salary) and 14 percent job growth
  • Physical therapists: $97,720 (median annual salary) and 15 percent job growth

According to the BLS (May 2022), the detailed salary percentiles for exercise physiologists are:

  • 10th percentile: $39,250
  • 25th percentile: $46,070
  • 50th percentile (median): $51,350
  • 75th percentile: $62,850
  • 90th percentile: $77,980

The highest-paying states for exercise physiologists currently are California, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, and Massachusetts.

Career Facts Kinesiologist (Exercise Physiology)
Related CareersChiropractor, massage therapist, nurse, respiratory therapist, sports administrator
Common Job TitlesFitness trainers, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physical education teachers
Technology & EquipmentFree weights, elastic therapy bands, dumbbells, medicine balls, gym equipment such as stationary bikes and treadmills, oximeters, body fat composition scales, blood pressure monitors, dynamometers for measuring force, measuring devices such as measuring tape and goniometers, stethoscope
Sourced from BLS, February 2024

Licensing & Certification in Kinesiology

Some kinesiologist careers require certification and licensure while others do not. For some careers, there are certifications that may be obtained to increase credibility and employability.

Exercise physiologists are only required to be licensed in the State of Louisiana. For all other states, licensing and certification is optional. Most exercise physiologists are certified through the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP). In order to be eligible to take the test, applicants are required to have completed a bachelor’s degree. Continuing education is required to maintain certification.

Occupational therapists are required to be certified and licensed in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Applicants must graduate from an Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE-accredited program in order to be eligible to take the certification exam. Examinations are done through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Licensing is done on a state-by-state basis and may require fieldwork in addition to education and a passing exam score.

Physical therapists can obtain certification through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). While licensure is mostly done on a state-by-state basis, there has been a compact enacted by 27 states standardizing requirements and allowing for reciprocity in participating states. Certification can be obtained by passing the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). Applicants must check with their jurisdiction to learn about education requirements.

Athletic trainers are required to be licensed in all but four states. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most require certification from the National Athletic Trainer Association (NATA). Applicants must graduate from a Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredited program and pass the NATA Board of Certification (BOC) exam. Prospective athletic trainers should check with their local boards to ensure they meet all the requirements prior to applying for licensure.

Kimmy Gustafson
Kimmy Gustafson Writer

With her passion for uncovering the latest innovations and trends, Kimmy Gustafson has provided valuable insights and has interviewed experts to provide readers with the latest information in the rapidly evolving field of medical technology since 2019. Kimmy has been a freelance writer for more than a decade, writing hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics such as startups, nonprofits, healthcare, kiteboarding, the outdoors, and higher education. She is passionate about seeing the world and has traveled to over 27 countries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. When not working she can be found outdoors, parenting, kiteboarding, or cooking.