Top Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Kinesiology 2024
Career.Guide has utilized the comprehensive data available from the College Scorecard API to rank the top schools for the best online bachelor's degree programs in kinesiology for 2024. Our methodology includes a weighted analysis of key performance metrics such as graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios, average financial aid awards, and post-graduation earnings potential. We prioritize institutions demonstrating academic excellence and robust student support services. This data-driven approach ensures our rankings reflect the true value these programs offer to students in both educational and career-oriented outcomes.
Cost Per Credit
|University of Kansas
|Arizona State University
|Abilene Christian University
|California Baptist University
|University of North Dakota
|University of Louisiana Lafayette
|University of Louisiana Monroe
|California University of Pennsylvania
|North Carolina Central University
|In-State: $183 | Out-of-State: $726
|East Central University
|Concordia University St. Paul
|Tarleton State University
Why Choose an Online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology?Opting for an online Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology presents a multitude of advantages for individuals aiming to balance education with other commitments such as work or family. This section delves into the reasons that make pursuing a kinesiology degree online an attractive option for many students.
Flexibility and Convenience
- Flexible Scheduling: Online kinesiology programs offer the flexibility to attend lectures, complete assignments, and engage in discussions at your convenience. This is particularly beneficial for those who need to juggle work, family, or other personal responsibilities alongside their studies.
- Study from Anywhere: An online degree eliminates the need for commuting to campus, which not only saves time but also expands your options for choosing a program without being limited by geographical constraints.
- Reduced Expenses: By studying online, you can often save on costs associated with on-campus learning, such as transportation, housing, and meal plans.
- Potential for Continued Employment: The ability to maintain a job while studying can ease the financial burden of higher education, allowing you to potentially fund your studies without accruing significant debt.
Tailored Learning Environment
- Customizable Study Spaces: Online learners have the freedom to create a study environment that suits their personal learning style, whether it's a quiet home office or a local library.
- Self-Paced Learning: Many online programs offer self-paced courses, allowing students to progress through the material at a speed that aligns with their learning capabilities and time constraints.
Diverse Communication and Networking Opportunities
- Interactive Platforms: Online courses typically utilize advanced learning management systems that facilitate interaction with peers and instructors, often leading to a rich exchange of ideas and perspectives.
- Broader Networking Reach: Virtual classrooms bring together students from diverse backgrounds and locations, expanding your network beyond what might be available in a traditional on-campus setting.
Access to Cutting-Edge Educational Resources
- Digital Libraries and Resources: Students have access to extensive online libraries, databases, and other digital resources that are essential for kinesiology research and learning.
- Technology-Integrated Learning: Many kinesiology programs incorporate the latest technology into their curriculum, providing students with experience using industry-standard tools and software.
Career Advancement Potential
- Industry-Relevant Curriculum: Online kinesiology programs are designed to align with current industry standards and practices, ensuring that graduates are equipped with relevant skills for the job market.
- Credential Recognition: Accredited online degrees are recognized by employers just as on-campus degrees are, which can enhance your resume and open doors to various career opportunities within the field of kinesiology.
Types of Online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology ProgramsExploring the landscape of online Bachelor's degree programs in Kinesiology reveals a variety of specializations and focuses that align with students' career goals and interests. These programs are designed to cater to the needs of individuals seeking a comprehensive understanding of human movement, exercise science, and wellness, with the added flexibility of online learning.
- Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology: This is the most common degree type for students pursuing a career in the field. It offers a science-based curriculum that typically includes courses in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and nutrition. The program prepares students for careers in physical therapy, athletic training, or exercise science.
- Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology: A BA in Kinesiology may place a greater emphasis on the social sciences aspects of the field, including psychology and sociology as they pertain to sports and physical activity. This path is often chosen by students interested in coaching, sports management, or education.
- Exercise Science Concentration: Many online kinesiology programs offer a concentration in exercise science. This track is geared toward students who want to delve into the scientific principles behind fitness and exercise. It's ideal for those aiming for careers as fitness trainers, wellness coaches, or exercise physiologists.
- Sports Management Concentration: For students who aspire to blend their passion for sports with business acumen, a concentration in sports management can open doors to opportunities in sports marketing, facility management, or athletic administration within various organizations.
- Physical Education Teacher Education: This specialization is tailored for future educators and focuses on teaching strategies, curriculum development, and educational psychology. Graduates are prepared to pursue teaching credentials and foster physical education programs in schools.
- Pre-Physical Therapy: A specialized track for students planning to enter graduate programs in physical therapy, this concentration emphasizes the prerequisite courses needed for advanced study, such as kinesiology, biology, and chemistry.
- Health and Wellness Concentration: With a focus on promoting overall well-being, this concentration covers topics like health promotion, community health, and wellness program design. It suits those looking to work in corporate wellness, public health agencies, or as health educators.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology Admission Requirements and Application ProcessPursuing a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology online requires careful consideration of the admission requirements and understanding the steps involved in the application process. Accredited institutions have specific criteria that applicants must meet to be considered for their online Kinesiology programs.
Standard Admission RequirementsThe admission requirements for an online Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology typically include:
- High School Diploma or Equivalent: Prospective students must provide proof of graduation from an accredited high school or have completed a GED.
- Minimum GPA: Many programs require a minimum high school GPA, often around a 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, although some programs may require a higher GPA.
- SAT/ACT Scores: Some colleges may request standardized test scores, though this requirement is increasingly becoming optional across many institutions.
- Prerequisite Courses: Completion of certain high school courses, such as biology, chemistry, and mathematics, may be required to ensure readiness for the program's curriculum.
- Letters of Recommendation: One or more letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or other professional mentors can support your application.
- Personal Statement: A written essay that outlines your interest in Kinesiology, career goals, and reasons for choosing the specific online program may be required.
- Technical Requirements: Since the program is online, you'll need to have access to a reliable computer and internet connection, and sometimes specific software.
The Application ProcessUnderstanding the application process is crucial for a smooth admission experience. Here's what you can expect:
- Researching Programs: Begin by researching accredited online Kinesiology programs to find one that aligns with your career goals and educational needs.
- Gathering Documentation: Prepare all necessary documents such as transcripts, test scores (if applicable), letters of recommendation, and personal statements ahead of time.
- Filling Out the Application Form: Complete the online application form thoroughly. Make sure to provide accurate information and double-check for errors before submission.
- Submitting Required Materials: Upload or send in all required materials according to the instructions provided by the admissions office. This may include transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, essays, and any additional documentation.
- Paying Application Fees: Pay any applicable application fees, which can typically be done online. Some schools offer fee waivers for qualifying students.
- Interviews: Some programs might request an interview as part of the application process. This could be conducted over the phone or via video conferencing platforms.
- Acknowledgement of Application: After submitting your application, you should receive confirmation from the institution that it has been received and is under review.
- Following Up: If you don't hear back within the expected timeframe, follow up with the admissions office to check on the status of your application.
Navigating DeadlinesIt's important to be aware of application deadlines, which can vary widely between institutions. Some programs offer rolling admissions, while others have strict cut-off dates.
- Early Decision/Early Action: Some colleges offer these options for applicants who are certain about attending their institution and want an early response regarding their admission status.
- Regular Admission: This is the standard deadline for most applicants and typically falls several months before the start of the academic year.
- Late Registration: In some cases, institutions may accept applications after the regular admission deadline if space is available. However, applying late may limit your eligibility for certain scholarships or financial aid packages.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology Program Curriculum and Specializations
Embarking on an online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills for a career in health, wellness, and fitness. As the field of kinesiology encompasses the study of human movement, exercise science, and body mechanics, the program curriculum is diverse and multifaceted.
Core Curriculum Components
The core curriculum of an online Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology lays the foundation for understanding the scientific principles related to human movement. Students can expect to cover a broad range of subjects including:
- Anatomy and Physiology: Detailed study of the human body systems and their functions, crucial for understanding physical activity impacts.
- Biomechanics: Examination of the mechanical laws relating to movement and how they apply to the human body.
- Exercise Physiology: Insight into how physical activity affects body systems and improves health and performance.
- Nutrition: Understanding of nutritional science and its importance in sports performance and general health.
- Motor Learning and Control: Exploration of how individuals learn and refine skills and movements.
- Sport Psychology: Study of psychological factors that influence participation and performance in sports and exercise.
- Kinesiological Research Methods: Training in research design, data analysis, and interpretation specific to kinesiology studies.
- Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: Strategies for encouraging healthy lifestyles and reducing the risk of illness through physical activity.
Specializations within Kinesiology
Beyond the core courses, many online kinesiology programs offer specializations that allow students to focus their education on specific areas of interest. Some common specializations include:
- Sports Management: Prepares students for careers in the business aspects of sports, including marketing, management, and event coordination.
- Physical Education: Focuses on preparing students to teach physical education at various educational levels or to work in community health settings.
- Exercise Science: Emphasizes the scientific aspects of fitness training, rehabilitation, and sports performance.
- Sports Medicine: For those interested in working with athletes to prevent and treat injuries as well as optimize performance.
- Strength and Conditioning: Provides knowledge on designing and implementing strength training and conditioning programs for athletes or general populations.
- Wellness Coaching: Equips students with the skills needed to assist individuals in achieving their personal health and wellness goals.
In addition to theoretical knowledge, practical experience is a key component of an online kinesiology program. Even in an online setting, institutions often incorporate experiential learning opportunities such as:
- Laboratory Work: Virtual simulations or at-home lab kits that allow students to perform experiments and apply their knowledge practically.
- Internships: Opportunities to work under supervision in a professional setting related to their area of specialization. These may require local placement or be completed during intensive on-campus sessions.
- Culminating Projects or Capstone Experiences: In-depth research projects or comprehensive practical experiences that demonstrate mastery of program material.
This combination of rigorous academic coursework with hands-on learning prepares graduates for a variety of careers within the kinesiology field or for further study at the graduate level.
Online Learning Environment
The online format provides flexibility for students who may be balancing education with work or other commitments. The virtual classroom often includes:
- Interactive Coursework: Engaging multimedia presentations, discussion forums, and real-time video conferencing for lectures and group work.
- Dedicated Support Resources: Access to academic advisors, technical support, and online libraries to assist with coursework and research endeavors.
- Flexible Scheduling: Asynchronous classes that allow students to complete coursework at their own pace alongside synchronous sessions for real-time interaction.
The innovative use of technology ensures that online kinesiology students receive an education that is both comprehensive and adaptable to their individual needs.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology Accreditation and Quality of Online ProgramsWhen you're considering an online Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, it's essential to focus on the program's accreditation and quality. Accreditation is a critical factor that impacts not only the credibility of your degree but also your eligibility for federal financial aid and the transferability of your credits. In the realm of Kinesiology, specialized accreditation from a recognized body ensures that the program meets rigorous academic standards and prepares graduates for professional success.
Understanding Accreditation for Kinesiology ProgramsAccreditation serves as a quality assurance process where education programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. If the standards are met, the program is granted accreditation. Here's what you need to know about accreditation for online Kinesiology programs:
- Institutional vs. Programmatic Accreditation: Universities may be institutionally accredited by regional or national accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. However, specific programs, like those in Kinesiology, may also seek programmatic accreditation from specialized agencies.
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP): This is one of the most prominent accrediting agencies for health-related programs, including Kinesiology. A program accredited by CAAHEP has undergone rigorous evaluation and meets the high standards required for professionals in the field.
- The Importance of Accredited Programs: Attending an accredited program assures employers and other educational institutions that your education meets the quality and rigor expected in the field of Kinesiology. Additionally, it may be necessary for certification or licensure in certain specializations within Kinesiology.
Evaluating the Quality of Online Kinesiology ProgramsQuality is paramount when selecting an online bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. Here are several factors that can indicate a high-quality online program:
- Faculty Credentials and Expertise: Look for programs with experienced instructors who hold advanced degrees and have a history of research or professional experience in their field.
- Student Support Services: High-quality online programs offer comprehensive support services such as academic advising, career services, technical assistance, and access to online learning resources.
- Curriculum Relevance: The program should offer a curriculum that reflects current industry standards and practices, preparing students for real-world scenarios they will encounter in their careers.
- Interactive Learning Environment: Seek out programs that use innovative teaching methods and technology to facilitate engagement, such as interactive discussion boards, multimedia content, and opportunities for hands-on learning experiences.
- Student Satisfaction and Outcomes: Look into graduation rates, student testimonials, and employment outcomes post-graduation as indicators of a program's effectiveness.
- Technical Infrastructure: Ensure that the institution has a robust learning management system (LMS) that is user-friendly and reliable for delivering course content and facilitating communication between students and faculty.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology Tuition & Financial AidWhen evaluating the costs associated with earning an online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology, it's essential to consider both tuition and fees, as well as the financial aid opportunities available to help manage these expenses. Tuition for online programs can vary widely based on a range of factors including the institution, residency status, and the number of credits taken per semester. Understanding these aspects is crucial for prospective students aiming to make informed decisions about their education.
Understanding Tuition Costs for Online Kinesiology ProgramsTuition rates for online bachelor's degree programs in kinesiology are not one-size-fits-all. They can differ significantly from one institution to another, and several elements contribute to these variations:
- In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition: Many public universities offer lower tuition rates for residents of the state where the institution is located. However, some online programs offer flat-rate tuition for all students, regardless of residency.
- Public vs. Private Institutions: Generally, private colleges and universities have higher tuition rates compared to public institutions. Yet, they might also offer more generous financial aid packages.
- Per-Credit vs. Flat-Rate Pricing: Some schools charge tuition based on the number of credit hours you enroll in, while others may offer a flat rate for full-time students regardless of the exact credit load.
- Fees and Additional Costs: Beyond tuition, additional fees for technology, online course delivery, and other services may be applied. Textbooks and supplies are also costs that should be factored into the overall expense.
Financial Aid Options for Online StudentsFortunately, students pursuing an online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology have access to a variety of financial aid resources to offset the cost of their education:
- Federal Financial Aid: By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students can qualify for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. Grants do not need to be repaid, while loans come with various repayment options.
- Scholarships: Scholarships are offered by universities, private companies, non-profit organizations, and professional associations. They are awarded based on merit, financial need, or specific criteria such as community service or leadership abilities.
- Institutional Aid: Many colleges provide their own financial aid packages, which can include scholarships, grants, and student employment opportunities exclusive to their students.
- Military Benefits: For those who are serving or have served in the military, benefits such as the GI Bill® can provide substantial assistance with tuition and fees.
- Payment Plans: To make tuition more manageable, some institutions offer payment plans that allow students to pay their tuition in installments over the course of a semester or year.
Maximizing Financial Aid BenefitsTo make the most of financial aid opportunities:
- Apply Early: Some forms of aid are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Submitting applications early can improve your chances of receiving aid.
- Research Thoroughly: Look beyond the obvious sources of aid to find niche scholarships and grants for which you may be uniquely qualified.
- Consider Work-Study or Part-Time Jobs: Balancing work with study can be challenging but may provide necessary funds and valuable experience in your field.
- Maintain Eligibility: Keep up with academic performance requirements and reapply for financial aid annually as needed.
Best Careers for Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology in 2023 by Salary
- Projected Job Openings: 8,700
Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API.
Career Opportunities with an Online Bachelor's Degree in KinesiologyEarning an online Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology opens the door to a diverse range of career paths centered on human movement, wellness, and physical activity. Graduates are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue professions that focus on improving individuals' health and performance. Here are some of the career opportunities that may be available to those with a kinesiology degree:
- Physical Therapist Assistant: Working under the supervision of physical therapists, assistants help patients recover from injuries and improve their mobility. They play a crucial role in implementing treatment plans and supporting patients through their recovery process.
- Fitness Trainer or Instructor: Specializing in exercise, fitness trainers lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular workouts, strength training, and stretching. They work in gyms, health clubs, and other fitness facilities.
- Health Educator: Kinesiology graduates can take on roles that involve teaching people about behaviors that promote wellness. They develop programs and materials to encourage healthy lifestyles and prevent diseases.
- Occupational Therapy Assistant: Assisting occupational therapists, these professionals help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working after an injury or illness.
- Sports Coach: Coaches train amateur or professional athletes, imparting techniques and strategies to improve performance in a particular sport. They also play a significant role in team selection and leadership.
- Recreational Therapist: Using a variety of modalities, including arts and crafts, drama, music, dance, sports, and community outings, recreational therapists help individuals with disabilities or illnesses to improve their physical, social, and emotional well-being.
- Corporate Wellness Coordinator: Focusing on promoting health and wellness within the workplace, these professionals develop programs that encourage healthy behavior among employees and work to improve workplace environments to support better health outcomes.
- Kinesiologist: As a kinesiologist, one can work in rehabilitation centers, fitness clubs, or private practice. They apply their knowledge of human movement to evaluate physical function and recommend exercises to enhance body mechanics.
- Exercise Physiologist: These specialists analyze their patients' fitness in order to help them improve their health or maintain good health. They assist patients with heart disease and other chronic conditions, like diabetes or pulmonary (lung) diseases.
FAQ's About Obtaining an Online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology
What is Kinesiology and What Can I Do with a Degree in This Field?
Kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement, performance, and function, incorporating the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and neuroscience. A degree in kinesiology can open doors to various career paths, including:
- Physical Therapy Assistant
- Exercise Physiologist
- Sports Coach
- Fitness Trainer or Instructor
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Wellness Consultant
Can I Complete an Entire Kinesiology Degree Program Online?
Yes, many institutions offer online bachelor's degree programs in kinesiology. These programs are designed to provide the same comprehensive education as their on-campus counterparts, with the added flexibility of studying at your own pace and schedule. However, some programs may require in-person clinical or lab components that need to be completed at designated sites.
How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology?
The time it takes to complete an online bachelor's degree in kinesiology typically ranges from 3 to 4 years for full-time students. For those who are working or have other commitments, part-time options are available which can extend the duration of the program.
What Are the Admission Requirements for Online Kinesiology Programs?
Admission requirements for online kinesiology programs vary by institution but generally include:
- A high school diploma or equivalent (e.g., GED)
- A minimum GPA (usually around 2.0-3.0)
- SAT or ACT scores (may be optional at some schools)
- Letters of recommendation (in some cases)
- A personal statement or essay
What Kind of Courses Will I Take in an Online Kinesiology Program?
An online kinesiology program will encompass a variety of courses that cover both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Core courses may include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Biochemistry of Exercise
- Sports Psychology
- Movement Science
- Strength and Conditioning Principles
- Nutrition for Physical Activity
- Motor Learning and Control
- Kinesiology Research Methods
Are Online Kinesiology Degrees Accredited and Recognized by Employers?
Accreditation is a key factor when choosing an online kinesiology program. Accredited programs meet industry standards and are more likely to be recognized by employers. Look for accreditation from organizations such as the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the American Kinesiology Association (AKA).
Can I Transfer Credits From Another Degree Program or Institution?
Many online kinesiology programs accept transfer credits from other accredited institutions. The number of credits you can transfer varies by program, so it's important to check with the admissions office at the institution where you're applying.
How Do Online Kinesiology Programs Handle Practicum or Internship Requirements?
While much of the coursework for an online kinesiology degree can be completed remotely, practicums or internships are typically required to gain hands-on experience. Most programs will assist you in finding suitable placements near your location.
What Technical Requirements Do I Need to Meet for Online Learning?
To successfully participate in an online kinesiology program, you'll need:
- A reliable computer with high-speed internet access
- The ability to run necessary software, which may include video conferencing tools and learning management systems like Blackboard or Canvas
- A webcam and microphone for interactive sessions
Is Financial Aid Available for Online Kinesiology Students?
Financial aid is typically available for students enrolled in accredited online kinesiology programs. Options may include federal grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study programs. You should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility.
How Do I Choose the Right Online Kinesiology Program for Me?
Selecting the right online kinesiology program involves considering several factors:
- The program's accreditation status
- Your career goals and whether the curriculum aligns with them
- The flexibility of the program to fit your schedule
- The level of support services offered to online students (e.g., tutoring, career services)
- Tuition costs and financial aid options
- The institution's reputation in the field of kinesiology