Table of Contents
An online kinesiology degree is a college major program where students learn about the fundamentals of human movement and a variety of other subjects that prepare students to work in fitness instruction, rehabilitation, sports medicine, research and other areas.
Earning an online degree could be the first step toward becoming a professional in this growing field.
Online Kinesiology Degree
The field of kinesiology addresses the movement of the human body. Kinesiology professionals understand the mechanics of movement and apply that knowledge to help others become stronger, fitter, or more mobile.
At the bachelors degree level, kinesiology majors study topics like:
- Exercise psychology
- Fitness safety
- Health promotion and communication
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Physical assessment
- Program management
- Rehabilitation practices
- Sports medicine
Some bachelor’s degree programs in kinesiology have one or more options for concentrations or minors. These vary from school to school but could include health promotion, public health, or athletic training.
Elective courses in both on-campus and online programs can also help prepare you for specific career tracks. Depending on the program, the selection of electives may include topics like childhood fitness, exercise instruction, strength conditioning, or nutrition fundamentals.
Kinesiology students in online programs may also participate in internships. Potential internship sites could include rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, recreational gyms, or health advocacy organizations.
After graduation, some kinesiology graduates enter the workforce. Exercise physiologists may have training in kinesiology, and other related positions include athletic trainer, health educator, fitness instructor, and coach.
Kinesiology studies can also provide valuable preparation for allied health professional programs. Some graduates of online kinesiology programs continue their on-campus or online education with studies to become physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, or medical doctors.
Kinesiology Careers & Salaries
Many kinesiology graduates have their sights set on fitness-related careers. Kinesiology studies especially prepare students for the responsibilities of exercise physiologists. These professionals work with patients in healthcare settings to help them develop safe and effective exercise plans to target their individual health needs.
Other kinesiology majors go on to become athletics trainers or fitness trainers, often working for schools or gyms. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, exercise physiologists earn a median salary of $50,280 per year.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||$62,940|
|Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers||$60,660|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||$59,770|
|Health Education Specialists||$56,500|
|Fitness Trainers and Instructors||$40,510|
|Coaches and Scouts||$36,330|
|Occupational Therapy Aides||$30,180|
|Physical Therapist Aides||$28,450|
A passion for sport and exercise could inspire kinesiology graduates to become athletic coaches. Those who earn teaching licensure may work as physical education teachers in public or private schools.
Kinesiology students can also provide education in non-school settings. Health educators, for instance, work in health departments or community centers to teach people about the importance of physical activity and healthy living.
Kinesiology is related to both physical and occupational therapy, so working as a therapist aide can be an entry-level job for those with kinesiology training. Therapist assistant jobs may be available as well, but they will require specific training and licensure.
With further on-campus or online education, this degree could also be a stepping stone to a career in medicine, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.
Bachelor of Kinesiology Curriculum & Courses
Kinesiology students in on-campus or online programs study topics like human anatomy, healthy living, education, communication, and patient care. Course examples include:
- Assessment Methods: Before you can create exercise plans for clients, you’ll first assess their current abilities and deficits by using methods like the ones you’ll study in this course.
- Fitness for Special Populations: This course addresses caring for people with special health needs, such as advanced age, cardiac disease, or pulmonary damage.
- Exercise Principles: You’ll study human physiology and how it relates to movement, strength training, exercise warm ups, and conditioning practices.
- Fundamentals of Kinesiology: This introductory class sets the stage for your upper-division kinesiology courses.
- Health Communication: Your time in this class will cover ways to share health information with patients, families, other care providers, and the general public.
- Health Education and Promotion: You’ll learn instructional methods for communicating health and fitness information, and you’ll also discuss other strategies for influencing behavioral decisions.
- Motor Development: You can learn about gross and fine motor skills throughout the human lifespan.
- Movement of the Human Body: The curriculum for this class covers muscle and bone anatomy, the mechanics of movement, and principles for exercising safely and avoiding injury.
- Nutrition: This class addresses the fundamentals of good eating that fuels the body so that you can support your patients’ all-around health and wellness management.
- Program Leadership: You can learn to analyze community needs, plan programs to meet those needs, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your programs after implementation.
Of the 120 credit hours typically required for a bachelor’s degree, you may need to earn at least 36 credit hours from coursework that is specific to your kinesiology major.
How to Choose an Online Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology Program
Figuring out where to attend college is one of the most important steps in getting ready to earn a kinesiology degree. Looking through this list of questions related to online kinesiology programs may help you decide.
- How much does it cost? The per-credit price varies from one school to another. It is possible, though, that financial aid can lower your tuition if you qualify.
- Is the school accredited? The most reputable degrees—the ones most likely to lead to graduate programs or satisfactory employment—come from regionally accredited colleges.
- What is the class schedule? Term lengths at online colleges may range from 6 to 16 weeks. Courses can be held year-round or during set semesters. You may check in at specific times or have the option to do schoolwork 24/7.
- Where can I do an internship? Some kinesiology programs have partnerships with internship sites in their nearby area or around the country.
A school’s admissions counselor can answer these questions and more.
Admissions Requirements for Online Kinesiology degree
The first step toward earning a kinesiology degree is applying and being admitted to school. Requirements vary from one college to the next, but common application materials include:
- Personal essay
- Scores from the ACT or SAT (not required at all schools)
- Transcripts from high school and any college classes
Online bachelor’s in kinesiology programs may have set application deadlines, or they may offer rolling admissions and the opportunity to apply at any time. No matter when you apply for admission to a online bachelor’s degree program, there may be a required fee to cover the cost of processing your materials.
Students often enter kinesiology programs with future studies in mind. For example, they may plan to enter a professional program for physician assistant or physical therapist training.
Without a regionally accredited degree, getting into a graduate program may not be possible. In fact, regional accreditation is critical for a variety of reasons. Accreditation indicates that a college meets common academic standards, bolstering a college’s reputation.
Other higher education institutions are more likely to accept transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. Applicants to exercise science jobs are also more likely to get hired if they hold accredited degrees. Plus, accreditation is a requirement when using federal student aid.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Government and private financial assistance can be quite valuable when it comes time to pay your tuition bills. You can plan accordingly by turning in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA).
The federal government has grant and loan programs available for qualifying undergraduate students. Many states offer similar programs, and you may be able to receive both state and federal funds. Colleges often hand out tuition assistance as well. Students may receive scholarships because of merit or financial need.
Similarly, private organizations run scholarship programs. You can apply for scholarships that are specific to kinesiology majors or ones that are for college students in any department. Some workplaces also have tuition assistance funds for their employees.
What Is Kinesiology?
Kinesiology is the study of movement of the human body. If you pursue a college degree in kinesiology, you can learn about the parts of the body and how they work together to enable movement. You can also study ways to increase people’s mobility or develop their physical health through exercise.
Kinesiology is useful in a variety of disciplines. Exercise physiologists usually have training in physiology. The lessons learned in this program can also help graduates become effective athletics trainers, fitness instructors, coaches or health educators. Kinesiology bachelor’s degrees can also get students ready for advanced studies in allied health fields.
Is Kinesiology a Good Major?
Yes, kinesiology is a good major for many undergraduate students. This degree program can provide the foundation for a career in fitness, exercise, athletics, or wellness. With kinesiology studies, you can turn your personal passion for healthy living into a career that benefits others.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most exercise physiologists earn between $36,070 and $78,170 annually. Those who hold government positions make a median of $75,740 each year. Professionals in this field also work as health educators, coaches, and fitness instructors. These exercise science jobs can help others improve their health or perform their best.
Is Kinesiology Hard?
Whether you find kinesiology challenging may depend on your strengths and skills. Earning an online bachelor’s in kinesiology requires studying topics like anatomy and physiology. You’d also learn about biomechanics, which relates to body structure and motion.
Behavioral science and psychology are other topics that kinesiology students explore. These disciplines provide insight into the best methods of health promotion and education.
Many kinesiology majors also complete an internship. During an internship, you can put your classroom lessons into practice, gain insight from mentors, and get used to working in a professional health or fitness environment.
What Can You Do with a Kinesiology Degree?
Kinesiology graduates often work as exercise physiologists to provide personalized exercise guidance for healthcare patients. Kinesiotherapists fall within this category. They design fitness plans for rehabilitative purposes.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they often work for US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities. Other professionals in the field work as athletic trainers or coaches. Some also work as fitness instructors.
Some kinesiology majors go on to get their teaching licensure. After that, they can work as physical education teachers for kids or teens. Graduates may want to work in physical or occupational therapy as aides or assistants. Continuing to graduate school to become a physical or occupational therapist is another possibility.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology Online?
It often takes 4 years of full-time schooling to graduate with a degree in kinesiology. That’s the common timeframe for bachelor’s degree programs at colleges that divide the school year into two semesters.
Fast-track online kinesiology degree programs may move more quickly. Students may shave several months or a year off of their college commitment by taking year-round classes in an accelerated format in an online bachelor’s degree program. Accelerated classes typically last 6 weeks or 8 weeks instead of the traditional 16 weeks.
What Jobs Can You Get with a Kinesiology Degree?
After earning a bachelor’s in kinesiology online, many graduates pursue careers as exercise physiologists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, such professionals usually work for the government or hospitals.
Some students choose to continue their educations and enroll in one of the masters in kinesiology online programs that some universities offer.
Kinesiology students can also consider working with athletes. Job examples include being a team coach or an athletic trainer in a school. A kinesiology graduate’s understanding of the human body could be useful in therapy settings as well. Some may work as occupational or physical therapist aides.
Graduates of online degree programs may also choose to pursue teaching roles. They can provide fitness instruction, run nonprofit initiatives to encourage active living, or pursue licensure to teach physical education in public schools.
What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology vs. Exercise Science?
If you’re committed to a fitness-related career, you may be debating whether to earn an online exercise science degree or a kinesiology degree.
Essentially, exercise science is a branch of kinesiology.
What’s the Difference Between a Bachelors in Kinesiology vs. Physical Therapy?
Both kinesiology and physical therapy involve studying how the human body works and helping others achieve optimal mobility.
Kinesiology is also one option for a suitable undergraduate degree before entering a physical therapy doctoral program.
What’s the Difference Between a BA vs. BS in Kinesiology?
Some schools have Bachelor of Science (BS) in Kinesiology programs, while other schools offer Bachelor of Arts (BA) in online Kinesiology degree programs.
|BS in Kinesiology||BA in Kinesiology|
Some colleges offer both a BS track and a BA track.
Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology Worth It?
Yes, a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology is worth it for many students. Exercise physiology techniques can help people regain their strength, mobility, and independence after medical incidents. It can be particularly useful after cardiac or pulmonary situations.
As a kinesiology professional, you could participate in patients’ recovery journeys. Plus, job openings in this field are predicted to increase over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13% increase in demand for exercise physiologists, and jobs for athletic trainers are expected to grow at a 23% rate.