Best Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology Degree Programs for 2024


Find the best online bachelor’s in kinesiology degree programs for students with an interest in physical activity and how it impacts health, wellness, and quality of life.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's Degrees in Kinesiology

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  1. University of Houston–Victoria
  2. California Baptist University
  3. East Central University
  4. Concordia University Chicago
  1. California Baptist University
  2. East Central University
  3. Concordia University Chicago
  4. University of Houston–Victoria
  1. Concordia University Chicago 93%
  2. University of Houston–Victoria 82%
  3. California Baptist University 80%
  4. East Central University 70%
  1. California Baptist University 18 to 1
  2. East Central University 17 to 1
  3. University of Houston–Victoria 16 to 1
  4. Concordia University Chicago 12 to 1
  1. California Baptist University $38,058
  2. Concordia University Chicago $34,964
  3. East Central University $6,001
  4. University of Houston–Victoria $5,111
  1. California Baptist University $13,680
  2. Concordia University Chicago $9,399
  3. University of Houston–Victoria $6,618
  4. East Central University $4,555
  1. Concordia University Chicago
  2. East Central University
  3. California Baptist University
  4. University of Houston–Victoria
  1. University of Houston–Victoria
  2. Concordia University Chicago
  3. East Central University
  4. California Baptist University
  1. East Central University 70%
  2. California Baptist University 80%
  3. University of Houston–Victoria 82%
  4. Concordia University Chicago 93%
  1. Concordia University Chicago 12 to 1
  2. University of Houston–Victoria 16 to 1
  3. East Central University 17 to 1
  4. California Baptist University 18 to 1
  1. University of Houston–Victoria $5,111
  2. East Central University $6,001
  3. Concordia University Chicago $34,964
  4. California Baptist University $38,058
  1. East Central University $4,555
  2. University of Houston–Victoria $6,618
  3. Concordia University Chicago $9,399
  4. California Baptist University $13,680

Key Takeaways

  • The bachelor’s degree in kinesiology or exercise science is a minimum requirement for entry-level jobs in sports and health sciences, health and wellness management, and other related fields.
  • Online kinesiology programs combine world-class didactic instruction in the health sciences and hands-on learning experiences in diverse settings, from sports management to wellness management facilities.
  • An undergraduate in kinesiology or exercise science starts your professional journey! Career advancement requires taking on more advanced courses and securing professional certifications.

Featured Programs

A Quick Look into Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology

Students in an online bachelor’s in kinesiology degree program engage in the scientific and systematic study of human movement. Such is its comprehensive study that students learn the fundamental aspects of human movement in terms of physiology, anatomy, pathology, and biomechanics!

Kinesiology and exercise science, a related yet distinct discipline, have numerous real-world applications, too. These include physical education, biomechanics and orthopedics, sport and exercise physiology, and occupational and physical therapy.

Indeed, a kinesiology degree isn’t just a ticket to diverse, well-paying and challenging career opportunities! You can make a positive and profound difference in the lives of individuals. You can be an instrument in their recovery from illnesses and injuries, so they enjoy a better quality of life.

Online Education: Hands-on Learning Experiences Required

Students in bachelor’s in kinesiology degree programs learn their workplace-ready knowledge and skills via didactic instruction and hands-on learning. Internships or externships are the most common experiential learning methods in health and wellness management facilities, sport medicine organizations, and clinics.

Students learn to translate theory into practice under the supervision of kinesiologists, physical therapists, and athletic trainers. Many programs also offer practicum experiences in faculty-led projects for online students.

These hands-on learning experiences in an online bachelor degree kinesiology program can be counted as part of compliance with professional certification requirements. An example is the certified health education specialist certification.

Roles and Responsibilities of Kinesiologists

The coursework in a bachelor’s in kinesiology or exercise science degree prepares students for the professional duties of kinesiologists. These duties are at the heart of preventing, treating, and managing illnesses and injuries related to human body movement.

Kinesiology students must learn the numerous aspects of these primary duties. Areas covered include injury rehabilitation, ergonomics, biomedical applications, active health, wellness, and fitness. Research into kinesiology topics is also emphasized.

During their studies, kinesiology students learn the proper techniques and tools to be prepared for:

  • Assisting patients in their recovery and rehabilitation from their physical injuries and illnesses
  • Working with other professionals in creating customized plans for the prevention, treatment, and management of physical injuries and illnesses
  • Educating patients and others about safe body movements in daily life, exercise, and sports

Students also learn about specific techniques for dealing with special populations, such as individuals with muscular disorders.

Desired Skills and Traits

Kinesiology students should develop career-specific technical skills during their studies. But it’s also crucial to develop transferable skills that make them more effective, including:

  • Compassion for others due to the patient-centric nature of kinesiology
  • Communication skills to be able to work well with patients, peers, and supervisors
  • Collaboration skills since effective patient care requires working as a team
  • Decision-making skills because kinesiologists must make informed decisions in patient care and other aspects

Being rational, helpful and respectful are desirable traits among aspiring kinesiologists.

If you feel that you have the desired skills and traits to pursue this versatile degree, find out what you can do with an online bachelor’s in kinesiology.

Admission Requirements

The best online kinesiology degree programs have a highly selective admissions process. Prospective students must possess strong math and science skills and demonstrate a willingness to learn.

Common admission requirements include:

  • A high school diploma for freshman applicants
  • Associate degree or college-level credits for transfer students (with official transcripts)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statements
  • Current resume

Proof of good physical and mental health may also be required since students will tackle rigorous coursework and deal with patients.

Beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology is only the first step toward becoming a kinesiologist, although it’s sufficient for entry-level jobs.

The American Kinesiotherapy Association, American Kinesiology Association, and American Society of Exercise Physiologists have national certification exams for aspiring certified kinesiologists. Professional certification demonstrates competence and commitment, thus increasing their value among employers and clients.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kinesiology Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in kinesiology is designed for students with an interest in physical activity and how it impacts health, wellness, and quality of life.

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Undergraduate kinesiology programs provide an education in biomechanics, exercise physiology, and motor behavior, and they can also prepare students who are seeking to practice medicine, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. Courses will address areas such as anatomy and physiology, injuries and illnesses, and adapted physical activities.

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Programs typically require a minimum of 120 credits, which take about four to five years to complete. Students can complete their degree program online or on campus.

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After graduation, students will qualify to work as health coaches, personal trainers, exercise physiologists, and physical therapy technicians. Some students may choose to advance into a graduate degree program in a related area of health and wellness.

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Best Online Bachelor's in Kinesiology Degree Programs
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Our Best Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology Ranking

The online bachelor’s in kinesiology degree programs featured here are regionally accredited higher education institutions. Accreditation is proof of compliance with the stringent standards of the regional accreditation agencies. These standards include program goals, resources, fair practices, and student assessment.

These online programs in kinesiology also have programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The NSCA or National Strength & Conditioning Association may also recognize these programs.

The online bachelor’s in kinesiology degree programs were also selected because of their reputation for academic excellence and graduate outcomes. Students are encouraged to achieve good grades and provide outstanding student support services for this reason.

Tutoring services, writing services and career services as well as access to digital libraries and IT help desk are common in these programs. Admissions, academic advising, and financial aid counseling services are also offered.

Graduates were sought after by employers because of their top-notch academic performance. Performance that translates into workplace-ready knowledge and skills.

Faculty members in these kinesiology programs were also instrumental in student success. Aside from their impressive education and work credentials, their instructional approaches encouraged students to aim for academic excellence. Accessibility and approachability were also essential traits in the success of student-to-instructor relationships.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology Degree Programs

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Career Outlook for Kinesiology degree at University of Houston–Victoria

    Cost of Degree: $7,499
    Expenses: $15,252
    Starting Salary: $28,109
    Salary after 4 years: $43,605
    Cost Recoup Time: 11 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary

    Online Degrees

    BS in Kinesiology


    • Sports Science Specialization
    • Pre-Allied Health
    • Sports Management Specialization
    • Required Credits: 121
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Career Outlook for Kinesiology degree at California Baptist University

    Cost of Degree: $38,058
    Expenses: $15,414
    Starting Salary: $27,710
    Salary after 4 years: $43,625
    Cost Recoup Time: 18 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary

    Online Degrees

    BS in Kinesiology
    • Required Credits: 50
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  3. #4

    Concordia University Chicago

    River Forest , IL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Career Outlook for Kinesiology degree at Concordia University Chicago

    Cost of Degree: $34,964
    Expenses: $13,362
    Starting Salary: $24,910
    Salary after 4 years: $39,216
    Cost Recoup Time: 18 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary

    Online Degrees

    BS in Kinesiology
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online

Career Outlook for Students with Kinesiology Degree

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Exercise Science And Kinesiology

Degree Level: Bachelor's

  • Location: The U.S. (Private Schools)
  • Avg. Cost of Degree*: $10,779
  • Avg. Expenses*: $16,246
  • Avg. Starting Salary*: $29,547
  • Avg. Salary after 4 Years*: $45,836
  • Avg. Cost Recoup Time**: 11 years
  • Job Growth: 10.30%
  • Number of Jobs: 16,500
  • * denotes ‘annually’
  • ** denotes ‘at 15% of annual salary’

Career Salaries

CareerJob GrowthAvg. Salary
Athletes and Sports Competitors8.57%$83,195
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary3.07%$71,084
Entertainment and Recreation Managers, Except Gambling8.33%$69,366
Exercise Physiologists10.30%$54,089
Athletic Trainers13.91%$53,251

Average Career Salaries

Bottom 10%MedianTop 10%

Promising Job Markets

StateCost of LivingAvg. Salary
#2 Texas10% higher than average$66,485
#3 Colorado3% higher than average$72,514
#4 New Jersey13% higher than average$79,168
#5 Michigan15% higher than average$56,002
#6 Minnesota4% higher than average$59,896

Top Industries

IndustryAvg. Salary
Athletes and Sports Competitors$83,195
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary$71,084
Entertainment and Recreation Managers, Except Gambling$69,366

Not sure what you want to study? Check out our rankings of the best online bachelors degrees in interdisciplinary studies, human services, or elementary education.

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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.

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