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What College Has The Best Exercise Science Program

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Becoming An Exercise Physiologists

BS in Exercise Science: Sports Performance Emphasis | GCU

Exercise physiologists work with patients to develop a custom-tailored exercise program. They do so by interviewing patients, measuring vital signs, and recording progress. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that these professionals earn a median $49,170 annual salary, approximately 25% more than the average U.S. worker.

Bachelor’s in exercise science programs train students for a fulfilling career. Learners select either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. Some schools refer to the latter as a bachelor of applied science. The main difference between the two options involves their academic focus. BA degrees emphasize the liberal arts, while BS programs include additional career-focused education and training. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

University Of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia is, undoubtedly, one of the best schools in the world, when it comes to sciences, engineering, computer sciences, and medicine. However, the tripartite coalition of the universitys Allan Mcgavin Sports Medical Centre, the School of Health and Exercise Science, and the School of Kinesiology has rigidly strengthened UBC sport-related courses.

The kinesiology course at the University of British Columbia is outstanding and excellent. The prominent QS Rankings, in 2018, ranked UBCs kinesiology program as the best in Canada and fourth in the world. Besides, UBC occupied the second row and the 18th row in the 2018 Shanghai Rankings for the best sport-related schools in Canada and the world, respectively.

Financial Aid And Scholarships In Sports And Exercise Science

Fulltime students can look into federal financial aid to help pay tuition costs, and they also can seek scholarships for sports and exercise science majors. The American Council on Exercise awards its Ash Hayes Scholarship to 25 fitness leaders each year. The ACE also provides a Salute You Scholarship to American military veterans with an honorable discharge in the past 24 months of their application date. The American College of Sports Medicine also awards numerous grants and awards for students and professionals working in sports medicine.


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University Of Central Florida Orlando Florida

B.S. in Sport and Exercise Science

Student to Faculty Ratio: 30:1Average Net Price: $11,617/yearOverall Graduation Rate: 72 percentAccreditation: NSCA Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on CollegesPoints: 8The College of Health Professions and Sciences at the University of Central Florida features a top B.S. in Sport and Exercise Science with tracks in coaching and human performance. The coaching track is a great match for students who want to coach athletes of all different levels and sports and includes the coursework requirement needed for the Athletic Coaching Endorsement. The human performance track is for those with an interest in sport science including sports medicine, allied health, and health promotion. Sports science courses are offered in areas like current trends in sport, teaching sports skills, and legal issues in sport.

The University Of Scranton Scranton Pennsylvania

Exercise Science Degree Readies Grads for Expanding ...

Bachelors in Kinesiology

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1Average Net Price: $36,235/yearOverall Graduation Rate: 83 percentAccreditation: NSCA CAAHEP Middle States Commission on Higher EducationPoints: 10The University of Scranton features a top Bachelors in Kinesiology that prepares students for personal and professional success. Students are kept engaged through lab work in areas like the biomechanics lab or use of the high altitude chamber and metabolic carts. Program tracks are available in applied kinesiology, pre-professional studies, pre-health studies, and a three year track that utilizes summers and intersession offerings. Coursework focuses on nutrition and strength and conditioning rehabilitation. Exciting internships are available working with the Lackawanna College football team or hospitals and clinics in Pennsylvania and New York.

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United States Sports Academy

Program Standouts:The United States Sports Academy provides an online Bachelor of Sports Science that includes concentration areas in Sports Coaching, Sports Management, Sports Studies, and Sports Strength and Conditioning. For Kinesiology- and Exercise Science-driven students, the Sports Strength and Conditioning curriculum would be best suited to their academic and professional pursuits. However, each specialization from this online school is well-ranked by U.S. News and World Report and provides an excellent entry into the field. The curricula include excellent courses in sports management to give students an understanding of leadership and administration in the health, wellness, and fitness world.

Campus Location: Daphne, AL


Best Colleges For Sports And Exercise Science Degree Programs

Students should use the list below to gain insight into 10 of the best colleges for sports and exercise programs from U.S. colleges and universities. We used data from the National Center for Education Statistics and a unique methodology to rank these institutions. Click the button below to learn more about how this list was created, or read on to learn more about the 10 best sports and exercise degree programs.

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Concordia University St Paul

Program Standouts:This online Bachelor in Exercise Science from Concordia University, St. Paul is specifically designed for working adults who either have experience or who are newcomers to the field. Coursework is flexible and individualized, giving students control over their subject areas and when they complete classes. The curriculum concentrates on exercise, human movement, and management, and prepares graduates from numerous roles, such as Athletic Coach, Wellness Coach, Personal Trainer, and more. CSP maintains an impressive 95% job placement rate for alumni within a year of graduation, who also earn 44% more than average.

Campus Location: Saint Paul, MN


Retention Rate: 65%

Graduation Rate: 65.4%


Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale Florida

Is Exercise Science a useless degree?

B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1Average Net Price: $24,776/yearOverall Graduation Rate: 58 percentAccreditation: NSCA Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on CollegesPoints: 7Nova Southeastern University features a top B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science recognized by the NSCA. Faculty are certified through the NSCA in both strength and conditioning, sharing with students both theory and best practice in sport science. Sports science courses cover areas like sport psychology, sports nutrition, prevention and care of athletic injuries, and sport administration. Electives include independent study, internship opportunities, and education in sport supplements.

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University Of Southern California

USC DPT program length: 3 years

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at USC has an average graduation rate of 94%. The program also has an Ultimate Pass Rate of 100% for the licensure exam.

For those that already hold a degree in Physical Therapy and currently are working in the field are eligible to apply in a 1-year Clinical Residency Program in Orthopedic, Neurologic, or Sports Physical Therapy.

The USC PT residency program is designed to help physical therapists who are pursing specialized areas of practice.

It is intended to help the resident to pass the Clinical Specialist Examination in Orthopedic, Neurologic, or Sports Physical Therapy.

USC also offers a Clinical Education Program that gives the students the chance to apply their knowledge in practical use. The program has three elements:

  • DPT-I This is for the first year students and each student will complete a 2 week practicum in the middle of the second semester and complete a 6-week summer affiliation at the end of their first year.
  • DPT-II this is for the second year students and each student will complete a 2-week practicum in the middle of the first semester, a 2-week practicum in the second semester, and a 6-week summer affiliation prior to their summer courses.
  • DPT-III This is for third year students and includes two 16-week clerkships, one full-time and one part-time in addition to taking Integrated Patient Management Seminars.
  • How Much Money Can You Make With A Degree In Exercise Science

    If salary is the driving factor behind your decision to work in the fitness career, then there are a wide variety of payscales within the industry. Entry-level fitness trainers can make around $39,000, while being the CEO of a gym chain can net an average salary of $1-5 million.

    It is important to find the aspect of the industry in which you most enjoy and feel mots comfortable working in. If the technology side is more your style, a fitness tech engineering makes an average salary of $125,000. Your salary options are relatively endless depending on the career path you would like to pursue.

    These salaries are really just the beginning of options available. The sport science industry is expected to grow 10% through 2028 to serve aging populations and the increased interest in healthy living.

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    Ist University Fayetteville North Carolina

    Bachelors in Exercise and Sport Science

    Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1Average Net Price: $32,578/yearOverall Graduation Rate: 45 percentAccreditation: NSCA Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on CollegesPoints: 8Methodist University features an exercise and sport science bachelors degree program that prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities to become a personal trainer, coach, or strength and conditioning professional. Courses are offered in areas like sport pedagogy, sport psychology, and nutrition. All students complete a sport science internship experience and a research seminar.

    Lindenwood University Saint Charles Missouri

    Health and Exercise Science instructor shares tips for ...

    B.S. in Exercise Science

    Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1Average Net Price: $17,891/yearOverall Graduation Rate: 50 percentAccreditation: NSCA Higher Learning CommissionPoints: 7The NSCA recognized Bachelors in Exercise Science from Lindenwood University is one of only three such programs in the state. Students have the opportunity to participate in cutting edge exercise science research through the Exercise Performance Nutrition Laboratory. A 150 clock hour internship experience in the final semester provides hands-on work experience.

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    Masters Degree In Exercise Science

    A masters degree in exercise science is a 1-3 graduate program that covers advanced studies in the research and application of movement science. Youll find a variety of masters programs in a variety of universities. A bachelors degree in exercise science or a closely related field is required to apply.

    Degree Options

    • Master of Science in Exercise Science: A challenging program that involves high-level science courses, independent research, and in-depth training. Most programs give students the option to specialize in a concentration/track .

    In your search for masters programs, you may find schools that offer a thesis option and/or a professional option. The thesis option is generally intended for students who wish to pursue a PhD or doctorate.

    Sample Coursework

    The curriculum for your master degree will depend on your choice of concentration/track. For example, if you are focused on sports training, you might be required to take courses in performance enhancement, injury prevention, exercise physiology, exercise endocrinology, athletic training, sports management, and motor control and rehabilitation. You could be working with and studying professional basketball players or growing kids.

    On the whole, most masters programs will expect you to complete:

    • Hands-on training experiences

    You can learn more about the difference between regional accreditation and national accreditation in Accreditation: Understanding the Difference Between Real Schools and Diploma Mills.

    Online Bachelor’s Degrees In Exercise Science

    An online bachelor’s in exercise science can be a good educational foundation for individuals hoping to work as personal trainers, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialists, or strength and conditioning coaches. In addition, it can lay the groundwork for further education in a graduate degree program.

    Program Requirements

    Offered online through colleges and universities, exercise science programs usually take between 36 and 48 months to complete, and require around 120 semester credit hours or 180 quarter credit hours, including an internship to gain practical experience. Applicants will need to have a GED or a high school diploma. Many schools have minimum GPA requirements for admission.


    Online exercise science bachelor’s degrees include courses in strength and conditioning, personal training, electrocardiography interpretation, and anatomy and physiology. By taking these classes, students can gain a working understanding of human physical activity through a nutritional, biomechanical, and physiological lens. Usually, there is a hands-on practical application portion of the program in the form of an internship or volunteer opportunity, which affords students the opportunity to apply theory in real-life situations.

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    Careers In Exercise Science

    Depending on the level of education obtained, there are various types of careers available for someone who has an online degree in exercise science. With an associate degree, an individual can find jobs as a trainer, coach or PE teacher, though some additional certification may be required. At the bachelor’s level, individuals may be prepared for entry or mid-level positions in fitness, including strength coaching, training, exercise physiologist in cardiac rehab, or clinical exercise specialist. Daily responsibilities include meeting with potential clients, creating treatment plans and exercise regimes for clients, and facilitating exercises.

    Individuals with a graduate degree, either a master’s or doctorate, may be eligible for teaching at a collegiate level or taking on senior roles in fitness and healthcare. Increasingly, hospitals are requiring exercise physiologists to hold a graduate degree. Additionally, professionals with a doctorate may advance to research positions or high-level administrative jobs in the fitness or wellness departments at hospitals. Day-to-day duties at this level range from academia tasks to program implementation and management.

    Top Corporate Jobs For Exercise Science Degree Holders

    Clinical Experiences available in the Sports Medicine and Exercise Science Degree Program

    Large companies are putting a renewed emphasis on preventive healthcare to improve employee health, which helps the company cut healthcare costs and maintain a productive workforce. As such, there are a range of specialized wellness roles in the corporate setting.

    Wellness Program Manager

    Wellness managers work in corporate environments to develop ways for employees to improve their health and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    • What They Do: Develop healthy living programs, like smoking cessation classes or stress relief workshops, in an effort to improve employee health and lower insurance premiums.
    • Career Perks: Ability to develop creative programs and see the rewarding impact of their work.
    • Average Salary: $54,844
    • Extra Steps: Depending on specific job responsibilities, some corporate environments may favor candidates with personal training, health coach or nutrition certifications.

    Wellness Director

    Wellness directors are responsible for the strategic planning of corporate wellness initiatives.

    • What They Do: Work with leadership to identify wellness goals, develop program ideas and manage employees who implement programming.
    • Career Perks: Leadership opportunity and room for advancement.
    • Average Salary: $55,665
    • Extra Steps: Management experience likely required.

    Healthcare Consultant

    Work independently or for large consultancies and corporations to provide an independent evaluation of employee health and wellness initiatives.

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    Belmont University Nashville Tennessee

    B.S. in Exercise Science

    Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1Average Net Price: $36,976/yearOverall Graduation Rate: 72 percentAccreditation: NSCA Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on CollegesPoints: 8The Department of Sport Science at Belmont University features a top B.S. in Exercise Science degree providing students with a strong foundation in sport science. Minors are available in sport medicine, nutrition, and strength and conditioning. Students complete an internship during the final year of the program to gain hands-on experience before entering the workforce or continuing on to graduate studies.

    University Of Southern Indiana Evansville Indiana

    Bachelors in Exercise Science

    Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1Average Net Price: $13,360/yearOverall Graduation Rate: 50 percentAccreditation: CAAHEP Higher Learning CommissionPoints: 7The Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education at the University of Southern Indiana features a CAAHEP accredited top Bachelors in Exercise Science filled with hands-on instruction and clinical experiences. Faculty have spent years working in the exercise science field and share this knowledge and expertise with their students. Through experience in the Human Performance Laboratory, students are trained on the latest exercise equipment to maximize human performance. An internship experience in sport related areas such as pro sports training centers or rehab clinics give students the chance to experience what its like working in the field. Graduates of one of the best universities for sports science in the USA are also prepared for admission to some of the countrys best OT and PT programs.

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    California University Of Pennsylvania

    Program Standouts:This online Bachelor in Exercise Science program from the California University of Pennsylvania provides an excellent foundation in fitness, health, and wellness, while also laying the groundwork for skills in business management and marketing. This accelerated degree can be completed in only three years and qualifies graduates to sit for certification examinations for the roles of Personal Trainer and Speed Coach. There is also an accelerated Bachelors to Masters option available. The coursework has an emphasis on leadership and professional development and is intended to prepare students for the job market. Individuals exiting this online degree have gone on to work with professional sports teams, in hospitals, in corporate fitness settings, and more.

    Campus Location:

    • Accelerated Bachelors to Masters Degree

    Acceptance Rate: 96.1%

    Retention Rate: 73%

    Graduation Rate: 48.9%


    Exercise Science Bachelor’s Degree Program Curriculum

    College of Natural and Health Sciences

    Varied and comprehensive courses within the exercise science program will help you to learn the foundational concepts associated with physical activity, fitness and health and how they all relate to exercise prescription and programming. Flexible electives allow you to expand your studies in areas that interest you, including nutrition, business, environmental public health and psychology. Opportunities to make valuable connections by working with the Community Fitness, Homeschool Physical Education, PRIDE and Cancer Recovery and Fitness outreach programs also are available to you.

    Those wishing to declare a pre-athletic training career path may find that majoring in exercise science is an excellent fit.

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    What can I do with an online Bachelors degree in Kinesiology?

    Kinesiologists work in all types of industries that promote good health, such as spas, fitness clubs, chiropractic services, sports medicine, as well as physical therapy, athletic training, and much more!

    What degree do I need to become a Kinesiologist?

    Typically, you will need a Bachelors degree to work in the field of Kinesiology. Occassionally, a Masters degree is required if you are interested in career advancement or research positions.

    What will I learn in an online Bachelor of Kinesiology degree program?

    Your main focus will be coursework such as motor development and control, anatomy and physiology, how to conduct assessments, and the proper exercise methods, plus much more.

    Can I earn a Bachelors degree in Kinesiology through an online program?

    Yes, however, you should plan on some on-campus attendance for clinical work. Some online programs will allow you to do your labs at your local fitness center.


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