Bachelors In

Kinesiology Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.
on February 15, 2024

Why We Love It

  • $40,970
    Potential Avg. Salary*
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook

* Salary & growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for 39-9031 Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors 11/2021. Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

If you’re interested in a career promotion of health through movement, exercise, and nutrition, a bachelor of science in kinesiology may be right for you.

Kinesiology majors study topics in physical health, fitness, ergonomics, and nutrition, enabling them to succeed in a variety of careers in the health and fitness industries. Graduates go on to work as personal trainers, occupational therapists, and ergonomists.

What is a Degree in Kinesiology?

How does exercise work to improve one’s physical health and mental well-being? Is it possible for individuals to overcome disease and disability with physical fitness and nutrition?

How can individuals who’ve hit their limit with athletic talent surpass that limit and become even better? If you’re curious about the answers to these questions, then you may want to consider a degree in kinesiology. Kinesiology majors study the science and psychology of exercise health, nutrition, and physical well-being.

In a kinesiology program, students generally choose an area within the field to focus on, which may include options like exercise science, sports, health education, and nutrition. This focus allows students to take classes that provide a thorough education for their intended careers. Graduates work in health and fitness roles across a variety of industries.

Some go into sports and work as coaches and athletic trainers; some teach physical education in schools; and some work in gyms as aerobics instructors or personal trainers.

Recommended Schools

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Kinesiology?

  • Health Education
  • Principles of Biology
  • History of Sports in America
  • Motor Development
  • Biomechanics of Human Motion
  • Motor Control and Learning
  • Psychology of Sport
  • Physiology of Exercise

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Kinesiology?

From professional athletes to individuals just looking to lose weight, there are always plenty of opportunities for qualified kinesiologists to find work. Fitness instructors can find work in schools as PE teachers and sports team coaches, in gyms as fitness instructors and personal trainers, and as independent consultants taking on individual clients.

Additionally, many also find work with college and professional sports teams, helping coaches work to get and keep players in the shape they need to be.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Kinesiology will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Kinesiology Degree

Kinesiology is offered by a limited number of universities. It is even less available when considering the programs that are offered entirely online due to the practical nature of the study. You are required to complete around 180 credit hours to earn your bachelor’s. It is also recommended that you choose an online program to get practical experience in the form of training or internship in a well-recognized institute.

This will give you the experience and the credit needed to improve your chances in the job market. Accreditation of the program is also important as it may affect your ability to get the license to practice healthcare-related professions.

What Can You Do With a Kinesiology Degree?

Kinesiology is a field of study that focuses on studying body movement of humans and other organisms. It can be used as indicator of the health of all body organs and systems.

Kinesiology includes the study of physiological, biochemical and psychological dynamics and mechanisms of movement. This field is important for several applications including sport psychology, occupational therapy, sport and exercise. Kinesiology follows three main principles including adaptation through exercise, neuroplasticity and motor redundancy.

What does a kinesiology student learn?

Kinesiology students learn subjects related to the human body in general, movement of objects and the medical applications of these concepts.

The following list shows the courses commonly offered in kinesiology degree programs:

  1. Anatomy and physiology: this course introduces the structure and functions of human bodies. It is important to know how the movement is generated and how health conditions can affect the movement of the body.
  2. Physiology of exercise: this course presents how the healthy human body works during exercise and how its capabilities are improved by regular exercise.
  3. Psychology of sport: it is a field of study that involves the use of psychological means to reach the optimum performance and well-being of athletes. The study also involves the social and developmental aspects of sports.
  4. Motor development and control: this course lies at the core of the program as it deals with the body growth and development of motor abilities. It also shows common abnormalities related to movement.
  5. Assessment methods for kinesiology: this course presents the tools and tests used to evaluate the movement of the body, determine the performance and detect any diseases or abnormalities.

Now I have the kinesiology degree…where can I work after graduating?

Kinesiology is related to medical professions. Kinesiology specialists are needed in sports facilities and healthcare institutes. If you have a degree in kinesiology, you should consider the following options for your future career:

  1. The personal trainer or fitness instructor: you will have the ability to evaluate the status and capabilities of the body and provide a personalized training plan.
  2. Massage therapist: massage therapy uses touch and pressure to treat muscle and soft tissues of the body. This kind of therapy is used to relieve pain, improve the healing of injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress and improve the general well-being of the client.
  3. Occupational therapist: the role of an occupational therapist is to help patients recover and improve their well-being by the use of everyday activities for treatment. Occupational therapy may be needed in injury rehabilitation, helping older adults suffering from physical or cognitive deterioration, and children with disabilities to participate in schools or other social activities.
  4. Chiropractor: the role of this profession is to diagnose and treat neuromuscular disorders. A chiropractor is trained in the use of physical adjustments to eliminate misalignments of the spine which can cause chronic pain.
  5. Athletic trainer: studying kinesiology provides a scientific basis to set the training plans and evaluation of performance for athletic teams.
  6. Online training: there is a growing trend towards online training applications which became even more important with the social distancing imposed by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Should I choose a kinesiology degree?

Kinesiology is a field of study that is focused on how our bodies work and how their performance can be improved. It also gives you a chance to work with healthcare and athletic teams. Studying kinesiology will help you develop many skills that will help with your future career:

  1. Attention to detail: working as a kinesiology specialist requires attention to detail as some changes in performance or the way a movement is done indicate the presence of underlying health problems.
  2. Communication skills: working as a kinesiology specialist requires working with athletes or patients. You will need to explain clearly the training plans and the effects on the body movement.
  3. Patience: making a significant change in the performance of the body requires regular exercise for a long time. You must have the patience to reach the desired results.

Recommended Schools

Best Jobs for Kinesiology Degrees

With a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, you’ll be prepared for a variety of careers. You may go into the field of physical education and teach PE in schools, work in gyms as a personal trainer, or work with athletes as a trainer or coach.

You may also choose to continue your education, earning a graduate degree in a scientific discipline to find work as an occupational therapist, ergonomist, or nutritionist.

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Kinesiology degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

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Find a Program That Meets Licensing Standards

If you think you might one day want to teach PE in an elementary, middle, or high school, make sure to choose a program that provides the education needed to become a licensed teacher. While working as a fitness instructor or personal trainer for adults usually doesn’t require any specific credentials, teaching children requires a special state-issued license.

Save time and money by getting this license as part of your bachelor’s degree program, and avoid having to return to school later for another year of study.

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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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