Best Exercise Science Degrees
Exercise Science is more often than not an interdisciplinarily focused field, where those who choose to study the discourse are consequently exposed to, and trained, for a variety of related fields. Such industries generally include kinesiology, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and sociology. Earning a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science will provide foundational knowledge in all of these areas, as well as the many types of application and practice that results from this education.
Students who pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science are prepared to enter the professional workforce as health and fitness instructors, health and wellness advocates, sports-related specialists, and more. Most undergraduate programs in Exercise Science or Kinesiology provides its students with research, or practical and professional internship opportunities, to ready them for a hands-on experience in the application of their understanding of the field.
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For those interested in pursuing graduate and professional level medicine, majoring in Exercise Science serves as an all-encompassing preparation. Many universities with Exercise Science or Kinesiology undergraduate programs also offer accessible transition into their MS and Doctoral programs.
Regardless of career or higher education prospect, majoring in Exercise Science or Kinesiology prepares students with a broadly focused and multifaceted science background. The options after completion of the Bachelor’s in Exercise Science will be exciting and plenty.
Top 10 Rankings
||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
||Chapel Hill, NC
||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
||Texas A&M University -College Station
||College Station, TX
||University of Georgia
||University of Minnesota -Twin Cities
||Michigan State University
||East Lansing, MI
||Rutgers University -New Brunswick
||New Brunswick, NJ
||University of Wisconsin -Eau Claire
||Eau Claire, WI
||Michigan Technological University
||University of South Florida
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Here are the 30 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Exercise Science for 2020!
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Bachelor of Arts in Exercise and Sport Science programs offered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a general major within the Exercise and Sport Science Department at the university, which also offers other related undergraduate programs. The BA in EXSS consists of a multifaceted and interdisciplinary curriculum, drawing from anatomy, physiology, psychology, sociology, and other sciences. Graduates are prepared for careers in allied health professions and a wide array of health, sports, wellness, and clinical settings. All students in the program have access to research opportunities in EXSS, beginning with possible lab volunteerships as early as their freshmen year.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides an interdisciplinary and broad general education in the field, with a focus on human movement and its relationship to the student's area of concentration. Core topics of the curriculum include social, cultural, and psychological aspects of physical activity; coordination, control, and skill; and the instructional processes and practices of teaching physical activity. Students looking to pursue physical education teaching opportunities post-graduation, there are teacher certification programs available within the department. All students in the program have access to hands-on, field experience working or researching in settings like high school athletic departments, health clubs, cardiac rehabilitation centers, and more.
Texas A&M University -College Station
College Station, TX
The Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University at College Station is designed to prepare students for careers in public education and exercise science. All students gain foundational knowledge and skills to prepare them for either the professional workforce or graduate level study. Admission is competitive to all majors within the Department of Health & Kinesiology due to all majors being impacted. Other than the impaction of the major, both freshmen, transfer, and readmitted students can apply. Within the BS in Kinesiology division in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, students may major in applied exercise physiology, basic exercise physiology, dance science and motor behavior, and many others.
University of Georgia's Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science is a high demand and consequently competitive program with limited enrollment. Applicants must have completed certain prerequisites and submit essays of purpose for studying Exercise and Sport Science. The program is designed to prepare for further medical study, with furthered specializations in pre-physical therapy, pre-medicine, pre-physician assistant, pre-occupational therapy, and pre-graduate study in related fields. The core exercise science courses include biomechanics, psychology, and epidemiology. All students are required to complete either research, practicum or internships, or service-learning experiences, to ensure hands-on experience before entering the professional field post-graduation.
University of Minnesota -Twin Cities
The Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is designed for students in pursuit of graduate or professional programs in related areas like allied health, biomechanics, chiropractic medicine, dentistry, or nursing. Those who decide to enter the workforce after graduation is qualified for careers in athletic training, coaching, exercise testing and prescription in clinical settings, and more. The curriculum prepares students with advanced and foundational coursework in the interdisciplinary-focused field, as well as hands-on practice of the application of that knowledge through field experiences. All students can participate in practical experience, which may include working in clinical settings, fitness training settings, and even coaching.
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
The Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Michigan State University has a curriculum centered around the study of physical activity and its importance to health, society, and the different qualities of life. The program draws from anatomical, biomechanical, developmental, physiological, and psychosocial aspects of the field. Upon graduation, students are prepared for careers in fitness leadership, health and wellness, and rehabilitation centers. They may also go onto graduate-level studies. All students complete an internship their senior year, earning valuable and professional field experience. Specialized course topics include Sport and Physical Activity in Society, Physical Growth and Motor Behavior, and The Healthy Lifestyle.
Rutgers University -New Brunswick
New Brunswick, NJ
The Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Rutgers University-New Brunswick offers two specialization areas: Exercise Science and Sports Management. Both programs prepare students for professional careers in fields denoting from medicine, physical and occupational therapy, athletic training, athletic directors, and facility managers. The Kinesiology major is made up of interdisciplinary studies, focused on biomechanics, psychology, physiology, history of physical activity, and motor learning and control. Students also gain knowledge in the sociological education of physical activity. To declare the major, students should have completed a minimum of one semester at Rutgers University with a GPA of at least 2.0. They'll then have to meet with an academic advisor in the department to ensure they're on track for success in the program.
University of Wisconsin -Eau Claire
The Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a Movement Studies Emphasis from the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire has a curriculum designed around career-based internships, research opportunities, and dedicated coursework that uses advanced equipment and facilities. The Kinesiology major is the only non-comprehensive major within the Department of Kinesiology, and so the emphasis or minor area, in this case, Movement Studies, helps narrow student's career focuses. Common minors for those in the major are dance, sports psychology, sociology, or business. Students in the BS in Kinesiology program benefit from community outreach opportunities throughout the Chippewa Valley and take courses focused on vital aspects to the field including motor development, biomechanics, and physiology.
Michigan Technological University
Michigan Technological University's Bachelor's in Pre-Health Professions is a broad-ranging program that houses four specialized majors to be earned as a Bachelor of Science: Biological Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, or Bioinformatics. The Medical Laboratory Science major has a 100 percent job-placement rate! All four majors prepare students for acceptance into competitive medical schools, or competitive professional careers right after graduation. Students in the Pre-Health Professions programs benefit from hands-on, case-based instruction, alongside rigorous coursework dedicated to all aspects of the related fields. Aside from the foundational knowledge earned in physical sciences and mathematics courses, electives can be taken in human nutrition, parasitology, cardiopulmonary physiology, and more.
University of South Florida
University of South Florida's Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science program is housed within the university's College of Education, which speaks to the emphasis the curriculum gives to providing foundational knowledge that allows graduates to pursue careers providing support in strength and conditioning, corporate fitness, community fitness, and cardiac rehabilitation settings. For those interested in pursuing further education, the Master of Science in Exercise Science offered by USF would be a smooth transition into the graduate-level study. Admittance to the BS program is open to students beginning their junior year, after completion of prerequisite courses. All students must maintain at least a 2.5 overall GPA and participate in summer classes.
Towson University's major in Exercise Science may be earned as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree, depending on the intention of the student. Regardless of the chosen degree path, the curriculum of the Exercise Science major is designed off of strong liberal arts and science foundation that provides the groundwork for a foundational and extensive understanding of the discipline. Covering all aspects of and related disciplines to Exercise Students, the curriculum utilizes biomechanics, physiology, biochemistry, growth and development, nutrition, and psychology. Students participate in both advanced coursework and practical, real-world experience. Upon graduation, students are prepared for careers in clinical, corporate, and community exercise and wellness settings, or to go onto graduate studies.
The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at Bemidji State University draws from the principles of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, sport psychology, and motor development to provide preparation for a wide range of career options. Some students go onto schooling for nursing, chiropractic, or other allied health fields. There are two emphasis options within the BS in Exercise Science, the Medical Fitness Emphasis and the Fitness Leadership and Promotion Emphasis. Both options provide foundational knowledge in all aspects of the field, and train students in skills for physiological testing, designing and prescribing individualized exercise and nutrition programs, and know how to engage professionally and respectfully to a wide range of clients and communities.
University of Texas at Arlington
The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Texas at Arlington offers two further concentration areas within the BS: Clinical Health Professions and Fitness/Wellness. Both are housed within the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Nursing, which ensures students benefit from a multifaceted curriculum that utilizes related disciplines. The Clinical Health Professions focus is designed for students who plan to pursue graduate-level programs, where the Fitness/Wellness focus is for those who immediately pursue careers post-graduation. Regardless of the chosen focus area, students in the BS in Exercise Science program take courses in physiology, biomechanics, motor control and learning, and strength and conditioning for general and specialized populations.
University of Wyoming's Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health Promotion program is designed to prepare students for careers in a variety of fields and for professional medical programs, such as those to become physicians, occupational therapists, dentists, chiropractors, and more. About 60 percent of graduates from the BS in K&HP program go onto medical school, while others go into jobs in fitness, health promotion or state agencies, and other clinical settings. The BS is considered a professional-level program, so those interested in pursuing the major must complete prerequisites with at least a 2.75 GPA before starting major courses their junior year. Major courses include Physiology of Exercise, Fundamentals of Health & Fitness Assessment, and a Research Internship during their last year.
Longwood University's Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology prepares students for careers that'll call upon an understanding of the physical, mental, and social wellness of individuals and the greater society. Graduates have gone onto careers as health and fitness facility operators, physiologists, health and fitness specialists, and more. The curriculum covers all foundations of the field and important aspects of related fields, such as neuroscience and psychology. There are three available concentration areas for those in the major: Health and Human Performance, Applied Health Sciences Profession, and Administration and Leadership in Sport and Exercise.
Southern Illinois University -Edwardsville
The curriculum of the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at Southern Illinois University utilizes basic and exercise sciences, with courses like Kinesiology, Physiology, Theory of Strength and Conditioning, and Biomechanics of Human Movement. The program is designed for students who hope to work in clinical health, fitness, or sports training settings. Applicants must have taken certain university courses and earned a GPA of at least 2.75. Direct admission is offered to high school students with an ACT score of 25 or 1150 SAT, and at least a 3.25 GPA. Students in the program participate in an internship program that aims for students to apply academic knowledge to the professional field. These internships provide professional contacts and experience that can inform students on what they'd like to pursue post-graduation.
University of Idaho's Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science & Health has a curriculum made up of intensive and foundational coursework, class activities, service learning, and practicum and internship. Some may go onto graduate-level studies, including UI's masters and doctoral programs in a wide array of related fields within the Department of Movement Sciences. Students are given the tools and training to provide the support necessary for other people to make positive changes in their health. This may include the development of nutrition and lifestyle plans, which is the basis for the study of metabolic rates, body composition, and more in the campus' Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics laboratories.
University of Northern Iowa
The Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science from the University of Northern Iowa prepares students for careers in the fitness industries, athletic strength and conditioning programs, wellness programs at hospitals or in business industries, sports psychology, and more. The BA in Exercise Science program is housed within the Department of Movement and Exercise Science, consisting of all full-time faculty members who have professional experience in the field. Courses are typically only 25 students, ensuring a like-minded and dedicated cohort. Course topics include sports nutrition, fitness assessment, physiology, and biomechanics. All students also complete a physical education internship in varying agencies their senior year.
The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science program at SUNY Cortland is a flexible and multidisciplinary-focused program, combining major courses with a large number of electives to ensure students may focus on the aspects of the field that they're drawn to. The program prepares graduates for careers in research, pulmonary rehabilitation, fitness management, the pharmaceutical industry, and more. The curriculum recognizes health-related aspects of physical activity, and sports performance as the two primary categories of the field, and the Exercise Science program covers both focus areas. Course topics may include Neuromuscular Fitness Assessment, Cardio-Respiratory Fitness Assessment, Research Methods, and more.
Winston-Salem State University
The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science offered by Winston-Salem State University prepares students with the knowledge and tools necessary to become practitioners trained in the creation and implementation of physical activity programs. The curriculum is focused on human functional anatomy, exercise physiology, the identification of risk factors and the pathophysiology of chronic diseases, exercise programs, nutrition, and research in the field. All students in the program complete an internship before graduation and take courses dedicated to applied research. Graduates may go onto careers in fitness, human performance, research, teaching, or other clinical or business roles. Many students go onto the university's graduate physical and occupational therapy degrees.
Truman State University provides a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science program with four concentration areas: Pre-Medical Sciences, Applied/Pre-Athletic Training, Sport/Recreation Management, and Physical Education/Health. All areas provide extensive understandings of human movement through the development of critical thinking and research. Regardless of the chosen specialization area, all students in the Exercise Science major take courses in Biomechanics, Intercultural Perspectives of the field, and Lifespan Motor Development. Students also gain clinical practice and real-life experience in the field by working in the on-campus athletic training facilities. When they aren't working in the on-campus facilities, students in the program collect experience through local internships and practicums.
The Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Exercise Sciences from CUNY Queens College is an interdisciplinary program where students can intensely study aspects of both fields, including cardiovascular health and wellness. Upon graduation, students are prepared for careers in clinical settings, community-based organizations, or corporations. The 60-credit program includes courses in statistics, chemistry, and biology, accompanied by more specialized topics like Physiology of Muscular Activity, Fitness Assessment, Biomechanics, and Nutrition. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, graduates are prepared for not only professional work, but professional schooling in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and optometry. Prospective students of the Nutrition and Exercise Sciences program must meet with an academic advisor before declaring the major.
University of Minnesota -Duluth
University of Minnesota's Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science program prepares students for both graduate school and professional-level work in the field, emphasizing the importance of research and encouraging students pursuing the degree to participate. Before beginning the major, students need to complete certain prerequisite courses in topics like chemistry and nutrition. Once accepted into the major, students take courses in Clinical Exercise Physiology, Human Biomechanics, Exercise Adherence, and more. Offered focus areas include Sport Science, Health and Fitness, and Special Interest, for students who create their own course plan. Most upper-division courses in the program have a graded lab component taking place in three different labs across campus, each dedicated to its own aspect of the field.
Lander University's Bachelor of Science in Physical Education & Exercise Science degree prepare students with knowledge on the evolution of the field, the application of bioscience concepts to work in the field, an understanding of the methodologies used to provide health care and more. Graduates from the program might go onto careers in cardiac rehabilitation, exercise physiology, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. Having gained skills in researching the field, graduates may also go onto graduate and professional level programs. Course topics include strength and conditioning, physiology of exercise, and research techniques in the field. All students in the program complete an internship before graduation, readying them for entrance into the professional area.
Bethel College's Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science is housed in their Department of Kinesiology, which maintains a small group of faculty dedicated to the personalized success of each student. The program in Exercise Science students for careers in physical therapy, strength coaching, dietetics, or even go onto medical school or graduate programs. Those in the Exercise Science program learn how to use modern laboratories and gain hands-on experience working with patients. This experience could include learning how to develop nutritional meal plans, provide exercise training, and measuring body composition, muscular strength, and cardiovascular endurance. Students might even work alongside athletic trainers at Bethel College to aid and support the university's sports programs.
SUNY College at Brockport
The Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from SUNY College at Brockport is designed to prepare students for careers in motor behavior, sport psychology, biomechanics, athletic training, or even history or philosophy of sports or other related fields. The program's curriculum focuses on psychosocial and physical sciences and how they're applied in the field under philosophical, sociological and historical contexts. The major is flexible, best fit for students who wish to take courses in a variety of related topics in the Department of Kinesiology, Sports Studies, and Physical Education. Students within the major take required courses comprised of 24 credits and nine electives thereafter. Research opportunities are available to those who have a particular focus area in the field, and they are encouraged to work alongside faculty who are conducting similar research.
California State University -San Marcos
California State University at San Marcos' Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology offers two in-depth focus areas: Movement Science and Health Sciences. The Movement Science option is a combination of the prior-existing Pre-Physical Therapy and Applied Exercise Science options, preparing students for professional study in health-related fields. The Health Science option prepares students for direct entry into the professional workforce after graduation, with career options typically in public health, wellness coaching, health research and advocacy, and more. Regardless of the chosen focus area, students complete the Kinesiology major courses, which consist of biochemistry, psychology, and human anatomy. From there, the upper-division courses vary slightly based on the chosen focus area.
Winona State University's Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science prepares students for certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, and then work opportunities as health fitness instructors, personal trainers, or other sports-related specialists. The curriculum is focused on teaching students how to design and implement health and physical activity programs after interpreting the needs and abilities of clients. Graduates have gone onto work in corporate facilities, fitness or community centers, and athletic programs. Course topics in the major include mechanical kinesiology, epidemiology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology. All students complete an internship and practicum before graduation.
The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from CUNY Brooklyn College has two specialization areas: the Fitness Professional Track and the Pre-Health Professions Track. The two different tracks are designed to ensure that whether a student wants to enter the workforce post-graduation or continue onto graduate-level study, they are well-prepared by the program's curriculum. Admission to the program requires that students complete certain prerequisite courses with at least a 2.5 GPA. From there, the major's curriculum includes courses in health and nutrition sciences, chemistry, and physics. For those in the Pre-Health Professions track, there are also required courses within the liberal arts, such as Business, Economics, or Political Science.
The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from The College of Idaho draws on the historical, psychological, and sociological aspects of physical activity. The curriculum provides students with tools to analyze exercise science and create physical activity plans, conceptualize human development accordingly for these plans, and apply this practice through internships or a research project during their senior year. The major is made up of 40-44 credits with core courses in biology, statistics or analysis, physiology, and health and wellness. Elective options include a wider array of specialized areas, including Applied Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.