In this article, we profile the top 20 affordable online kinesiology programs of 2022.
Finding an affordable online kinesiology program takes time and research. Few quality programs exist. But through careful research of reputable online sources, including the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator, we located top bachelor of kinesiology online programs. Our methodology is listed below.
20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Methodology
We reviewed 48 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offer kinesiology online programs (or closely related disciplines) at the undergraduate level. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: regional or national accreditation, full- or part-time online completion pathways, program and/or school rankings with U.S. News and World Report, and undergraduate tuition/fees less than $37,000 per year. We then ranked the top 20 online kinesiology programs according to raw affordability.
Below is our list of the most affordable online kinesiology degree programs.
#20 – Abilene Christian University
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Health & Human Performance
Individuals seeking an online kinesiology degree or bachelor of kinesiology/physical education, take note. The bachelor’s in health & performance from Abilene Christian may be an excellent fit. This is due to the online program’s applied curriculum and convenient online education delivery. Graduates of the online bachelor’s degree program go on to work in positions such as:
- Exercise Physiologist
- Fitness and Wellness Coordinator
- Fitness Trainer
Admission criteria include high school diploma, being out of high school for at least four years, complete online undergraduate application, and transcripts. No ACT or SAT test scores are required. Plus, transfer credits may be accepted. Abilene Christian ranks #15 in regional universities West by U.S. News.
Undergraduate Tuition: $39,350
#19 – California Baptist University
Online Bachelor Degree Kinesiology
California Baptist University offers an online bachelor degree in kinesiology. This is an ideal program for transfer students. The program serves as excellent preparation to prepare students for a career in fitness, personal training, athletic training, allied-health, or coaching. Graduates may also pursue further studies at the graduate level. The bachelor’s in kinesiology online program takes an average of 18 months to complete and requires 50 major units. Admission requirements include 24 transferable credits (preferred) or a high school diploma and a 2.0 GPA or higher. Candidates for the bachelor’s degree program must also submit all transcripts and complete the FAFSA. Online education courses include:
- Behavioral Aspects of Sport
- Care and Prevention of Athletic Injury
- Life-long Motor Development
- Research Methods and Evaluation in Kinesiology
California Baptist is ranked #40 in regional universities West by U.S. News.
Undergraduate Tuition: $37,018
#18 – Maryville University
Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science
Saint Louis, Missouri
Like an online physical education or kinesiology degree, Maryville University offers an bachelor’s in exercise science online. These types of online programs are designed to prepare students for a variety of roles. These include fitness trainer, strength and conditioning coach, exercise physiologist, health educator, and more. The program totals 128 credits. Students can choose from two concentrations in strength and conditioning or wellness management. Classes delivered via online education for this bachelor’s in kinesiology may include:
- Adaptive Physical Activity
- Care and Prevention of Injuries
- Movement in Health and Exercise
The curriculum for kinesiology students is structured to prepare graduates to sit for a variety of critical industry certifications. Maryville University is ranked #196 in national universities by U.S. News.
Undergraduate Tuition: $27,166
#17 – Concordia University
Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Like a kinesiology online degree program, Concordia University- St. Paul offers a bachelor’s degree in exercise science online. This program is designed for busy adults and students. The program focuses on kinesiology principles. A particular focus is on how these principles relate to human movement, conditioning, and wellness management. The degree prepares students for a variety of health and wellness positions or further graduate study. Required online education courses for bachelor’s in kinesiology students may include:
- Applied Exercise Prescription
- Applied Nutrition
- Exercise Physiology
- Functional Anatomy
Courses for online degree programs are delivered asynchronously. This means no live classes for increased flexibility. Online university students with transfer credits are welcome to apply. Concordia University- Saint Paul is ranked in many U.S. News categories. This includes #80 in regional universities Midwest and #69 in social mobility.
Undergraduate Tuition: $23,900
#16 – United States Sports Academy
Online Bachelor of Sports Science
Individuals interested in a bachelor of kinesiology may find the bachelor of sports science degree program at United States Sports Academy a plausible option. This is due to its flexible course offerings and convenient online delivery. The program features four core classes. After these are complete, it then gives students the opportunity to choose 14 elective courses. A mentoring course featuring student support from a faculty member is also available. Courses delivered via online education for the bachelor’s in kinesiology may include:
- Applied Sports Performance
- Scientific Principles of Performance
- Sports Coaching Methodology
- Sports Nutrition
Admission requirements for online programs include a complete application and transcripts. Prospective students for the degree in kinesiology must also prepare a 300-400-word statement. This statement should explain why they would benefit from the Sports Academy.
Undergraduate Tuition: $16,418
#15 – Arizona State University
Online Bachelors in Health Education and Health Promotion
Arizona State University offers a fully online degree in health education and health promotion. This option is ideal for those interested in an online kinesiology program that also includes a physical education component. The program teaches and trains individuals in several health-related issues. This arms them with the knowledge to enter their communities and be effective health educators and trainers. Also, the curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for high test scores on national certification exams. This includes the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. Online education courses required for the degree in kinesiology may include:
- Foundations of Health Education and Health Promotion
- Health Promotion Program Planning and Implementation
- Social Determinants of Health and Health Behavior
Transfer credits may be accepted by the online university. ASU is ranked #1 in most innovative schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,348
#14 – University of Kansas
Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science
Individuals seeking a kinesiology online credential or a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology should consider the online exercise science degree program at the University of Kansas. The program explores the science behind human movement. In doing so, it uses biological and health principles as the framework for discovery. The curriculum for the degree in kinesiology prepares graduates for a variety of jobs. This includes those in the health science, fitness and training, coaching, and physical therapy fields. Many students also use the program to prepare for graduate education. The online program is flexible with course delivery while maintaining rigor. The University of Kansas is ranked #60 in public schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,166
#13 – California University of Pennsylvania
Online Bachelor in Exercise Science
Like an online kinesiology or physical education program, Cal U of Pennsylvania offers an online bachelor’s degree in exercise science. The program prepares students to sit for Certified Personal Trainer from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the Certified Speed Coach from the National Association of Speed and Explosion (NASE). Cal U’s program is only one of 30 exercise science programs recognized by the NASM. Students must meet admission standards to the university as either a freshman or transfer student. Courses may include:
- Applied Anatomy and Physiology in Wellness and Fitness
- Current Health Issues
- Fundamentals of Speed Training
Cal U is ranked #50 in top public schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,108
#12 – University of Wisconsin
Online Bachelors in Health and Wellness Management
Akin to an online bachelor degree in kinesiology, the bachelor’s in health and wellness management prepares graduates for successful careers. This includes those in the fitness, health and wellness, and health science industries. Most graduates go on to work in these settings. Here, they create and put in place health and wellness programs for internal or external stakeholders. These programs are meant to promote a healthy lifestyle. The program is 21 courses equaling 61 credits, all delivered online. It is a good fit for busy individuals seeking flexibility. The program also includes field experiences that can be completed in the individual’s own location. Courses may include:
- Assessment and Evaluation of Wellness Manager
- Leadership and Change Management in Health
- Physical Activity and Nutrition for Wellness Manager
- Research and Statistics for Wellness Managers
Some transfer credits may be accepted.
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,720
#11 – University of Louisiana
Online Bachelor Degree Kinesiology: Health and Wellness Promotion
The University of Louisiana Lafayette offers a kinesiology credential online. These types of online programs prepare students to become leading health and wellness professionals. The curriculum for the degree in kinesiology is designed to prepare the student to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist certification. The program totals 120 credits and includes general education classes as well as more advanced courses such as:
- Applied Anatomy and Physiology for Kinesiology
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Basic Life Support
- Nutrition for Fitness and Sports
Students must apply to be accepted to the institution as a freshman or transfer student. All courses are delivered online, and the program features affordable tuition. ULL is ranked in several U.S. News and World Report categories including #224 in social mobility and #154 in top public schools.
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,346
#10 – University of the Cumberlands
Online Bachelor in Coaching
Are you seeking a kinesiology credential? Then, you may find the online bachelor degree in coaching from the University of Cumberlands a sound option. This is due to its curriculum and online flexibility. Interested candidates with 0-11 credits must apply as freshmen. Applicants with 12+ credits should apply as transfer students. Core classes for this bachelor’s degree in kinesiology include:
- Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries
- Facilities Development and Management
- Functional Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Growth and Motor Development
For students on a budget, the program features affordable tuition. The institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to confer this degree. The University of Cumberlands ranks #298 in national universities, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,875
#9 – University of North Dakota
Online Bachelor Degree Kinesiology
Grand Forks, North Dakota
The University of North Dakota offers an online kinesiology credential. This online bachelor degree program has no residency or campus visitation requirements. Students can complete all requirements online. The University of North Dakota started correspondence courses by mail in 1911. It now offers more than 120 online degree programs. The bachelor’s degree in kinesiology program requires 120 credits. Core classes include:
- Adapted Physical Activity
- Biomechanics and Biomechanics Laboratory
- Exercise Testing and Prescription
- Motor Learning
Students can transfer in credits from other programs or institutions upon approval after an official transcript evaluation. UND is ranked #258 in national universities and #126 in top public universities according to U.S. News and World Report.
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,596
#8 – Portland State University
Online Bachelors in Applied Health and Fitness
Comparable to a kinesiology program online, Portland State University offers an applied health and fitness online bachelor’s degree. This undergraduate degree program explores the most current research in exercise, health, and human movement, and nutrition. It includes 180 credits and is designed to be completed entirely online. These features make it a perfect choice for busy individuals. Courses for the bachelor’s degree in kinesiology may include:
- Communicable Diseases and Chronic Health Problems
- Exercise Prescription and Training
- Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
- Research in Health and Fitness
Portland State University is ranked in eight U.S. News and World Report categories. This includes #284 in national universities and #50 in most innovative schools.
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,386
#7 – Franklin University
Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science
Are you researching an online bachelor degree in kinesiology major? You should know the program at Franklin Univ offers a similar degree in exercise science. This program offers a contemporary curriculum. This curriculum directly aligns with the American College of Sports Medicine best practices. Students can transfer up to 94 credits from another program or school, allowing them to finish their bachelor’s degree even faster. A bachelor’s in kinesiology or exercise science is an excellent pathway to a rewarding career. These positions encompass several industries and occupations, including athletic trainer. Major course requirements for the exercise science degree include, but are not limited to:
- Applied Research Methods
- Exercise Testing and Prescription
- Intro to Sports and Exercise Physiology
- Principles of Strength Training and Conditioning
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,577
#6 – Eastern Oregon University
Online Bachelor in Health & Human Performance
La Grande, Oregon
Eastern Oregon University offers a kinesiology online degree. This offering is found through the school’s health & human performance major. The wellness program focuses on the key concepts of body mechanics, physiology, and psychology . It is particularly concerned with how these relate to movement, exercise, health, and nutrition. Graduates are well prepared for a career in the fitness, health, or health science fields. They are also qualified for graduate study in physical therapy. Featured courses for this degree in kinesiology include:
- Behavior Change Therapy
- Measurement and Evaluation in Physical Activity
- Motor Learning and Control
- Teaching Individual Lifetime Sports
Graduates of the online bachelor’s in kinesiology have a variety of employment options. They have gone on to positions as coaches, fitness trainers, wellness managers, fitness educators, and more. Eastern Oregon University ranks #88 in regional universities West according to U.S. News.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,696
#5 – Purdue University Global
Online Bachelors in Health and Wellness
Purdue Global University’s online bachelor of science in health and wellness prepares graduates to explore the latest research and developments in wellness. Students can tailor the degree to their career interests and passions. This is done by focusing on a particular area of study such as health sciences or nutrition. Students can take part in an optional internship but can earn the degree even if they are not able to complete it. Course effort requires 10-15 hours per week, with courses lasting ten weeks each. The wellness program also serves as excellent preparation for graduate studies in a related field.
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,125
#4 – Bellevue University
Bachelor’s in Health & Human Performance Program Online
Bellevue University’s bachelor degree in health & human performance serves as an excellent alternative to an online bachelor degree kinesiology. The program at Bellevue explores salient issues and concepts. This includes those in health, fitness, human performance, and nutrition. The program offers students the option to follow one of three tracks: pre-professional preparation, fitness and coaching for athletic trainers, or physical education. All three tracks follow standards recommended by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Courses for this online bachelor’s in kinesiology include:
- Foundations of Health and Performance
- Kinesiology and Body Movement
- Nutrition for Health Movement
- Personal and Community Health
Bellevue ranks #119 in regional universities West by U.S. News.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,310
#3 – American Public University
Bachelor’s in Sports and Health Sciences Online
Charles Town, West Virginia
American Public University offers an online bachelor degree in sports and health sciences. This option serves as an excellent program for those interested in a bachelor of kinesiology or similar degree program. This credential focuses on health, wellness, and the study of human performance and motion. Through a partnership with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, students get access to test content. This includes exclusive content on the Certified Personal Trainer, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Group Fitness Instructor certification exams. The 120-credit program is delivered entirely online. This makes it an excellent option for the busy professional or student. Students can transfer up to 90 credits from other programs or institutions.
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,360
#2 – University of Houston
Bachelor’s in Fitness and Performance Online
Students seeking a kinesiology degree should consider the online fitness and performance program at the University of Houston Clear Lake. Like a bachelor of kinesiology, this program introduces the fundamental scientific aspects of nutrition, exercise, movement, peak performance, and physical fitness. Students can choose from several concentrations including exercise science, health promotion, and pre-professional (multiple fields). Students pursuing online programs like this one should check the website to see which admission requirements they need to follow. Courses may include:
- Evidence-Based Practice
- Nutrition and Weight Management
- Principles of Physical Fitness
Graduates have gone on to work as health teachers, athletic trainers, health managers, and strength and fitness coaches. These professionals work for a variety of institutions, including the NBA, NFL, and collegiate institutions.
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,699
#1 – Fort Hays State University
Bachelor’s in Health & Performance Online
Fort Hays State University offers a bachelor’s degree in health & performance. This option is as an alternative to a traditional kinesiology program online. A bachelor’s in kinesiology focuses much of its study on human movement. Alternatively, the Fort Hays offering expands beyond kinesiology by developing analytical, communication, conceptual, and technical skills related to health and wellness. Featured courses include:
- Care and Prevention of Exercise and Sports Injuries
- Intro to Health and Performance
- Tests and Measurements in Human Health and Performance
Fort Hays State University ranks #112 in Midwest regional universities, #122 on social mobility, and #35 in top public schools according to U.S News.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,430
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with an online kinesiology degree?
Post-grad optiona are similar to on campus programs in the field. That is, an online kinesiology degree prepares students for a job in the fitness and athletic training industry. The most common pathways include fitness trainer or exercise physiologist.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, fitness trainers and managers work with individuals and clients to help them to reach their fitness goals. They can be self-employed or work for a fitness organization. Fitness trainers often work with all age groups and skill levels. They spend their time developing individualized and group fitness plan. They also help clients engage in the exercises through teaching and demonstrating. In many instances, fitness trainers also perform administrative duties. These may include customer service and other business functions at the gym.
Specialized fitness trainers may be experts in a certain type of training. Examples include strength and conditioning, yoga, Pilates, or a specific sport such as basketball or football. They may also work with specific populations, such as athletes or youth.
Exercise physiologists work in the sports medicine and health sciences fields. They develop physical therapy and exercise programs for patients recovering from medical conditions. These community health professionals perform a myriad of tasks. This includes administering fitness tests, analyzing the patient’s current and past medical history, and developing exercise and fitness routines. They also work closely with physical therapists, doctors, and other medical staff.
What is the job outlook for individuals with an online kinesiology degree?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that an investment in an online kinesiology degree is one with a profitable return. According to BLS forecasts, common career pathways for graduates of kinesiology programs are going to experience excellent growth through at least 2029. This includes exercise science jobs.
Fitness training jobs are expected to increase by 15% through 2029. That’s nearly quadruple the rate of growth compared to other occupations. Demand is expected to increase. too. Employers and insurance companies continue to incentivize individuals to join fitness organizations. This will increase the need for fitness trainers and instructors. Individuals with industry certifications and specialized knowledge should experience strong job prospects. Demand will also be driven by the continuing emphasis on battling obesity in the public health arena and improving health and fitness in all age groups.
Exercise physiologist positions are expected to increase by 11% through 2029. This rate of growth far outpaces the 4% increase expected among all other occupations. Demand for exercise physiology professionals is expected to rise as hospitals and other healthcare organizations emphasize exercise in improving health outcomes among patients. Plus, job openings will also increase as current exercise physiologists are expected to retire. Fitness trainers and exercise physiologists living in high-demand areas should see increased job opportunities.
How much money can I earn with an online kinesiology degree?
As with on-campus programs, the annual wages fluctuate depending on several factors. Some of these factors include specific job, experience, industry, and location. As we look at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we see the same narrative. The median annual wage for a fitness trainer is $40,390 but varies greatly between the lowest 10%, who earn $21,110, and the highest 10%, who earn $75,400. The vast difference between the low and high end is mostly due to tracking wages between full- and part-time trainers. Many trainers work on a part-time basis, which drives down annual salary numbers. Pay across industries is fairly stable. Trainers working at fitness and recreational centers earn $42,700. This can be compared to educational services and government organizations, which pay an average of $38,000.
Exercise physiologists earn an average salary of $49,170 per year. This occupation pays a higher average wage than fitness trainers. This is due to the specialized nature of the exercise physiology occupation. There’s also the medical aspect of the job that requires these professionals to work with patients with medical conditions. The lowest 10% earn $34,990 compared to the highest 10% that earn $78,310. Government exercise physiologists earn $72,440. This is much higher than the average wages for exercise physiologists working in hospitals and physician offices. These professionals make $49,000 annually.
What are the admission requirements for online degree programs in kinesiology?
Admission requirements for online kinesiology programs vary in scope. It really just depends on the institution and program. Below we take a look at admission commonalities among the majority of programs. We also tell candidates to check each institution’s website. Here, they will find specific admission requirements and standards.
Admission to any bachelor’s degree program requires the applicant to apply for admission to the institution. This is true for a traditional kinesiology degree or online option. A prospective student may apply as either a freshman or transfer student. Freshman applicants generally have between 0-12 college credits. They must possess a high school diploma or GED. Freshman applicants should submit proof of high school diploma or GED . Any other transcript that has college or secondary credits should also be included. Freshman must also submit test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Transfer applicants do not need to submit high school transcripts. They can submit their college transcripts instead.
Once admitted to the institution, students apply to the program in kinesiology, which may have a list of course prerequisites. Most programs require a foundation in the sciences. This can be achieved through successful completion of science courses. Examples include anatomy, physiology, biology, and chemistry. Plus, applicants should have a 2.5 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 GPA in specific course prerequisites. Some programs also require student essays and interviews with prospective students.
How long does it take to earn a kinesiology degree online?
The typical bachelor’s degree takes between 3-6 years to complete. The 3-year completion timeline is rare. But, there are programs structured for accelerated completion. Typically, an online kinesiology program is structured to be completed in four years. An undergraduate degree consists of 120 credits. These are split evenly among lower-division general education courses and upper-division courses that focus on kinesiology concepts. Lower-division requirements are nearly the same across all majors. This means they can be completed at virtually any postsecondary institution, including community colleges. These credits can then be transferred to the institution where the student plans on finishing the program.
According to Inside Higher Education, the average bachelor’s degree takes five years to complete. Tracking of online bachelor’s degrees suggests distance education bachelor’s take longer. This includes online and hybrid offerings. Online students are older and often have other responsibilities such as full-time employment and families. Thus, they often enroll part-time. This lengthens the time it takes to finish their program of study.
Online bachelor degrees take 4-6 years to complete, on average. Still, potential students should also be aware of the maximum timeframes institutions allow students to complete. Most schools allow ten years, including time spent not enrolled. This is an important consideration, given the circumstances of most online students.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook
- National Center for Education Statistics: College Navigator
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- Best Online Community Colleges
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This concludes our list of top 20 affordable online kinesiology degree programs.