Top 10 Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology Degree Programs 2024

Online Kinesiology Degrees

Author: Brenda Rufener / Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson / First covered: December 2020 / Updates: 3

In this article, we profile the top 10 affordable online kinesiology programs of 2024.

Key Takeaways:

Featured Programs

  • Among our top affordable online kinesiology degrees are Fort Hays State University and University of Houston.
  • The rankings were based on criteria such as regional or national accreditation, program rankings, and undergraduate tuition under $37,000 per year.
  • Programs offer courses like Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Facilities Development and Management, and Functional Human Anatomy.

Finding an affordable online kinesiology degree program takes time and research. Few quality programs exist. We located the top low-cost programs through careful research of reputable online sources. Sources include the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. Our methodology is listed below.

Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Methodology

We looked at 48 colleges the NCES College Navigator listed with online bachelor’s in kinesiology programs. Closely related programs were also included. 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
  • Undergraduate tuition/fees less than $37,000 per year

We then ranked the top 10 cheapest online kinesiology programs according to raw affordability.

Below is our list of the most affordable online kinesiology degree programs.

#10 – University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Online Bachelor in Coaching

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,875

Are you seeking a kinesiology credential? You may find the online bachelor’s 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 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits the university. It ranks #298 in national universities, according to U.S. News and World Report.


  • Affordability
  • High-quality education


  • Lack of communication with online students
  • Lack of diversity

#9 – University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Online Kinesiology Bachelor’s Degree

Undergraduate Tuition: (in-state) $10,951; (out-of-state) $15,570

The University of North Dakota offers an online kinesiology credential. This online bachelor’s 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 credits from other programs or institutions. They need approval from admissions after an official transcript evaluation. U.S. News and World Report ranks UND #258 in national universities and #126 in top public universities.


  • Accepts AP and dual credits
  • A wide range of degree programs


  • 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • TAs teach many of the classes

#8 – Portland State University

Portland, Oregon

Online Bachelor’s in Applied Health and Fitness

Undergraduate Tuition: (in-state) $10,806; (out-of-state) $29,706

Portland State University offers an online applied health and fitness bachelor’s degree. This undergraduate degree program explores the most current research in areas like:

  • exercise
  • health
  • human movement
  • nutrition

It includes 180 credits and is designed to be completed 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.


  • Ethnically diverse student population
  • No SAT/ACT requirements


  • Only 50% of classes have fewer than 20 students

#7 – Franklin University

Columbus, Ohio

Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,577

Are you researching an online bachelor’s 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 aligns with the American College of Sports Medicine’s best practices. Students can transfer up to 94 credits from another program or school. This allows them to finish their bachelor’s degree even faster. A bachelor’s in kinesiology or exercise science can lead to a rewarding career. These positions encompass several industries and occupations, including athletic trainers. Major course requirements 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


  • 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Programs are designed for adult learners


  • Advisors are overbooked
  • Faculty have received very mixed reviews

#6 – Eastern Oregon University

La Grande, Oregon

Online Bachelor in Health & Human Performance

Undergraduate Tuition: (in-state) $10,041; (out-of-state) $23,226

Eastern Oregon University offers an online degree in kinesiology. The program is through the school’s health & human performance major. The wellness program focuses on body mechanics, physiology, and psychology. It focuses on how these relate to movement, exercise, health, and nutrition. Graduates are well prepared for a career in:

  • Fitness
  • Health
  • Health Science

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 various employment options. They have gone on to positions in fields including:

  • Coaching
  • Fitness Training
  • Wellness Management
  • Fitness Education

According to U.S. News, Eastern Oregon University ranks #88 in regional universities West.


  • Online program flexibility
  • Easy transfer process


  • Lack of communication with online learners

#5 – Purdue University Global

Indianapolis, Indiana

Online Bachelor in Health and Wellness

Undergraduate Tuition: (in-state) $10,134; (out-of-state) $14,445

Purdue Global University offers an online bachelor of science in health and wellness. It 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 study area, such as health sciences or nutrition. Students can take part in an optional internship but can earn the degree even if they cannot complete it. Course effort requires 10-15 hours per week, with courses lasting ten weeks each. The wellness program also prepares for graduate studies in a related field.


  • A wide range of degree program options
  • Offers a Returning Student Relief Grant


  • Purdue Global is a relatively new program so there isn’t much of a track record
  • Graduation rate is well below average

#4 – Bellevue University

Bellevue, Nebraska

Bachelor’s in Health & Human Performance Program Online

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,970

Bellevue University’s has an online bachelor’s degree in health & human performance. It is an excellent alternative to an online bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. The program at Bellevue explores salient issues and concepts. This includes those in health, fitness, human performance, and nutrition. The program allows students to follow one of three tracks:

  • Pre-professional Preparation
  • Fitness
  • Coaching for Athletic Trainers in 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 in the West by U.S. News.


  • Among the fastest accelerated programs
  • Excellent student resources


  • Lack of communication between faculty/administration and students
  • Some aspects of the online programming can be difficult to navigate

#3 – American Public University

Charles Town, West Virginia

Bachelor’s in Sports and Health Sciences Online

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,360

American Public University offers an online sports and health sciences bachelor’s degree. It is an excellent program for those interested in a bachelor of kinesiology. The program focuses on health, wellness, and studying human performance and motion. Students can get test content in partnership with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. This includes exclusive content on:

  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • Performance Enhancement Specialist
  • Corrective Exercise Specialist
  • Group Fitness Instructor certification exams

The 120-credit program is delivered 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.


  • Online programs are easy to navigate
  • Program flexibility


  • Low graduation rate
  • Issues in reviewing online student work

#2 – University of Houston

Houston, Texas

Bachelor’s in Fitness and Performance Online

Undergraduate Tuition: (in-state) $9,699; (out-of-state) $21,891

The University of Houston Clear Lake offers an online fitness and performance program. Like a kinesiology program, it introduces the fundamental scientific aspects in areas like:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Movement
  • Peak Performance
  • Physical Fitness

Students can choose from several concentrations, including:

  • Exercise Science
  • Health Promotion
  • Pre-Professional (multiple fields)

Students should check the website to see which admission requirements they must follow. Courses may include:

  • Biomechanics
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Nutrition and Weight Management
  • Principles of Physical Fitness

Graduates have worked as:

  • Health Teachers
  • Athletic Trainers
  • Health Managers
  • Strength and Fitness Coaches

These professionals work for various institutions, including the NBA, NFL, and collegiate.


  • Kinesiology program is highly rated
  • Diverse student population


  • Lack of advisor support
  • Transferring credits can be problematic

#1 – Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

Bachelor’s in Health & Performance Online

Undergraduate Tuition: (in-state) $5,430; (out-of-state) $15,870

Fort Hays State University offers a bachelor’s degree in health & performance. This option is 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. It develops 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

According to U.S. News, Fort Hays State University ranks #112 in Midwest regional universities, #122 on social mobility, and #35 in top public schools.


  • Offers credit for prior learning
  • Small class sizes


  • Program does not lead to a teaching credential or an exercise science degree


Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with an online kinesiology degree?

The most obvious next step is to pursue a master’s degree. A bachelor’s can also prepare students for the fitness and athletic training industry. The most common pathways include fitness trainer or exercise physiologist.

Fitness trainers and managers work with people, helping them 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 plans. 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
  • Sports 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
  • 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?

An investment in an online kinesiology degree is one with a profitable return. According to BLS forecasts, an excellent growth in the field 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. Several factors will also drive demand. These include:

  • Continuing emphasis on battling obesity in the public health arena
  • Improving health and fitness in all age groups

Exercise physiologist positions are expected to increase by 11% through 2029. This growth rate far outpaces the 4% increase expected among all other occupations. Demand for exercise physiology professionals should rise. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations continue to emphasize improving patient health outcomes. Job openings will also increase as current exercise physiologists who are retiring. Fitness trainers and exercise physiologists in high-demand areas should see increased job opportunities.

How much can I make with an online kinesiology degree?

Exercise physiologists earn an average salary of $49,170 per year. This occupation pays a higher average wage than fitness trainers. This is because of the specialized nature of the exercise physiology occupation. The medical side of the job requires them to work with patients with medical conditions. The lowest 10% earn $34,990 compared to the highest 10% earn $78,310. Government exercise physiologists earn $72,440. This is much higher than the average wages for exercise physiologists in hospitals and physician offices. These professionals make $49,000 annually.

As with on-campus programs, the annual wages fluctuate depending on several factors. These factors include specific jobs, experience, industry, and location. We see the same narrative as we look at Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The median annual wage for a fitness trainer is $40,390. It varies greatly between the lowest 10%, who earn $21,110, and the highest 10%, who earn $75,400. The big difference between the low and high end is the gap between full- and part-time trainers. Many trainers work part-time, 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. These pay an average of $38,000.

What are the admission requirements for online degree programs in kinesiology?

Admission requirements for online kinesiology programs vary in scope. It 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.

Bachelor’s programs require 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 and 12 college credits. They must have 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. Freshmen 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. This may have a list of course prerequisites. Most programs require a foundation in the sciences. This can be achieved through the 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?

An online kinesiology program is normally structured to be completed in four years. An undergraduate degree — including a kinesiology degree — consists of 120 credits. These are split evenly among general education and courses focusing 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.


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • National Center for Education Statistics: College Navigator

This concludes our list of top 10 affordable online kinesiology degree programs.