Top Exercise Science Degree Programs & Colleges

Do you plan on pursuing an exercise science program shortly? Here are the best schools for exercise science degree programs.

One of the things you need to figure out is the quality or ranking of the program. Students are always drawn to the best programs as they guarantee better career prospects and training experience.

Best Colleges for Exercise Science

Being a combination of sports, public health, human anatomy, and biology, students undergo rigorous training in various aspects of exercise and its impacts on the human body.

With such knowledge, you can function better and become more valuable as an exercise science professional.

  • Is Exercise Science the Same as Kinesiology?

Exercise science is often confused with kinesiology due to the close link between the two.

Although used interchangeably, each deals with a specific aspect of the movement of the human body. Exercise science studies how the body adapts and responds to exercise.

Exercise science specialists get to fill in all kinds of roles, such as wellness directors, strength & conditioning coaches, and exercise physiologists.

Kinesiology, on the other hand, deals with the mechanics of movement. In other words, it involves the study of the body’s physical performance and function.

Career paths in kinesiology include occupational therapist, rehabilitation therapy, and wellness consulting. This is as far as we’d go in distinguishing between exercise science & kinesiology.

Best Schools for Exercise Science

You’ll need to consider many factors when choosing the best exercise science programs. These include coursework, specialties, internship opportunities, and degree type.

You can narrow down courses that meet your specific needs based on these factors.

i. The Coursework

For many exercise science programs, biology and chemistry classes are necessary.

That is because molecular biology and kinesiology anatomy are all covered or studied when learning bodily functions.

Other aspects of the curricula include public health, with courses such as sports medicine and risk management.

Additional requirements would typically include maintenance of CPR certification as well as passing a physical fitness test.

ii. Specialties

Top exercise science programs have different specialties.

With this knowledge, your choice of a program will be influenced by your preferred area of health & fitness. Certain schools offer specific exercise science specialties.

You may choose specialty options like conditioning & strength, personal training, physical education, or spa management.

If you’re drawn to a particular specialty, you’ll do well to find a school or program that offers such.

iii. Internship Opportunities

The top exercise science programs offer internship opportunities that you can pursue in various fitness or health-related organizations.

Examples include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, health clubs, and country clubs.

While the above statement is accurate, not all degree types will provide internship opportunities. For example, an associate’s degree program which only spans two years won’t include an internship.

Exercise science degrees like bachelor’s will provide such an opportunity.

iv. Degree Type

In searching for the top exercise science programs, you need to be attentive to the type of degree offered.

Common types include associate’s and bachelor’s programs in exercise science. So, are there any fundamental differences between the two? Absolutely!

For an associate’s program in exercise science only spans two years and may not necessarily include sub-specialties or extended internships.

Becoming a personal trainer or fitness instructor will require preparing for and passing your certification exams. Core courses will typically cover business, statistics, pharmacology, and anatomy.

Bachelor’s degrees come in various types; bachelor’s programs in exercise science and bachelor’s programs in applied exercise science.

  • Bachelor’s Programs in Exercise Science

This four-year degree program allows you to understand the scientific concepts behind health and fitness. It’s part of the options you get to choose from when deciding on what exercise science program to go for.

The core coursework of this program covers key areas like sociology, risk management, health care administration, and motor learning skills.

However, if you’d prefer to go for a bachelor’s program in applied exercise science, it’s another option you have to explore.

  • Bachelor’s Programs in Applied Exercise Science

This four-year degree program also allows you a deeper understanding of the scientific concepts of health and fitness.

Here, critical aspects of the coursework include psychology, medical terminology, chemistry, and cardiovascular endurance.

Top Exercise Science Programs prepare you for Different Roles.

One thing you should have at the back of your mind is what role(s) you’d occupy with an exercise science degree. There are lots of them.

Examples include physical education teachers, athletics coaches, personal trainers, health coaches, wellness coordinators, and physical therapy aides.

Fitness manager, recreation therapist, massage therapist, program director, exercise, and physiologist are additional roles you’re likely to handle.

Others are sports medicine physicians, occupational therapists, sports marketers, and health & wellness product sales representatives.

  • Is there Online Availability?

Like many degree programs, exercise science is readily available online as different schools offer study opportunities. To enroll, you’ll need a high school or GED equivalent.

These online programs have multiple areas of concentration like applied physiology, physical activity & public health, and nutrition.

Some of the Top Exercise Science Programs to Consider

As stated earlier, there are many reputable exercise science programs to choose from.

Some of these include those offered by the American Military University, University of Kansas, University of Louisiana Monroe, University of North Dakota, Tarleton State University, and the University of Louisiana Lafayette.

Concordia University St. Paul, East Central University, and North Carolina Central University offer more reputable exercise science programs.

You can also join exercise science programs at Ottawa University, Concordia University Chicago, and the California University of Pennsylvania.

Each program has specific requirements that may differ slightly depending on your goals. You’ll have to go through each requirement to know exactly what to choose.

Our discussion above has dwelt on the best exercise science programs to consider. Here, basic details have been provided to help you make informed decisions.

Further research is recommended for each program.

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