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Online Bachelors Degree in Physical Fitness: Degree Overview

Get info about online programs in physical fitness. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Physical fitness bachelor's degree programs can be found as fully online programs or as a mix of online and on-campus classes. In addition to online classes in human health, strength and weight, group fitness methods and exercise science, students may be required to complete an internship at an off-site location. Admission into these programs requires a high school diploma or the equivalent; however, some online programs may require students to hold credits in prerequisite coursework in physical education. Advanced certifications require the completion of a two-year or four-year program, in addition to passing a written and practical exam.

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Bachelor's Degree in Physical Fitness

Bachelor's degree programs in physical fitness provide students with theoretical and practical application skills. Data research and scientific concepts address contemporary challenges in health and fitness. Issues in general nutrition and exercise theories are also examined.

Program Information and Requirements

Applicants typically must hold a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate for admission into a bachelor's degree program. Some institutions may require candidates to have completed prerequisite coursework in physical education or a related field. Several programs are taught fully online through downloadable texts and lectures and discussion board participation; however, some schools require students to take part in on-campus classes and group assignments. Students also may be required to participate in an internship in a physical fitness-related area.

Common Courses

Bachelor's students examine current issues in physical fitness. They gain advanced knowledge of the philosophies, theories and strategies that guide the promotion of human health, fitness and wellness.

Introduction to Exercise Science

Students are introduced to exercise science and its correlation with physical education. Topics of discussion include its sub-disciplines and its applications in modern society.

Strength and Weight Training

In this course, students learn the scientific principles of resistance training. They are tasked to develop a training program to meet their own individual fitness goals and adapt these concepts to serving the health and wellness needs of others.

Group Fitness Theory and Methods

This online course provides students with the basic skills required to teach group fitness classes. Major areas of study include methodologies of instruction and best practices in fitness class design.


Career Information

Graduates of a bachelor's degree program are qualified for entry-level positions in the health and fitness industry, such as personal trainer or fitness instructor. Students also may pursue advanced education, particularly in teaching. In May 2015, the median annual salary for a fitness instructor was $36,160, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Certification and Continuing Education

Personal training certification is available from several agencies. Those with bachelor's degrees may pursue specialized certifications, such as the American Council on Exercise's Medical Exercise Specialist certification.

Online and hybrid bachelor's degree programs in physical fitness are good options for individuals seeking to enter the health and fitness industry. These programs offer courses in exercise science, training program planning, and group fitness theory.

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