Top Schools for Health and Fitness

Find out which top universities offer degree programs in health and fitness. Learn about areas of specialization and levels of study at three high-ranking schools, and use the list at the end of the resource to discover what other universities in the U.S. provide instruction in health and fitness.

School Information

Health and fitness programs can include topics in dietetics, nutrition, lifestyle management and physical fitness. Each of the three schools highlighted below, which include two national and one regional university, offers a bachelor's degree in a wellness-related area. Students at the University of Pittsburgh can also earn a master's degree. Qualified graduates may pursue a career as an athletic or personal trainer, a coach or a physical education teacher.

1. University of Pittsburgh in PA

School Highlight: The Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center is a division of the Department of Health and Physical Activity at the university.

The University of Pittsburgh was tied for #62 on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 list of best national universities. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in exercise science and wellness through its Department of Health and Physical Activity. Students who enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Wellness program can concentrate on aerobics, aquatics dance or fitness. A Master of Science in Health and Fitness can be completed in a research or practitioner track. Also available is a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Exercise Philosophy.

2. Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN

School Highlight: The university's Department of Nutrition Science is on a national level for its research in disease prevention and health promotion.

Purdue University was tied for 62nd among national universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report. Through the College of Health and Human Sciences, students can enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Fitness and Health program. Graduates may be eligible for employment in fitness centers, cardiac rehabilitation programs and weight management programs.

3. Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ

School Highlight: Students have the ability to choose from 85 bachelor degree programs, 65 graduate programs, 2 doctoral degrees and 2 professional programs.

Rowan University is a public university that U.S. News & World Report ranked #19 among the best regional universities in the North for 2015. Rowan's Department of Health and Exercise Science is home to the Exercise Science Research Laboratory, where health and fitness students can take classes in biomechanics, exercise physiology and health. Rowan offers a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Exercise Science with a specialization in health promotion and fitness management. There is also a B.S. in Athletic Training, a B.A. in Education with a specialization in health and physical education. Finally, there is a M.A. in Wellness and Lifestyle Management.

Top Health and Fitness Schools

School Name Distinction Location
Indiana University - Bloomington The school of Public Health Bloomington has 26 master's degree majors and 20 baccalaureate majors Bloomington, IN
Oregon State University Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families Corvallis, OR
University of Delaware College of Health Sciences has seven different departments Newark, DE
University of South Carolina Bachelor's program offers three different emphases while there is also a M.S. in Exercise Science, a Ph.D. and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy Columbia, SC
University of Texas at Austin Fitness Institute of Texas Austin, TX
University of Wisconsin - Stout B.S. Degree in Health, Wellness and Fitness Stout, WI

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