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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 four 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.

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Health and fitness programs can include topics in dietetics, nutrition, lifestyle management and physical fitness. Bachelor's and master's degree programs are available; qualified graduates may pursue careers as athletic or personal trainers, coaches and physical education teachers.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Physical Education and Health
  • Sport and Fitness Management
  • Sports Medicine

School Information

Each of the four schools highlighted below offers a bachelor's degree in a wellness-related area. Students at the University of Pittsburgh can also earn a master's degree. Each school was nationally or regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

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 #68 on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 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.

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 60th among national universities for 2017 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.

Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ

School Highlight: Students have the ability to choose from over 80 bachelor's degree programs, over 60 master's degree programs, 10 doctoral degrees and 2 professional programs.

Rowan University is a public university that U.S. News & World Report ranked #20 among the best regional universities in the North for 2017. 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 an M.A. in Wellness and Lifestyle Management.

Indiana University - Bloomington in Bloomington, IN

School Highlight: The school of Public Health Bloomington has 26 master's degree majors and 20 baccalaureate majors.

There are many relevant bachelor's and master's degree programs available through the School of Public Health at Indiana University in Bloomington. For instance, students can earn a Health Fitness Specialist BS in Kinesiology degree, an Exercise Science BS in Kinesiology degree or a Nutrition Science BS in Applied Health Science degree, among others. At the master's degree level, relevant programs include the Master of Public Health in Physical Activity and the Applied Sport Science Master of Science in Kinesiology degree. Indiana University was ranked #86 among national universities for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Health and Fitness Schools

These schools also have strong offerings in health and fitness topics:

  • Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, is home to the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families.
  • At the University of Delaware in Newark, DE, the College of Health Sciences has seven different departments.
  • At the University of South Carolina in Columbia, the bachelor's program offers three different emphases while there is also an M.S. in Exercise Science, a Ph.D. and a doctorate in physical therapy.
  • The University of Texas at Austin is home to the Fitness Institute of Texas.
  • The University of Wisconsin - Stout offers a B.S. degree in Health, Wellness and Fitness.

For students who want to study health and fitness, there are many bachelor's and master's degree programs available at top schools. Students can choose between them based on their particular interest area within the field and their future career goals.

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