Top Schools for Kinesiology and Exercise Science

Learn about kinesiology and exercise science programs, which focus on the effects of movement and physical activity on the body. Review degree and specialization options at four top-notch universities, and see highlights of other schools in the U.S. that provide training for kinesiologists and exercise science specialists.

View popular schools

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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

School Information

Kinesiology and exercise science programs typically include core coursework in anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. In general, they can help students prepare for further study in chiropractic care or medicine, as well as careers as physical and occupational therapists, personal trainers, athletic instructors and researchers. The three universities discussed below have received past high rankings from U.S. News & World Report or The Princeton Review. All three schools offer bachelor's, master's or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in kinesiology or a closely related field of study.

1. Texas A&M University in College Station

School Highlight: Doctoral students can participate in the Ph.D. Training Program in Space Life Sciences, where they study the physiology of astronauts.

According to U.S. News & World Report in 2015, Texas A&M University ranked as the 21st best value schools. Texas A&M University is affiliated with the American Kinesiology Association. It provides students with access to 19 laboratories and centers, through which they can research the effects of exercise and movement on the body and its development.

The Department of Health and Kinesiology offers 16 Bachelor of Science degrees including specializations in exercise science, physical education or dance science. Students enrolled in the exercise science track pursue concentrated studies in applied exercise physiology, basic exercise physiology or motor behavior. There are 11 graduate options, including specializations in clinical and non-clinical exercise physiology, sports pedagogy and physiology or motor neuroscience. Students pursuing a Ph.D. can pursue specializations in health education or sport management.

2. University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill

School Highlight: Students conduct research in the Applied Physiology, Exercise Science Teaching and Exercise Oncology labs.

In 2015, the University of North Carolina ranked 13th on the list of best value colleges and among the top 30 colleges in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The Department of Exercise and Sport Science offers a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise and Sports Science. Along with the general major, students can focus on fitness, athletic training or sports administration. More advanced levels of study are available through the Master of Arts in Exercise Physiology and Ph.D. in Human Movement Science programs.

3. The University of Georgia in Athens

School Highlight: UGA is home to the Center for Physical Activity and Health.

The University of Georgia was named among the best colleges in the southeast by The Princeton Review in 2015. The university's Department of Kinesiology offers a Bachelor of Science in Education in Exercise and Sports Science program, which prepares students for graduate-level studies in physical and occupational therapy, exercise physiology and psychology, biomechanics and measurement. Students can acquire their M.S. or Ph.D. in Exercise Science with a specialization in clinical or non-clinical exercise physiology. Graduate programs in athletic training, exercise psychology and biomechanics are also available.

Top Kinesiology and Exercise Science Programs

School Distinction Location
Iowa State University Students can intern at health clubs and spas, hospitals, corporate programs and cardiac rehabilitation centers Ames, Iowa
University of Arkansas Human Performance Laboratory allows students to study health and exercise science in women, children and geriatric populations Fayetteville, Arkansas
University of Hawaii Students can research the effects of exercise on aging muscles Hilo, Hawaii
University of Kentucky Research opportunities include the 'Healthy Firefighters Project', which is designed to improve the health and wellness of firefighters Lexington, Kentucky
University of Tennessee Doctoral students can study the impact of physical activity on chronic disease Knoxville, Tennessee
University of Texas - San Antonio M.S. degree program includes specializations in kinesiology and exercise science or health promotion San Antonio, Texas
University of Virginia Master of Education in Kinesiology program offers four concentrations Charlottesville, Virginia
Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma of GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
    • Master of Science in Health Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MSHS in Health Care Quality
    • Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Science in Sports Analytics Management
    • Master of Science in Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    • M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Sports Business
    • MBA: Health Systems Management
    • MS in Health Care Administration
    • Master of Public Administration - Health Care Management
    • BS in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
    • BS in Sports Management
    • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science
    • BS in Health Care Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Trauma

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MBA in Healthcare Management
    • Master of Health Administration
    • Executive Certificate in Health Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?