Schools and Colleges with a Fitness Studies Major in the U.S.

Fitness studies majors prepare for careers as personal trainers, exercise instructors, physical education teachers and recreation center managers. Although not a traditional requirement, it is becoming more common for employers to seek fitness instructors who hold a bachelor's degree.

Selecting a Fitness Studies Program

Earning a bachelor's degree in fitness studies is important for career advancement; however, certification still remains the most important aspect of finding employment in the fitness field. Prospective students should choose a school that prepares its graduates for industry certifications. One option is the Certified Personal Trainer credential offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Another is the Exercise Specialist credential from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

The most common degree programs for fitness studies majors include topics in kinesiology, exercise science or physical education. While each of these programs provide a solid foundation for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career as either a personal trainer or fitness instructor, it's still important that prospective students evaluate their career goals before choosing a curriculum that meets their needs. For example, individuals who know they want to teach others should select a school that offers a physical education degree. Those who are interested in working as a personal or athletic trainer may prefer a kinesiology program.

Some exercise and wellness programs are offered through a school's nursing department. These fitness programs are a better selection for individuals who would like to work in medical rehabilitation centers or as health patient educators.

Largest Schools by Enrollment

College/UniversityStudent Population Institution Type
Arizona State University67,0824-year, Public
Ohio State University53,7154-year, Public
University of Florida51,4744-year, Public
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities51,1404-year, Public
University of Central Florida50,1214-year, Public
The University of Texas at Austin49,9844-year, Public
Texas A & M University48,0394-year, Public
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor41,0284-year, Public
University of Houston36,1044-year, Public
San Diego State University34,8894-year, Public
University of Georgia34,1804-year, Public
North Carolina State University at Raleigh32,8724-year, Public
Wayne State University31,0244-year, Public
The University of Tennessee30,4104-year, Public
University of Iowa29,1524-year, Public
Texas State University - San Marcos29,1054-year, Public
West Virginia University28,8404-year, Public
University of Nevada - Las Vegas28,6004-year, Public
Troy University28,3034-year, Public
Georgia State University28,2294-year, Public

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