In addition to learning about strength training and conditioning strategies, students in a 4-year bachelor's degree program in kinesiology also might focus more specifically on developing gross and fine motor skills. Specializations are often available in physical education, exercise science and athletic training. Additionally, students may gain an understanding of general business practices. A bachelor's degree in kinesiology can be a terminal degree or a starting point for a related allied health career. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some schools also require a minimum GPA in prerequisite courses, such as physics or chemistry.
Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology
At the bachelor's degree level, students usually take part in hands-on experiences through practicums and internships. They may also be able to participate in faculty-led research initiatives. While participating in one of these experiences, students take courses in topics like:
- Foundations in nutrition
- Biomechanical principles and the human body
- Sports and exercise psychology
- Individualized fitness assessments
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a kinesiology bachelor's degree program may be able to find work in fitness clubs, sports medicine practices or schools. Specific job titles might include:
- Private fitness trainer
- Athletic club instructor
- Physical education teacher
- Exercise physiologist
- Community recreation coordinator
Career and Salary Information
Your chances of finding employment with a degree in kinesiology can depend largely on the industry that you want to work in. For example, job opportunities for fitness trainers and instructors are projected to grow by 8% between 2014 and 2024, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Figures from the BLS show fitness trainers and aerobics instructors earned a median annual salary of $36,160 in 2015.
If you want to pursue a career as a high school physical education teacher, the BLS reports a job outlook of 6% for high school teachers in general during the 2014-2024 period. Job opportunities and salary expectations for high school teachers can vary based on your specialization, but secondary school teachers overall had a median salary of $57,200 in May of 2015, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
While a bachelor's degree may be enough for some kinesiologists, some may decide to pursue graduate training through a Master of Science in Kinesiology track. Others may opt to work toward an occupational or physical therapy degree.
Bachelor's degree programs in kinesiology prepare students for a variety of careers in areas including fitness training, community recreation coordination, physical education and exercise physiology.