Fully online degree programs in kinesiology and applied physiology are relatively easy to find at the master's degree level. Bachelor's-level programs are available online, but typically take the form of bachelor's degree completion programs that require applicants to have an associate's degree. In addition to online classes, bachelor's students must complete an in-person internship requirement and proctored exams. Those who intend to work in the field of kinesiology might consider an on-campus bachelor's degree program because such programs are more common and allow for hands-on experience. For bachelor's level programs, students must have a high school diploma or GED, while prospective graduate students must have a bachelor's degree.
Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology Degree
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology programs often offer concentrations in exercise physiology. These programs promote concepts in exercise science and physiology to help patients rehabilitate from disease, promote health, and to research how they respond to exercise. In addition to concepts in exercise physiology, these programs also provide a solid foundation in basic sciences with an emphasis on biology. Prospective students can find related programs in kinesiology; however, these programs rarely offer courses online. Applicants must have a high school diploma or have achieved a GED equivalency.
Information and Requirements
Bachelor's degree programs in kinesiology and applied physiology are generally 120 semester hours and can be completed in four years. These programs are extremely rare in a completely online format. Those that do offer classes in a distance-learning format still require students to complete an internship. Students often need to take exams at an approved facility under the guidance of a proctor. Online courses often run concurrently with on-campus sections, and students must stay on schedule accordingly.
Students need to have access to a computer with an updated browser, operating system and a high speed Internet connection. Due to the nature of streaming video lectures, the computer must have a media player with functioning speaker system.
List of Common Kinesiology and Applied Physiology Bachelor's Degree Courses
Curricula have general education requirements in mathematics, English, natural sciences and the humanities that students complete as part of the degree program.
Applied Human Physiology
Students explore mechanical bodily functions on the cellular, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, skeletal and nervous system level. Emphasis is placed on the synergistic workings of these separate systems and on a holistic view on human anatomy.
This course focuses on the responses of patients to short and long-term exercise. Emphasis is placed on muscle bioenergetics, cardiopulmonary response and metabolism.
Clinical Exercise Physiology
Course participants focus on the use of exercise as a prescription for patients within a clinical setting. Current case studies in exercise physiology are analyzed to monitor the benefits of exercise on musculoskeletal, cardiac, pulmonary and metabolic ailments.
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Online Master of Science in Kinesiology Degree
Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in kinesiology are available for students who want to advance their careers in exercise science and physiology. These programs usually offer concentrations in areas that are specific to a student's career goals, which include exercise physiology, physical education teaching, health promotion, kinesiology and health, exercise pedagogy and athletic training. Students must have a bachelor's degree in a related field of study to be eligible for admission.
Information and Requirements
The average length of an M.S. in Kinesiology degree program is 36 semester hours, and can be completed in 2 years. Programs can be completed entirely online, and are relatively common. Curricula are commonly structured for working professionals, so students can access class materials and plan their course of study at their discretion. Course material is administered through streaming video, downloadable multimedia, websites and DVDs.
List of Common Master of Science in Kinesiology Online Courses
Prospective students with undergraduate degrees in fields outside kinesiology often need to complete prerequisite courses in biomechanics, anatomy and bodily movement.
Students study the short and long-term effects of physical exercise, and the influences on muscles, metabolism and the cardiovascular system from such exercise. Students integrate information from case studies, technology and current practices into their own practice methodology.
Current Issues in Kinesiology
Students survey contemporary trends and issues in kinesiology and related fields. Emphasis is placed on research and students then take sides on issues, and defend their decision via papers and presentations.
Topics include the psychological theories of physical exercise and their effects on rehabilitation, integration and practice. Emphasis is placed on the effects of exercise on patients suffering from mental illness and other behavioral disorders.
Career Information for Graduates
While some graduates of a B.S. in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology degree program pursue careers in health promotion fields, many degree holders pursue a teaching career on the high school level. Teaching certification requirements vary by state. In May of 2015 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the annual median wage for this occupation was $57,200 (www.bls.gov). This source also reported that the employment growth for this occupation was expected to rise by 6% between 2014 and 2024.
Graduates of an M.S. in Kinesiology program are qualified to work as exercise physiologists. These professionals work in hospitals, sports medicine clinics, rehabilitation centers and physical therapy offices. Their work includes evaluating patients and prescribing exercise regimens to treat illness and promote wellness. Payscale.com reported as of October 2016 that the annual salary for this occupation ranges between $30,493 and $59,299.
Students who are interested in learning more about exercise physiology can pursue bachelor's degrees in kinesiology and applied physiology or master's degrees in kinesiology. While both can be earned online, undergraduate degrees will require students to complete an internship, while master's programs are entirely online and allow for more specialization.