Kinesiology Colleges, Universities and Schools in the U.S.

Kinesiology, or exercise science, focuses on the mechanics, movement and physical development of the human body. Kinesiology programs can be found at community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities. Read on to learn more about how to choose the kinesiology program that's right for you.

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It is possible to complete an associate's or bachelor's degree in kinesiology, or exercise science; pursuing graduate studies in this field is also an option. A number of public and private institutions offer programs for those interested in a career in this field.

10 Schools with Kinesiology Programs

The following list discusses a variety of public and private schools that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in kinesiology.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state, $15,054; Out-of-state, $30,214
University of Houston Houston, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state, $8,759; Out-of-state, $20,519
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state, $13,856; Out-of-state, $43,476
University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state, $14,171; Out-of-state, $30,504
Golden West College Huntington Beach, CA 2-year, Public Associate's In-state, $1,176; Out-of-state, $5,616
Lansing Community College Lansing, MI 2-year, Public Associate's In-district, $3,020; In-state, $5,660; Out-of-state, $8,300
East Stroudsburg University East Stroudsburg, PA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's In-state, $9,684; Out-of-state, $20,502
University of New England Biddeford, ME 4-year, Private Bachelor's $34,760
University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral In-state, $10,415; Out-of-state, $29,665
South Texas College McAllen, TX 4-year, Public Associate's In-district, $3,486; In-state, $3,770; Out-of-state, $4,440

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); School websites

College Selection Criteria

Schools may offer kinesiology programs at the associate's, bachelor's and/or postgraduate degree levels. Some schools offer clinical experience to kinesiology students, which can be valuable and incorporated into the school's own sports activities.

Consider the following also when looking for kinesiology schools:

  • Students of kinesiology will want to assess their own career paths and choose a school that offers the type of program best suited to that path, such as research- or instructor-based programs.
  • Students may want to research the internships or clinical experience opportunities available to them.
  • Another consideration when choosing a kinesiology program should be the number and type of facilities available to students.
  • Students seeking entry-level work may consider associate's degree programs, while those seeking additional education or a more research-oriented focus will want to look at bachelor's and graduate degree options.

Associate's Degree Programs

A 2-year program may be appropriate preparation for an entry-level fitness or wellness job. Some or all of these credits may be applied toward a bachelor's program. About half the course load covers general-education courses, and the other half is major-related. Students may have the opportunity to participate in an internship.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Schools vary widely in their kinesiology programs depending upon the intent of the program; some tracks are appropriate for aspiring secondary school fitness instructors, while others are geared toward aspiring research scientists. Teaching and internship opportunities may be available.

Graduate Programs

Advanced studies in kinesiology are appropriate for aspiring scientists, therapists and sports professionals. Studies move past the mechanical and into the neurological, biochemical and physiological sciences of the body. Psychological factors and behavior related to sports and exercise are also explored. Master's degree students may choose from thesis and non-thesis program options, while Ph.D. students typically need to participate in research projects and complete a dissertation.

Kinesiology is a broad field of study, and many programs may offer specific areas of focus. It is important to consider long-term career goals, opportunities for specialization, and whether graduate studies are an option when selecting a kinesiology program.

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