Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021

In this article, we profile the top 20 affordable online kinesiology degree programs of 2021.

Finding an affordable online kinesiology degree program takes time and research. Few quality programs exist. But through careful research of reputable online sources, including the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator, we located top bachelor of kinesiology online programs. Our methodology is listed below.

20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs Methodology

We reviewed 48 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator, as well as reputable online sources, that offer kinesiology degree online programs (or closely related disciplines) at the undergraduate level. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: regional or national accreditation, full- or part-time online completion pathways, program and/or school rankings with U.S. News and World Report, and undergraduate tuition/fees less than $37,000 per year. We then ranked the top 20 online kinesiology degree programs according to raw affordability.

Below is our list of the most affordable online kinesiology degree programs for 2021.

#20 – Abilene Christian University

Online Bachelor’s in Health and Human Performance

Abilene, Texas

Website

Abilene Christian University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Abilene Christian University, offering a top kinesiology degree online!

Undergraduate Tuition: $36,200

Individuals seeking an online kinesiology degree or bachelor of kinesiology degree may find the online bachelor’s in health and human performance from Abilene Christian an excellent fit due to its applied curriculum and convenient online delivery. Graduates of the program go on to work in positions such as exercise physiologist, fitness and wellness coordinator, fitness trainer, coach, and scout. Admission requirements include being out of high school for a minimum of four years, complete online undergraduate application, and transcripts. No ACT or SAT scores are required. Abilene Christian ranks #15 in regional universities West by U.S. News and World Report.

#19 – California Baptist University

Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology

Riverside, California

Website

California Baptist University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Finish in just 18 months! California Baptist University’s online bachelor’s in kinesiology.

Undergraduate Tuition: $34,882

California Baptist University offers an online bachelor’s degree in kinesiology that serves as excellent preparation for a career in fitness, athletic training, allied-health, coaching, or further studies at the graduate level. The bachelor’s in kinesiology takes an average of 18 months to complete and requires 50 major units. Admission requirements include 24 transferable credits (preferred) or a high school diploma and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Candidates must also submit all transcripts and complete the FAFSA. Courses include behavioral aspects of sport, care and prevention of athletic injury, life long motor development, and research methods and evaluation in kinesiology. California Baptist is ranked #40 in regional universities West by U.S. News and World Report.

#18 – Maryville University

Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science

Saint Louis, Missouri

Website

Maryville University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Much like the kinesiology degree online, Maryville University offers an online bachelor’s in exercise science.

Undergraduate Tuition: $28,470

Similar to a kinesiology degree online, Maryville University offers an online bachelor’s in exercise science designed to educate and train highly qualified fitness professionals for a variety of roles such as fitness trainer, strength and conditioning coach, exercise physiologist, health educator, and more. The program totals 128 credits with two concentrations in strength and conditioning or wellness management. Classes may include adaptive physical activity, care and prevention of injuries, and movement in health and exercise. In addition, the curriculum is structured to prepare graduates to sit for a variety of critical industry certifications. Maryville University is ranked #196 in national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#17 – Concordia University

Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Website

Concordia University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Study exercise science online at Concordia University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $22,800

Similar to a kinesiology online degree, Concordia St. Paul University offers an online bachelor’s degree in exercise science designed for busy adults and students. The program focuses on kinesiology principles as they relate to human movement, conditioning, and wellness management. Graduates exit the program well prepared for a variety of health and wellness positions or further graduate study. Required courses may include applied exercise prescription, applied nutrition, exercise physiology, and functional anatomy. Courses are delivered asynchronously, which means no live classes for increased flexibility. Concordia Saint Paul is ranked in multiple U.S. News and World Report categories, including #80 in regional universities Midwest and #69 in social mobility.

#16 – United States Sports Academy

Online Bachelor’s in Sports Science

Daphne, Alabama

Website

United States Sports Academy - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
USSA offers degrees for those interested in online kinesiology degree programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $17,424

Individuals interested in a bachelor of kinesiology may find the bachelor of sports science at United States Sports Academy a plausible option due to its flexible course offerings and convenient online delivery. The program features four core classes, then gives students the opportunity to choose 14 elective courses, as well as a mentoring course where they work closely with a faculty member. Courses may include applied sports performance, scientific principles of human performance, sports coaching methodology, and sports nutrition. Admission requirements include a complete application, transcripts, and a 300-400-word statement on why they would benefit from the Sports Academy.

#15 – Arizona State University

Online Bachelor’s in Health Education and Health Promotion

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Affordable and ranked! ASU’s online kinesiology degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338

Arizona State University offers a bachelor’s in health education and health promotion for those interested in an online kinesiology degree that also includes an educational component. The program teaches and trains individuals in several health-related issues arming them with the knowledge to enter their communities and be effective health educators and trainers. In addition, the curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. Courses may include foundations of health education and health promotion, health promotion program planning and implementation, and social determinants of health and health behavior. ASU is ranked #1 in most innovative schools by U.S. News and World Report.

#14 – University of Kansas

Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science

Lawrence, Kansas

Website

University of Kansas - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Interested in an online bachelor degree kinesiology? University of Kansas has affordable options.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,166

Individuals seeking a kinesiology online degree or a bachelor’s in kinesiology should consider the online exercise science degree program at the University of Kansas. The program studies the science behind human movement using biological and health science principles as the framework for discovery. The curriculum prepares graduates for a variety of jobs in the health science, fitness and training, coaching, and physical therapy fields upon graduation. Many students also use the program to prepare for graduate education. The program is flexible with online delivery while maintaining rigor. The University of Kansas is ranked #60 in public schools by U.S. News and World Report.

#13 – California University of Pennsylvania

Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science

California, Pennsylvania

Website

California University of Pennsylvania Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs
California University of Pennsylvania – a top choice for an online kinesiology degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,108

Similar to an online kinesiology degree, California University of Pennsylvania offers an online bachelor’s degree in exercise science. The program prepares students to sit for Certified Personal Trainer from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the Certified Speed Coach from the National Association of Speed and Explosion (NASE). Cal U’s program is only one of 30 exercise science programs recognized by the NASM. Students must meet admission standards to the university as either a freshman or transfer student. Courses may include applied anatomy and physiology in wellness and fitness, current health issues, and fundamentals of speed training. Cal U is ranked #50 in top public schools by U.S. News and World Report.

#12 – University of Wisconsin

Online Bachelor’s in Health and Wellness Management

Madison, Wisconsin

Website

University of Wisconsin - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
University of Wisconsin – affordable online bachelor degree in kinesiology programs!

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,725

Similar to an online bachelor degree kinesiology, the bachelor’s in health and wellness management prepares graduates for successful careers in the fitness, health and wellness, and health science industries. Most graduates go on to work in these settings creating and implementing health and wellness programs for internal or external stakeholders. The program is 21 courses equaling 61 credits all delivered online. It is a good fit for busy individuals seeking flexibility. The program also includes field experiences that can be completed in the individual’s own location. Courses may include assessment and evaluation of wellness managers, leadership and change management in health, physical activity and nutrition for wellness managers, and research and statistics for wellness managers.

#11 – University of Louisiana

Online Bachelor’s in Health and Wellness Promotion in Kinesiology

Lafayette, Louisiana

Website

University of Louisiana - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
ULL ranks with U.S. News and offers affordable online kinesiology degree programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,382

The University of Louisiana Lafayette offers a kinesiology degree online that prepares students to become leading health and wellness professionals and educators. The curriculum is designed to prepare the student to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist certification. The program totals 120 credits and includes courses such as applied anatomy and physiology for kinesiology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic life support, epidemiology, and nutrition for fitness and sports. Students must apply to be accepted to the institution as a freshman or transfer student. All courses are delivered online. ULL is ranked in multiple U.S. News and World Report categories including #224 in social mobility and #154 in top public schools.

#10 – University of the Cumberlands

Online Bachelor’s in Coaching

Williamsburg, Kentucky

Website

University of the Cumberlands - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Options for kinesiology online degree programs exist at University of the Cumberlands.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,875

Individuals seeking a kinesiology online degree may find the bachelor’s degree in coaching from the University of Cumberlands a sound option due to its curriculum and online flexibility. Interested candidates with 0-11 college credits must apply as freshmen. Applicants with 12+ college credits should apply as transfer students. Core classes include care and prevention of athletic injuries, facilities development and management, functional human anatomy and physiology, and growth and motor development. The institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to confer this degree. The University of Cumberlands ranks #298 in national universities, according to U.S. News and World Report.

#9 – University of North Dakota

Online Bachelor’s in Kinesiology

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Website

University of North Dakota - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
No campus requirements for the affordable online kinesiology degree at UND.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,736

The University of North Dakota offers an online kinesiology degree with no residency or campus visitation requirements. Students can complete all of their requirements online. The University of North Dakota started correspondence courses by mail in 1911 and now offers more than 120 online degree programs. The kinesiology degree requires 120 credits. Core classes include adapted physical activity, biomechanics and biomechanics laboratory, exercise testing and prescription, and motor learning. Students can transfer in credits from other programs or institutions upon approval after an official transcript evaluation. UND is ranked #258 in national universities and #126 in top public universities according to U.S. News and World Report.

#8 – Portland State University

Online Bachelor’s in Applied Health and Fitness

Portland, Oregon

Website

Portland State University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Ranked and affordable! Portland State University’s online bachelor’s in kinesiology degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,579

Similar to a kinesiology degree online, Portland State University offers an applied health and fitness online bachelor’s degree that explores the most current research in exercise, health, and human movement, and nutrition. The program includes 180 credits and is designed to be completed entirely online, making it a perfect choice for busy individuals. Courses may include communicable diseases and chronic health problems, exercise prescription and training, health promotion and disease prevention, and research in health and fitness. Portland State University is ranked in eight U.S. News and World Report categories including #284 in national universities and #50 in most innovative schools.

#7 – Franklin University

Online Bachelor’s in Exercise Science

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Franklin University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
A fully accredited online bachelor degree kinesiology – Franklin University!

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,577

For those researching an online bachelor degree kinesiology major, the program at Franklin University offers a similar degree in exercise science that offers contemporary curriculum that aligns with the American College of Sports Medicine best practices. Students can transfer up to 94 credits from another program or school, allowing them to finish their bachelor’s degree even faster. A bachelor’s in kinesiology or exercise science is an excellent pathway to a rewarding career in several industries and occupations. Major course requirements include, but are not limited to, applied research methods, exercise testing and prescription, intro to sports and exercise physiology, and principles of strength training and conditioning.

#6 – Eastern Oregon University

Online Bachelor’s in Health and Human Performance

La Grande, Oregon

Website

Eastern Oregon University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Eastern Oregon University – offers a kinesiology online degree that is accredited and affordable.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,084

Eastern Oregon University offers a kinesiology online degree under its health and human performance major. The program focuses on the key concepts of body mechanics, physiology, and psychology as they relate to movement, exercise, health, and nutrition. Graduates are well prepared for a career in the fitness, health, or health science fields or for graduate study. Featured courses include behavior change therapy, measurement and evaluation in physical activity, motor learning and control, and teaching individual lifetime sports. Graduates have gone on to positions as coaches, fitness trainers, wellness managers, fitness educators, and more. Eastern Oregon University ranks #88 in regional universities West according to U.S. News and World Report.

#5 – Purdue University Global

Online Bachelor’s in Health and Wellness

Indianapolis, Indiana

Website

Purdue University Global - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Purdue Global offers affordable online kinesiology degree programs designed for working students.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,037

Akin to a kinesiology degree online, Purdue Global University’s online bachelor of science in health and wellness prepares graduates to explore the latest research and developments in wellness that impact the body and mind. Students can tailor the degree to their career interests and passions by focusing on a particular area of study such as health science or nutrition. Students can participate in an optional internship but can earn the degree even if they are not able to complete it. Course effort requires 10-15 hours per week, with courses lasting ten weeks each. The degree also serves as excellent preparation for graduate studies in a related field.

#4 – Bellevue University

Online Bachelor’s in Health and Human Performance

Bellevue, Nebraska

Website

Bellevue University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Bellevue University, a top choice for online bachelor degree kinesiology programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,851

Bellevue University’s bachelor degree in health and human performance serves as an excellent alternative to an online bachelor degree kinesiology. The program at Bellevue explores salient issues and concepts in health, fitness, human performance, and nutrition. The program offers students the option to follow one of three tracks: pre-professional preparation, fitness and coaching, or physical education. All three tracks follow standards recommended by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Courses include foundations of health and human performance, kinesiology and body movement, nutrition for health movement, and personal and community health. Bellevue ranks #119 in regional universities West by U.S. News and World Report.

#3 – American Public University

Online Bachelor’s in Sports and Health Sciences

Charles Town, West Virginia

Website

American Public University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
American Public University – highly affordable online kinesiology degree programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,324

American Public University’s online bachelor degree in sports and health sciences serves as an excellent program for those interested in a bachelor of kinesiology or similar degree program that focuses on health, wellness, and the study of human performance and motion. Through a partnership with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, students get access to content on the Certified Personal Trainer, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Group Fitness Instructor certification exams. The 120-credit program is delivered entirely online, making it an excellent option for the busy professional or student. Students can transfer up to 90 credits from other programs or institutions.

#2 – University of Houston

Online Bachelor’s in Fitness and Human Performance

Houston, Texas

Website

University of Houston - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
Ranked and affordable! University of Houston offers a program similar to a kinesiology degree online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,310

Students seeking an online kinesiology degree should consider the fitness and human performance program at the University of Houston Clear Lake. Similar to a bachelor of kinesiology, this program introduces the fundamental scientific aspects of nutrition, exercise, movement, peak performance, and physical fitness. Students can choose from several concentrations including exercise science, health promotion, and pre-professional (multiple fields). Students should check the website to see which admission requirements they need to follow. Courses may include biomechanics, evidence-based practice, nutrition and weight management, and principles of physical fitness. Graduates have gone on to work as health teachers, fitness trainers, health managers, and strength and fitness coaches for a variety of institutions, including the NBA, NFL, and collegiate institutions.

#1 – Fort Hays State University

Online Bachelor’s in Health and Human Performance

Hays, Kansas

Website

Fort Hays State University - Top 20 Affordable Online Kinesiology Degree Programs 2021
#1 most affordable online kinesiology degree – Fort Hays State University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,280

Fort Hays State University offers its bachelor’s degree in health and human performance as an alternative to a traditional kinesiology degree online. A bachelor’s in kinesiology focuses much of its study on human movement, while the Fort Hays offering expands beyond kinesiology by developing analytical, communication, conceptual, and technical skills related to health and wellness. Featured courses include care and prevention of exercise and sports injuries, intro to health and human performance, and tests and measurements in human health and performance. Fort Hays State University ranks #112 in Midwest regional universities, #122 on social mobility, and #35 in top public schools according to U.S News and World Report.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with an online kinesiology degree?

An online kinesiology degree typically leads to a job in the fitness industry. The most common pathways include fitness trainer or exercise physiologist.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, fitness trainers and managers work with individuals and clients to help them to reach their fitness goals. They can be self-employed or work for a fitness organization. Fitness trainers often work with all age groups and skill levels and spend their time developing individualized and group fitness plans before helping clients engage in the exercises through teaching and demonstrating. In many instances, fitness trainers also perform administrative duties such as customer service and other business functions at the gym.

Specialized fitness trainers may be experts in a certain type of training such as strength and conditioning, yoga, Pilates, or a specific sport such as basketball or football. They may also specialize in working with specific populations, such as athletes or youth.

Exercise physiologists work in the health science field and develop exercise programs for patients recovering from medical conditions. They perform a myriad of fitness tests, analyze the patient’s current and past medical history, and develop exercise and fitness routines. They work closely with doctors and other medical staff.

What is the job outlook for individuals with an online kinesiology degree?

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that an investment in an online kinesiology degree is one with a profitable return. According to BLS forecasts, common career pathways for kinesiology graduates are going to experience excellent growth through at least 2029.

Fitness training jobs are expected to increase by 15% through 2029 – nearly quadruple the rate of growth than the average of all other occupations. Demand is expected to increase as employers and insurance companies continue to incentivize individuals to join fitness organizations, which will increase the need for fitness trainers and instructors. Individuals with industry certifications and specialized knowledge should experience strong job prospects. Demand will also be driven by the continuing emphasis on battling obesity and improving overall health and fitness in all age groups.

Exercise physiologist positions are expected to increase by 11% through 2029. This rate of growth far outpaces the 4% increase expected among all other occupations. Demand is expected to rise as hospitals and other healthcare organizations emphasize exercise in improving health outcomes among patients. In addition, job openings will also increase as current exercise physiologists are expected to retire. Fitness trainers and exercise physiologists living in high-demand areas should see increased job opportunities.

How much money can I earn with an online kinesiology degree?

As with other degrees and occupations, the annual wages fluctuate depending on a number of factors such as job, experience, industry, and location. As we look at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we see the same narrative. The median annual wage for a fitness trainer is $40,390 but varies greatly between the lowest 10%, who earn $21,110, and the highest 10%, who earn $75,400. The vast difference between the low and high end is mostly due to tracking wages between full- and part-time trainers. Many trainers work on a part-time basis, which drives down annual salary numbers. Pay across industries is fairly stable. Trainers working at fitness and recreational centers earn $42,700 compared to educational services and government organizations, which pay an average of $38,000.

Exercise physiologists earn an average salary of $49,170 per year. This occupation pays a higher average wage than fitness trainers due to the specialized nature of the occupation as well as the medical aspect that requires these professionals to work with patients with medical conditions. The lowest 10% earn $34,990 compared to the highest 10% that earn $78,310. Government exercise physiologists earn $72,440 – much higher than the average wages for exercise physiologists working in hospitals and physician offices, who make $49,000.

What are the admission requirements for online kinesiology programs?

Admission requirements for online kinesiology programs vary in scope depending on the institution and program. Below we take a look at admission commonalities among the majority of programs. We also advise candidates to check each institution’s website for specific admission requirements and standards.

Admission to any bachelor’s degree program requires the applicant to apply for admission to the institution as either a freshman or transfer student. Freshman applicants generally have between 0-12 college credits. They must possess a high school diploma or GED. Freshman applicants should submit proof of high school diploma or GED and any other transcript that has college or secondary credits. Freshman must also submit test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Transfer applicants do not need to submit high school transcripts and can submit their college transcripts instead.

Once admitted to the institution, students apply to the kinesiology program, which may have a list of course prerequisites. Most programs require a foundation in the sciences achieved through successful completion of science courses in anatomy, physiology, biology, and chemistry. In addition, applicants should have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 minimum GPA in specific course prerequisites. Some programs also require student essays and interviews with prospective students.

How long does it take to earn a kinesiology degree online?

The typical bachelor’s degree takes between 3-6 years to complete. While the 3-year completion timeline is rare, there are programs structured for accelerated completion. Typically, an online kinesiology program is structured to be completed in four years. An undergraduate degree consists of 120 credits split evenly among lower-division general education courses and upper-division courses that focus on kinesiology concepts. Because lower-division requirements are nearly the same across all majors, they can be completed at virtually any postsecondary institution, including community colleges, then transferred into the institution where the student plans on enrolling and finishing the kinesiology program.

According to educational data from Inside Higher Education, the average bachelor’s degree takes five years to complete. Tracking of online bachelor’s degrees suggests distance education bachelor’s, including online and hybrid, take longer, when accounting for the lower division requirements. Because online students are older and often have other responsibilities such as full-time employment and families, they often enroll part-time, lengthening the time it takes to finish their program of study.

While online bachelor degrees take 4-6 years to complete, potential students should also be aware of the maximum timeframes institutions allow students to complete. Most schools allow a maximum timeframe of ten years, including time spent not enrolled. This is an important consideration, given the circumstances of most online students.

CVO Staff
December 2020

Relate:

This concludes our list of top 20 affordable online kinesiology degree programs of 2021.

Bambi Majumdar
Author

Melissa Anderson
Expert

Julie McCaulley
Editor-in-Chief