Best Exercise Science Degrees

Best Exercise Science Degrees

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Becoming an Exercise Physiologists

Exercise physiologists work with patients to develop a custom-tailored exercise program. They do so by interviewing patients, measuring vital signs, and recording progress. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these professionals earn a median $49,170 annual salary, approximately 25% more than the average U.S. worker.

Bachelor's in exercise science programs train students for a fulfilling career. Learners select either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. Some schools refer to the latter as a bachelor of applied science. The main difference between the two options involves their academic focus. BA degrees emphasize the liberal arts, while BS programs include additional career-focused education and training.

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Leveraging a Degree in Exercise Science

true Q. What can you do with a bachelor's in exercise science?

Online exercise science programs train students for careers as an exercise physiologists. Related jobs include athletic trainer, fitness instructor, and recreational therapist.

true Q. Is a BA or BS in exercise science better?

The answer depends on students' plans after graduation. Learners interested in graduate school prefer a BA, while degree-seekers training for a career earn a BS.

true Q. How long is a bachelor's in exercise science?

Online exercise science degrees take full-time students four years to complete. Learners with an associate degree or who enroll in an accelerated program can graduate sooner.

true Q. What is the difference between exercise science and kinesiology?

Kinesiology concerns the study of how motion affects health. A kinesiology subfield, exercise science focuses specifically on exercise's impact on health.

Best Online Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science Programs 2021

Why Get a Degree in Exercise Science?

Online exercise science degrees confer multiple advantages to students and alumni. Dedicated degree-seekers achieve many, if not all, of the following benefits.

Many online exercise science degrees feature an asynchronous curriculum. Students view lectures and complete coursework around their busy schedules. Online students may pay the same tuition as their on-campus peers, but they save money on commuting costs and housing. Schools may exempt them from specific fees, as well. Graduates select from multiple career opportunities, including occupational therapist, physical therapist, and physician assistant. These and other careers may require additional training. Exercise physiologists make a positive impact on patient's lives by helping them increase mobility, reduce pain, and regain strength. These and other positive outcomes improve patients' lives significantly. Exercise science professionals dedicate themselves to lifelong learning. Organizations such as the Clinical Exercise Physiology Association offer continuing education courses at an affordable price.

How Much Does an Exercise Science Major Make?

Besides exercise physiologist, popular careers for graduates include athletic trainer, recreational therapist, and fitness trainer and instructor. They earn a median $40,390-$48,440 annual salary. The BLS projects the need for these workers to grow 8-16% in 2019-2029, significantly faster than the rate for all U.S. careers.

Exercise science alumni earn more by continuing their education. Although physical therapists need a doctorate to practice, their median salary approaches $90,000 annually.

Bachelor's in Exercise Science Program Requirements

Application requirements for bachelor's in exercise science programs include high school transcripts or GED scores. Many schools recommend, but do not require, standardized test scores, recommendation letters, and a personal essay. Unique graduation requirements include practica in which students observe and work under an experienced exercise physiologist.

Bachelor's in exercise science degree-holders may wish to continue their education. Master's degrees in exercise science allow students to specialize in subfields including sport science, nutrition, and tactical strength and conditioning. A master's degree may qualify graduates for additional career opportunities, a higher salary, and professional certifications. These and other benefits make a graduate education a valuable investment.

Courses in an Exercise Science Bachelor's Program

Bachelor's in exercise science programs emphasize the knowledge and skills needed to improve patients' mobility and overall health. Typical courses include exercise physiology, anatomy and physiology, and sport nutrition. Other curriculum highlights feature coursework in biomechanics and movement in health and exercise.

Not all online exercise science programs require or offer the following sample curriculum. Please contact an academic advisor or visit a program's website to learn more about the student experience.

Scholarships for Exercise Science

Although online bachelor's in exercise science degrees help students save on college costs, some learners need additional financial aid beyond institutional and government grants. Scholarships like those below accept applications from exercise science degree-seekers in 2021. Please use the embedded links to visit each award's official website.

Scholarships for Exercise Science
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

AICA's Chiropractic Scholarship

$500 Full-time students preparing for a career in the healthcare field apply to this competitive scholarship. Application materials include proof of enrollment and a 500- to 800-word essay. AICA uses an April 16 deadline.

American Quarter Horse Foundation Scholarship Program

$500-$5,000 AQHF awards six scholarship opportunities to student members majoring in any field. Prospective applicants must possess a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. The next application window opens Aug. 1.

National Strength and Conditioning Association Scholarships

$2,000 NSCA members majoring in exercise science or a related field apply to the organization's nine annual scholarship opportunities. Although application requirements vary by scholarship, all use a 3.0 GPA cutoff.

Thomas Broderick is a freelance writer and the owner of Broderick Writer LLC. He creates study guides, informational websites, and blog posts for clients in the education field. Thomas is also a published author of over 20 short stories and a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

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