In this article, you will discover the best exercise science schools, how to choose a top school for kinesiology, and how to also choose an exercise science program.
Exercise science is the discipline that involves studying body movement with the aim to understand individual well-being to tackle health problems related to physical inactivity.
Obtaining a degree in exercise science has better job prospects. It’s an opportunity to pursue lucrative future careers.
Statistics show potential growth in demand for fitness instructors and personal trainers. In the next decade, the demand for fitness instructors and personal trainers will likely increase by almost 20%.
So, the future is looking promising for students already studying to earn a degree in exercise science. You can also establish a successful career for yourself by earning a degree in exercise science. But the question is, what are the best schools to attend to obtain a degree in exercise science?
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What Is an Exercise Science?
Exercise science is the discipline that specifically involves studying the body’s movement and the associated functional responses. Exercise science is a scientific discipline with the aim to establish a common understanding between exercise, fitness, health, and diet.
It’s a discipline that offers a scientific approach to understanding how exercise and the human body interact to understand the physiology of exercise.
How to Choose the Best Schools for Kinesiology
If you have always wanted to study kinesiology and exercise science, here are a few important factors to consider.
Firstly, ensure you look for a program ranked by the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK). The National Academy of Kinesiology issues a report to help graduate students identify top doctoral programs in kinesiology once every five years.
Secondly, you may also try to look for schools that offer top programs and research institutes that tend to address movement issues or sports.
How to Choose an Exercise Science Program
As a student that wants to earn a degree in exercise science, you need to make the right choice when selecting a program.
If your aspiration has always been to pursue a career in healthcare, then you need to find a program that focuses on the area of kinesiology. The program should also offer clinical experiences in the science of kinesiology.
Let’s also talk about finding an accredited program. When choosing a program to study, ensure that it’s accredited by the appropriate organization.
Generally, there are some institutions that will offer Commission Accredited of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP) program accreditation.
Other accreditation organizations that provide professional credentials in kinesiology/exercise science include the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) or American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Science (CoAES), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
List of the Best Schools to Study Exercise Science
Below are the top exercise science schools;
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- George Washington University
- The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- Texas A&M University, College Station
- University of Florida in Gainesville
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- Iowa State University
- University of Nebraska at Omaha
- University of Iowa
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- University of Connecticut
The Best Exercise Science Schools
Let’s explore the best schools to study exercise science.
#1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Location: Chapel Hill North Carolina
UNC-Chapel Hill is one of America’s finest public research institutions. Considered to be among the “Public Ivys” UNC-Chapel Hill is home to over 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
The North Carolina-based university offers degrees in over 70 courses of study.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Exercise and Sports Science offers a Bachelor of Arts in athletic training, exercise and sports science, sports administration, and fitness professional.
Undergraduates enrolled in exercise and sports science programs can choose to pursue general studies or one of the two concentrations available which are fitness professional or sports administration.
UNC-Chapel Hill also offers a master’s degree program in exercise and sports science.
Want to study at one of the best exercise science schools? Visit UNC-Chapel Hill’s official website for more information.
#2. George Washington University
- Location: Washington, D.C
With over 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students currently studying at this private institution, George Washington University remains the largest institution of higher education situated in the District of Columbia.
The George Washington University is organized into seven schools. GW offers exercise science programs at the undergraduate level. The aim of GW is to educate the next generation of graduates to become experts in healthcare and sports medicine.
GW provide a conducive learning environment for its students. undergraduates enrolled in an exercise science program can choose to either specialize in any of the different areas of concentration or the students can decide not to choose any.
A few of the concentrations offered at GW include pre-physical therapy, strength and conditioning, and pre-medical professional.
#3. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is a renowned public research institution currently ranked 25th among the best universities in the world according to QS World University Rankings.
UMich has a large student body with over 48,000 undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at the university. UMich educates its students through 19 distinctive colleges that offer programs at undergraduate and graduate levels.
The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor offers a Bachelor of Science in applied exercise science through its School of Kinesiology.
UMich is an excellent centre for intensive research. It provides state-of-the-art research facilities for its students to acquire the best experiences required to meet professional standards.
Academic programs available at UMich include Applied Exercise Science, Movement Science, Sports Management, and Athletic Training.
#4. Texas A&M University
- Location: College Station, Texas
Texas A&M University is one of America’s top public research institutions. Established in 1876, the university is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System.
The university’s Department of Health and Kinesiology offers a Bachelors of Science program in exercise science in areas such as basic exercise physiology, applied exercise physiology, and motor behaviour.
There is a concentration in applied exercise physiology that is specifically designed for students with aspirations to establish careers as clinical exercise physiologists.
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#5. University of Florida in Gainesville
- Location: Gainesville, Florida
The University of Florida is a top public research institution that offers a variety of degree programs online and in person. As of the fall of 2019, over 56,000 undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled at UF.
According to Learn.org, the university’s College of Health and Human Performance was previously the home of NAK’s 19th-ranked doctoral programs as of 2020.
The Center for Exercise Science offers various opportunities for students to acquire the best experiences through research conducted in a state-of-the-art laboratory.
As one of the best exercise science schools, the University of Florida offers bachelor’s, master, and doctoral degree programs. At the undergraduate level, UF offers a Bachelor of Science in applied physiology and kinesiology and athletic training.
It also offers a Master of Science degree program in applied physiology and kinesiology and a PhD in applied physiology and kinesiology.
#6. University of Pittsburgh
- Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pitt is a public research institution with more undergraduate students. There are 17 colleges and schools at Pitt offering both undergraduate and graduate programs.
Pitt is one of the best schools to study exercise science in the United States. According to the Niche Ranking of Kinesiology, the University of Pittsburgh is currently ranked among the top 20 schools.
The University of Pittsburgh offers a wide range of academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Pitt is the best choice for students who want to study in fields like bioengineering, health equity, and prosthetics.
#7. University of Illinois
- Location: Chicago, Illinois
With over 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at this university, UIC remains one of the top public research institutions in the United States.
UIC offers academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. UIC offers a Bachelor of Science program in kinesiology through its Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition.
Students enrolled in this academic program can either choose the movement science concentration or the exercise science and health promotion concentration.
The exercise science and health promotion concentration is designed to prepare students for careers in various health-related fields such as medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, personal training, etc.
UIC’s Mater of Science in kinesiology comprises two areas of concentration which include motor control and biomechanics and applied exercise physiology.
UIC’s Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition also offers a PhD program in kinesiology and nutrition. The PhD program offered at UIC is recognized by the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK)
#8. Iowa State University
- Location: Ames, Iowa
Established in 1858, Iowa State University is a public research institution that is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities.
Iowa State is an excellent centre for learning that offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The university’s Department of Kinesiology offers a major in kinesiology and health with a concentration in exercise science at the undergraduate level.
Iowa State’s exercise science program is designed to equip students with first-hand experiences to become experts in health clubs, hospitals, corporations, sports medicine clinics, etc.
Iowa State also offers a Master of Science and PhD programs in kinesiology.
#9. University of Nebraska at Omaha
- Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Established in 1908 as the University of Omaha, the University of Nebraska Omaha is a public research institution with over 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
The University of Nebraska Omaha currently offers over 200 academic programs through its six distinctive colleges.
This university offers a Bachelor of Science degree program with a major in kinesiology through its College of Education, Health, and Human Science.
Studying at the University of Nebraska Omaha gives you the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience in the field of sports medicine.
#10. University of Iowa
- Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Here is another public research university in the state of Iowa, the oldest university in Iowa funded in 1847.
This university offers over 200 academic programs and it’s organised into 12 colleges.
The University of Iowa offers a Bachelor of Science program in exercise science through its College of Liberal Arts and Science. This university offers its student the opportunity to fast-track their education and earn a graduate degree through a combined degree program.
BS/MS in athletic training is one of the options available to students.
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#11. Rochester Institute of Technology
- Location: Rochester, New York
Rochester Institute of Technology comes in at the 11th position as one of the best exercise science schools.
RIT offers exercise science at the undergraduate level. This school offer exercise science as a major and a minor for the Bachelor of Science degree program.
Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the best places to study exercise science.
#12. University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut Department of Kinesiology once hosted the National Academy of Kinesiology NAK’s third-ranked doctoral program.
The Department of Kinesiology at UConn is located at its Neag School of Education. The university’s kinesiology program offers a concentration in strength and conditioning to undergraduates.
UConn offers a Bachelor of Science in athletic training, strength and conditioning, and exercise science. For graduates, they also offer master’s programs in exercise science and a PhD in exercise science.
We have listed the best schools to study exercise science and kinesiology. These institutions offer exercise science at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
They also offer the best opportunities for students to expatiate their knowledge through research and internships.
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