Earn an Online Kinesiology Graduate Degree

Online kinesiology graduate degree programs cover methods to treat movement relate health issues. Classes in these programs first deal with anatomy and physiology to enhance ...

students’ understanding of the human body. Then, building off of that knowledge, students could design exercise and rehabilitation regimens to treat things like sports trauma or other physical issues.

Depending on your chosen graduate online kinesiology program, you may also have the chance to conduct your own research. These classes could help you test the effectiveness of certain methods in the industry. Or, you could even create and analyze your own new techniques!   

And by pursuing this degree program online, these courses may be available to you wherever you have internet access.

What Are Online Kinesiology Graduate Degree Programs?

Online kinesiology graduate degree programs are digital programs that cover advanced topics in movement and exercise health. In these programs, students look at ways to reduce stress to a person’s body and avoid injuries.

Kinesiology studies also acts as the root for several other fields. The classes in an online kinesiology graduate program offer foundational knowledge into several types of therapy or conditioning techniques. Courses could contribute to some of the following programs:  

  • Biomechanics
  • Orthopedics
  • Sports Psychology
  • Sports Related Physical Therapy

Online Kinesiology Graduate Degree Program Curriculum

Kinesiology graduate degree online programs specifically examine muscle interactions in the human body. In looking into this, students could study what goes into keeping a person healthy and pain-free. This could include topics like relaxation techniques, posture correction, and sports training techniques.

The following are a few courses you could take in your online kinesiology graduate degree program.

  • Youth Fitness
  • Adult Fitness Programs
  • Biomechanics
  • Motor Learning
  • Aerobic and Anaerobic Training
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology

These are only a sample of courses you could take in your program. Be aware that while each graduate program may offer these courses, the topics studied in them may differ. For instance, higher level graduate degrees will usually go into more detail on certain subjects. For instance, a masters program may take a more in-depth look at clinical exercise physiology than a certificate program.  

Classes vary from program to program. For a complete course list, speak with advisors at the potential programs.

Masters Programs in Kinesiology

Online masters programs in kinesiology offer students the opportunity to practically apply their fitness techniques. As part of these programs, you could have the chance to design fitness plans for mock and actual patients. This could include administering stress tests, creating workout regimens, or collecting other health data. Whereas your bachelors in kinesiology may have relied on theoretical knowledge, the online masters programs puts that skill set into action.  

During your online masters studies, you might also have the chance to concentrate your studies. This could allow you to hone in on a particular aspect of exercise health. As part of an online masters in kinesiology program, you may be able to concentrate your studies in the following areas.

  • Exercise and Sports Psychology
  • Geriatric Exercise Science
  • Sports Conditioning
  • Corrective Exercise and Rehabilitation
  • Adaptive Sports

Concentrations may differ by school.

The masters curriculum is usually made up of 36 to 42 credit hours. Out of those, 12 credit hours may be devoted to classes in your concentration. Knowing this, students could potentially earn an online kinesiology masters degree in 1 to 2 years. Program length varies by program and may differ depending upon enrollment.

Applying to Online Masters in Kinesiology Programs

Online kinesiology masters programs may require students to submit a 3.0 or higher GPA along with their GRE or GMAT scores. Other supplemental materials may be required such as letters of recommendation, personal statements, or professional resumes. Typically, online students could submit their documents on the schools’ digital application site.

Please note that programs may request students to have already earned a bachelors degree in a related field. This could include kinesiology, athletic training, and more undergraduate programs. Admissions counselors could offer more details on this requirement.

Applications may differ from online program to program. For more information about the admissions process, speak with an advisor from potential programs.

Kinesiology Online Graduate Certificate Programs

Instead of focusing on general techniques, online graduate certificate in kinesiology programs highlight a particular aspect of exercise science. These programs are essentially like only taking concentration courses in an online masters in kinesiology program. Because of this, certificate programs could be a great way to flesh out a bachelors degree.

Online graduate certificate programs could possibly be concentrated in the following areas.

  • Sports Coaching
  • Yoga
  • Injury Management
  • Disabilities
  • Fitness Instruction

Online graduate certificate programs may differ by school. Additionally, some graduate certificates may be offered as part of an online program. In these programs, you could work towards completing both programs simultaneously. For more information, speak with a program representative.

Since these programs don’t go as in-depth into course material as a masters program does, their admissions criteria is often more accessible. For starters, online graduate certificate programs may not require students to submit GRE scores or additional application essays. Since there are fewer requirements, students may find this process quicker (and potentially easier) to complete.

Admissions criteria may differ from school to school. For more information about the application process, speak with an admissions adviser from any intended programs.

Graduate certificate programs usually consist of 9 credit hours’ worth of classes. Students could potentially complete coursework and earn an online graduate certificate in kinesiology in less than a year. Program length depends upon enrollment and the required curriculum.

Online Doctoral Programs in Kinesiology

Instead of treating new patients, online kinesiology doctoral programs instead focus on exercises in science research. Classes are designed to help students find new ways to promote bodily health for patients throughout the field. But, before students could conduct their own research, they may be required to complete several fundamental courses first. As part of this, course curriculum could include some of the following.  

  • Analysis of Exercise and Wellness
  • Correlation and Regression Statistics
  • Research Methods

Also, students may be responsible for researching and writing a dissertation. This project may act as the capstone to your PhD program.

A PhD program curriculum is typically made up of 36 to 60 credit hours. This could change based on how long it takes to research and write your dissertation. With this in mind, students could potentially earn an online PhD in Kinesiology degree in 3 to 5 years depending on enrollment. Program length may vary.

Applying to Online Doctoral Kinesiology Programs

Online doctoral kinesiology programs tend to ask for more admissions materials than other graduate programs. They do this because doctoral students are paired with academic advisers. During your PhD program, you could be working closely alongside this advisor.

So, it’s important that both of you share research interests and other traits. As part the process, you may be requested to submit the following.

  • 3.0 or higher GPA
  • Masters degree in related field
  • Writing samples
  • Research outline

You may also be asked to complete an in-person interview along with your application. Students applying to the online program may be able to complete this portion via video conference or phone call. Like the application materials, the interview is meant to help place you with a supportive faculty advisor. At this time, you could also ask more department-specific questions you may have about the doctoral program. The interview is a great way for both the interviewer and yourself to see if a certain program is a good fit.  

Accredited Online Kinesiology Programs

Online kinesiology graduate degree programs are typically accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES). While CoAES accredits kinesiology programs, it also oversees the standardization of many other exercise science programs as well. By doing so, CoAES could ensure that programs are maintaining high-quality curriculums that include new breakthroughs.

To remain accredited by CoAES, school may have to go through two separate sets of audits. First, schools could be asked to subject their curriculum, syllabi, and other course materials as part of a document audit. Then, a CoAES representative may visit their campus to see how classes are taught. This combination aims to see if students are engaging with newer material.

By doing this on a yearly basis, CoAES hopes to push schools to constantly reevaluate their course documents to better address current trends in the industry.

Be aware that not all online kinesiology graduate degree programs are accredited. Speak with department faculty for more information about potential programs.

Why Earn Your Kinesiology Graduate Degree Online?

Online kinesiology graduate programs are designed to translate a large portion of their curriculum to the digital classroom. By doing this, students could conveniently log into classes as their time allows. This could be especially pertinent for practicing kinesiologists.

Professionals currently in the field may be unable to attend typical class times. By enrolling in an online program, you could attend your classes after work. And, since they’re online, you might drastically cut down on your commute.

But, you may be wondering how students could practically apply their kinesiology knowledge like they would on campus. Many online kinesiology programs do require students to come onto campus for some of their practicum classes. This could give them the opportunity to work with industry technology and actual patients.

These campus-based classes are usually offered during the summer and winter semesters. Because they’re offered during students’ break periods, they’re often shorter than normal programs. Due to this, students may be able to briefly insert them into their busy schedule.

But, even when you’re not there, you may have access to campus facilities. Many schools make things like their libraries and databases available to their distance learners. In addition, some schools might offer resources like digital lecture streaming and class forums for students. These could be a great chance to discuss course material with peers and faculty in your program.

Potential Future Kinesiology Careers

Students who have earned an online kinesiology graduate degree may pursue a career as a kinesiotherapist. This may be more commonly known as an exercise physiologist. People in these positions prescribe exercise routines to patients to help enhance their overall health. This could include some following tasks.

  • Treating Chronic Muscle Pain
  • Performing Fitness & Stress Tests
  • Measuring Vitals (Blood Pressure, Oxygen Use, etc.)i

Entry-level positions in this field typically require a bachelors degree in a related field. That being said, some employers may ask applicants to have a masters degree or higher. The advanced degrees may show a deeper understanding of core topics such as anatomy, biology, and clinical study.

Additionally, some exercise physiologist positions may require you to complete a related internship. An internship could provide on-the-job training and real-world experience.ii  

Many states are now also beginning to require EPs to earn additional licenses. Currently, the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) offer certification exams. For more information about potential license requirements, speak with your program's online career center.

In 2016, exercise physiologists earned a median of $47,340. And, the number of available roles is projected to grow by 11% from 2014 to 2024. This is above the national projected average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.iii

Your Search for Online Kinesiology Graduate Degree Programs

The information on this page could help inform your decision on where to earn an online kinesiology graduate degree. Maybe you now have a better understanding of the masters program admissions process. Or, maybe you discovered you want to work towards earning a graduate certificate.

To start your search for a perfect kinesiology graduate degree online program, browse the links on this page. Clicking a link provides you with a brief description about the program. This could include info like sample courses, admissions requirements, and more. While there, you could also request more information from the school itself.  

Or, you could refine the list to your academic needs. To do this, select your preferred degree level from the menu on this page. This could provide you program options catered to your personal search criteria.

Good luck on your journey toward an online kinesiology graduate degree!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/exercise-physiologists.htm#tab-2 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/exercise-physiologists.htm#tab-4 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/exercise-physiologists.htm