Best Online Degrees in: Exercise Physiology
Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Physiology
Online bachelor’s degree programs in exercise physiology are designed to teach students about cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Additionally, students in the field will learn how the human body, including tissues and organ systems, responds to exercise and physical exertion during and after an activity. In most cases, an online bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology can be completed in four to five years, depending on the school and program.
Undergraduate courses in exercise physiology include a broad course selection, with students beginning the program with several courses in liberal arts and sciences. After completing the basic-level curricula, students participate in more advanced courses specific to the degree, like human anatomy, community health, human nutrition, strength and conditioning, and more. Some classes you can expect to see are:
- Kinesiology and Biomechanics. In this course, students must demonstrate how to apply physical laws to human performance. These laws include linear and angular motion, projectile motion, forces, impulse and momentum, fluid mechanics, and tissue mechanics.
- Therapeutic Modalities. This course helps students acquire the knowledge, skills, and values required to plan, implement, document, and evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic modalities in the treatment of injuries and illnesses of the physically active.
- Introduction to Athletic Training. This course is designed to help students understand the fundamentals of preventing and caring for injuries during heavy athletic training or competition. The course covers sports medicine injury prevention techniques, types of sports injuries, how to care for them, and follow-up care and rehabilitation.
Most online bachelor’s degrees in exercise physiology typically allow students to complete coursework at their own pace within a specific time frame for each assignment and class. However, almost all programs will require students to complete a clinical practicum or internship, usually during a student’s senior year, before being eligible to graduate. It is also important to earn certification before entering the workforce, as most employers will require instructors to be certified. Most trainers need to be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before applying for other certifications. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) lists accredited organizations that offer sports training certification.
Building a Career
Students who graduate from an online bachelor’s degree program in exercise physiology should have several job options available after graduation, however the most common is to become a fitness trainer or instructor. Fitness trainers and instructors lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in various exercise activities or sports. They typically work in health, country, or fitness clubs, but some work in hospitals, universities, resorts, or private homes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow by 24% through the year 2020. The BLS also reports that the median annual wage for fitness trainers and instructors was $31,090, as of May 2010.