Physical Therapy & Exercise Science Degrees

Exercise science is the study of how movements affects the human body as well as nutrition and general health. Most importantly, student focus on how activity can have positive and negative affects on the body. Below are some of the top online programs in exercise science and related fields.

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences – For those interested in an MS in Human Movement, consider the online degree program at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences. This is a post-professional degree designed for working health and fitness professionals. Students have the opportunity to focus on Sports Conditioning, Geriatric Exercise Science, or Sports Psychology.
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California University of Pennsylvania – Those looking for a MS degree in Exercise Science will find a variety of convenient online programs at California University of Pennsylvania. This program offers specializations in Wellness & Fitness, Training & Injury, Sport Psychology, and Rehab Science. Additionally, students can take specific coursework in preparation for national certification exams.
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Benedictine University – If you are looking for a MS in Nutrition & Wellness, consider the online degree program at Benedictine University. This program is unique because it provides a life science-based foundational core. Students can select a concentration in nutrition or from the course selection. They are also prepared for certification exams.
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University of Massachusetts – If you are looking for a Certificate in Exercise & Nutrition, consider the online program at the University of Massachusetts. This program focuses on proper nutritional practices for sports and athletes. Research is an important component of the program and will be applied to explore the role of nutrition and exercise.
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Argosy University – Those looking for a MA in Sport-Exercise Psychology degree program will find a well-rounded, online program at Argosy University. This program is offered through Argosy University's American School of Professional Psychology. The curriculum is based on the educational requirements outlined by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology with a focus on ethical performance enhancement.
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University of the Rockies – Students looking for Psychology Degree in Health & Wellness should consider the online degree program at the University of the Rockies. This program provides you with cutting-edge research to advance the overall physical and psychological health of an organization and will help to enhance employees? nutrition and exercise.
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People rarely think of education when they exercise, but the reality is exercise is education. It is important to learn and understand the science behind it, so you are able to work out properly in order to effectively strengthen and train your muscles without doing harm or causing injury. This is also important when you are spotting, training, or working with another person, as you want to ensure you that you do not do anything that could be potentially harmful to them.

Exercise is any physical activity that helps you maintain or improve your overall health, strength, and fitness. There are a number of reasons people exercise: to lose weight, to strengthen their muscles, and to increase their athleticism. Regular exercise can help prevent disease, improve your mental health, and help boost your self-esteem. Exercise science is the study of movement and your body’s response to physical activity. The purpose is to help others live healthier lives through proper nutrition and exercise. The stronger your muscles are, the easier it is for your body to burn calories and fight off disease.

For those just starting out, the physical strain can be difficult. Exerting your muscles forces them to break down, change, and become stronger. The more muscle in your body, the more calories your body can burn while at rest. If you never push yourself, then your muscles have no reason to change. Once your body is adjusted to these new workouts, it will begin to respond in a positive way. You will see changes in your weight, strength, and muscle tone. As you exercise you train the body to remove excess fat, so when you combine a regular workout routine with proper nutrition, you will start to see results.

An Exercise Science Degree Defined

A degree in exercise science can be both rigorous and challenging, and the depth of this program may even surprise some people. You need to have a thorough understanding of the human body before you can understand how to make changes and improve it. This degree teaches students how to condition the body, how proper diet improves overall wellness, and prepares them to understand how to prevent injury and illness. You will learn how certain movements and exercises affect the body and how your body will react. Some of the required coursework for this degree plan includes:

  • Biology
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Kinesiology
  • Nutrition
  • Biochemistry
  • Fitness

Studying exercise science will not only help improve your overall personal health, but it can also open the door to many career opportunities. Some of these include nutrition, physical therapy, counseling, coaching, and research. There is a lot to gain from exercising, and it isn’t just a better looking body. You learn the proper way to train and strengthen your muscles, and you learn how to safely and effectively work out. Not to mention, you can find a rewarding and fulfilling career doing it.

Exercise Science Degree Requirements

  • Associate’s Degree: This degree usually requires around 60 credit hours to complete. For students attending full time, which is considered 12-15 hours per semester, it can be completed in about two years. It can take longer for those who are not able to take on as many courses each semester. There are schools that offer some or all of the coursework online, so students have more flexibility when scheduling classes.

    This degree prepares students for entry-level positions such as a fitness instructor, personal trainer, physical education teacher, coach, or rehabilitation assistant. It is also a great way to prepare you to transfer and complete a four-year degree. Associate’s degrees are offered at community and junior colleges, so this can also be a more affordable route students can choose to take.

  • Bachelor’s Degree: This degree usually requires around 120 credit hours and can be completed in four years for students attending full time. Coursework will include core requirements in math, science, history, and writing plus optional elective courses based on which school you attend. Your major coursework is when you will get further into the biology, physiology, fitness, and nutrition courses.

    Students with a bachelor’s degree have more career options available to them. They can find work as a physical therapist assistant, researcher, fitness manager, coach, physical education teacher, fitness trainer, wellness coordinator, physician’s assistant, or work in sports medicine. Some schools offer two-year bachelor’s degree programs for students who already have their associate’s degree or 60 transferrable credit hours.

  • Master’s Degree: In order to pursue a graduate degree, certain requirements must be met. Some of these include an application along with letters of recommendation and undergraduate transcripts showing that you maintained the minimum grade point average required. Program requirements vary by school.

    Most graduate programs can be completed in 2-3 years. Some of these programs include performance enhancement and injury prevention, exercise science and health promotion, exercise physiology, athletic training, sports management, and motor control and rehabilitation. Requirements vary by college and can often include a graduate thesis, hands-on experience, seminars, and passing certification tests.

What Do Some of These Careers Entail?

There are many options for those who are interested in taking their interest and passion for exercise science and turning it into a fulfilling and rewarding career. The type of job and level of your position will depend on your education and experience.

  • Nutrition: When you work in nutrition, you teach people how to improve their health by incorporating healthy food and a balanced diet into their daily routine. You show them what they should eat and teach them what to avoid and monitor their progress as they follow your plan.
  • Coaching: Coaching can take on many forms. You can find work in schools, community centers, gyms, and other facilities teaching and coaching sports to kids or adults. By keeping your students active and involved in organized sports, it helps them to maintain healthier lifestyles, learn to be part of a team, and to improve at a particular sport.
  • Research: Research is a vital part of any field. In exercise science, researchers study health, the human body, and how various factors affect its functions. This helps to evolve what we know and adjust our lifestyles in a healthy manner. Knowing more about how the body functions also allows us to improve rehabilitation methods to treat injuries and illnesses.
  • Personal Trainer: A personal trainer is responsible for motivating their clients by helping them set goals and monitoring their progress. You work with them to get them on an exercise program as well as educating them on how to make healthy nutritional decisions. Client will having varying needs such as losing weight, strength training, or just getting in better shape to feel better.
  • Physiologist: Physiology is studying how different living systems function. In terms of physical health and wellness, physiologists are concerned with studying the human body to learn how our organs and cells function. A better understanding of how we operate leads to a greater knowledge about how to treat injuries and illness and promote health and wellness.

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