What Are the Top Schools for Kinesiology & Exercise Science Studies?

Keep reading to learn about highly-ranked programs in kinesiology and exercise science. See what makes a good school. Learn about lab and training facilities, areas of specialization, research opportunities and program options. Schools offering Fitness & Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of Top Schools for Kinesiology and Exercise Science Studies?

If you want to study kinesiology and exercise science, you might look for a program that's highly ranked by the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK), which issues a report on the top doctoral programs in kinesiology every five years. You also might seek schools that offer programs and research institutes that address sports or movement issues throughout the life cycle.

What Are Three Top Schools for Kinesiology and Exercise Science?

University of Connecticut (UConn) in Storrs, CT

Located in the Neag School of Education, UConn's Department of Kinesiology hosted NAK's first-ranked doctoral program in 2010 (www.nationalacademyof kinesiology). There are many facilities available to kinesiology students, including laboratories for athletic training and the Korey Stringer Institute, which works to eliminate sports-related deaths. The 7,800-square-foot Human Performance Laboratory facilitates research in environmental and muscle physiology, weight loss and strength training, nutrition, and cardiovascular physiology.

UConn's kinesiology program offers an undergraduate concentration in strength and conditioning, which admits a maximum of 15 students each year and can prepare you for National Strength and Conditioning Association certification. The graduate program is laboratory-based, and you'll help run research projects. UConn reports a nearly 100% placement rate for its master's and doctoral graduates. These degrees are offered:

  • B.S. in Athletic Training
  • B.S. in Strength and Conditioning
  • B.S. in Exercise Science
  • M.A. in Exercise Science
  • Ph.D. in Exercise Science

University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, FL

UF tied with UConn as the 58th best national university and the 19th best public school in the country in U.S. News & World Report's 2012 rankings. UF's College of Health and Human Performance was home to NAK's 12th-ranked doctoral program in 2010. The 13 laboratories of the Center for Exercise Science foster study of physical activity and neuromuscular adaptations, as well as pharmacology and nutrition treatment. Additionally, the outdoor Florida Pool offers one of the largest U.S. academic diving programs and conditioning classes.

At UF, you could major in athletic training or applied physiology and kinesiology. In the kinesiology major, you can specialize in fitness and wellness if you want to work as an exercise technician or exercise physiology if you want to prepare for a health profession or graduate study. In either program, you'll complete a 600-hour internship and Academic Learning Compact requirements. Graduate programs focus on work in progress at the Center for Exercise Science. You might benefit from the program's relationship with other UF schools and programs, like the colleges of medicine, engineering, and veterinary science and the Center for Gerontological Science. These programs are available:

  • B.S. in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology
  • B.S. in Athletic Training
  • M.S. in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology
  • Ph.D. in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

University of Illinois (UI) in Urbana-Champaign, IL

U.S. News ranked UI the nation's 45th best university and 13th best public school in 2012. The Department of Kinesiology and Community Health (KCH) in UI's College of Applied Health Sciences hosts NAK's 2010 fifth-ranked doctoral program. KCH's Center on Health, Aging and Disability offers quality of life research and outreach programs, like the International Disability Sports Outreach Program. Research groups explore women's health, disabilities, and therapeutic recreation for older people. Motor control and neurocognitive kinesiology are studied in two of 11 research labs.

As an undergraduate kinesiology student, you might specialize in biobehavioral studies of physical activity and sport, community health and rehabilitation, cultural kinesiology, or exercise physiology and athletic training. You also can participate in research activities. These degrees are offered:

  • B.S. in Kinesiology
  • M.S. in Kinesiology
  • Ph.D. in Kinesiology

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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