Kinesiology is the study of human movement that tends to emphasize exercise and physical activity and its relation to disease-prevention and overall health. There are many kinesiology schools throughout the United States that offer coursework, research opportunities and degrees in kinesiology. The best physical therapy schools and kinesiology programs have a competitive admission process and offer a wide range of coursework taught by highly qualified faculty. Completing a degree at a top kinesiology undergraduate programs ensures a solid foundation for graduate study or professional school.


Top kinesiology colleges offer degrees at the undergraduate, master's and PhD level.

Penn State University

Penn State University offers an undergraduate major and minor in kinesiology. Students who major in kinesiology have four concentrations to choose from: athletic training, fitness studies, movement science and physical and health education. All options require a practicum, allowing students to gain hands-on training and work experience prior to graduation. There is also a graduate program that benefits from the department’s long history of scientific and academic achievement. The doctoral program is considered one of the best in the country by the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education. Students may choose to focus on athletic training and sports medicine, biomechanics, exercise physiology, history and philosophy of sport, motor control or the psychology of movement and sport.

Penn State University 275 Recreation Building University Park, PA 814-865-4700

University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a bachelor of science, master of science and a doctorate in kinesiology. Students may concentrate their studies in movement science, exercise and fitness, applied exercise physiology, exercise biology or motor control and learning. A wide range of research opportunities and clinical internships is available, giving students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience before graduating.

University of Illinois at Chicago 1919 West Taylor Street Chicago, IL 60612-7249

University of Michigan

The University of Michigan offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in kinesiology. According to its official website, the Department of Kinesiology has the “fourth-largest undergraduate enrollment” of any department in the university. It also has an “applicant selectivity” rate of 44%, which is the second-highest on campus. Its faculty members have won numerous awards and grants for their research and teaching in competition with scholars from other kinesiology schools. Undergraduate students choose from four majors: athletic training, movement science, physical education and sport management.

University of Michigan 1402 Washington Heights Anna Arbor, MI 48109-2013 734-764-1817

University of Florida

The University of Florida offers a bachelor of science in applied physiology and kinesiology. Students have the choice of two specializations: exercise physiology and fitness and wellness. Students have the opportunity to complete an internship in the profession they prefer, such as exercise technician, biomedical research, wellness instructor or exercise specialist. A part-time practicum in a major research area, such as neuromechanics, sports medicine, biomechanics, molecular physiology, or performance psychology, is required. Highly selective master’s and doctoral programs are also available in the areas of exercise physiology, biobehavioral science, athletic training, human performance, or clinical exercise physiology.

University of Florida 100 Fletcher Drive Gainsville, FL 32611 352-393-3261

Iowa State University

Iowa State University offers a bachelor of science degree and a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree (BS/MS) in kinesiology . Students may also elect to follow a pre-physical therapy track. Advanced degrees include a master’s and a PhD in kinesiology. Students may focus on areas of special interest such as motor control, exercise science, health promotion and sports psychology. Research opportunities laboratories and state of the art facilities complement the learning experience. Popular student organizations include the Kinesiology and Health Club, Pre-Physical Therapy Club and the Kinesiology Graduate Student Association. Study abroad trips are encouraged for kinesiology majors.

University of Iowa Department of Kinesiology 534 Wallace Road Ames, IA 50011-4008

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