Undergraduate On-Campus and Online Exercise Science Degrees and Strength and Conditioning Undergraduate Certificate

Exercise Science student doing training

What is exercise science?

Exercise science studies human movement, using components of biological, physical and health sciences to explore structural and functional changes that occur to the body on physiological, biochemical and biomechanical levels. Exercise science covers a wide range of subject matter, which applies to a variety of career pathways and opportunities for post-graduate education. This program can also put you on a pre-health or pre-med path.

An exercise science professional’s duties might include:

  • Analyzing how the body’s cells and organ systems respond to acute and chronic physiological stress
  • Preventing and treating diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease or osteoporosis
  • Preserving functional capacity in aging adults to improve quality of life
  • Creating and helping implement nutritional plans
  • Providing strength and conditioning coaching to professional or student athletes
  • Improving and maintaining the physical readiness of military and law enforcement personnel

What career possibilities does exercise science offer?

Exercise science provides the groundwork for a variety of in-demand careers, particularly in the health care and fitness industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in health care occupations is projected to grow 18 percent by 2026, and employment in fitness and coaching occupations will grow by more than 10 percent by 2026.

Potential career paths with an Exercise Science degree - Coaching, Personal Training, Nutrition, Nursing, Chiropractic, Health Care, Exercise Psychology, Corporate Wellness, Military/Law Enforcement Force Readiness, Physical Therapy, Only the on-campus Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science provides the education required for these career paths.

Is an exercise science education right for you?

KU’s undergraduate exercise science programs prepare students for careers in therapeutic sport and fitness-related settings. They can also provide a strong scientific core that lays the foundation for careers in cardiac rehabilitation and strength and conditioning.

The B.S. in Exercise Science degree completion program meets the prerequisites for the University of Kansas Medical Center physical therapy program. Coursework includes exercise physiology, biomechanics, biochemistry, kinesiology and an internship option. The B.A.S. in Exercise Science degree completion program, available online, is designed for individuals who want to enter or continue in related employment immediately after finishing their degree. The Undergraduate Certificate in Strength and Conditioning program prepares students for careers in strength and conditioning, including personal training and tactical strength and conditioning.

KU’s exercise science program is a designated Education Recognition Program through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Students in the program have priority access to NSCA grants, scholarships, internships, assistantships, and training opportunities and resources.


Estevan Ortiz
  • Academic Success Coach

What exercise science programs are available at the KU Edwards Campus?

You can pursue undergraduate education in exercise science through two different degree programs, or by completing a certificate program at the KU Edwards Campus. See the choices below and download the program guides for more information on curriculum, career paths, admissions information, tuition and more. 

The NSCA Education Recognition Program (ERP) recognizes and distinguishes schools with standardized, approved strength and conditioning or personal training curricula in undergraduate and graduate settings designed to prepare students for the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer ® (NSCA-CPT ®) and NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist ® (CSCS ®) certifications.

Best Health Degrees ranked this program in the 15 Best Online Exercise Science and Kinesiology Bachelor’s Degrees for 2021.

15 Best Online Bachelor's in Exercise Science and Kinesiology seal

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science credit hours breakdown - 48 program credit hours, minimum of 120 credit hours to graduate, 18 hours of approved electives, 30 hours of required coursesBachelor of Applied Science in Exercise Science credit hours breakdown - 51 program credit hours, minimum of 120 credit hours to graduate, 18 hours of approved electives, 33 hours of required coursesUndergraduate Certificate in Strength and Conditioning 15 hours 15 hours of required courses
Why a KU exercise science degree?


  • Flexible course formats – online and on-campus, days and evenings
  • Select recorded lectures available
  • Customizable elective options directed toward career goals
  • MetroKC tuition rate available for Missouri students


  • Education Recognition Program certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • Credentialed, experienced faculty
  • KU School of Education recognized as one of the top 20 public education schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • KU is one of 35 public universities in the prestigious AAU
  • Best Health Degrees ranked this program in the 15 Best Online Exercise Science and Kinesiology Bachelor’s Degrees for 2021


  • Hands-on curriculum with real-world application
  • BS curriculum meets prerequisites for physical therapy school
  • Internationally recognized certification opportunities through NSCA and ISSN
  • Focus on workforce readiness and practical clinical or laboratory skills