Bachelor's in Exercise Science

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Online Bachelor's in Exercise Science

It’s time to reach peak performance.

Americans are increasingly pursuing active lifestyles. The health and fitness industry is now worth some $30 billion annually in the United States and growing each year, according to Forbes. As interest in human performance, fitness, and health continue to grow, people turn to exercise professionals for expert guidance — and with your Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science earned online, you can help them.

Fitness-related technology, streaming video, increased access to fitness programs, and innovative regimens like high-intensity interval training and obstacle races all contribute to a trend toward healthier living. Plus, innovations in healthcare mean more people can — and do — stay active longer.

Qualified exercise science professionals are in demand, and if you have a passion for helping people get and stay healthy, then the online bachelor’s in exercise science from Maryville might be your best path toward a career in this fulfilling field.

When you earn your degree from Maryville, you get access to a dynamic, state-of-the-art program designed with input from top employers and taught by industry professionals. Here, you can build your foundation in exercise science concepts like movement, nutrition, exercise program design, counseling and coaching, behavioral strategies, and business.

Are you brave enough to help others lead happier, healthier lives? We can get you there.

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Apply with no fee and no SAT/ACT required

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Explore financial aid and transfer credit friendly admission

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Access coursework 100% online

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Study in a program recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Education Recognition Program

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Study human movement and performance remotely through our state-of-the-art Human Performance Lab

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Choose from two concentrations: Wellness Management and Strength and Conditioning

Why earn your Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science online?

The fitness industry is booming. Enhanced understanding of human performance and new innovations like fitness-related tech, streaming exercise classes, and health/wellness apps increase accessibility and help keep fitness at the front of our minds. The field is seeing a boost in popularity thanks to modern trends toward increased demand for healthy foods, schedule-flexible workout routines, group training, corporate wellness, and fitness classes for our aging population.

A recent report by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) indicates that the health and fitness industry has grown by about 3-4% annually for a decade, and one in five American adults maintains active membership at a gym, wellness club, or fitness center. Among millennials alone, there are some 17.2 million health club members, taking advantage of fitness trends toward activities like running, yoga, and high-intensity interval training.

Now, you can turn your passion for health, fitness, and human performance into a rewarding career in this growing field. When you earn your Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science online from Maryville, you can build your skill set and exercise science knowledge on your terms — with the flexibility to study whenever you want, wherever you are.

Flexible, affordable, and highly personalized.


Study on your schedule with 100% online coursework, and apply with no fees or entrance exams.


Benefit from transfer credit friendly admission and explore financial aid options.


Tailor your education to your goals through specialized electives and one of two concentrations.


Earn a high-quality education from a program recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Education Recognition Program.


Get real-world experience through project-based learning, informed by educational agreements with industry leaders like EXOS Education.


Learn from experienced, certified faculty, including military Master Fitness Trainers and NSCA exam prep educators.

What can you do with your Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science?

As an exercise science professional, you can change lives for the better. To help you, we designed our online bachelor’s in exercise science around the most important topics for your career: human movement and physical activity, tactical strength and conditioning, nutrition, exercise prescription and program design, and business acumen. Opportunities are everywhere in this growing field, and we can help you take advantage.

According to a recent survey by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), top fitness trends in 2019 include an industry-wide push to hire more qualified fitness professionals and a focus on personal training, in addition to increased numbers of targeted workout programs.

As the fitness industry adjusts to our active lifestyles, there’s increased interest in athletics. Growing student bodies, rising interest in high school and college athletics, and increased participation in women’s sports mean that more people are participating in organized and community sports.

Fitness can have important applications beyond wellness or recreation — including the health and performance of our military service members.

As a proud Military Friendly School, we can help you build your strength, conditioning, and tactical performance knowledge so you can pursue opportunities to work with, train, condition, and rehabilitate active-duty service members and veterans. You’ll even have the opportunity to learn from faculty with military experience and benefit from a specialized educational agreement with EXOS.

These trends and specialized needs point to plenty of opportunity for future exercise science professionals like you to find exciting, meaningful careers. With your bachelor’s in exercise science, you can prepare to take an active role in helping people get fit and stay healthy.

What types of careers can I pursue?

With your online bachelor’s in exercise science, you can prepare to work with athletic teams from community rec leagues to college and pro franchises; help train people in physically demanding careers like military, law enforcement, firefighting, and emergency medical services; run corporate wellness initiatives; instill healthy habits in children through school fitness programs; work in hospitals and clinics; and much more. Your passion will help others lead happier, healthier lives.

While your bachelor’s degree can make you more attractive to employers, some roles might require further credentials. Our program can prepare you for continued education and help you pursue certifications to increase your career opportunities, like the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), the Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT), the Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F), the EXOS Performance Specialist (XPS), or the EXOS Fitness Specialist (XFS).

Put your exercise science degree to work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Fitness and recreational sports facilities
  • Wellness centers
  • Military facilities
  • Elementary, middle, and high schools
  • University/college athletics departments
  • Corporate wellness
  • State and local governments
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Senior care facilities

Career opportunities for exercise science grads include:

  • Exercise physiologist
  • Strength and conditioning coach
  • Fitness/wellness center manager
  • Wellness director
  • Health/wellness coordinator
  • Fitness instructor/trainer
  • Personal trainer
  • Coach/scout
  • Health educator/community health worker
  • Wellness program manager
  • Recreation coordinator
  • Sports and fitness equipment sales rep

What’s the outlook for Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science graduates?

Maryville's performance lab

Join a growing field.

Your online exercise science degree can help you pursue a number of careers in the booming sports, exercise, nutrition, and fitness fields.

As people’s interest and participation in sports, fitness, and other recreational activities increases, demand for qualified exercise science professionals is expected to rise. From 2016 through 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects big growth in relevant careers like health educator/community health worker (16%), exercise physiologist (13%), coaches/scouts (13%), and personal trainers (10%). Growth in these and similar careers far outpaces the national average across all careers, which stands at 7%.

With Maryville, you can learn practical, in-demand skills and build your foundation in exercise science so you can help fill the needs of a growing industry. Tailor your degree toward your interests through electives and concentrations, so you can pursue a career that excites you — and benefit from high growth and demand.

maryville performance lab

Discover competitive opportunities.

With your online bachelor’s in exercise science, you have the opportunity to command a competitive salary as you pursue your passion. Salaries vary based on factors like location, specialization, licensure, and experience level, but high demand and specialized skills can help you earn a comfortable living.

Your degree can help you qualify for careers like health educator (median salary: $54,220) and exercise physiologist ($49,270).* Your work setting can also affect your earnings. For example, exercise physiologists who work in a government setting earn a median salary of about $72,000.* Renewed emphasis on corporate wellness initiatives and similar regimens mean you can also pursue a career in a field like wellness program management ($55,493).**

Performance lab at Maryville

Enjoy a satisfying career.

You’re motivated by the opportunity to help people get moving, get in shape, and enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle. It’s that drive and enthusiasm that lead exercise science professionals to report high career satisfaction.

A recent PayScale.com survey of current and former employees lists several fitness, health, and wellness careers — including aerobics instructor, health educator, and fitness trainer — among the highest in both meaning and personal satisfaction.**

As an exercise science professional, you have the chance to use your passion to make a difference in people’s lives across a wide array of settings — high-intensity athletic environments, hospitals, corporate offices, assisted living communities, rehab facilities, community centers, and much more.

*Salary and growth data collected by the BLS.
**Salary data and survey results collected by PayScale.com.

Why choose Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science?

You’re passionate about exercise science. So are we. When you earn your Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Maryville, you join a program designed to prepare you for the future of the industry — so you can be ready for all the challenges and opportunities you’ll discover in this exciting, growing field.

Why Maryville?

Go beyond theory — learn by doing.

Exercise science is a hands-on field, and we believe you can learn the most effectively through practical and experiential learning opportunities. That’s why we designed our courses with a strong focus on projects, case studies, simulations, and role-playing exercises.

Not only that, but you’ll also get remote access to high-tech resources like our Human Performance Lab, where you can work with some of the top technology in the field. As an online student, you can use app-based and video technology to study movement, fitness, training, and performance — from wherever you are.

The curriculum culminates in a capstone experience where you can design and execute your own exercise science-related project. This can take the form of either a hypothetical intervention program for a client or team, or a research project where you define a problem and then explore it via research, data collection and analysis, and interpretation of the results. Your capstone gives you the chance to develop a portfolio piece and showcase all you’ve learned throughout the program.

Our program also gives you the opportunity to participate in a 400-hour practicum. Spread across two practicum courses, this experience puts you in a real-world setting, so you can get direct, supervised field experience in areas like fitness, wellness, sports training, exercise physiology, and motor control.

Prepare for the future of exercise science.

At Maryville, we’re focused on what comes next — for you and for your industry. We designed our bachelor’s in exercise science to utilize the most state-of-the-art resources, practices, and technology, so you can graduate ready to take on today’s challenges and tomorrow’s. We’re always looking toward the future — updating our courses and facilities to utilize the newest and most innovative tools, technology, and techniques in the field.

When you choose Maryville Online, you gain access to a number of resources to help you succeed as a student and as an exercise science professional. One such resource is our Human Performance Lab, one of the top facilities of its type in the nation — which is why the NHL champion St. Louis Blues have used it to assess the fitness of their recent draftees. The Human Performance Lab gives you the chance to study movement, training, fitness, and more in a high-tech, fully furnished environment. As an online student, you can experience the lab through the use of interactive video.

Put our reputation to work.

Maryville University was founded in 1872 and has been helping brave, motivated professionals launch or enhance their careers with industry expertise ever since. Ninety percent of our full-time faculty holds a doctorate or terminal degree, and our Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science program is taught by experienced practitioners, including military Master Fitness Trainers and certification exam prep educators.

We’re proud of our reputation for quality academics, accelerated growth, and affordability, because it demonstrates our commitment to excellence.

We’re recognized for excellence. So you can be, too.

Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Forbes America's Top Colleges 2019 Badge
Kiplinger Best College Values 2019 Badge
Money Best Colleges 2019 Badge
Military Friendly® School

Bachelor of Exercise Science Faculty Spotlight

Victor Kizer

Victor Kizer

Program Director and Assistant Professor of Exercise Science

When you earn your bachelor’s in exercise science from Maryville, you have the opportunity to learn from top exercise science professionals and fitness enthusiasts like Victor Kizer, a military Master Fitness Trainer and an active-duty member of the U.S. Army since 2000.

Professor Kizer, who serves as the Missouri state director of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, teaches courses in stress management and program design and testing. His philosophy is that exercise science students learn best by doing. That’s why his classes — and all classes in our exercise science program — feature experiential components like projects, role-playing exercises, simulations, and case studies.

He has also been instrumental in creating opportunities for students through strategic partnerships and educational agreements with wellness and athletic organizations like health insurance provider AETNA, human performance company EXOS, and the NHL champion St. Louis Blues.

Professor Kizer understands how powerful and useful online learning can be. While serving in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, he pursued his love for exercise science by earning his education remotely through online courses. Currently, he’s a doctoral candidate pursuing his terminal degree in health science with concentrations in health promotion/wellness and human/sport performance.

When you study at Maryville, you learn from the best. You can benefit from Professor Kizer’s years of exercise science practice, research, and teaching experience as you prepare for your career.

Online Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science Curriculum

We designed our curriculum with input from top employers to help you develop competencies in areas like movement, nutrition, exercise program design and prescription, exercise counseling and coaching, behavioral strategies, and business. It’s all aimed at helping you enhance your skills and knowledge so you can find a career you love in this growing field.

We collaborated with industry leaders to help ensure that our program covers the most relevant information and in-demand skills. In fact, we created two of our classes through a first-of-its-kind educational agreement with the innovative human performance company EXOS, which has helped more than 1.2 million people maximize their health and physical performance. Through EXOS Education, you’ll have access to exclusive EXOS training system tools.

Our program combines core coursework specific to exercise science, as well as a number of electives that let you tailor your degree to your interests or career aspirations. The program comprises 128 credit hours, including 78 directly relevant to your future career as an exercise science professional.

Build your foundation in exercise science.

Through a combination of general education and exercise science major courses, you can establish your knowledge base in subjects like anatomy and physiology, nutrition, exercise physiology, stress management, care and prevention of injuries, biomechanics/kinesiology, and pharmacology.

Put your knowledge to work.

Gain experience in the field through immersive coursework that includes practical components like simulations, case studies, role-playing projects, and a capstone experience. Also, get real-world practice for your career through a capstone experience and a 400-hour practicum in a location of your choice.

Specialize your exercise science knowledge through electives and a concentration.

Our flexible exercise science program allows you to tailor your education to your goals. In addition to selecting specialized electives like methods and programming in strength, general fitness training, performance coaching strategies, and sport performance training, you can choose from two concentrations to establish your expertise:

  • Wellness Management: Want to work in corporate wellness, personal health coaching, or personal training? This concentration is for you. Coursework focuses on applying the fundamentals of exercise science to health management with a focus on evidence-based practice in nutrition, health program planning, and health-behavior change management.
  • Strength and Conditioning: Hoping to help people in high-intensity areas maximize their performance? This concentration can prepare you to work with athletes, members of the military, first responders, and others aiming for peak fitness and performance. Coursework focuses on performance coaching, tactical strength and conditioning, and program planning.

Prepare for further certification.

After you earn your bachelor’s degree, you may want to pursue further credentials to help enhance your job prospects. That’s why we designed our program to help you learn the exercise science skills and competencies you need to pursue certifications like:

  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)
  • Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F)
  • EXOS Performance Specialist (XPS)
  • EXOS Fitness Specialist (XFS)

Take your education further with Early Access.

Are you planning on pursuing graduate studies after you earn your B.S. in Exercise Science? Pair your bachelor’s with popular graduate degrees like our Master of Business Administration, Master of Healthcare Administration, or Master of Arts in Management and Leadership.

With Early Access, you can earn up to 12 credits toward your master’s degree as you complete the requirements for your bachelor’s. You can begin graduate studies with as much as a third of your master’s course requirements already completed — saving you time and money. Graduate-level courses take the place of undergraduate electives during the last phase of your bachelor’s degree.

If you’re a qualified undergraduate student and you have not yet completed your elective requirements, we invite you to explore Early Access as an option. To qualify for Early Access, you must have earned at least 75 credits toward your undergraduate degree (with at least 20 credits completed at Maryville) and have at least a 3.25 GPA. You can learn more at our Early Access page, or contact an advisor if you have any questions.


Learn more about the online Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at Maryville University.