Best Kinesiology Schools in California

With the best kinesiology schools in California, students can have a degree that assists them in contributing to the general population’s health. Your degree program will teach you the ins and outs of human movement and how it affects your general well-being. By focusing on physiology and biomechanics, this degree can make a significant change to your community.

Kinesiology degrees have been growing in popularity over the years as they’re a very applicable major. Whether you want to work as a physical education (PE) teacher or in sports medicine, your studies give you fundamental knowledge to work with the human body. Training in this major’s nine objectives allows you to manage mobility, muscular strength, respiratory issues, exercise training, and more.

Below, you’ll find a list of ten of the best kinesiology schools in the State of California. We’ve organized every school based on a few important facets, including:

  • An average annual cost under $20,000
  • A median annual starting salary of more than $35,000 when you graduate
  • Accredited and recognized programs from authorized platforms

Also, note the following schools are listed from least to most costly per year. All relevant data to help you decide has been sourced via the US Department of Education and the schools’ specific websites.

10 Best Kinesiology Schools in California

1. College of San Mateo

2 to 4 Year; San Mateo, CA

Average Annual Cost: $1,062

The College of San Mateo is home to an excellent kinesiology program designed for career-driven students. Using their program, you can prepare for transferring to baccalaureate institutions to acquire your Bachelor’s degree. There are many careers to pursue with this major, including choreography, dance therapy, adaptive therapy, refereeing, sports coordination, and more.

Compared to other kinesiology programs, the College of San Mateo has a high retention rate of 70%, with a graduation rate of 24%. You’ll find their kinesiology program is one of the more well-rounded options in California as well, especially for transfer students. It’s important to note that this course is a starting point to help you acquire an advanced degree from a different institution.

During your studies, you’ll gather in-depth knowledge about physical development and enhancing leisure productivity. Students will also learn science-based facts about the benefits of sports, exercise, and dance. It’s a highly active program for fitness-loving individuals.

2. Skyline College

4 Year; San Bruno, CA

Average Annual Cost: $1,157

The Skyline College kinesiology program is similar to other programs in California. Instead of acquiring your advanced degree, this program is used as a stepping stone. When you graduate, you’ll have an AA or AS degree certificate to help you transfer to an alternative program.

With your enrollment in the Kinesiology Division, you’ll acquire general education paired with fitness and well-being courses. With the help of dedicated faculty, students can meet their educational goals to understand the importance of activity better. There’s no doubt this program is designed for the most passionate fitness enthusiasts in the state.

You can consider three main programs at Skyline College, including dance, athletics, and kinesiology or physical education. You’ll participate in adaptive physical education, individual sports, team sports, physical education, and more in the kinesiology program. After completing your courses, you can be one of the 24% of graduates with an associate’s degree on your transcripts.

Accredited Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

3. Moorpark College

2-4 Year; Moorpark, CA

Average Annual Cost: $1,636

The central premise of the kinesiology program at Moorpark College is to help students improve their fitness skills. The courses also have a strong focus on healthy lifestyles and maintaining positive attitudes. By participating in this program, you’ll work alongside the Intercollegiate Athletics Department to improve your teamwork skills.

Obtaining a degree in kinesiology from Moorpark College provides you with an Associate in Arts in Kinesiology. Upon graduation, you’ll be able to understand and apply the core concepts of the specialty. Alternatively, you can opt for an Associate of Science Degree in Exercise Science, depending on your career preferences.

With this degree, you’ll have a strong emphasis on physical movement and how to develop general health and wellness. The Associate of Science Degree in Exercise Science is best suited for personal training and group fitness. There’s no doubt students will graduate from the Moorpark College kinesiology program with the essential skills to pursue their dream careers.

4. Orange Coast College

2 to 4 Year; Costa Mesa, CA

Average Annual Cost: $4,503

76% of students return to their second-year studies while attending Orange Coast College. With the diverse curriculum offered to kinesiology majors, there are dozens of unique classes you can get your hands on. You’ll become a part of the Division of Kinesiology and Athletics at Orange Coast College with this major.

Students will acquire unique academic experiences that help them better prepare for careers in human performance, health, and sports health. As mentioned, the course selection is diverse, focusing on yoga, lifeguarding, athletic training, exercise, and movement studies. What makes this program unique is that it’s adaptable to students with special needs.

The Adapted Program is specifically designed for special needs students to refine and develop their knowledge in kinesiology. You’ll be able to experience team and individual sports, aquatics, Eastern movement studies, and more. As such a well-rounded program, it truly is designed for anyone interested in a kinesiology career.

5. San Diego Miramar College

2 to 4 Year; San Diego, CA

Average Annual Cost: $4,886

San Diego Miramar College has a diverse collection of majors that retain up to 74% of their students annually. Within the kinesiology program, you’ll have access to science-based research to help you build your foundation in this specialty. You’ll go over multiple facets in your classes, including nutrition, nutritional sciences, exercise, diets, and kinesiology.

Your in-class instruction will help you better understand the physiological and psychological benefits of being active during your studies. You’ll also learn how to enhance physical health to improve general well-being. Overall, it’s one of the most well-rounded kinesiology programs that helps students apply theoretical knowledge to fitness and exercise science. Upon graduation, you’ll be able to apply your new degree to several reputable fields. Most students find careers in physical therapy, athletic training, health promotion, kinesiology, recreation, and more.

6. De Anza College

2 to 4 Year; Cupertino, CA

Average Annual Cost: $5,394

De Anza College is a phenomenal option for students searching for a kinesiology specialty. The school boasts a 79% retention rate with an adequate graduation rate of 32%. When acquiring a kinesiology degree at De Anza College, you’ll simultaneously enroll in KNES and physical education courses. You’ll receive competitive experience paired with academic knowledge about general well-being and fitness. Also, students have the opportunity to participate in intercollegiate sports teams with 16 different team sports for men and women.

As a general overview of your course, you’ll have over 70 activity courses to participate in across an assortment of formats. Most students find they have laboratory sessions and lectures available in face-to-face and online formats. With the combination of both types of study, you’ll acquire a well-rounded experience to help you gain your degree.

7. Foothill College

4 Year; Los Altos Hills, CA

Average Annual Cost: $6,200

As a graduate from Foothill College, you could acquire a career with a starting salary of up to $113,107. A degree in kinesiology opens various doors for you to apply your fundamental knowledge toward health, fitness, and general well-being. Many graduates find themselves working with professional sports teams, individual patients, or alongside licensed medical professionals. Foothill College’s kinesiology courses combine physical education, dance, and athletics in one diverse degree. When you graduate, you can opt to specialize as a personal trainer, in sports medicine, or in kinesiology. All of the degree options are Associate Degrees or Certificates of Achievement.

The incredible selection of courses from Foothill College is undoubtedly designed for all fitness lovers. Students will participate in strength development, dance, team sports, combative sports, cross-training, individual sports, and more. You’ll also have academic in-class lectures that teach you the fundamentals of human movement and biomechanics.

In the kinesiology program, there is an assortment of great core and optional courses to enroll in. Every student will be expected to take Introduction to Kinesiology, teaching you interdisciplinary approaches to human movement, allied health, and more. Other courses include Sport in Society, Sports Cinema, Sports Fitness, Athletic Injury Prevention, Clinical Experiences in Sports Medicine, Introduction to Adaptive Fitness, and more.

8. Diablo Valley College

2 to 4 Year; Pleasant Hill, CA

Average Annual Cost: $6,678

The kinesiology program at Diablo Valley College revolves around athletics and dance. You’ll find their courses are specifically designed to inspire, educate, and empower students. By emphasizing physical activity, students learn the foundations of leading a healthier and more productive lifestyle. There are multiple programs that you can take when pursuing a degree in kinesiology from this school. Diablo Valley College currently offers fitness instruction, sports medicine or athletic training, general kinesiology, and dance. Depending on the industry you want to work in, there are many course options.

78% of students return to their studies after their first year, which is a fantastic retention rate for a public college. One of the main reasons for high retention is the impressive number of degree options for kinesiology graduates. You’ll be able to acquire an AA in dance, AS in kinesiology, sports medicine, or fitness instruction. Alternatively, there are Certificates of Achievement for students looking to future-proof their professional skills. With your studies, you can graduate with a Certificate of Achievement in coaching or personal training. The school’s diverse curriculum helps you apply academic and real-world skills to better prepare for your future career.

9. Ohlone College

2 to 4 Year; Fremont, CA

Average Annual Cost: $8,483

Ohlone College offers its unique kinesiology degrees through the Athletic Training Department. All of the courses in your program will focus primarily on sports medicine, exercise science, and general wellness. Upon graduation, students can acquire an Associate in Arts in Kinesiology or Certificates of Accomplishment. If you’re more interested in a specialty, the Certificates of Accomplishment are highly recommended. You can specialize in either sports medicine or professional fitness with a certificate. Overall, the course selection for this program is relatively diverse, focusing primarily on health and wellness.

During your studies, you’ll have access to several in-class and real-world experiences. Students can assist student-athletes with injury care and prevention as well as evaluate immediate sports injuries. You’ll be able to apply many of your academic skills to real-world situations, such as taping, bracing, and bandaging student-athletes. The unique concept of Ohlone College’s program is that it focuses primarily on sports medicine. If you’re interested in pursuing a career with high school, college, or professional sports teams, this avenue is ideal. Also, with their hands-on curriculum, it’s a great opportunity for students to gather work experience before graduating.

10. Napa Valley College

2 to 4 Year; Napa, CA

Average Annual Cost: $14,155

Napa Valley College is another school with a high retention rate of 76%, speaking to the quality of its programs. With a graduation rate of 32%, you can become one of the most competitive kinesiology majors in the state. With this program, graduating students will receive an Associate of Arts in Kinesiology. You’ll find this degree is ideal for working in exercise and movement science, the fitness industry, or even in physical education. With your in-class instructions, you’ll be expected to learn the general principles of health and wellness, paired with implementing healthier lifestyles. Once you graduate, you’ll have the necessary skills to apply your learned knowledge to safe physical activity to boost community health.

The kinesiology program at Napa Valley College consists of many unique courses. You’ll participate in core courses as well as movement-based courses like swimming, water exercise, kickboxing, and more. Students also have the opportunity to participate in dance, individual sports, and fitness courses.

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