I don’t really have an answer for you per se. There is a difference between exercise science and kinesiology programs which is something to keep in mind. Also this depends on if you are looking at online or classroom programs.
I just finished my 3rd year at CALU which is partnered with NASM and can say that their program is excellent, but due to it being a global online class there is no lab work which I think would have been nice to do. The professors are awesome and I enjoyed every minute of every class. I can’t say its the best, but I recommend looking into it if you want an online program.
That is going to be an opinion based question. However, it best to look at what your intentions are as far what you would like to study. For example, is there a particular area or concentration within the field of exercise science. Exercise science is the umbrella term each school will cater to different areas of research within that university. So it best to go about finding your particular interest and then once you narrowed that down located schools with professors that conduct research in that area. For example, if you are particularly fond of biomechanics of spine you may want to head to Canada to University of Waterloo with Dr. McGill or if it motor behavior I would look into UNC or UF. ALWAYS visit the school and meet with the department and the professors you will work with directly. If you do not like your core professors in your department it is going to be a ROUGH time. Finally, the last bit of information I can give which is somewhat irrelevant to the question but I stand behind it is…”Best” is what you make of it. It does not have to be the number 1 ranked school in the country for you to thrive and be what you want to be. If you have any other questions or concerns feel free to contact me as I went through this entire lengthy process and learned the good and bad ways of going about it!
Fuel the Movement,
I graduated from California State University, Northridge.
I had great Kinesiology professors who I keep in contact with. I continuing to network with my teachers, alumni and current students. I stay active with the department.
I personally got my BS degree in Kinesiology at SDSU, and I think it was a great program. Most of the professors were affiliated and had published research with ACSM. They taught a lot of ACSM guidelines as well as ACE and NSCA. Also, SDSU, when I attended in ’06-’08 was the #1 small research university, but unsure if they still are to this day.
Other schools that I heard had good Kinesiology programs are CSU-Fullerton and SSU.
There are a lot of great universities to choose from. I always network with many other fitness professionals from other schools. I went to CSU, Northridge because it was only 10 minutes from my home.
Every universities had published authors in journals such as ACSM, NSCA, AAHPERD, CAHPERD, etc. They also are promote many standards and guidelines from ACSM, NASM, NSCA, ACE, AFAA, Department of Education, etc
Whatever school that you choose, always network with your professors, alumni and other students. Do the same after you graduate.
I work for CSUN doing the summer and I’m currently involved in some volunteer projects with my Exercise Science professor Dr. Loy. He is the person to know for any option of Kinesiology. He has a a great email blast for jobs and personal/career development.
If you live in the San Fernando Valley/Los Angeles area, free feel to connect with me.