Sports medicine is all about preventing injuries and helping athletes improve their performance.
Sports medicine professionals also diagnose and treat exercise-related injuries and design rehabilitation plans to help patients recover after an injury.
A master's in sports medicine prepares graduates for in-demand jobs like exercise physiologist and athletic trainer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these are growing fields that should add tens of thousands of jobs by 2028. Having a master's in sports medicine can help you stand out when applying for sports medicine jobs.
Master's in Sports Medicine Programs 2020
University of Wyoming
University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso, TX
Sam Houston State University
Concordia University-Saint Paul
Saint Paul, MN
University of Northern Colorado
Texas Woman's University
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL
California Baptist University
University of Central Missouri
Our list ranks the best sports medicine colleges to help prospective graduate students find the right program to help them reach their professional goals. This page also provides information about sports medicine salary rates and career prospects, the benefits of an online sports medicine degree, and how to choose the best sports medicine program.
Best Online Master's in Sports Medicine Programs
The University of Wyoming (UW) is a public land-grant institution that focuses on collaborative learning experiences. Established one year before Wyoming gained statehood in 1886, UW operates seven different colleges that administer over 120 programs. The research school also offers a number of innovative outreach initiatives and distance learning opportunities.
UW's College of Health Science offers an online master of science in kinesiology and health with an emphasis in physical education teacher training. Ideal for working professionals interested in sports medicine, this non-thesis program requires 36 credits. Most degree-seekers complete the course in 3-5 years with minimal career interruption. Requirements include core courses in physical education, research methods, and kinesiology investigation, as well as general courses and free electives.
The school delivers coursework entirely online through teleconferencing, discussion boards, and asynchronous lectures. Students can access material and complete assignments at their own pace as they work to develop skills in advanced teaching strategies, curriculum development, and activity planning. The program concludes with a comprehensive capstone project that requires original research in the field.
Prospective learners need an accredited undergraduate degree in health, kinesiology, physical education, or exercise and sport science. They must also provide transcripts indicating a 3.0 GPA, three letters of recommendation, and recent GRE scores. Applicants with degrees in other fields may be admitted on a provisional basis and must complete additional courses.
The University of Wyoming is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Southern Mississippi
Founded as a teacher training school in 1910, the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) maintains a flagship campus near the Gulf coast and several satellite campuses throughout the Magnolia State. A public research institution, USM integrates students into the academic community through excellence in teaching, research, and service. It instructs over 14,000 degree-seekers each year in education, health, business, and science.
Qualified learners can earn a master of science in kinesiology and physical education at USM. Sponsored by the school's division of kinesiology and nutrition, the 36-credit program prepares degree-seekers for work as fitness consultants, sports medicine specialists, and physical education teachers. USM admits new learners throughout the year, and part-time students can complete the curriculum in two years.
Degree-seekers receive expert online instruction in motor learning, sports skill analysis, and program design through asynchronous learning platforms. These online courses are convenient and encourage self-directed study. Near the end of the program, students can choose to complete an optional thesis component to practice additional skills and competencies.
Admission requirements include a relevant, accredited bachelor's degree with a competitive GPA. Prospective learners must also supply transcripts, official GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. Additional materials include a written statement of purpose that discusses career aspirations and program fit. USM admits transfer students on a case-by-case basis.
The University of Southern Mississippi is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The University of Texas at El Paso
An affiliate campus within the University of Texas System, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) provides wide access to quality higher education. Established through state legislation in 1913, the public research institution enrolls over 25,000 learners each year in health sciences, engineering, education, and the liberal arts. The second-oldest school of its kind in the Lone Star State, UTEP advances innovation in knowledge, research, and academic discovery.
UTEP's College of Health Science offers a master of science in kinesiology to degree-seekers interested in physical education and sports medicine careers. The program requires 36 credits and boasts small class sizes for a more engaged learning experience. Participants can also choose from three different areas of emphasis: human fitness and performance, exercise physiology, and biomechanics and motor behavior.
The hybrid program delivers coursework through a combination of in-person experiences and interactive distance learning tools. Learners receive expert training in qualitative research, statistical analysis, and performance measurement techniques. Capstone components include a research-based thesis project in kinesiology and exercise science.
Qualified applicants need an accredited undergraduate degree in kinesiology or a related field with a 3.0 cumulative GPA. They must also submit recent GRE scores, a written statement of purpose, and a detailed work history. UTEP accepts admission applications on spring and fall deadlines.
The University of Texas at El Paso is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Sam Houston State University
A member of the larger Texas State University System, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) has promoted quality scholarship and education since 1879. The third-oldest public institution in Texas, SHSU supports lifelong learning by anticipating needs through data-driven decision making. It maintains a 272-acre campus that serves over 20,000 learners each year across eight different colleges and academic divisions.
SHSU administers an online master of science in kinesiology with an emphasis in sport and human performance. Designed to both support current working professionals and prepare new students, the 36-credit program builds skills that are necessary for a variety of sports medicine careers. Degree-seekers develop a solid understanding of movement and exercise in rehabilitation, training, and teaching good physical habits. They also gain transferable skills in biomechanical research and exercise physiology.
With the exception of 1-2 day lab requirements each semester, SHSU delivers all coursework online through convenient and interactive learning tools. Online degree-seekers learn from the same seasoned instructors who teach SHSU's on-campus programs. Students have the option of completing either a research-based thesis or a practice-based placement experience. Course topics include advanced motor learning, aerobic and anaerobic training, and clinical exercise physiology.
Those interested in this sports medicine degree need a bachelor's degree with at least 12 credits in kinesiology or a related subject. They must also provide academic transcripts and recent GRE scores. Applications must also include two recommendation letters and a statement of intent.
Sam Houston State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Concordia University-Saint Paul
A private, nonprofit institution, Concordia University, St. Paul (CSP) empowers learners to achieve professional success and intellectual inquiry. Established in 1893, CSP maintains affiliation with the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church and offers comprehensive programming at every level of educational attainment. The school administers over 80 programs of study through distance learning, cohort-based programs, and traditional classroom instruction.
CSP offers an online master of science in exercise science to degree-seekers interested in physical education and sports medicine jobs. The fully online program consists of 33 credits that combine theoretical inquiry with practical application through exercise studies, biomechanics, nutrition, and psychology. Students acquire technical skills in disease prevention and safe exercise testing in diverse populations. Graduates of the program report a 95% job placement rate within one year of completion.
All courses come in convenient, seven-week sessions that use a blend of synchronous and asynchronous tools. This model strikes an even balance between group collaboration and self-directed study outside structured class time. Degree-seekers receive intensive instruction in clinical exercise assessment, nutrition and metabolism, and strength conditioning. All material prepares learners for leadership roles in sports medicine and exercise science.
Qualified applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher and must also submit official transcripts and a personal statement. This statement should be 400-1000 words and must discuss employment history, personal goals, and professional achievement. CSP also offers free credit evaluation for learners interested in transferring credits from an outside institution.
Concordia University, St. Paul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Northern Colorado
The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is a public research institution with roots in teacher training and education. Established in 1899, UNC boasts a low student-to-faculty ratio while fostering innovative research and a comprehensive learning environment. It manages six different colleges from its 260-acre suburban campus, including over 200 academic and professional development programs.
Interested degree-seekers can obtain a master of arts in teaching in physical education and physical activity leadership at UNC. Most learners complete the 30-credit program in 20 months or less and go on to find lucrative work as leaders and teachers in K-12 education. Degree-seekers learn to craft and implement education plans designed to increase and enhance physical activity. The course also covers designing school health initiatives and comprehensive physical activity programs.
UNC offers this master's in sports medicine in an online format, supplemented by a two-week learning experience at the school's main campus in northeast Colorado. Students complete required courses using flexible and accommodating tools that are ideal for busy degree-seekers looking to further their education while still working. Class topics include sport pedagogy, health behavior theories, and school-based wellness.
Applicants need a relevant undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. They must provide official academic transcripts indicating a 3.0 GPA or better along with a professional resume. Additional materials include two academic or professional reference letters and a personal statement.
The University of Northern Colorado is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Established in 1901, Texas Woman's University (TWU) trains future leaders and global citizens by focusing on health, education, and the liberal arts. A public, co-educational institution, TWU values opportunity, creativity, and diversity. Its six colleges administer programs in over 60 different areas of study, including sports medicine.
TWU extends a master of science in kinesiology with an emphasis in sport management. Ideal for learners seeking sports-related careers, the program requires 36 credits and can be completed in just four semesters. The interdisciplinary curriculum combines foundations in kinesiology with law, business, and marketing courses. It qualifies degree-seekers for a diverse array of sports medicine jobs in wellness centers, nonprofit organizations, and athletic associations.
The program delivers all coursework entirely online and admits new learners throughout the year, meaning that professionals already working in the industry can choose a convenient start date that fits their busy schedule. Learners receive instruction from experienced faculty through interactive tools with comprehensive technical support. Core classes cover sport enterprise and finance, applied research methods, event management, and sport media.
Students interested in entering the program need a bachelor's degree in kinesiology or a closely related discipline. They must also demonstrate a 3.0 GPA or higher in their last 60 undergraduate credits and provide two recommendation letters along with a personal statement. Recent GRE scores are recommended, but not required.
Texas Woman's University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Florida Atlantic University
A public institution with satellite campuses throughout the Sunshine State, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) supports personal and academic development through inclusivity and collaboration. Founded in 1961, FAU serves over 30,000 students annually through programs in science, medicine, business, and engineering.
Degree-seekers interested in expanding their sports medicine knowledge can pursue a master of science in exercise science with a concentration in health promotion. Designed to prepare learners for advanced work and research, the 36-credit program develops core skills and technical knowledge in kinesiology and wellness. Most degree-seekers finish the program within two years, though time frames vary depending on enrollment status and thesis/non-thesis options.
Those interested in continuing at the doctoral level should choose the thesis option, while others can complete 12 additional credits in subjects of their choice instead. Subjects of study include exercise science labs, health curriculum, human obesity, and drug abuse. FAU delivers classes completely online so busy learners can pursue their education without work or life interruptions. Core courses familiarize degree-seekers with prominent health promotion principles and implementation strategies.
Qualified applicants need a current CPR card in addition to a relevant undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA. They must also submit recent GRE scores and letters of recommendation. FAU does not stipulate course prerequisites, but does recommend that degree-seekers have some experience in human anatomy and physiology.
Florida Atlantic University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
California Baptist University
California Baptist University (CBU) offers post-secondary degrees in education, music, science, and the liberal arts. A private, nonprofit school founded by local religious leaders in 1950, CBU integrates academic study with social development. It operates a 160-acre suburban campus comprising 11 different schools and divisions that support critical thinking and scholarly inquiry.
CBU's online master of science in kinesiology focuses on the science of human movement and sport performance. The course comes in an accelerated format; even the busiest students can complete the program in 12 months and going on to pursue careers in biomechanics, exercise physiology, and health assessment.
The program requires 30 total credits taught through virtual lectures, instructor tutorials, and threaded discussion boards. Classes are segmented into eight-week sessions to encourage scheduling flexibility. This means working professionals can complete their education without sacrificing job responsibilities or family commitments. Course offerings at CBU include sports nutrition, exercise prescription, sport psychology, and advanced research methods.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA or higher and official academic transcripts. Applicants must also complete the FAFSA and provide a 500-word personal statement that discusses their professional aspirations and intent for study. CBU assigns each learner a personal admissions counselor to help throughout the application process.
California Baptist University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
University of Central Missouri
The University of Central Missouri (UCM) has encouraged advanced learning, excellence, and responsibility since its inception as a teacher's college in 1871. The public state institution offers programming in over 150 areas of study -- including business, humanities, science, and education -- at every level of educational attainment.
UCM offers a master of science in kinesiology program that develops advanced competencies in sports medicine and exercise science. The program also has a sport management option that is available entirely online. Graduates typically complete this program within two years, going on to pursue leadership roles in sport event management, fitness programming, and wellness coaching. The online program uses the same faculty experts as UCM's on-campus offerings.
Program requirements include 33 credits of coursework taught in experiential learning environments, with options for pursing internships. UCM delivers all classes through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous platforms that blend group interaction with self-paced study. Learners receive intensive instruction in exercise pedagogy, sport finance, and organizational leadership. The internship component places degree-seekers in professional settings where they can apply the knowledge they've obtained.
Students interested in obtaining this master's in sports medicine need undergraduate credentials with a competitive GPA. Admission applications must also include academic transcripts and supporting documentation. UCM accepts up to nine graduate transfer credits earned at an accredited institution.
The University of Central Missouri is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Liberty University is a private, nonprofit, evangelical Christian institution. One of the largest U.S. schools of its kind, Liberty offers over 750 unique programs of study in both online and traditional learning formats. Its graduate programs maintain a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personalized attention and focused study.
At Liberty, interested degree-seekers can earn a master of science in exercise and wellness available entirely online. The 33-credit program offers coursework in flexible, eight-week sessions, making it ideal for busy learners and working professionals. Most degree-seekers complete all requirements in 18 months. Graduates are qualified to pursue advanced careers in human performance, sports medicine, strength conditioning, and nutrition.
Liberty's broad course offerings use mostly asynchronous learning tools that allow degree-seekers to access course material on their own time. Learners can log in to the school's robust learning management system whenever they choose, completing assignments in statistical analysis, fitness assessment, and exercise science. The program also offers two specializations: fitness and performance or nutrition and wellness.
Learners with previous graduate experience can transfer up to 50% of required credits. Applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also provide official transcripts and complete course prerequisites in physiology, biomechanics, and statistics.
Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
A public institution with an annual enrollment of over 11,000, Southern Utah University (SUU) cultivates a dynamic, experiential learning environment. Founded as a normal school in 1897, SUU encourages exploration and intellectual inquiry in science, technology, business, and engineering. It operates six schools and colleges that confer graduate and undergraduate degrees in over 150 different disciplines.
SUU's Department of Kinesiology and Outdoor Recreation offers a master of science in sports conditioning and performance program that uses a blended online format. The program prepares degree-seekers for work as physical education professionals, personal trainers, or fitness specialists. This sports medicine degree involves 18 credits and includes a final thesis project. Students conduct original research and apply acquired skills in training technique, bioenergetics, and nutrition.
Program requirements include three intensive summer courses. These practical, clinical workshops last 1-2 weeks and take place at SUU's main campus in Cedar City, Utah. Remaining classes are taught through flexible, online platforms. Learners receive instruction in sport conditioning foundations, social science research methods, and motor skill acquisition.
Qualified applicants need a relevant, accredited bachelor's degree or an active professional license in sports fitness. They must also supply academic transcripts indicating a minimum 3.0 GPA and recent GRE test scores. Additional materials include three recommendation letters and a statement of intent. SUU accepts admission applications throughout the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Southern Utah University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Georgia Southern University
Established as a land-grant college in 1906, Georgia Southern University prioritizes integrity, discovery, and academic excellence. It maintains a flagship campus in Statesboro, Georgia, and manages several satellite affiliates throughout the state. A public research institution, Georgia Southern offers comprehensive programming designed to promote personal and professional success in health sciences, computing, and the humanities.
Housed in its Waters College of Health Professions, Georgia Southern's master of science in kinesiology offers a fully online physical education concentration. Ideal for students interested in combining fitness fundamentals with education applications, the program consists of 36 credits and an action research project. Most degree-seekers complete the program within two years, depending on their enrollment status and work schedules.
Designed for students with a current teaching certificate, Georgia Southern's master's in sports medicine focuses on integrating physical fitness theories with active pedagogy. The school delivers all required coursework through flexible distance learning formats. Learners receive instruction in an interactive online environment that can be accessed whenever and wherever they choose. Classes cover motor behavior, school health, and current trends in kinesiology research.
Qualified applicants must provide a copy of their teaching licenses along with academic transcripts indicating an accredited bachelor's degree with a 2.75 minimum GPA. They must also supply a complete work history, a personal writing sample, a lesson plan portfolio, and at least three professional references.
Georgia Southern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) provides quality academic instruction in education, nursing, business, and the arts. Founded in part by the Texas State Legislature in 1973, the public state school rests on a 644-acre urban campus that houses five different colleges and academic divisions. UTPB promotes student-centered learning and research that advances technology and the public interest.
Degree-seekers interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the science of human movement will be a natural fit in UTPB's online master of science in kinesiology. The 36-credit program develops technical knowledge and offers specializations in exercise science; psychology of exercise and sport; and teaching, coaching, and administration. Near the end of the program, enrollees can choose thesis or non-thesis capstone components.
UTPB administers all coursework for this sports medicine degree entirely online. The school's interactive learning management system combines self-paced study with structured class sessions to give degree-seekers the best of both worlds. Industry experts facilitate learning experiences in subjects like sports psychology, training and conditioning approaches, and applied biomechanics.
The school extends two admission pathways, one for traditional learners with an undergraduate degree and one for those interested in a second graduate-level experience. All applicants must submit official academic transcripts verifying a competitive GPA and provide additional materials upon request.
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Texas A & M University-Kingsville
Texas A&M University - Kingsville focuses on programming in agriculture, engineering, music, and the sciences. Known for developing the first bilingual education doctorate in the U.S., the school takes pride in its history as a teacher training institution first founded in 1917. A public research school, A&M-Kingsville supports a diverse body of graduate and undergraduate students from across the country.
The school offers a master of science in kinesiology with a concentration in sport management for those interested in completing their education online. The program explores traditional kinesiology and sports medicine study with an administrative focus. Most degree-seekers complete all requirements within three years and qualify for work as athletic trainers, front-office managers, and sports event coordinators.
The program offers three capstone options to accommodate a variety of professional interests: coursework only, a thesis paper, or an original research project. Learners complete 30-36 credits delivered through both synchronous and asynchronous platforms. Possible course topics include psychology and kinesiology, sports marketing and technology, applied statistics, and athletic administration.
Admission requirements include an accredited bachelor's degree and recent GRE scores. Prospective degree-seekers must demonstrate proficiency in basic kinesiological concepts by completing 18 prerequisite credits. They must also provide professional recommendation letters and maintain high ethical standards throughout their course of study.
Texas A&M University - Kingsville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
River Forest, IL
One of nine campuses in the greater Concordia University System, Concordia University Chicago (CUC) prepares graduates to lead with confidence and creativity. Initially established as a training school for Lutheran ministers in 1864, the private, nonprofit institution has since expanded its offerings to over 100 programs of study. It offers comprehensive instruction to over 6,000 degree-seekers each year.
CUC's master of science in applied exercise science prepares learners for advanced sports medicine careers. Its sports performance training concentration comes in a fully online format, which suits busy degree-seekers and working professionals. The 18-credit course of study employs small class sizes for an optimal learning experience.
Degree-seekers access all class material through a flexible, asynchronous learning platform. Students can work at their own pace and submit assignments on regular deadlines. CUC administers courses in eight-week sessions with multiple start dates throughout the year. Core courses develop knowledge and skill in applied exercise physiology, sport nutrition, and program design. Degree-seekers also engage recent case studies during a practicum experience before graduation.
Prospective applicants interested in this sports medicine degree need a bachelor's degree earned from a regionally accredited institution. They must also provide transcripts evidencing a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA. Additional materials include an objectives statement and letters of recommendation. CUC accepts admission applications on a rolling basis.
Concordia University Chicago is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) is a private, nonprofit institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Founded in 1891, the school promotes holistic educational programs that develop responsible leaders in science and the liberal arts. LRU cultivates patterns of lifelong inquiry, administering nearly 100 programs of study from its main campus in western North Carolina.
Qualified applicants can obtain a MS in exercise science at LRU. The program involves 30-36 credits, depending on free elective options, and provides a foundation in human anatomy, biomechanics, and nutrition. This non-cohort program encourages self-paced study by accepting both full- and part-time learners at three different start dates throughout the year.
Designed for working professionals, LRU's sports medicine degree delivers all course content entirely online. Degree-seekers can access material from anywhere in the world with a high-speed internet connection, submitting work as their schedules permit. Classes include high-level instruction in exercise physiology, applied research methods, and the science of human movement. The program culminates with integrative practicum placements and an optional thesis project.
Prospective degree-seekers need accredited undergraduate credentials and must satisfy course prerequisites in anatomy and physiology. Academic transcripts should indicate a 2.7 GPA or better. Applications for admission must include recent GRE scores, a resume, and a personal essay. An entrance interview may also be required.
Lenoir-Rhyne University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Auburn University at Montgomery
Chartered by the Alabama legislature in 1967, Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) provides diverse and accessible educational opportunities to learners from all walks of life. The public university maintains a 500-acre suburban campus that houses five different schools and colleges in education, health and social sciences, business, and the humanities.
AUM confers a master of science in physical education that prepares degree-seekers for work as teachers in K-12 settings. The 33-credit program offers both thesis and non-thesis options. These pathways accommodate students interested in a more research-based course of study as well as professionals looking to develop practical skills. Program requirements qualify candidates for education licensure in most U.S. states.
This degree administers all coursework through innovative and flexible online formats. Learners participate in virtual lectures and threaded discussion boards as they complete classes in educational psychology, motor development, and nutritional assessment. The program also provides training in cutting-edge instructional technologies.
Qualified applicants need a relevant, accredited bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA in their last 75 credits. They must also hold professional teacher certification in Alabama. Additional materials include biographical information and professional work history.
Auburn University at Montgomery is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Its sports medicine degree holds specialized accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Located in Louisiana's northeastern quadrant, the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) advances innovation in teaching and research. The school emphasizes instruction in the health sciences with small student-to-faculty ratios for personalized attention. Founded as a junior college in 1931, ULM now serves nearly 10,000 students every year.
ULM's College of Health Sciences offers a master of science in exercise science with a concentration in sport management. The fully online course of study requires 30-36 credits, depending on thesis and capstone options. It prepares degree-seekers from all walks of life for specialized sports medicine careers in a variety of professional contexts. Graduation requirements include standard coursework with free electives, a 3-credit internship placement, and comprehensive examinations.
Program coursework covers a broad array of topics, including sport sociology, motor learning psychology, nutrition, and advanced strength conditioning. ULM delivers classes in these and other areas through a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning tools for an optimal interactive experience. The capstone internship placement takes place at an on-site location arranged by the student and their advisor.
Learners interested in this master's in sports medicine degree need a relevant bachelor's degree earned from a regionally accredited institution. They must also provide academic transcripts verifying a minimum 3.0 GPA, plus recent GRE scores.
The University of Louisiana Monroe is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Its College of Health Science possesses programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
A public research institution focused on education in health, science, and technology, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created to extend educational opportunities for Texans. Established in 2013, the school operates a 550-acre main campus along with several affiliates throughout the valley, offering 100 unique programs of study across 11 different schools and colleges.
Prospective degree-seekers can earn a fully online master of science in kinesiology at UTRGV. Students can select thesis or non-thesis options in this 36-credit program, which typically lasts 2-3 years. Graduates can seek work as trainers or physical education teachers, or enroll in doctoral programs to become sports medicine physicians. UTRGV also offers options for core majors and minors, allowing students to develop a personalized plan of study in conjunction with their assigned advisors.
UTRGV's curriculum develops technical knowledge and core skills in sports ethics, advanced biomechanics, exercise physiology, and applied research methods. Learners receive quality instruction through 16-week sessions using the online platform. Busy degree-seekers and working professionals can complete assignments while working at their own pace, so long as they meet program deadlines.
The school accepts admission applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. Qualified applicants need a bachelor's degree in kinesiology or a closely related field with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also supply transcripts, a statement of purpose, a resume, and two letters of recommendation.
The University of Texa Rio Grande Valley is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
McNeese State University
Lake Charles, LA
One of several members in the University of Louisiana System, McNeese State University offers comprehensive programs at the graduate and undergraduate level. Initially founded as a junior college by local educators in 1939, McNeese values trust, mentorship, and accessibility. The university engages in research and instruction within a learner-centric environment that encourages professional success.
McNeese administers a master of science in health and human performance with a health promotion concentration. The entirely online program requires 33 credits and prepares degree-seekers for sports medicine jobs that promote physical fitness and healthy habits. The course of study includes standard coursework and an internship experience, whichinvolves 120 hours of supervised work at an approved exercise physiology and health promotion site.
Degree-seekers receive instruction through a blend of synchronous and asynchronous classes that can accommodate most busy work schedules. Those already employed in sports medicine can access material on their own time, working their course of study at a pace that makes sense for them. Possible course topics include healthcare delivery analysis, exercise prescription, and the physiological foundations of human performance.
Those interested in pursuing this sports medicine degree need relevant, accredited undergraduate credentials with a competitive GPA. They must submit official academic transcripts and recent GRE test scores. Applicants also need at least three prerequisite credits in exercise physiology.
McNeese State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, TX
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is a state school managed by the larger public education system from which it takes its name. Initially established in 1947 as a private university affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the school is now a regional leader in higher education. It offers over 50 programs at every level of degree attainment and enrolls just over 10,000 students each year.
Degree-seekers interested in deepening their skills in sports medicine will be a natural fit in A&M-Corpus Chisti's master of science in kinesiology. Sponsored by Texas A&M's College of Education and Human Development, the 36-credit program includes thesis and non-thesis options. Learners on the thesis track complete regular coursework and generate an original graduate research project. Those who opt for the non-thesis option replace the research project with a culminating comprehensive exam.
Coursework in this sports medicine degree develops foundation knowledge in sports performance assessment, exercise physiology, biomechanics, and motor learning behavior. The school delivers all content through flexible and interactive tools that encourage freedom and self-directed study. Material can be accessed at any time through a high-speed internet connection.
Qualified applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree in kinesiology or a related field. They must supply official academic transcripts for all previous education along with a 300-400-word statement of purpose. This statement should discuss educational background and professional goals.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The oldest private school in Georgia, LaGrange College fosters civility, diversity, and intellectual inquiry. Founded in 1831, LaGrange maintains affiliation with the United Methodist Church and offers high-quality programs firmly rooted in the Wesleyan tradition. It operates a 121-acre suburban campus and provides comprehensive training in the sciences and liberal arts.
The university's graduate school confers a master of arts in strength and conditioning that is ideal for professionals currently working as coaches or athletic trainers. This 30-credit program is specifically designed for students \with significant experience working in the discipline. Most degree-seekers complete the program in 18-24 months, maintaining full-time employment while they study.
LaGrange's curriculum facilitates professional development by enhancing practical skills and developing the technical knowledge needed for advanced sports medicine careers. Classes come in an accessible online format and include instruction in applied sports nutrition, athlete monitoring, and advanced coaching theory. Students also enjoy at least six credits in free electives. LaGrange expects all degree-seekers to actively apply gained skills and knowledge to their current work responsibilities.
Prospective applicants need an undergraduate degree with a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher. They also need official academic transcripts and professional work experience in sports medicine or strength and conditioning. They must complete an interview and a comprehensive background check and provide at least three references.
LaGrange College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of the Southwest
Founded as a non-denominational Christian institution, the University of the Southwest (USW) develops responsible, informed, and conscientious leaders. A private, nonprofit school, USW confers graduate and undergraduate degrees in business, education, science, and the arts.
Learners can obtain an online master of science with an emphasis in health and human performance at USW. This 30-credit, career-oriented program deepens skills and knowledge in sports history, sports medicine, and motor learning and development. The customizable curriculum includes lectures, lab applications, and practical internship placements. The school also allows enrollment flexibility, accepting new students throughout the academic year.
USW delivers all courses entirely online for learner convenience. Classes focus on training healthy athletes and working with populations that suffer from chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and pulmonary disease. Degree-seekers engage content and complete assignments on their own time, graduating fully qualified for advanced positions in health science and sports medicine.
Admission requirements at USW include an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also provide a professional resume and a 500-word personal essay that lists their career aspirations and speaks to their fit in the program. USW also accepts transfer credits earned at the graduate level.
The University of the Southwest is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Logan University focuses its instructional efforts on evidence-based chiropractic and health sciences training. A private, nonprofit school founded in 1935, Logan offers programs that use innovative technologies and rely on practical experiences to prepare graduates for continued professional success.
Logan offers a master of science in sports science and rehabilitation for qualified learners interested in expanding their skills in sports medicine. The program involves 37-39 credits and empowers professionals to help athletes maximize their performance while avoiding injury. The program culminates with a clinical internship experience where degree-seekers can implement their theoretical learning in real-world professional contexts.
Classes include intensive study in biomechanics, sports psychology, emergency performance care, and applied research methods. Logan delivers all coursework entirely online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous courses, so students can enjoy the best of both worlds: self-paced study and social interaction. Degree-seekers can enroll on a full- or part-time basis and most complete the program in 2-3 years.
Applicants interested in this sports medicine degree need an undergraduate diploma from a regionally accredited institution. Academic transcripts should indicate a 2.5 GPA or better and include six credits in physics, kinesiology, biomechanics, or applied statistics. Transfer students must complete at least 30% of required credits at Logan to graduate.
Logan University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Its sports science program holds programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
Online Master's in Sports Medicine Ranking Guidelines
We selected the following schools based on the quality of their programs and the types of courses provided. We also considered school awards, rankings, and reputations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine focuses on the prevention and treatment of sports injuries. Sports medicine professionals also help athletes improve their performance and recover from injuries.
How Long Is a Sports Medicine Degree?
A master's in sports medicine generally takes two years for full-time students.
How Much Does a Sports Medicine Doctor Make?
On average, sports medicine doctors earn over $183,000 per year, according to PayScale. However, sports medicine physicians must hold a medical degree.
What's the Difference Between Sports Medicine and Orthopedics?
Both fields focus on the musculoskeletal system. However, sports medicine emphasizes non-operative treatments for sports-related injuries, while orthopedics often involves surgery.
What Can You Do With a Master's in Sports Medicine?
A master's in sports medicine prepares graduates for careers like athletic trainer, exercise physiologist, or sports nutritionist. Graduates can also pursue a medical degree to become a sports medicine physician.
What Is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine treats injuries and illnesses related to athletics, occupations, and exercise. Sports medicine professionals serve children who sustain minor injuries like sprained ankles, elite adult athletes at the peak of their performance, and professionals who suffer repetitive stress injuries. Specialists in sports medicine can help athletes prevent injury during training for specific sports. They can also diagnose and treat injuries related to exercise.
Sports medicine professionals may work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, doctor's offices, or on athletic fields.
Sports medicine draws on several other disciplines, including physiology, anatomy, nutrition, and medicine. Sports medicine professionals require specialized education and training in these disciplines. Enrolling in an online master's in sports medicine program builds the knowledge and skills necessary for sports medicine careers.
Within the field of sports medicine, professionals can specialize in many areas. Athletic trainers provide the first line of defense against sports-related injuries on the field. Sports medicine doctors diagnose and treat injuries in a medical setting. Sports nutritionists focus on food as fuel for exercise, while exercise physiologists design rehabilitative exercise programs.
Sports medicine professionals may work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, doctor's offices, or on athletic fields.
What Is a Master's in Sports Medicine Degree?
A master's degree in sports medicine provides advanced, focused training for professionals considering sports medicine careers like athletic trainer or sports medicine doctor. During a sports medicine program, learners study exercise physiology, sports nutrition, and sport psychology to better understand how to treat athletes and patients recovering from injuries and illnesses.
The degree emphasizes both classroom knowledge and experiential learning. Sports medicine colleges include clinical requirements to build the practical skills necessary for careers in the field. Graduate students also gain graduate-level training in physiology, nutrition, and biomechanics.
Incoming sports medicine students with clinical backgrounds can enroll in the degree to gain specialized training in sports medicine. Other students enter the program without prior sports medicine experience. Either way, the degree meets the qualifications for many sports medicine jobs.
Choosing an Online Master's in Sports Medicine Program
The cost, program length, and clinical requirements of sports medicine degrees can vary, so prospective sports medicine students must consider these factors when choosing the best sports medicine college to meet their professional goals. The following section explores factors that prospective students should consider before choosing a program.
The total cost of a degree includes tuition, fees, and related expenses. While in-state public schools generally charge the lowest tuition rates, out-of-state schools may offer tuition discounts for online students.
Sports medicine colleges that accept transfer credits can save students time and money on their degrees. Many programs offer a free transcript evaluation to determine transfer credits.
Some students prefer smaller class sizes with more individual attention from instructors. Others benefit from the peer support of a larger cohort of students and a wider alumni network.
While a sports medicine master's degree generally takes two years to complete, the total number of required credits and the number of required clinical hours can affect program length.
Some online sports medicine programs include on-campus requirements, such as an orientation or on-campus labs, while others do not require any campus visits. Ensure that you can meet any in-person requirements before committing to a program.
Most sports medicine programs do not require a thesis, but they may incorporate an internship, practicum, or capstone project. Prospective students should research clinical requirements for online students before enrolling in a program.
Online Master's in Sports Medicine Curriculum
During an online master's program in sports medicine, students take courses in sports nutrition, exercise physiology, and sport psychology. They also learn how to evaluate, prevent, manage, and treat sports injuries.
In addition to coursework, sports medicine programs also incorporate clinical hours. By completing labs and practicums, graduate students build the practical skills needed for sports medicine careers.
This section covers common courses in sports medicine programs, popular formats for online programs, and how long it takes to earn a sports medicine degree.
- Exercise Physiology: Exercise physiology courses examine human physiology and the body's changes during exercise. Graduate students learn about the body's response to acute and chronic exercise, including circulatory and respiratory responses. The course also covers environmental factors in athletic performance. The course prepares students to apply exercise physiology in their sports medicine jobs after graduation.
- Sports Nutrition: Sports nutrition courses explore the effects of nutrient selection and metabolism on physical performance. Graduate students learn about evidence-based strategies to improve performance with nutrition. Coursework may also incorporate case studies to provide experiential learning. The course prepares graduates for many certification exams in exercise science.
- Applied Anatomy: In applied anatomy courses, students explore the structure and physiology of the human body. In a sports medicine degree, the course emphasizes skeletal and muscular systems often linked to injuries. Students also learn about the relationship between different structures and their role in human movement and exercise.
- Injury Evaluation and Management: During this course, students focus on treating common sports injuries. The class trains students in advanced injury assessment techniques like soft tissue stretching. Learners also study the referral and re-entry process for sports injuries.
- Sports Psychology: Sports psychology courses examine how athletes behave and explore how psychological intervention methods can enhance athletic performance. Learners also study human behavior patterns in a sports setting, focusing on the psychological difference between sports and exercise.
How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Master's in Sports Medicine Program?
Many of the best sports medicine colleges offer online master's degrees. Several factors shape how long a master's in sports medicine will take, including the program's total credit requirements, clinical hours, and enrollment options.
Earning a sports medicine degree online generally takes two years for full-time students. Some programs offer accelerated enrollment options that can speed up this timeline. Students with prior graduate school experience can also apply transfer credits toward the degree.
During a master's in sports medicine program, graduate students complete coursework requirements while also gaining practical skills through field experience. Many programs place online sports medicine students with local sports teams, athletes, or rehabilitation clinics to complete lab and practicum requirements. Sports medicine students with prior clinical experience may be able to waive some clinical requirements.
Online sports medicine colleges offer courses in asynchronous or synchronous formats. An asynchronous format requires no set class times, which is ideal for busy students balancing school with personal or professional responsibilities. Synchronous programs require that online learners meet with instructors and fellow students for live course sessions, which can create a better support network.
Sports Medicine Careers
A master's in sports medicine meets the requirements for many exciting sports medicine jobs, including athletic trainer and exercise physiologist. In these roles, professionals evaluate injuries on the field, design treatment plans in coordination with physicians, and help athletes recover from injuries. A sports medicine degree also provides a solid foundation for in-demand jobs in nutrition and dietetics.
Some sports medicine careers require additional study. For example, a sports medicine doctor or sports medicine physician must hold a medical degree. After earning a sports medicine master's degree, graduates can pursue additional study.
Athletic trainers work with athletes to diagnose, treat, and prevent injuries. They apply injury-prevention devices, provide first aid, and design rehabilitation programs. Athletic trainers also evaluate and assess injuries and illnesses, often on the field where injuries occur. As a result, athletic trainers often perform initial injury treatments for athletes.
In addition to treating injuries, athletic trainers create programs to build athleticism and prevent injuries. They also write reports on their treatment programs. Many work under the direction of physicians, and most states require a license or certification to work as an athletic trainer.
Job Outlook (2018-2028)
Exercise physiologists create fitness programs for patients recovering from chronic issues like cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases. They must assess a patient's medical history, evaluate the risk of exercise, and design a custom exercise program to meet each patient's needs. Exercise physiologists also perform fitness tests and measure health indicators like blood pressure to assess a patient's health.
Many exercise physiologists work closely with physicians to create individualized exercise plans for patients. This career path requires at least a bachelor's degree with coursework in kinesiology, nutrition, and anatomy. Many employers also require basic health certifications.
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Job Outlook (2018-2028)
Dietitians and nutritionists advise clients on what to eat to help them achieve health goals or build and maintain a healthy lifestyle. They also help people manage diseases through dietary changes. Dietitians and nutritionists assess each patient's nutritional and health needs to build customized meal plans, encourage healthy eating habits, and document patient progress over time.
As part of their job responsibilities, dietitians and nutritionists create educational materials, speak to groups about nutrition, and provide resources on managing diseases like diabetes. They typically hold at least a bachelor's degree with a focus on nutrition, and many hold master's degrees. In most states, dietitians and nutritionists must hold a license or certification.
Job Outlook (2018-2028)