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Why This Matters

Our Research

The research on our list covers graduate programs in sports medicine that prepare students for careers in kinesiology, athletic training, and exercise science. Degrees offered include Master of Science in Kinesiology, Master of Arts in Sports Coaching, Master of Science in Kinesiology & Rehabilitation Science, Master of Sports Science, and Master in Exercise Science and Wellness. All graduate programs are delivered online.

National and regional accreditation organizations recognize master’s programs in sports medicine that uphold a high academic standard. Schools on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), and WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 64 hours to write this article
  • 191 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 225 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Master’s in Sports Medicine Degree Programs

Best Master's in Sports Medicine Degree Programs
Intelligent Pick
University of Louisville
Best Advisors
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Best Hands-On Approach
Georgia Southern University
Best Pedagogy Focus
The University of Texas at El Paso
Best Hybrid Program
Southern Utah University
Best in the South
University of Louisiana Monroe
Best In-State Tuition
Sul Ross State University
Best Concentration Options
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Best Kinesiology Focus
University of Texas System
Best Thesis Option
The University of Texas at Tyler
Best Two-Year Program
University Of Western States
Best for Working Professionals
Texas A&M University Kingsville
Most Affordable
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Best in the Midwest
Ashland University
Best Strength Training Focus
George Washington University
Best in the West
Houston Baptist University
Best for Adult Learners
Louisiana State University
Best Leadership Training
North Dakota State University
Best M.A. Program
The University of Alabama
Best Education Focus
University of Southern Mississippi
Best Focus on Ethics
Northcentral University
Best for Women
Texas Woman's University
Best Research Focus
University of Florida
Best in the Southeast
Appalachian State University
Best Technology
Arkansas Tech University
Most Recognized Faculty
Auburn University at Montgomery
Most Flexible Program
Ball State University
Best Assistantships
Barry University
Best in the Mid-Atlantic Region
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Best Faculty Mentors
Bridgewater State University
Best on the West Coast
California State University, Fullerton
Best M.S.-to-Ph.D. Program
Colorado State University
Best Science Focus
Concordia University Irvine
Best Biomechanics Focus
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
Best Public Institution
Fort Hays State University
Best Capstone Experience
George Mason University
Best Career Services
Hofstra University

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What You Should Know About This Degree

When choosing a sports medicine career, you should decide which job occupation you’d like to pursue. Sports medicine includes many professions, including athletic trainers, physiotherapists, nutritionists, and sports medicine doctors. Certain job roles, such as sports physicians, require a doctorate degree in medicine.

You should also consider pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology. Kinesiology focuses on how physical activity can affect the health and well being of society as a whole. On the other hand, sports medicine specializes in treating and preventing injuries that are the result of sports-related activities. Determine whether you would like to specialize in working with athletes or would like to apply your knowledge of health and human anatomy to the general public when deciding on a graduate program.

Certifications can help graduates gain new skills associated with sports medicine while also gaining a competitive edge over other job candidates. Credentials help demonstrate your expertise to potential employers. You should consider obtaining additional certifications approved by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), such as Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist (PAPHS), Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP), and Exercise Is Medicine (EIM).

As an aging population remains active later in life, the demand for skilled sports medicine professionals is expected to grow at a rate much higher than the national average.

What’s Next?

Ask yourself these questions when researching graduate programs in sports medicine:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Students from all educational backgrounds who hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent can pursue a master’s degree in sports medicine. Some programs may have additional requirements such as a minimum GPA, a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score, and letters of recommendation.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most graduate programs in sports medicine take between 18 months and two years to complete. The programs on this list require 30 to 48 credits to graduate.

Application deadlines and academic prerequisites are different for each program. Visit each school’s website to find more information about requirements.

Consider how you’ll cover the financial costs of your graduate degree. You might be eligible for scholarships, grants, or federal student aid. Research funding opportunities, and make sure to turn in all applications on time.

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