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An online master’s in sports medicine prepares students for careers in athletic training, sports therapy, and education. Job growth is promising, with athletic training and exercise physiology outpacing most other professions at a 17% and 9% growth rate, respectively. The average salary for these professionals is approximately $48,000, on average.

Most online graduate degrees in sports medicine require 30 to 42 credit hours, which can take a full-time student anywhere from two to three years to complete. As of 2021, master’s degree programs at public schools cost approximately $12,394 per year and are often the most affordable, especially if they offer in-state student discounts. On average, private schools cost $26,621 per year.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Sports Medicine Program

Choose your area of study

Sports Medicine encompasses numerous specializations, such as sports nutrition, sports psychology, sports injury management, and exercise physiology. Successful sports medicine professionals are excellent communicators, work well in high-stress situations, and can share their compassion and empathy with others.

Consider your long-term goals as you choose your area of study. If you want to work with and help manage sports teams, select courses that include business and management skills. If you’d prefer to work with athletes individually, sports psychology and exercise programming might be more advantageous.

Research schools and programs

You are probably already aware that the best place to begin researching schools and programs is on each institution’s website. You can often find details about acceptance rates, delivery formats, fees, and faculty specializations. Contacting an admissions representative is always a good idea because they know the school intimately and can formulate academic plans that match your professional goals.

It’s also important not to overlook personal preferences. If you do well in groups, find out if any student meetups or study groups are available to online students. Asynchronous formats may be best for self-directed learning if you prefer to work alone. These preferences may not seem like a big deal initially, but they can significantly affect your learning experience.

Prepare for tests and applications

Each program’s application process differs, but most schools require an undergraduate degree and a minimum grade point average. While schools may prefer students with exercise science-related degrees, many accept students with unrelated prior coursework.

An admissions counselor can let you know if there are any entrance exams required or strict deadlines to meet, but research the school’s website and student catalog ahead of time to prepare questions and clear up anything that might be confusing. Watch for application fees and include these costs in your financial planning.

Select your program

While considerations like cost, delivery format, and duration are necessary, don’t forget to prioritize your preferences as a scholar. Faculty relationships and a sense of community are as important to online students as they are to on-campus students. Inquire about the school’s academic and social support for online students and how it optimizes student success.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Most students begin planning for the cost of graduate school by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can help determine which funding options best meet their needs. Your school’s financial aid office can also provide information about grants, scholarships, and other tuition assistance that may be available.

While you can most likely find the per-credit cost of your program’s coursework online or in the course catalog, talk to your financial aid advisor about additional costs that may not be listed. Things like laboratory, technology, or library fees can add up quickly, so you’ll want to account for them early in your planning.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Sports Medicine Programs

Best Online Master's in Sports Medicine Degree Programs

Concordia University Chicago

Liberty University

Fresno Pacific University

University of Louisiana at Monroe

McNeese State University

Logan University

Florida Atlantic University

Sam Houston State University

University of Northern Colorado

The University of Texas at Tyler

Southern Utah University

United States Sports Academy

California Baptist University

Louisiana State University

Texas A&M University at Commerce

Concordia University at St. Paul

University of Southern Mississippi

GW University Milken Institute School of Public Health

University of Wyoming

Sul Ross State University

Texas A&M University at Kingsville

Texas Woman's University

Southern Arkansas University

Houston Christian University

Lenoir-Rhyne University

Ashland University

A.T. Still University

Auburn University at Montgomery

Moravian University

University of Idaho

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How We Rank Schools

We included programs in related areas like kinesiology, exercise science, and health and human performance to fit a range of options for students seeking advanced degrees in sports medicine. These programs cover different theories and skills, so look carefully at the curricula to find the program that best suits your interests and career goals.

All of the programs on our list are offered by regionally accredited schools, which is a confirmation of their quality. The programs on our list are offered in various formats, including in-person, online, and hybrid, so that you can find the right program for your learning preferences and schedule.

We evaluated each program for course strength, cost, flexibility, faculty, and reputation. Then, we gave each program an Intelligent Score of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Sports Medicine Program?

Depending on the program, you’re expected to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours, with some schools requiring up to 42. This requirement should take full-time students approximately two to three years to complete. Some schools may require clinical rotations or internships, so ask your admissions counselor how these work for online students.

Sports medicine students should be innovative and critical thinkers with a talent for social perceptiveness. They will develop a greater understanding of disease and injury in athletes and how to help athletes regain lost mobility. Students will refine their research and organization skills, which could help them obtain executive leadership positions or move into more specialized fields like health informatics.

Because sports medicine encompasses a broad range of specializations, students can often choose concentrations from the following fields of study:

  • Strength and conditioning
  • Sports psychology and mental well-being
  • Dietary strategies and nutrition supplements
  • Athletic performance optimization
  • Injury prevention
  • Motivation and resilience
  • Management and leadership

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in sports medicine program

  • Gross Anatomy. Students examine anatomical structure and function. Students also study histology, embryology, and pathology. The associated laboratory component covers the relationships between organ systems.
  • Fundamental Skills in Athletic Training. Students explore clinical skills needed in a patient care setting, such as taking a patient history, conducting a physical examination, and performing musculoskeletal palpation. Injury prevention and documentation are also covered.
  • Pathophysiology. This course covers the assessment and treatment of injuries and diseases related to conditions encountered in sports medicine.
  • Managing Medical Emergencies. Students learn to identify emergency risk factors, prepare emergency action plans, and recognize emergency medical conditions. This course often includes hands-on clinical experience.

Online Master’s in Sports Medicine Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in sports medicine degree program?

Remember that the application process can take weeks or longer, so start as early as possible. You must request some required documents, such as official transcripts, from your undergraduate college. Allowing time for each of these steps is key to avoiding missing deadlines.

Other common materials you may need in the application process are letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, an application essay or letter of intent, and a resume or curriculum vitae.

How much does an online master’s in sports medicine degree cost?

According to, the average cost of a master’s degree is $62,650. Most graduate schools charge a lower per-credit fee for in-state students. Nonresidents can sometimes pay more than double the in-state rate. Check with your financial aid office for any fee waivers or tuition assistance available to help with your educational costs.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in sports medicine degree?

Most online master’s in sports medicine degrees require between 30 and 42 credits or roughly 10 to 14 classes. Full-time students can finish the program in two to three years, but many students opt for part-time attendance, especially if they remain employed while they go to school.

Part-time students will likely need three to five years to finish their degree. However, some colleges offer accelerated programs that condense classes into shorter semesters which provides the opportunity to complete the program more quickly. Check with your admissions counselor to see if you have any transferable credits that can shorten your program’s duration.

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