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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 growth rates of 14% and 10%, respectively.

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. The average annual cost of graduate school tuition is $12,596 at public schools and $28,017 at private schools.

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

Choose your area of study

This degree is usually offered as a Master of Science. Many programs allow you to select a concentration and focus your studies on a particular niche in this field, such as sports nutrition, sports psychology, sports injury management, or exercise physiology.

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

Research schools and programs

You should only apply to institutions that have been approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. These organizations evaluate schools to ensure they provide students with a high-quality education. Those who attend a school that isn’t regionally accredited may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed.

You should look into the cost of each program and the resources provided for online students as well. To learn more about any schools that you’re interested in, you can visit the school’s website, contact an admissions counselor, follow the school on social media, or attend an in-person or virtual open house.

Prepare for tests and applications

Application requirements vary by school and program. Most schools require undergraduate transcripts and a minimum grade point average. While schools may prefer students with exercise science-related degrees, many accept students with unrelated prior coursework. GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement may also be required.

Before submitting an application, always contact an admissions counselor to ensure you have the most accurate information regarding requirements and deadlines.

Select your program

Before making your final decision, review your needs and goals again. Do you plan to attend school full-time or part-time? Do you want your program to be as online as possible, or are you fine with a hybrid program that has a fair amount of in-person requirements? Some programs offer asynchronous courses, which can be completed at your own pace, while others only offer synchronous courses, which involve remotely attending lectures and completing assignments at the same time as other students — which of these two online learning formats do you prefer? Your school should accommodate your scheduling needs and learning preferences.

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 financing options 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. Those who already work in the field should see if their employer offers tuition assistance benefits as well.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Sports Medicine Programs

Best Online Master's in Sports Medicine Degree Programs
01

Concordia University Chicago
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Liberty University
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Fresno Pacific University
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University of Louisiana at Monroe
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McNeese State University
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Logan University
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Florida Atlantic University
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Sam Houston State University
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University of Northern Colorado
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The University of Texas at Tyler
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Southern Utah University
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United States Sports Academy
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California Baptist University
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Louisiana State University
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Texas A&M University at Commerce
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Concordia University at St. Paul
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University of Southern Mississippi
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GW University Milken Institute School of Public Health
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University of Wyoming
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Sul Ross State University
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Texas A&M University at Kingsville
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Texas Woman's University
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Southern Arkansas University
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Houston Christian University
01

Lenoir-Rhyne University
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Ashland University
01

A.T. Still University
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Auburn University at Montgomery
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Moravian University
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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. We included both 100% online and hybrid options 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.

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.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Sports Medicine?

Career outlook

As professional sports organizations, colleges, and fitness centers continue to invest in injury prevention and performance optimization, the demand for sports medicine professionals is expected to rise. Sports medicine practitioners play a critical role in helping athletes and individuals of all ages and fitness levels achieve their goals while minimizing the risk of injury. Graduates with an online master’s degree in sports medicine have a diverse array of career paths to explore, each offering opportunities for clinical work, research, or specialization.

Here are some common career paths for individuals with a master’s in sports medicine:

  • Athletic trainer — Prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries related to athletic activity.
    • Median annual salary: $57,930
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 14%
    • New job openings projected: 2,700 annually
  • Exercise physiologist — Design exercise plans to help patients address cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and other health concerns.
    • Median annual salary: $54,860
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 10%
    • New job openings projected: 1,200 annually
  • Recreational therapist — Design treatment plans that involve recreational activities, such as sports, to help patients with injuries, illnesses, and disabilities.
    • Median annual salary: $57,120
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 4%
    • New job openings projected: 1,300 annually

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 EducationData.org, the average cost of a master’s degree is $59,684. Private schools are usually more expensive than public schools, though public schools tend to charge out-of-state students a much higher tuition rate than in-state students. 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.

Some colleges offer accelerated programs that condense classes into shorter semesters which provides the opportunity to complete the program more quickly. Also, check with your admissions counselor to see if you have any transferable credits that can shorten your program’s duration.

Is an online master’s in sports medicine degree worth it?

An online master’s degree in sports medicine can be worth it for individuals seeking to advance their careers in the field of sports and exercise-related healthcare. It equips them with specialized knowledge and skills that are highly valued in a growing industry.

Online education offers multiple benefits for students and may be an especially good fit for adult learners who need to balance their studies with personal or professional commitments. Asynchronous courses allow students to attend classes at any time that is convenient for them.

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