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

In an online master’s in sports medicine program, you can expect the same standard of education as an on-campus program that prepares you for a successful sports medicine career. Sometimes called a master’s in kinesiology, the program’s flexible attendance standards let you pursue your degree even while working full-time, all from the comfort of your home or office. When choosing your online sports medicine graduate program, check all your options to find the school that best meets your personal and professional goals.

Available concentrations

Your online sports medicine program may allow you to specialize in a particular area of interest. A concentration enables you to dive deeply into studying a specific facet of sports information and can provide you with a more robust education, leading to a fulfilling position. Here are some typical concentrations in sports medicine:

  • Fitness and wellness professional studies: Combines the use of fitness and nutrition to develop a health or training program. Students learn how to help athletes reach their fitness goals through diet plans and workout programs. This concentration equips graduates to become personal trainers in a gym setting.
  • Coaching studies: Prepares students for the coaching field. Performance enhancement, injury prevention, effective coaching techniques, and coaching administration are all part of this concentration’s focus. Graduates may become athletic coaches for a sports team in a sporting facility setting.
  • Leadership in education and sport: Offers training in the skills necessary for coaching or teaching physical education courses. Students learn the principles of management and supervision along with the psychological components of physical activity. Students may graduate into positions as athletic coaches or physical education instructors in a school, college, or university.

Common degree curriculum

The curriculum for an online master’s in sports medicine program is often focused on the mechanics of the human body and other health-related topics. However, programs from different schools vary, as do the classes between concentrations. To find the best program for your needs, check the courses offered against your career goals and select the option with the best training for the field you wish to enter.

Although every institution tailors its courses to its student body’s needs, there are some standard courses you’ll likely encounter with any school or concentration. These can include:

  • Kinesiology: Teaches students the processes behind movement, the muscle groups involved, and what systems are engaged to initiate motion.
  • Prevention and Care for Sports-Related Injuries: Covers common injuries in sports, how to prevent them from happening, and how to care for them when they do.
  • Physiology and Exercise Science: Focuses on the body’s responses during and after exercise. This topic also covers the different types of exercise, such as aerobic and anaerobic, and explains the different body responses between them.

Certification and license preparation

A range of certification and licensing opportunities may be available for graduates with a degree in sports medicine. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Certified Personal Trainer: The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) offers the certified personal trainer exam. Clients can be assured that their trainer has a great foundation of knowledge of sport and health fitness using safe, proven, research-based techniques.
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist: Completing an MS in sports medicine program provides the knowledge needed to become certified as a strength and conditioning specialist. The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam is offered through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and a passing grade demonstrates an understanding of how to apply scientific principles to improve athletic performance.
  • Certified Health & Wellness Coach: Brought to you by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), this certification offers personal trainers further insight on evaluating and assessing client movements to prevent injury.
  • Certified Specialist in Speed and Explosion: The National Association of Speed & Explosion Inc. offers a certification program to develop, create, plan, analyze, and assess a speed improvement training program for individuals, teams, or sport. Exams are held three to four times a year in over 30 states.
  • Certified Health & Wellness Coach: Wellcoaches offers a certification for credentialed health professionals who want to improve their coaching skills to enhance their clients’ health and well-being. The program is endorsed by the ACSM and ACLM.

Program accreditation

It’s essential to choose a program that has been accredited by a recognized agency. Accreditation is given when a program’s curriculum is deemed at or above the educational standards set by the accrediting agency. Choosing to go through an unaccredited program puts students at risk of paying for an inferior education, possibly excluding them from professional certification or job openings.

National accrediting agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Education, ensure national standards are met. Regional accrediting agencies, like the Higher Learning Commission, set criteria that help determine whether course credits are recognized by other regional schools. Industry-specific accreditation, like the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, sets standards based on industry needs.

Program completion timeframe

The number of credit hours required to complete a master’s degree in sports medicine can vary from 35 to 45, and programs are often designed to take two years to complete. However, several factors can affect this timeline. Opting for a part-time schedule reduces your course load each semester but requires more semesters to complete the program. There are also accelerated programs available to shorten the length of completion time, but these often require a more intense schedule that may be difficult for students who have other life obligations.

How a program is delivered can also impact the time needed. Some schools require student groups to move through the program together, encouraging networking but preventing anyone from working ahead. Others allow an individual pace, allowing students to choose a faster pace if they grasp concepts quickly. Whether the program is synchronous or asynchronous is also an important factor. Asynchronous structures offer several start dates throughout the school year, but synchronous structures only allow one.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Sports Medicine Graduates

As a health-based field, sports medicine recruiters often prefer those who demonstrate a greater knowledge of their profession through the completion of a graduate degree program. A graduate degree may even be required for some of the more coveted job opportunities. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting job growth that is more than double the average of 7 percent for sports medicine careers, having your master’s degree lets you be selective about the positions you apply for and gives you an edge over competitors with bachelor’s degrees. The extra experience you gain from pursuing a master’s degree in sports medicine is also reflected in your salary potential.

Depending on the specialty you choose for your sports medicine graduate degree, many career options are available to you. With your master’s in sports medicine, you can choose a career that meets or exceeds your expectations for job satisfaction.

Job Title Job Description Median Yearly Salary Projected Growth Rate
Exercise Physiologist Exercise physiologists are responsible for designing an exercise plan for individuals based on risk factors in their medical history. Testing physical limits and monitoring response to exercise provides data to develop an exercise schedule to improve the individual’s health. $51,350 per year 10%
Fitness Trainers and Instructors Fitness trainers and instructors work with all populations, usually leading groups in various types of physical activity. Personal trainers become certified to work with individuals to design programs to improve client health based on their personal goals. $45,380 per year 14%
Coaches and Scouts Coaches instruct, demonstrate techniques, evaluate, and manage individuals or groups in specific or various sports, while scouts discover new players or athletes in the player pool to better suit their team’s needs. $44,890 per year 9%

Professional organizations

Professional organizations provide an excellent opportunity for sports medicine professionals to network with their peers, stay up-to-date on the latest news in their field, keep up with continuing education requirements, and have access to industry-specific resources. Here are a few organizations that can benefit someone with a master’s degree in sports medicine.

  • American Medical Society for Sports Medicine: The AMSSM provides members with discounts on continuing education courses and industry publications. The organization has a collection of resources available to members and hosts events to encourage networking and share industry innovations.
  • American College of Sports Medicine: Membership in the ACSM provides access to industry publications and discounts for event tickets. The organization offers professional certification and provides professional development materials.
  • Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition: SCAN is a dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Member benefits include networking opportunities, a professional listing service that encourages self-promotion, educational and professional resources, professional certification, and access to the latest industry news.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Sports Medicine Degree

In most cases, opting to enroll in an online master’s in sports medicine program provides tuition savings when compared to a traditional, on-campus program. Some students, however, may still find the cost prohibitive and need to seek out financial assistance. If you need help paying for your graduate sports medicine program, start your search by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for federally funded grants and loans. Private loans and scholarships are also an option, and the resources below can help you navigate your search.

Student Finance Resources and Guides

Assembling your financial aid package is an integral part of preparing for your master’s degree program. If you have questions about how to do this or want to understand the process better, the following resources can be helpful.

Online Master’s Degree Scholarship Database

Intelligent Scholarship Finder Tool

loader
Filters
Showing 1 through 10 of 774 Scholarships

"A Helping Hand" Scholarship

Award Amount: $500

Due Date: January 31, 2025

Apply Now
More Details

"Follow Your Own Path" Essay Scholarship

Award Amount: $500

Due Date: January 31, 2025

Apply Now
More Details

"Tuition Solution" Scholarship for STEM Students

Award Amount: $500

Due Date: January 31, 2025

Apply Now
More Details

$25k "Be Bold" No-Essay Scholarship

Award Amount: $25,000

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

(ISC) Graduate Cybersecurity Scholarship

Award Amount: $5,000

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

(ISC) Women in Information Security Scholarship

Award Amount: $5,000

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

A.C. "Kate" & Leo Joseph Merlone St. Dominic Catholic Church of Saginaw Member Scholarship

Award Amount: Varies

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

A.C. "Kate" & Leo Joseph Merlone Teaching Scholarship

Award Amount: Varies

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

a/e ProNet David W. Lakamp Scholarship

Award Amount: $5,000

Due Date: Closed for 2024

Apply Now
More Details

AAAE Native American Scholarship

Award Amount: $1,500

Due Date: March 15, 2025

Apply Now
More Details

Interested in a degree?

Learn more about online degrees, their start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.