What You Should Know About This Degree
“Sports medicine” is a comprehensive term that includes athletic trainers, sports physicians, therapists, and others. When choosing a career in sports medicine, you should decide which occupation you’d like to pursue. Sports physicians are healthcare professionals specializing in physically active individuals and athletes. Sports physicians must hold a doctorate in either medicine or osteopathic medicine.
If you’re interested in a degree in sports medicine, you should also consider studying toward a degree in kinesiology. While sports medicine focuses on the treatment and prevention of athletic injuries, kinesiology specializes in the overall impact of physical health on society. Both kinesiology and sports medicine programs include coursework in physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, and sports and exercise psychology. Determine which job interests you to decide which program of study is right for you.
Certifications in sports medicine help graduates show their expertise in specific areas. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) offer credentialing in sports medicine. Generally, they require passing a written or practical exam.
The job outlook for sports-related professionals is positive, with significant growth expected due to increased numbers of people remaining physically active later in life.
Ask yourself these questions when researching sports medicine degree programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Undergraduate programs are open to students from many educational backgrounds, but you must hold a bachelor’s degree to pursue a master’s or doctorate. Students who wish to become sports medicine physicians should take undergraduate classes in chemistry, anatomy, and biology.
- How long does it take to complete this online degree? Bachelor’s programs generally take four years of full-time study to complete. Master’s programs take an additional two years. The programs on our list require between 36 and 129 credits to graduate.
Every program has specific requirements and application deadlines, which you need to research. Visit the school website and check with the admissions department to determine which materials are required.
Scholarships, grants, and financial aid are available for undergraduate and graduate programs. Look into grants, scholarships, loans, and other potential funding opportunities to reduce the cost of your studies.