Online Master’s In Sports Medicine Programs 2021

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Encompassing training, nutrition, medicine, physical therapy, and psychology, sports medicine focuses on preventing and treating injuries associated with athletics. Sports medicine professionals help athletes and other patients improve physical performance and recover from sports-related injuries.

Sports medicine graduates can pursue careers with competitive salaries and strong growth potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that physical therapists earn an annual median salary of $89,440, with careers in the field projected to grow 18% from 2019-2029.

This page ranks the best master’s in sports medicine degrees online. It also offers information on typical courses, scholarships for sports medicine students, and job opportunities for graduates.

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Students Frequently Asked Questions About Sports Medicine


  • What is the difference between sports medicine and physical therapy?

    Sports medicine focuses on sports-related injuries and conditioning, while physical therapy focuses on all types of injuries. However, physical therapy plays an important role in sports medicine.


  • What can I do with a master's degree in sports medicine?

    Master’s in sports medicine degree jobs include physical therapist, occupational therapist, and personal trainer.


  • How do I start a career in sports medicine?

    Earning a bachelor’s degree prepares graduates for entry-level positions in the sports medicine field. A master’s degree prepares candidates for more advanced roles.


  • What is the highest-paying job in sports medicine?

    Physicians command some of the highest salaries in sports medicine, earning an annual median salary exceeding $208,000.


Why Get a Degree in Sports Medicine?



A sports medicine master’s degree builds advanced knowledge in areas including kinesiology, exercise science, physical conditioning, and rehabilitation therapy. The popularity of sports and sustained growth in the healthcare field make sports medicine a desirable career choice. The BLS projects strong job growth for several popular sports medicine positions between 2019-2029, including physical therapist, occupational therapist, and athletic trainer.

Earning a sports medicine degree online gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Students commonly complete coursework online while gaining hands-on experience at local sports medicine facilities.

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How Much Does a Sports Medicine Degree Cost?

Tuition rates for sports medicine degrees vary by factors like school, program length, and program format. However, the average cost of a master’s degree typically ranges from $30,000-$40,000 total. Public colleges generally offer lower tuition rates than private colleges, but rates vary widely among both types of schools.

Completing a sports medicine degree online often enables students to reduce their overall tuition expenses. Many schools offer reduced tuition rates to online learners, and some public colleges allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of their state residency status.

Online learning also eliminates many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as commuting costs. Many programs also offer flexible schedules to accommodate working students.

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How Much Do Sports Medicine Majors Make?

Graduates with a master’s degree in sports medicine can pursue several specialized career paths that offer competitive salaries, such as exercise physiologist, athletic trainer, physical therapist, and occupational therapist.

According to the BLS, physical therapists earn an annual median salary of $89,440, while occupational therapists earn an annual salary of $84,950. Athletic trainers earn an annual median salary of $48,440, and recreational therapists earn an annual salary of $48,220.

Sports medicine professionals who earn medical degrees can work as sports medicine physicians and surgeons. The BLS reports that physicians and surgeons earn an annual median salary of more than $208,000.

Courses in Sports Medicine



Sports medicine degrees cover topics like kinesiology, exercise physiology, nutrition, and exercise science. Many programs offer specializations in areas such as sport performance training, strength and conditioning, and health promotion.

Sports medicine students often complete an internship or practicum, gaining hands-on experience in a professional sports medicine environment. Sports medicine degree requirements may also require completion of a thesis or capstone project that investigates an issue in sports medicine.

Courses vary by program, but this list highlights three courses commonly found in sports medicine programs.


  • Exercise Physiology

    Physiology examines the effects of activity and exercise on the human body. This course highlights the major bodily systems, including neuromuscular, cardiorespiratory, digestive, and glandular. Students also examine physiology in relation to the physical training and exercise testing of patients.


  • Kinesiology

    Kinesiology is the study of body movement and mechanics. This course introduces the major systems that enable bodies to maintain balance and move efficiently, including the upper extremity, trunk, and lower extremity musculoskeletal anatomy. Students also learn how to analyze and evaluate biomechanical movement patterns.


  • Research Design and Methods in Kinesiology and Exercise Science

    Master’s in sports medicine degrees emphasize the role of research in informing sports medicine practice. This course offers an overview of key research techniques and concepts, including problem identification, research design, and research ethics. Some courses may require students to develop an original research proposal.


Certifications and Licensure for Sports Medicine



Sports medicine and exercise science professionals can earn certifications to advance their careers. Demonstrating various professional competencies, certifications prepare recipients to perform more advanced tasks and move into more specialized career paths. This list highlights three popular sports medicine certifications.

Exercise Physiologist


Exercise physiologist certification prepares recipients to assess physical fitness needs, interpret medical data, and develop exercise prescriptions for clients. Certification applicants must hold adult CPR/AED certification and at least a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, kinesiology, sports medicine, or a related field.

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Clinical Exercise Physiologist


Clinical exercise physiologists assess and prescribe exercise regimens for patients with chronic diseases or health conditions, including cardiovascular, orthopedic, and pulmonary conditions. Certification applicants need a bachelor’s degree and at least 1,200 clinical experience hours, or a master’s degree and at least 600 hours of clinical experience.

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Inclusive Fitness Trainer


Inclusive trainers develop exercise and fitness plans for patients with physical, cognitive, and sensory disabilities. Certification applicants must hold a current certification from the American College of Sports Medicine or a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a related field.

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Scholarships for Sports Medicine



Scholarships can offer educational funding for students pursuing sports medicine degrees online. Providing financial support that does not require repayment, scholarships may serve students of a specific background or those who commit to a specific career path. This list highlights three scholarship opportunities for sports medicine students.

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: The ACSM offers various scholarships and research grants for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in exercise science, sports medicine, or a related field.

    Amount: Varies

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  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Postgraduate Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: The NCAA’s scholarship program serves student athlete graduates of NCAA member schools who plan to pursue a graduate degree.

    Amount: $10,000

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  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Foundation Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: The NSCA offers multiple scholarships to students pursuing degrees in exercise science, sports medicine, athletic training, and related fields. The scholarship committee considers academic performance and community involvement.

    Amount: Varies

    Explore Here

Online Master’s In Sports Medicine Programs 2021



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