Online Masters Degree in Sports Science: Program Overviews

Get info about online master's degree programs in sports science. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Online master's degree programs are available in sports science and sports administration. These programs are available in both fully and partially online formats that include online coursework and on-campus requirements. Students who complete partially online programs may need to participate in summer residencies at the school. Applicants may be required to have background or experience in sports.

Master's Degree in Sports Science

Students in these programs study advanced skills in sports-related topics, and can choose from specialties such as sports fitness and health, medicine, management, administration and coaching. Prerequisites may include a background or experience in sports, a bachelor's degree with a minimum grade point average (GPA), a career statement and letters of recommendation.

Learning Environment

Sports science master's degree programs are offered both completely and partially online. Most of programs offer flexible scheduling and access to courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some programs require on-site studies at a time determined by the school, such as 2-weeks in the summer when students who are teachers are not required to be at their jobs.

Common Coursework

Online course requirements in sports science vary by school and chosen specialty; however, some are common to all programs. Sports law and compliance, philosophy, history, marketing and fundraising are common graduate-level class requirements.

Sports Law and Compliance

Legal systems and concepts and how they relate to the sports industry are covered in this course. Contracts, drug testing, liability and legal responsibilities of those in the field are also emphasized in compliance with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules, procedures and bylaws.

Sports Methodology, Philosophy and History

Practical applications of the theories and methods used in teaching sports skills are the basis of this class. Students learn to develop a coaching philosophy and style based on current trends, personal ethics and events that have shaped the sport over time.

Sports Marketing

Students learn to accomplish objectives in marketing, public relations and fundraising in this course. Bringing a tangible service to the market, research, promotion, sponsorships, segmentation and communication techniques are also studied.


Career Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that median annual wages for athletic trainers came to $44,670 in 2015, while coaches and scouts earned median salaries of $31,000. The BLS also projected job growth of 21% for athletic trainers and 6% for coaches and scouts from 2014-2024, due to demand for workers in organized sports and recreational activities and for private instructors for young athletes.

Continuing Education Information

Certification is offered by several organizations, although it is not required. Normally a professional must be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and attend an approved school, camp or clinic for certification. For those wishing to pursue a doctoral degree, Ph.D. programs are also available in sports science.

Online master's degree programs in sports science include core coursework in the theories and business aspects of sports; from there, students may choose advanced courses in specific interest areas. Because classes can be taken fully online, these programs are ideal for professionals like teachers and coaches who want to increase their knowledge and skills while continuing to work full-time.

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