Sports Medicine Undergraduate Degree Programs and Majors

Oct 13, 2019

More common at the graduate level by individuals training to be doctors, sports medicine lends itself to a variety of majors, including sports science, athletic training, exercise science and kinesiology. Minors are also available.

Essential Information

Bachelor's degree programs related to sports medicine incorporate numerous subjects associated with biology, such as physiology, nutrition and human development. Students learn about biomechanics, rehabilitation and sports injuries, and they benefit from internships and experience with clinics, sports teams and physicians. Undergraduate education related to sports medicine also teaches students about anatomy, chemistry and psychology.

Bachelor's Degrees in Sports Medicine

A high school diploma and completed coursework in math and science is necessary for admission to one of these programs. Many sports medicine programs are competitive and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Some programs require students to become actively involved with athletic training prior to declaring their major. Individuals may also need to complete observational hours and pass courses in anatomy and biology before being formally accepted into the program.

Once admitted, students complete lecture, laboratory and clinical education in compliance with the CAATE. Common course topics include:

  • Injury and illness emergency care
  • Athletic nutrition
  • Exercise and rehabilitation
  • Care and prevention of athletic injuries
  • Physiology and biomechanics
  • Athletic training clinical skills

Popular Career Options

Bachelor's degrees related to sports medicine prepare students for careers in education, physical fitness and healthcare. Possible career titles are, among others:

  • Conditioning coach
  • Personal trainer
  • Physical education teacher
  • Recreational therapist

Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors, for example, earn a median annual income of $39,820 as of May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment for these professionals is expected to grow by 13% from 2018-2028 (

Continuing Education

Residency fellowships are the most readily available and comprehensive education in sports medicine, and these are only available to individuals with Doctors of Medicine. Bachelor's degree holders can apply to medical school and hope to pursue a career as a physician specializing in sports medicine.

Through coursework and internships, undergraduate sports medicine degree programs are ideal for individuals who want to enter the workforce as a trainer, coach, therapist or teacher. Graduates may go on to become doctors and take on fellowships.

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