Best Sports Medicine Schools in the United States

In this video, we cover the best sports medicine schools in the United States. We'll see what three of the top schools have to offer in terms of degree options and reputation, and also take a look at other universities that provide training in sports medicine. View article »

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Video Transcript

Sports Medicine Programs

Sports medicine programs can include undergraduate and graduate studies in occupational and physical therapy or kinesiology, as well as athletic medicine fellowships. The high-ranking programs summarized in this lesson may qualify students for careers as athletic trainers, nutritionists or rehabilitative therapists; licensed orthopedic physicians can find specialized training in sports medicine through the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

Three Top Schools

Three top schools we'll cover in this video include the University of Southern California, the University of Virginia, and the University of Pittsburgh.

1. University of Southern California in Los Angeles

In 2015, the University of Southern California (USC) was ranked among the top 65 national universities by Washington Monthly. As of 2016, USC's graduate physical therapy and occupational therapy programs ranked first and third respectively, according to U.S. News & World Report.

In addition to master's and doctoral programs in physical and occupational therapy, USC offers a residency program in sports physical therapy. Through the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, aspiring research scientists can earn a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in biokinesiology. Additionally, orthopedic surgeons can receive training through the athletic medicine fellowship. For students just starting out, a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology is also available.

2. University of Virginia in Charlottesville

The University of Virginia is ranked at number four of the best public colleges in the nation, as designated by Forbes in 2016. Students interested in teaching careers can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Education in Kinesiology. The university also offers a Master of Education in Kinesiology with concentrations in athletic training, adapted physical education and exercise physiology. A concentration in sports medicine is available through the doctoral program in kinesiology.

3. University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania

According to U.S. News & World Report in 2016, the University of Pittsburgh's master's and doctoral programs in physical therapy ranked second in the nation. For the same year, the university's master's degree program in occupational therapy ranked fourth among its peers.

The university's Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition offers a Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in sports medicine. Once enrolled, current athletic trainers can complete graduate assistantships at the university or with local schools. Other programs include a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training and a Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Science with a concentration in wellness and human performance. This program is geared toward students who would like to use exercise and proper nutrition to help patients prevent chronic disease.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Physical Education and Health
  • Sport and Fitness Management
  • Sports Medicine

Other Top Schools

There are a variety of different schools throughout the U.S. that offer degrees in or related to sports medicine. Some of the top schools include the following:

School Name Location Distinction
Arcadia University Glenside, PA Provides students with the opportunity to study sports science abroad
Ohio State University Columbus, OH Continuing education opportunities include sports medicine grand rounds and symposiums
Stanford University Stanford, CA Students and faculty at the Human Performance Laboratory conduct interdisciplinary research and provide care to Stanford's community members and athletes
University of Delaware Newark, DE Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program can participate in sports and orthopedic clinical internships
University of Iowa Iowa City, IA Athletic training students have access to one of the world's largest university teaching hospitals
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI School of Kinesiology offers programs in movement science, athletic training, physical education and sports management
Washington University St. Louis, MO Graduate physical therapy program was tied with the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Southern California for the number one ranked spot by U.S. News & World Report in 2016

Interested students may earn a B.S., M.S., or a Ph.D. in a variety of specialties related to sports medicine from a number of different universities across the U.S. including from the University of Southern California with its programs in physical and occupational therapy and biokinesiology; the University of Virginia with its concentrations in athletic training and exercise physiology; and the University of Pittsburgh with its sports medicine and wellness and human performance specializations.

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