A sports nutrition master's degree program teaches students how to measure metabolism, develop menus and create nutritional programs in order to prevent or accommodate injuries. Students in this 2-year program also learn to customize specific training needs to improve athletic performance. A thesis or independent project is often required.
Applicants are required to have a bachelor's degree, and completion of anatomy, physiology, and chemistry courses may be preferred.
Master's Degree in Sport Nutrition
Coursework for a master's degree program in sports nutrition focuses on physiology and biochemistry and how they relate to the specific needs of a particular athlete and sport. In addition, the curricula covers advanced topics in nutrition that allow students to develop critical thinking skills for assessing nutritional needs. Exercise science subjects are the backbone of a sports nutrition degree, since students must understand the complex workings of the human body in a diversity of physical activities. Typical classes include:
- Exercise physiology
- Vitamins and minerals
- Exercise and aging
- Health promotion
- Sports supplements
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a master's degree program in sports nutrition may find employment at sports training camps, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and fitness centers. Examples of career titles available to graduates include:
- Personal trainer
- Health fitness instructor
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The BLS states that dietitians and nutritionists as of May 2020 make a median annual salary of $63,090. From 2019 to 2029, job opportunities for dietitians and nutritionists are expected to grow 8%, according to the BLS. This growth is much faster than the average for all other occupations.
Continuing Education and Certification
Graduates who wish to become registered dieticians must complete specific dietetics coursework. If students wish to work as nutritionists or dietitians, they must check with their state to determine licensing or certification prerequisites. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), many states have laws that govern dietitians and nutritionists, some of these states require licensing, while others require certification or registration. Additionally, those seeking careers as personal trainers and health fitness instructors can take a comprehensive exam administered by the American College of Sports Medicine to receive certification.
Individuals enrolled in a master's degree program in sport nutrition gain the skills to help improve the wellness, nutrition and performance of athletes. Graduates may seek employment in a variety of related careers, such as a nutritionist or personal trainer.