While there are undergraduate degrees specifically available in sports medicine, it's important for students to consider their ultimate career goals when choosing a program. The focus of a sports medicine program may shift slightly depending on whether it's offered by a department of medicine, kinesiology, physical therapy or physical education.
A high school diploma and SAT or ACT scores are required for entry into the program. The curriculum takes four years to complete if studying full-time and can include clinical experiences.
Bachelor's Degree in Sports Medicine
Students in an undergraduate sports medicine program acquire a strong understanding of exercise and fitness and their relationship to human physiology, as well as the skills to prevent, evaluate and treat sports injuries. Many programs in sports medicine, particularly those that include athletic trainer instruction, include fieldwork, internships and practica that provide students with clinical experience.
Many bachelor's degree programs in sports medicine require students to complete lower-level and general education courses with a specified GPA before entering the sports medicine or athletic training major.
Sports medicine curriculums typically engage students in a variety of interdisciplinary courses, which provide a strong foundation in health and behavioral sciences, in addition to technical skills for treating sports injuries. Courses typically cover:
- Sports medicine principles
- Anatomy and physiology
- Exercise physiology
- Injury evaluation and rehabilitation
- Therapeutic modalities
Popular Career Options
The interdisciplinary nature of a bachelor's degree program in sports medicine prepares students for a variety of careers in fitness, athletics and medicine, such as:
- Certified athletic trainer
- Athletic coach
- Personal fitness trainer
- Physical therapy clinic trainer
- Strength conditioning coach
- Rehabilitation specialist
Though bachelor's degree programs in sports medicine qualify graduates for professional positions, many students continue their studies to pursue master's and professional degrees in sports medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition, nursing and other health professions.
Students who pursue a bachelor's degree in sports medicine focus on topics such as biomechanics, therapeutic modalities and injury evaluation and rehabilitation. Students typically get a combination of classroom instruction and fieldwork experience.