In sports medicine master's degree programs, students learn preventative injury approaches. They also study assessment techniques and post-injury care.
A bachelor's degree in a related background is required. A minimum GPA of 2.5 and MAT or GRE scores are also required for this two-year program.
Master's Degree in Sports Medicine
Upon graduation, master's degree holders can work as strength and conditioning coaches or exercise physiologists, among other positions.
In order to be considered for a graduate-level sports medicine program, applicants must possess a 4-year degree from an accredited college. Backgrounds in kinesiology, exercise physiology or a similar concentration are often preferred. Since graduate sports medicine students often work with college athletic teams, some schools require that students be certified athletic trainers or be eligible for certification.
Master's degree programs in sports medicine may or may not require a thesis. Students learn through hands-on labs and externship programs. Topics of study include:
- Athletic health issues
- Ligament, bone, muscle, and tendon injury evaluation
- Diet and wellness
- Legalities and ethics in sports
- Sports medicine trends
- Muscle-building techniques and stamina-building exercises
Popular Career Options
Sports medicine master's degree-holders can work for sports teams as well as in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, fitness clubs and physical therapy practices. Depending on the chosen career path, additional certifications may be required. However, individuals with graduate degrees in sports medicine can generally find work as:
- Professional athletic trainers
- Personal trainers
- Gym program directors
- Exercise physiologists
- Strength and endurance specialists
- Physical education teachers
In 2015, athletic trainers brought in a median annual income of $44,670 while the top-paid 10% earned in excess of $68,300, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov. From 2014-2024, the BLS predicts a 21% increase in athletic training jobs, due largely to heightened awareness of injuries and better health practices even for those at a very young age.
Continuing Education Information
Sports medicine program graduates who wish to enter the workforce can earn professional accreditations from associations that certify professionals in the field. Such organizations include the National Academy of Sports Medicine, www.nasm.org, and the American College of Sports Medicine, www.acsm.org. Individuals can take comprehensive exams to earn credentials as a Registered Clinical Exercise Specialist (ACSM), Certified Personal Trainer or Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM). Graduates of a master's degree program in sports medicine may also decide to pursue medical school and residency programs to become orthopedic physicians.
Students who go for a master's degree in sports medicine will study topics such as athletic health issues and sports medicine trends. Upon graduation, students have the opportunity to earn accreditations from professional organizations.