The 20 Best Sports Medicine Colleges in 2023

best colleges for sports medicine degree
best colleges for sports medicine degree

The first thing to understand about sports medicine is that, it is not a separate specialty. You don’t get a diploma in sports medicine. Hence, most sports doctors usually are certified in another medical program before taking an additional study in this line of work.

Thus, are you considering becoming a sports doctor in 2023? and you are searching for the best colleges that offer courses related to this field?

Schools such as Stanford university, university of southern California, and university of north Carolina are among the best Sports Medicine Colleges anyone who has an interest to become a sport physician can apply.

We have put together this incredible guide for you to understand what it takes to build a career in this line of work.

With a growing interest in this field of study, a lot of medical graduates are frequently drawn to the challenge and thrill of working with professional sportsmen and women.

In my opinion, the surest way to get into this field of study is to attend a college with a good sports science or physical therapy program.

Nonetheless, before we fully dive into the colleges that can help you achieve your dream of working in the sport sector, let’s take a little look at what sport medicine is.

Content Summary

Is Sport Medicine a Major?

The truth is that sport medicine is still a pretty new decipline. So, at the undergraduate level, you could pursue a bachelor’s degree in athletic training with a specialization in sports medicine. A sports medicine degree prepares students for employment in applied or clinical health professions, as well as graduate studies in exercise science-related fields. Both degree programs need considerable laboratory work.

When applying to a sports medical school, a good background in chemistry and biology is essential. Prior expertise in athletic training or sports medicine may also help you gain admission. While it is not compulsory, several colleges like to see that you have proven career-focused ambitions in the field of sports medicine.

With that said, what major do you need to become a sport physician?

What major is Best for Sports Medicine?

Sports medicine is essentially a combination of basic medical science and particular elements of sports science, exercise physiology, orthopedics, biomechanics, sports nutrition, and even sports psychology.

Nonsurgical procedures are the primary emphasis of sports medicine. Most exercise-related injuries do not necessitate the services of a surgeon.

Sports medicine is not only concerned with healing injuries or assisting wounded athletes in recovering faster; it is also concerned with helping athletes improve their performance and get maximum advantages.

Strength training, sports psychology, dietary training, and a specific workout program are used to achieve these goals.

Physicians, surgeons, athletic trainers, sports psychologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, coaches, Dietitians, and personal trainers are all welcome to join the sports medicine team.

Several colleges also provide online sports medicine courses and/or training programs, but these are often at the undergraduate level. Each grade level is discussed in greater depth in this our article How to Get A Sport Medicine Degree.

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What to consider in a School before Applying

Sports medicine is still a relatively new discipline, which is why it is not yet a specialty. Perhaps we’ll see it in the near future, but for the time being, you’ll have to take a different path.

But why should you choose one college over another? Isn’t it true that all medical research is the same?

Not at all.

There are some colleges that provide courses that are more closely tied to the work of a sports medicine doctor. When we get to the list of best sports medicine colleges, you’ll see.

Nonetheless, to narrow down your choices, here are some factors to consider;

#1. The Medical Courses It Offers

Yes, doctors are…doctors. That much is obvious. However, as you are aware, there are several types of doctors. Some colleges offer medical programs that will better prepare you for the profession than others.

Take, for example, the University of Southern California. This university contains an entire department dedicated to sports science, as well as a program that teaches students everything they need to know about biokinesiology (the study of movement at the molecular level) and physical therapy.

When compared to an average Master of Science, the former will provide you with a much deeper understanding of how the human body functions and how you may improve the athletes’ welfare.

Choose a course that will prepare you for the more extensive learnings you’ll encounter as a sports medicine doctor.

#2. The Topics you’ll Learn About

Medical science is a broad discipline with many diverse subjects that interact with one another.

Kinesiology, exercise physiology, anatomy, nutrition, and injury prevention are some of the courses you’ll need to take to obtain a better grasp of the field. These are only a few instances.

Consider everything related to an athlete’s life. You want the people in your care to perform to their full potential. To accomplish so, you must ensure that they live a healthy lifestyle that extends beyond the training field and into every aspect of their lives.

#3. The School’s Image

This isn’t always an objective way of determining how good a school is, but it’s something to think about. Graduating from Harvard is more impressive on a résumé than graduating from Morris College.

If a lot of people recommend the school you want to attend, you should probably think about applying to it.

Are you still undecided about which schools are the best?

Look into their acceptance rates. The lower the grade point average, the more prestigious the school. High acceptance rates are associated with lower graduation rates. This is due to the fact that they provide a lower-quality education and admit anyone.

Of course, it also relies on your financial circumstances. The most prestigious colleges are highly pricey, and sports medicine doctors do not earn nearly as much as specialists in other specialties. I can’t assist you with this calculation.

What are the best Colleges for sports medicine?

Over 100 colleges and universities offer various degree programs in Sports Medicine and related courses.

Although the tuition prices for some of these programs are expensive, the benefits you will receive once you obtain the certificate greatly outweigh the costs.

Nevertheless, let us look at the colleges with sports medicine majors in the world that provide top Medicine programs.

  • University of Southern California
  • University of North Carolina
  • Stanford University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Ohio State University
  • University of South Florida
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Boston University
  • University of Virginia
  • Bethel College
  • College of Idaho
  • University of Iowa
  • Howard University
  • University of Michigan

#1. Southern California University

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA 90007, United States
  • Tuition Rate: $58,195
  • Graduation Rate: 92%
  • Acceptance Rate: 16%
  • Student-faculty Ratio:9:1

The first on our list of colleges with the best sports medicine programs in the world is the University of Southern California. 

The University of Southern California is an excellent destination to complete your education to become a sports medicine doctor. After completing your bachelor’s degree in science, you can apply for a Master of Science in Biokinesiology.

Because you will learn about how movement works at a molecular level, this is perhaps the best possible master you can choose if you want to become a sports medicine doctor. It will prepare you for further advanced studies.

Your job as a sports medicine doctor is to assist athletes in dealing with and avoiding injuries. A thorough understanding of movement and the types of movements that are most effective in preventing injuries will make you incredibly valuable to athletes.

Another duty of a sports medicine doctor is to ensure that athletes perform to their full potential. Another thing a biokinesiology master will teach you. Understanding movement at all levels will assist you in determining how to optimize the athletes’ potential.

best colleges for sports medicine degree
best colleges for sports medicine degree

#2. University of Virginia

  • Location: PO Box 800793, McKim Hall, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0793
  • Tuition Rate: $53,952
  • Graduation Rate: 93%
  • Acceptance Rate: 27%
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 15:1

The University of Virginia is the next best medical school for sports medicine on our list. It is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It is regarded as one of the best institutions for sports medicine that any student considering pursuing a sports Medicine degree should consider.

Essentially, the goal of this premier sports medical school is to provide high-quality graduate orthopedic education through a systematic, innovative teaching and evaluation approach.

Furthermore, it aspires to teach and nurture the future generation of orthopedic physicians who will use medical care decision-making processes based on outcomes-based data when evaluating diagnostic and treatment alternatives of care.

Furthermore, the University is involved in a variety of clinical research projects to advance knowledge and therapies for sports injuries.

Current research at the school includes anterior cruciate ligament rupture and reconstruction, knee pain, knee and shoulder osteoarthritis, shoulder instability surgery, and knee cartilage surgery.

#3. Pittsburgh University

  • Location: 4200 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, United States.
  • Tuition Rate: $57,684 (in-state) and full-time: $59,930 (out-of-state)
  • Graduation Rate: 82%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 4:1

The University of Pittsburgh is among the top colleges with sports medicine majors.

There is a Sports Medicine and Nutrition Department at the university. The department elevates the university to the forefront of sports medicine education. We are what we eat, so knowing a lot about nutrition makes a lot of things easier for athletes.

Because of its significant investment in research and technology, the department continues to develop groundbreaking programs.

The University of Pittsburgh provides a comprehensive education that includes both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. A BS in athletic training can be followed by an MS in the same field. You could also pursue a master’s degree in sports science.

If you’re looking for one of the best sports medicine schools, Pittsburgh is unquestionably one of them.

#4. Michigan University

  • Location: 500 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States.
  • Tuition Rate: $42,282
  • Graduation Rate: 90.1%
  • Acceptance Rate: 27%
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 3:1

Next on our list of colleges that offer sports medicine is Michigan Medicine. This college is a wholly-owned center of academic medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The University of Michigan has an athletic training master’s degree program. The wonder of this program is how it develops knowledge on the subject by providing the ideal blend of research, classroom education, and real-world experience.

Indeed, the objective of the school is to provide opportunities to practice in a range of clinical settings and get experience in both traditional and non-traditional venues.

By completing this master’s program, you will be prepared to ace your sports medicine exam and provide tailored assistance to athletes.

#5. University of North Carolina

  • Location: Chapel Hill, NC, United States
  • Tuition Rate: $9,043 (in-state), $36,222 (out-of-state)
  • Graduation Rate: 90%
  • Acceptance Rate: 24%
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 2.3:1

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is next on our list of the top colleges with sports medicine majors(UNC).

This flagship institution and important research center have a total undergraduate enrollment of 19,117 students.

The UN Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences is fundamentally built on the concept that knowing human movement directly correlates to the quality of life of people and society as a whole.

JTC, on the other hand, provides four full bachelor’s degrees (in physical exercise, athletic training, physical professionalism, and sports management) and a few more minors.

Cardiac rehabilitation Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, Sports medicine, Entertainment Therapy Specialist, and Strength training and conditioning are just a few of the programs available.

To learn more about this top sports medical school, click the icon below.

#6. Stanford University 

  • Location: 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, United States.
  • Tuition Rate: $60,234.
  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Acceptance Rate: 5%
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 10:1

Another top sports medicine school that should come to mind when looking for answers to the question what colleges have the best sports medicine programs? is Stanford University.

This university is the world’s leading scientific institution and home to the largest athletic conference in the country.

This is due to their commitment to excellence in both science and athletics, which is seen in Stanford University’s Sports Medicine program, where the two coexist.

Stanford University essentially provides rigorous 24-month graduate employment through the Departments of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (DAPER), and Sports Medicine in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

This one-of-a-kind and premier sports medicine school offers exceptional educational opportunities, not just for a master’s degree, to train qualified sports coaches in sophisticated and diverse clinics.

Furthermore, the Stanford team is at the vanguard of sports medicine care, employing cutting-edge diagnostics, therapies, and rehabilitation methods to help student-athletes thrive.

To learn more about this top sports medical school, click the icon below.

#7. Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University is an excellent choice for a bachelor’s degree that will equip you for a successful academic and professional career as a sports medicine doctor.

This university provides a bachelor of science degree in Athletic Training. The emphasis is on partnering with physicians to address all athletic injuries. You’ll become an expert in the field of athletics, including common difficulties and solutions.

This bachelor’s degree will prepare you for a career in sports medicine. It’s an excellent way to get started in the industry.

However, keep in mind that admittance to this program is restricted, and competition is fierce. Before applying, you must complete a pre-professional athletic curriculum. Choose this curriculum if you are absolutely convinced of your future.

#8. University Of South Florida 

  • Location: 4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620, United States.
  • Tuition Rate: $6,410/semester in-state; and $17,324/semester out-of-state
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Acceptance Rate: 45%
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 22:1

Another school on our list of the best colleges for sports medicine in the world is the University of South Florida.

This college is a public research university and a component of the Florida State University System.

The University of South Florida Orthopedic Sports Medicine Fellowship is a one-year program for those who have finished an orthopedic residency and want to gain wide experience in the treatment and prevention of athlete injuries.

The USF Athletic Training Program’s mission is to equip graduates for personal and professional success while setting the national standard for excellence in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine.

To learn more about this top sports medicine college, click on the button below.

#9. Ohio State College of Medicine

  • Location: Athens, OH 45701, United States
  • Tuition Rate: $12,483/Semester
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Student-faculty Ratio:17:1

Ohio State College of Medicine is the next best sports medicine college on our list.

The medical and health students are well prepared to face the difficulties of an ever-changing profession of medicine thanks to an innovative curriculum, world-class professors, and vast resources at the famous Wexner Medical Center.

Furthermore, Ohio State Medical students benefit from cutting-edge research possibilities, proximity to the university’s major city, and numerous interdisciplinary options.

Essentially, the goal of this University Sports Medicine staff is to avoid athletic injuries and ensure a competitive student-safe athlete’s return.

In addition, the college has an Athletic Training healthcare facility that specializes in the clinical diagnosis, emergency treatment, and rehabilitation of the acute, chronic or congenital musculoskeletal system.

#10. Howard University

  • Location: 2400 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20059, United States.
  • Tuition Rate: $12,483/Semester
  • Graduation Rate: 62%
  • Acceptance Rate: 41%

This is one of the world’s best sports medical colleges. This institution has almost 130,000 students studying youth, science, and culture.

In general, Howard University has 47 bachelor’s degrees, 41 master’s programs, and 30 certificate programs.

The University also contains 11 research institutions and over 200 students, including Greek life.

You must submit an ACT or SAT, a transcript, and two credentials as an application. Transfers must have a GPA of at least 2.5.

To learn more about this top sports medicine college, click the icon below.

#11. Boston University

  • Location: 915 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, United States.
  • Tuition Rate: $54,720 per year
  • Graduation Rate: 85%
  • Acceptance Rate: 25%
  • Student-faculty Ratio:10:1

Boston is next on the list of good sports medicine schools in the world.

A master’s degree in Athletic Training is available at Boston University. This program provides an excellent blend of medical, sports, and human body knowledge. It is good preparation for a career as a sports medicine doctor.

What sets this program apart is how expertly it combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. You’ll work closely with and learn from real-world physicians. You’ll accompany them throughout their workday and witness how they cope with challenges at various phases of the athlete’s journey.

While the University states that a “degree in any discipline” is sufficient for admission, you will need transcripts to show that you have completed the prerequisite curriculum. Choose an undergraduate program that offers at least some of the needed courses.

#12. Bethel College

  • Location: 300 E 27th St, North Newton, KS 67117, United States
  • Tuition Rate: $28,590/ Semester
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Acceptance Rate: 56%
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 9:1

Bethel College is the next college with the best sports medicine programs on our list.

For students interested in Christian liberal arts, Bethel College is one of the colleges having sports medicine programs.

Bethel College offers a wide range of academic programs across three schools: the Arts and Sciences Department, the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, and the School of Nursing.

Furthermore, Bethel University provides many undergraduate and apprenticeship possibilities in sports medicine and exercise science, including kinesiology and exercise science.

These degrees are also hands-on programs that promote laboratory work and professional ties through internships.

In addition, you will learn about physique, muscle strength and endurance, and cardiovascular health, as well as first aid and CPR / AED. Athletic training, The psychosocial dimension of kinesiology Motor learning, and Exercise physiology.

best colleges for sports medicine degree
best colleges for a sports medicine degree

#13. Cunny Queens University

  • Location: 65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY 11367, United States
  • Tuition Rate: $7,338/semester in-state; $15,008/semester out-of-state
  • Graduation Rate: 62%
  • Acceptance Rate: 43%
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 16:1

With over 20,000 students, Queens College is one of the finest universities for sports medicine.

Queens College primarily provides liberal arts education, with over 80 undergraduate degrees available in a range of fields and subjects, and is one of the prominent schools participating in the CUNY Honors College.

Cunny Queen College teaches sports medicine, kinesiology, and human movement along with nutrition. This curriculum teaches students about cardiovascular health and wellness, good eating, and exercise, and prepares them for a future in the business or healthcare sectors.

Queens College may assist you in completing a program that contains the following components: exercise, energy balance, weight control, nutrition, kinesiology, biomechanics, and physiology of muscle activation.

Click the button below to learn more about the world’s only Historically Black University.

#14. Brock-port College

  • Location: 350 New Campus Dr, Brockport, NY 14420, United States
  • Tuition Rate: $8,412 /Semester in-state; $18,192 /Semester out-of-state
  • Graduation Rate: 70.1%
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 18:1

Brockport College is a liberal arts college in New York City that is part of the New York State University system.

It does, however, provide specializations in a wide range of subjects, including recreational and leisure studies, health sciences, premedication, and exercise sciences.

Brockport College, like many of the other universities on our list with outstanding sports medicine programs, provides various undergraduate study options in sports medicine, kinesiology, and exercise science.

The Department of Kinesiology, Sports Studies, and Physical Education offers programs that teach students about all aspects of human movement, from psychological to physiological.

Women in sports, Philosophy of sports, play, and fitness, Obesity in society, Modern Olympics, Sports ethics contests, Game theories, and Sports in the United States are just a few of the interesting options available at Marshall.

To learn more about this top sports medical school, click the icon below.

#15. University of Iowa

  • Location: Iowa City, IA 52242, United States
  • Tuition Rate: $9,267/semester in-state; $31,233/semester out-of-state
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Student-faculty Ratio: 15:1

The University of Iowa is located in Iowa’s southeastern region.

As Iowa’s first state university, it was also the nation’s first to allow students to submit creative, rather than academic, research linked to dissertation requirements in advanced degree programs.

Iowa also provides a variety of possibilities for students interested in studying human movement, sports science, and fitness, including the opportunity to become a certified athletics coach. so, its important to note this school is also among the best sports medicine colleges in the country.

Through programs ranging from drug education to human disease, you will learn the fundamentals of prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation. And you’ll be prepared to take the Certification Board exam at the conclusion.

To learn more about this top sports medical school, click the icon below.

Colleges For Athletic Training

Athletic trainers, contrary to their name, work with more than only athletes. Athletic trainers work under the supervision of a physician to prevent, diagnose, and treat muscle and bone injuries and illnesses in people of all ages and skill levels who are physically active.

Other services include emergency care, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation. Health care administration, anatomy, biology, injury prevention, hands-on clinical practice, first aid and emergency care, physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition are all part of the curriculum for this degree program.

Athletic trainer employment is predicted to increase by 30% by 2020, resulting in over 5,000 new positions. ATs work in doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, schools, occupational health departments, and police and fire departments, among other places.

Despite the fact that the median wage in 2010 was $41,600, more than 70% of certified ATs had master’s degrees. To become a certified athletic trainer, you must first complete an accredited athletic training program and then pass the exam offered by the Board of Certification in Omaha (depending on your state regulations).

Graduates should also consider becoming members of the National Athletic Trainers Association.

Members of NATA may stay up to date on current athletic trainer trends, have access to continuing education and professional development resources, and expand their professional networks.

#16. Miami University

There is one Athletic Training/Trainer degree program offered by the University of Miami. It is a major, private, non-profit four-year university located in a small town. In 2019, 9 Athletic Training/Trainer students graduated, with 9 Bachelor’s degrees awarded.

#17. Main Campus, University of Virginia

There is one Athletic Training/Trainer degree program offered at the University of Virginia-Main Campus. It is a huge public four-year institution located in a small suburb. In 2019, four Athletic Training/Trainer students graduated, receiving four Master’s degrees.

#18. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan

There is one Athletic Training/Trainer degree program offered at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. It is a large public four-year institution in a medium-sized city. In 2019, ten Athletic Training/Trainer students graduated, with ten Bachelor’s degrees awarded.

#19. University of George Washington

Athletic Training/Trainer degree programs are available at George Washington University. It is a large, private, non-profit four-year institution in a major metropolis. In 2019, ten Athletic Training/Trainer students graduated, with ten Master’s degrees awarded.

#20. Manoa Campus of the University of Hawaii

Athletic Training/Trainer degree programs are available at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. It’s a massive, public four-year university in the middle of a big metropolis. In 2019, ten Athletic Training/Trainer students graduated, with ten Master’s degrees awarded.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the job outlook for sports medicine?

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not directly publish job statistics for sports medicine, we can utilize data from a closely comparable area – athletic training – to obtain a reasonable picture of sports medicine’s job prospects.
According to the BLS, the field of athletic training will rise by 23% by the end of 2020s. This shows significantly faster growth than the average.

Is a master’s in sports medicine required to work in this field?

While a master’s degree in sports medicine is not necessary for entry-level roles, it is almost always required for advanced positions.

You may work as an athletic trainer, recreational therapist, exercise physiologist, or even a nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree. Other occupations in this industry, however, need substantially more education, such as a doctorate degree.

Where do sports medicine professionals work?

Sports medicine specialists operate in a variety of settings and with a diverse spectrum of customers.

Some sports medicine professionals, for example, specifically work with children and assist them in recovering from injuries suffered in school sports programs. Other experts in this industry solely deal with professional players and professional sports teams.

A private practice or clinical setting is another option for sports medicine experts. An athletic trainer, for example, may work in a physical therapy clinic and collaborate with physical therapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation therapists, and other experts to design a treatment plan for a patient.

Are certifications or licensures required to be a sports medicine professional?

Some careers in this sector are governed by certification and licensure procedures.

Certifications are managed by educational institutions and professional organizations, whereas licensing criteria are set by individual states.

If you want to be an athletic trainer, for example, you must be licensed (unless you practice in California). Furthermore, in order to practice, athletic trainers in 48 states must be Athletic Trainer Certified (ATC).

However, these qualifications are particular to this employment. You must research the specific qualification and licensure requirements for the position in which you are interested.

Do sports medicine doctors make a lot of money?

According to, Sports medicine physicians make $200,146 per year on average, or $96.22 per hour, in the United States. Sports medicine physicians on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $100,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $397,000.

For more information on how a sport medicine doctor earns annually, we have put together a complete for you here; What is the Annual Sports Medicine Doctor Salary?


Every university mentioned in this article provides a world-class education that will prepare you for a successful career in sports medicine.

Analyze yourself before applying to any of these. Is this truly the road you wish to take? Being a sports medicine doctor isn’t for everyone.

As you’ve read in previous portions of this article, the technique is demanding and takes a long time.

 Fortunately, you’ll be able to change careers till the completion of your academic course, so it’s not the end of the world.

On the other hand, becoming a sports medicine doctor can provide a great deal of satisfaction. You are assisting athletes in performing at their peak. You may even be the personal doctor for the next world record holder. That’s really awesome, isn’t it?

So, what are you holding out for? Enroll in one of the best sports medical colleges today for a long and rewarding career.


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