How to Get A Sport Medicine Degree in 2022

sport medicine master degree
kinesiologist helps a mixed race man doing exercises to strengthen his back muscles. treatment of back pain using kinesitherapy.

Sport Medicine Degree: Becoming a sports medicine physician will require you to study for years to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree that validates you for sports medicine jobs near you. 

To increase performance and avoid injuries, professional athletes and active individuals require expert counsel and care. With a degree in sports medicine, you can learn how to provide comprehensive medical care to individuals, sports teams, and professional athletes.

Thus, to Become Sport Medicine Orthopedic Surgeon, you have to be trained by professionals and this will require a lot of years of clinical and theory studies.

Sports medicine professionals are involved in diagnosing, treating, and preventing sport-related injuries or illnesses.

Just like any other professional course, a degree from an accredited school solidifies your claim that you’re able to carry out professional work as a sports medicine physician.

How long it will take to graduate from college and get a degree in sports medicine will differ.

For instance, a bachelor’s degree takes a long time to complete when compared to getting a master’s degree in the field of sports medicine.

However, the kind of degree you will need will determine the aspect of sports medicine you will want to specialize in.

Therefore in this guide, we bring you details on the kinds of degrees in sport medicine, how long it will take you to complete a program, and the colleges offering sports medicine degrees near you. 

Also, we have listed the courses with High Paying Salary in Sports Medicine.

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Table of Content

What is Sport Medicine?

The Sports Medicine degree program is designed for students who want to work as an Athletic Trainer, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physician Assistant, or in Orthopedic Medicine – a field of medicine that focuses on the care of the skeletal system.

This academic major teaches students the fundamentals of the human body, sports performance, and basic injury care.

This degree also prepares students for graduate school by providing them with the needed coursework.

Prior to the entrance to graduate school, most healthcare professional preparation programs require students to have completed a bachelor’s degree.

This major is designed for students who want to continue their education after completing their bachelor’s degree.

Graduate school admission is quite tough. Many schools need candidates to interview and establish their ability for advanced study through undergraduate grades and overall grade point average.

Students in the Sports Medicine program are allocated an academic advisor who will advise them on successful techniques.

sport medicine bachelor degree
sport medicine bachelor degree

What You Should Know About This Degree

“Sports medicine” is a broad word that encompasses athletic trainers, sports physicians, therapists, and other professionals.

When deciding on a career in sports medicine, you should consider what occupation you want to pursue.

Sports physicians are medical practitioners that specialize in physically active people and athletes. A degree in medicine or osteopathic medicine is required for sports physicians.

If you want to pursue a degree in sports medicine, you should also consider studying kinesiology. Sports medicine is concerned with the treatment and prevention of athletic injuries, whereas kinesiology is concerned with the broader influence of physical health on society.

Physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, sports, and exercise psychology are all covered in kinesiology and sports medicine degrees. Determine which employment interests you before deciding on a program of study.

Sports medicine certifications allow graduates to demonstrate their proficiency in specific areas. Credentialing in sports medicine is available through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). They usually necessitate passing a written or practical exam.

The job future for sports-related professionals is bright, with significant growth projected as more people stay physically active later in life.

A sports medicine doctor’s duties:

  • Diagnosing and treating athletes or athletic individuals with sports-related injuries or illnesses
  • Working alongside other medical professionals like surgeons and physical therapists
  • Helping patients during their recovery
  • Using manual techniques to prevent and treat different conditions
  • Educating athletes and counseling them regarding their injury
  • Using mental strategies to help athletes cope with their injuries and setbacks
  • Providing clients with nutritional guidance
  • Interpreting results from diagnostic imaging procedures
  • Maintaining patient medical records
  • Informing coaches and trainers regarding an athlete’s medical condition
  • Supervising an athlete’s rehabilitation process
  • Creating procedures to handle emergency injuries
  • Performing research to help with the prevention or treatment of injuries and conditions
  • Planning exercise programs to help rehabilitated athletes

Is this program open to me?

Undergraduate programs are open to students from a variety of educational backgrounds, while master’s and PhD programs require a bachelor’s degree. Students interested in becoming sports medicine physicians should pursue chemistry, anatomy, and biology as undergraduate courses.

How Can I Become A Sports Medicine Physician?

Becoming a sports medicine physician is a straightforward process but takes a long time or years to get a degree due to the intrinsic nature of the profession.

To be able to become a sports medicine physician, here’s what to do;

#1. Get A High School Diploma

Getting a high school diploma or the GED equivalent is the first step to every sports medicine profession.

Ensure the curriculum is packed with science and math courses. 

#2. Have A High Grade

Go beyond the minimum college prerequisites. 

During grades 9-12, earn three to four units in every STEM discipline. 

High school biology, physics, chemistry, and pre-calculus courses will help later. 

#3. Apply For sport medicine bachelor degree

Consider dual credit classes at local colleges to begin earning a sports medicine degree.

A bachelor’s degree is the least degree you can have, some go further to get a master’s or PhD degree.

#4. Go To Med School

Med school leads you on a part to specialize and learn the human body. Earn a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. The latter focuses more on preventative care and the musculoskeletal system. Expect to take courses focusing on medical ethics, patient care, and the human body, including:

  • Biology
  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Basic Pathology
  • Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical Ethics

#5. Specialize in An Aspect of Sports Medicine.

You can go on to choose fitness, nutrition, or any other aspect of wholesomeness in the profession. 

This will decide the residency and fellowship programs you will apply for.

#6. Apply For Residency And Fellowship Programs

To help solidify their studies, students will have to undergo residency programs and fellowships to learn more about the profession.

Residencies give you the hands-on specialist experience and skill development you’ll need as a sports medicine physician. If you want to be a primary care sports medicine doctor, you need to undergo a three-year residency.

Family medicine, internal medicine, and rehabilitation medicine residencies are among the alternatives. To become an orthopedic surgeon, you must first complete an orthopedic surgery residency. Most residencies last a year and prepare you to apply for fellowships.

#7. Get Certified By The Board

Some programs will require a basic certificate or advanced degree. 

For instance, some programs will require you to get certified by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM).

If you’re specialized in such programs, you need to get accredited by the board through certification.

Do I Need A Degree To Practice Sport Medicine?

Yes, students who want to focus on sport medicine must have a degree to validate their educational stance and professional ability to carry out a given task.

Basically, a bachelor degree in sport medicine will not be enough because students will have to go to med school, residency programs, and fellowship, and some have to get a master’s degree. 

Either way, you will need a degree to practice sport medicine in any city in the world.

What Courses Do I Need to Take to Get a Job in Sports Medicine?

Sports medicine is an umbrella that encompasses a lot of under-sub specialties in relation to the healthiness, physical fitness, and wholesomeness of an athlete.

The coursework you will take while in school will be dependent on the subspecialty you chose in sports medicine.

However, all students on the sports medicine career path will need to undertake fundamental academic subjects like English, math, science, history, and foreign language.

As they specialize, they can take up specific courses as it relates to the specialization.

What College Degrees Are Available To Become A Sport Medicine Physician?

As we have pointed out, sports medicine requires you to have a degree to validate your claim as a physician.

Although some professionals can practice using a post-secondary certificate or associate degree, that is no longer enough in our world today.

A career in sport medicine requires you to have at least a bachelor’s degree, and some roles in the profession will require you to have a master’s degree. 

Some roles on the other hand are open just to professionals with doctorates. 

What Are The Requirements To Get A Sport Medicine Degree?

Like all medical career requirements, students’ application requirements are a little extra for sports medicine applications.

They Include;

  • A bachelor’s degree and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. 
  • Sports medicine primary specialization degree.
  • Proof of completed residency programs.

Top 20  Sport Medicine Degrees That You Can Enroll For in 2022

Below are a list of available degrees both at an undergraduate level and graduate level in sport medicine;

Associate Degree Sports Medicine Programs Near You

#1. Associate of Science in Sports Medicine

  • Duration: Two Years
  • Coursework Credit: 60-68 semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Community Colleges And Trade Schools.

The Associate of Science in Sports Medicine is a degree in sport medicine that does not take a lot of years to complete.

Classes commence with the fundamental academic subjects and proceed into the introductory, major-related courses. 

With an Associate of Science in Sport Medicine degree, students can use the 2+2 transfer pathway to earn a bachelor’s degree. 

Major courses in this Sports Medicine degree include;

  • Concepts in Health and Fitness
  • Foundations of Sports Medicine
  • Personal and Community Health
  • Rehabilitation Science Techniques
  • Introduction to General Chemistry
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology

#2. Associate of Applied Science in Fitness Management

  • Duration: 24 Months
  • Coursework Credit: 60-70 semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Junior Colleges And Technical Schools. 

Because athletes need to keep fit, professionals who want to specialize in fitness and exercise can apply to colleges offering sport medicine degrees in fitness. 

This course is a full-time practical course that skips most general education courses for a more defined career-oriented curriculum. 

With a focus on fitness instruction and fieldwork requirements at gyms or aerobics studios.

Also, this course is highly ideal for professionals who want to run personal training jobs. 

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Contemporary Health Issues
  • Personal Training Fundamentals
  • Group Exercise Training Theory
  • Application of Fitness Instruction
  • Strength and Conditioning Principles
  • Exercise Testing and Program Design

#3. Associate of Applied Science in Massage Therapy.

  • Duration: Two Years
  • Coursework Credit: 60-70 semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Vocational Schools And Junior Colleges. 

Just like the name defines it, the Associate of Applied Science in Massage Therapy degree validates you to treat athletic injuries manually. 

In this degree program, students learn how to utilize body manipulation techniques for healing muscles and soft tissues. 

Also, it encompasses a lot of clinical practicum placements. 

And upon graduation, students who studied this way, are qualified for the National Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) exam. 

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include

  • Basic Medical Terminology
  • Fundamentals of Sports Massage
  • Neuromuscular Therapy Principles
  • Eastern Massage Therapy Practices
  • Introduction to Alternative Medicine
  • Legal Aspects of Therapeutic Massage

Sport Medicine Bachelor Degree Programs Near You

#4. Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

  • Duration: Four Years
  • Coursework Credit: 120-128 semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities. 

A prospective sport medicine physician can enroll in the bachelor’s degree program in schools near them where they can study Kinesiology. 

Basically, the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology focuses on the biomechanics of body movements. 

Just like most university courses, the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology will require students to start with general core science courses and proceed to the anatomic functions of sports. 

With this sport medicine degree, students can also continue to get a master degree.

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Musculoskeletal Anatomy
  • Movement Biomechanics
  • Motor Control and Learning
  • Behavioral Basis of Kinesiology
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Cardiopulmonary Renal Physiology

#5. Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science

  • Duration: 48 Months
  • Coursework Credit: 120-semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities. 

The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science is a STEM-oriented sport medicine undergraduate bachelor’s degree. 

Because athletes need physical fitness exercises, some sports medicine physicians take on this short bachelor’s course accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES) to learn how to help athletes through exercises.

By design, this course focuses on study on how body movements correlate to human health and fitness thereby improving wellness with effective exercise regimens. 

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Theory of Athletic Injury
  • Neuroscience of Exercise
  • Human Form and Function
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology
  • Weight Control Management
  • Exercise Assessment and Prescription

#6. Bachelor of Science in Sport Management

  • Duration: Four Years
  • Coursework Credit: 120-128 semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities. 

Another bachelor degree sport medicine course that leads you to a master degree program is the Bachelor of Science in Sport Management.

Offered by leadership-focused colleges and universities, students can study either on-campus or online.

By design, the course focuses on in-depth management of medicine and business for wide-ranging job options. 

Basically, this program can pave the way for post-grad degrees or careers. 

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Athletic Administration
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Sport Facility Management
  • Introduction to Sport Marketing
  • Sport Communication and Media
  • Aspects of Coaching and Training.

#7. Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation.

  • Duration: Four Years
  • Coursework Credit: 120-semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities. 

The Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation degree focuses on using recreational sports to heal patients’ injuries or help them cope with chronic conditions and disabilities. 

People who specialize in this field will learn ways of treating and boosting the physical function of their clients.

While enrolling in schools for this program, ensure the course is accredited by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA).

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Patient Assessment and Evaluation
  • Concepts and Issues in Rehabilitation
  • Inclusive Sports Recreation Services
  • Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation
  • Health Promotion in Leisure Education
  • Recreational Therapy Clinical Procedures

Sport Medicine Master Degree Programs Near You

colleges offering sport medicine degrees
colleges offering sport medicine degrees

#8. Master of Athletic Training

  • Duration: Two Years
  • Coursework Credit: 50-70 semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities. 

The Master of Athletic Training is open to bachelor’s degree holders who want to advance their careers. 

This course is full-time practical with a high level of intensity and 1,500 supervised clinical hours. 

Also, this course is required for all athletic trainers who are going for the masters for the Board of Certification exam. 

Having this master’s degree will license athletic trainers to treat sports injuries and restore players to health. 

Before you apply for this program, ensure the school that offers it has the course accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). 

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Pharmacology in Athletic Training
  • Introduction to Orthopedic Evaluation
  • Injury Classification and Management
  • Acute Trauma Management Practices
  • Emergency Medical Response Principles
  • Fundamentals of Sports Injury Prevention

#9. Master of Science in Sports Psychology

  • Duration: 18-28 Months
  • Coursework Credit: 36-semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Graduate Schools. 

Another degree program a sports physician can enroll in colleges offering sport medicine degrees is the Master of Science in Sports Psychology.

In two years, students who enroll in this program will focus on studying the brain and mental health.

Basically, they will learn and decipher wags to help athletes overcome mental challenges, such as stress and hyperactivity.

Also, this course comes with one or more internships.

At the end of the program, students will run a capstone project for the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). 

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Mental Skills Training Techniques
  • Psychology of Exercise and Health
  • Current Issues in Sports Psychology
  • Performance Enhancement in Sports
  • Introduction to Counseling Theories
  • Methodology of Psychological Research

#10. Master of Science in Sports Nutrition

  • Duration: 12 Months
  • Coursework Credit: 30-48 semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities. 

Following the report made by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), all sport medicine nutritionists must have a master’s degree related to diet planning. 

Students will learn how diet affects athletic performance and how to develop food regimens and supplements to improve athletes’ physical conditioning.

This master’s degree will lead you to take the Board Certified Specialized Sports Dietetics Exam.

Also, students have to complete a 1,200-hour Dietetic Internship. 

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Fluid and Electrolyte Balance
  • Energy Production and Nutrients
  • Sports Supplements and Vitamins
  • Advanced Nutritional Assessment
  • Nutrition for Weight Management
  • Nutritional Aspects of Eating Disorders

#11. Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

  • Duration: 2.5 to 4 Years
  • Coursework Credit: 75-120 semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities. 

With a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program, physicians train on how to assist doctors

Also, students learn how to build patient care skills under supervision during clinical rotations called clerkships. 

Before enrolling in this program, ensure it is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistants (ARC-PA). 

Possessing this degree opens you up to writing the PANCE licensing exam. 

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Principles of Orthopedic Medicine
  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
  • Aging and Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Patient Interviewing and Evaluation
  • Clinical Lab and Diagnostic Methods
  • Cross-Cultural Clinical Competencies

Sport Medicine Doctoral Degree Programs Near You 

#12. Doctor of Physical Therapy

  • Duration: Four To Five Years
  • Coursework Credit: 120-140 semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities. 

To become a Doctor of Physical Therapy, students have to study for 4 or 5 additional years with a focus on musculoskeletal ailments. 

By doing so, they learn how to develop exercise programs for athletes and non-athletes to recover from injuries. 

Also, they are involved in managing pain holistically with rehabilitative movement.

Some schools offer accelerated 3+3 Doctor of Physical Therapy programs to admit undergraduates as juniors. Physical therapists.

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Integrative Pain Management
  • Cardiopulmonary Assessment
  • Orthotic and Prosthetic Devices
  • Evidence-Based Clinical Practice
  • Adult Neurorehabilitation Theories
  • Musculoskeletal System Physiology

#13. Doctor of Medicine

  • Duration: Seven Years
  • Coursework Credit: Advanced semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities. 

This is a big career in sports medicine. 

Some jobs such as team physician, internist, sports psychiatrist etc will require you to have an MD degree.

Such studies will require you to undergo clinical residencies and fellowships based on your sports medicine specialty.

To apply, you must have a High MCAT Score and a bachelor’s degree.

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Clinical and Community Medicine
  • Mechanisms of Health and Disease
  • Cancer Prevention and Survivorship
  • Professional Physician-Patient Relations
  • Medical Gross Anatomy and Embryology

#14. Doctor of Chiropractic

  • Duration: 3.5 to 5 years
  • Coursework Credit: 90-120 semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities.

The Doctor of Chiropractic is taught how to relieve injury pain using homeopathic strategies to adjust a misaligned spine or achy joints for recovery without drugs. 

Students undergo advanced lectures, hands-on labs, and applied for field internships. 

Major courses in this Sport Medicine degree include;

  • Spine and Extremities Anatomy
  • Introduction to Palpation Skills
  • Radiation Physics and Technology
  • Fundamentals of Natural Medicine
  • Manipulation of the Thoracic Spine
  • Neuromusculoskeletal Examination

#15. Ph.D. in Sports Medicine

  • Duration: Two Years
  • Coursework Credit: Not Specified semester credits
  • School Offering Program: Senior Colleges And Universities.

The Ph.D. in Sports Medicine trains researchers for academia to investigate topics like brain concussions and performance-enhancing drugs. 

Other sport medicine degrees and colleges offering them include;

  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine  
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) 
  • Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) 

How Long Is A Sports Medicine Degree?

How many years you get to spend to acquire a sports medicine degree will depend on the career path you choose. But on average, it takes 14 years to get a sports medicine degree.

Bachelor’s degrees typically require four years of full-time study. Master’s programs are two years longer. 

This includes bachelors all through residency and fellowship programs.

Does Sports Medicine Require Certifications?

Yes, most of the colleges offering sport medicine degrees will go on to give successful candidates certifications. 

Some programs will require a basic certificate or advanced degree. 

For instance, some programs will require you to get certified by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM).

What is the Average Salary of Sports Medicine Doctors?

On average sports medicine doctors earn about $244,678 per year. 

However, based on specializations and level of experience, the exact salary may differ.

Basically, your salary varies depending on your employer, your geographic location, and your experience in the field.

What is the Job Outlook For Sports Medicine Doctors?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),  physicians and surgeons can expect an employment growth of 4% from 2019 to 2029.

We hope this article was able to answer your questions on colleges where you can study sports medicine and how long or the number of years it will take you to get a sports medicine degree.

Also, we believe that the list of sports medicine bachelor’s and master’s degree programs near you will help you find the best fit for your career.

We wish you luck with your application.

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