What Are the Top Colleges with Sports Medicine Degree Programs?

Keep reading to learn more about the best schools that offer degree programs in the field of sports medicine. See what makes a program distinctive. Get an overview of three schools and what they have to offer you, from rankings to degree options and research centers. Schools offering Kinesiology & Sport Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Sports Medicine School?

Earning a degree in sports medicine could lead to a career as an athletic trainer, coach, nutritionist or health professional. You might consider programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Perhaps you'd be interested in a program that collaborates with a medical or public health school. Specialized research centers that address your interests could also be attractive.

What Are Three Top Colleges with Sports Medicine Degree Programs?

George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C.

GWU was in the 72-102 range of U.S. universities in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities. In 2016, it tied for 57th among U.S. News & World Report's national universities. Its programs in athletic training and exercise science are offered in collaboration with the George Washington University Medical Center.

GWU offers a bachelor's degree in exercise science with a pre-athletic training/sports medicine concentration. A CAATE-accredited athletic training bachelor's program is also available. Graduates of the athletic training program are eligible to sit for the athletic trainer certification exam offered by the Board of Certification.

The master's program in exercise science offers a specialization in clinical exercise physiology. Graduates of this program can become certified clinical exercise specialists by taking an exam offered by the American College of Sports Medicine. You'd have access to over 20 health-related research centers, including the national program office of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative that aims to improve cardiovascular disease care for African-Americans and Latinos. These programs are offered:

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Pre-Athletic Training/Sports Medicine
  • B.S. in Exercise Science
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Exercise Science
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Exercise Physiology

University of Michigan (UM) in Ann Arbor

UM was 17th in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities for U.S. schools. It was U.S. News & World Report's 29th-ranked national university in 2016. The UM Health System's MedSport program offers integrated sports medicine services. UM's School of Kinesiology (Kines) actively partners with UM's medical and public health schools on research projects.

Kines offers sports medicine courses in the prevention and care of injuries, applied anatomy and physiology, strength and conditioning, and therapeutic rehabilitation of injuries. Graduates of the undegraduate kinesiology program with a specialization in athletic training are prepared for entry-level work in sports medicine clinics. In the past, students have completed internships with organizations ranging from the Detroit Lions, Pistons and Tigers to Madison Square Garden. You might take part in an exchange program with partner schools in Europe, China or Australia.

Master's and doctoral programs offer advanced training in human movement. Kines has 17 research centers that received a total of $7.6 million in external funding in 2010. Specific programs include the Women's Sports, Health, Activity and Research and Policy Center. These degrees can be earned:

  • B.S. in Kinesiology
  • B.S. in Movement Science
  • B.S. in Athletic Training
  • B.S. in Health and Fitness
  • B.A. in Sport Management
  • M.S. in Movement Science
  • M.A. in Sport Management
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Kinesiology

University of Pittsburgh in PA

UP was 41st among U.S. schools in the Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2015. It tied for 66th among U.S. News & World Report's 2016 national universities. UP offers training in supportive sports medicine disciplines through its School of Health and Rehabilitation Services (SHRS).

UP's Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition offers a CAATE-accredited bachelor's program in athletic training. As a student in this program, you might complete a clinical experience with the University of Pittsburgh Health Care System's Center for Sports Medicine. The master's program in health and rehabilitation sciences offers a concentration in sports medicine. Graduate students may apply for the Bruce Baker Educational Travel Fund or graduate travel grant programs.

You might conduct applied research at the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory (NMRL). Researchers in the NRML study the effects of variables such as weight distribution, age, muscle function and flexibility to evaluate causes of musculoskeletal injury. The NRML also works extensively with the U.S. military, including Special Forces units, to help prevent injury and optimize performance. You could earn any of these degrees:

  • B.S. in Athletic Training
  • M.S. in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science

More Top Schools for Sports Medicine (Physical Therapy)

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocation
University of Southern California4-year, PublicLos Angeles, CA
University of Delaware 4-year, PublicNewark, DE
Washington University in St. Louis4-year, PrivateSt. Louis, MO
University of Iowa4-year, PublicIowa City, IA
U.S. Army-?Baylor University4-year, PrivateFort Sam, Houston, TX
Emory University4-year, PrivateAtlanta, GA
MGH Institute of Health ProfessionsGraduate, PrivateBoston, MA
Northwestern University4-year, PrivateChicago, IL
University of Miami4-year, PrivateCoral Gables, FL
University of North Carolina--?Chapel Hill4-year, PublicChapel Hill, NC

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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