Sports-Related Graduate Programs
Learn about advanced degree programs that could lead to careers related to sports. Find out about classes offered in several degree programs, and get information about careers for those holding these degrees.
What Sports-Related Graduate Degree Programs Are Available?
If you're interested in getting a graduate degree related to sports, you have numerous options. You can earn a master's degree in sports management, sports psychology, sports medicine or sports journalism. Ph.D. programs are also available in sports medicine and sports psychology. Sports management and sports psychology degrees may be available fully or partially online.
|Graduate Degrees||Master's and doctoral degrees in fields like sports management, medicine, psychology and journalism|
|Sports Management Overview||Cover topics like supervision and leadership for sports teams as well as developing budgets, media communication, marketing and law|
|Sports Psychology Overview||May be vailable as a concentration in M.S. or Doctor of Philosophy programs, and may cover topics like athletic motivation, psychological assessment and psychological research|
|Sports Medicine Overview||Prepares you to work in athletic health, including the treatment of injuries, and includes courses like nutritional counseling, anatomy and injury rehabilitation|
|Sports Journalism Overview||Learn to write and report on sporting events for newspaper, television and web-based media|
|Median Salary (2020)||$50,280 (for all exercise physiologists)|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)||11% growth (for all exercise physiologists)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Will I Learn in a Sports Management Degree Program?
Sports management master's programs generally lead to a Master of Science (M.S.) degree. You'll be prepared to assume supervisory and leadership duties for sports teams, athletic programs or individual athletes. You'll learn to oversee athletic schedules and special events, develop budgets, communicate with the media and evaluate athletic personnel. You'll also take courses in sports marketing, ethics and law; the latter two areas of study place particular emphasis on the rules and guidelines of collegiate athletic programs.
Most sports management master's degree programs require either an applied project or an internship in sports management. Programs are available that allow you to complete your coursework online, but you are typically required to complete at least one in-person internship or on-campus residency; in some cases you may be required to complete both. You may also be required to complete a research thesis or turn in a portfolio of relevant projects.
What Is Covered in a Sports Psychology Degree Program?
If you're interested in the psychological processes of sports and competition, you can pursue a master's or doctoral degree in sports psychology. In many cases, sports psychology is available as a concentration within M.S. or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in exercise science or kinesiology. Online sports psychology graduate programs are available, but may be offered only by for-profit institutions. Completion of a sports psychology program prepares you to work with athletes to improve their mental health, and subsequently their physical performance. Psychologists who consult with patients must generally be licensed, however, so you may be subject to additional requirements to meet state licensure qualifications.
Required courses in sports psychology graduate programs often differ based on degree type and level. For example, a Ph.D. program might require twice as many psychological research courses as a M.S. program. Other course topics may include athletic motivation, motor skills development, psychological assessment tests, performance enhancement and injury psychology. Completion of a thesis is virtually always required, and inclusion of original research is generally mandatory at the Ph.D. level. Many programs also require you to complete a clinical practicum or internship in sports psychology.
What Does a Sports Medicine Degree Program Consist Of?
Earning a master's or doctoral degree in sports medicine will educate you in the cause, treatment and prevention of athletic injuries. Required courses will teach you about the human musculoskeletal system and the many muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons within it. You'll learn about the physical functions of these areas, the athletic activities that might cause injuries to each one and the conditioning measures that can be taken to prevent them. Sample course topics may include biomechanics, nutritional counseling, exercise physiology, resistance training, injury rehabilitation and advanced clinical assessments.
You'll typically be required to take several courses in musculoskeletal and kinesiology research and statistics. You'll also need to complete a thesis before graduation. If you're a Ph.D. candidate, you may need to conduct original clinical research in kinesiology or a related area. Depending on the degree level, sports medicine graduate studies can prepare you for careers in general health and wellness counseling, academic research or athletic training. If you want to become a physical therapist or doctor of sports medicine, you'll be ready to attain the additional education necessary to do so.
What Will I Learn in a Sports Journalism Degree Program?
If you'd like to earn a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in sports journalism, you typically need to complete an on-campus program. You'll learn how to write and edit recaps of sporting events and give play-by-play coverage for live broadcasts. You'll also become educated in the differences between newspaper, Web and magazine sports reporting, as well as professional versus collegiate sports reporting. Courses in the psychological and cultural aspects of competitive sports will give you an in-depth understanding of your subject and help you select and report information readers will find relevant.
Before graduating from a sports journalism master's degree program, you'll need to complete a sports reporting project. This may consist of one or several sports-related articles or broadcasts. Some programs allow you to research and write a thesis in a relevant area of sports or sports reporting instead.