Do you spend your life dedicated to health and wellness? Are coaching, exercise, and nutrition a vital part of your life? If you already have a career in physical education, health, wellness, or coaching, you may want to consider taking your career to the next level. One way you can accelerate your career is to pursue a master's degree. For students who plan a career promoting health and wellness, you may want to consider one of the 30 Best Online Master's in Sports Medicine. This is an ideal way to amp up your career in Exercise Science or Kinesiology.
Today, as more Americans realize the value of a healthy lifestyle, there is a growing need for health educators and professionals. The public is seeking someone to help them with professional advice and treatment to improve their quality of life. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a glimpse into the world of athletic trainers and other sports medicine careers. Some of the fields where you might find work with a master's degree in sports medicine include: Activities Director, Athletic Trainer, Chiropractor, Coach, Exercise Physiologist or Other Exercise Specialist, Fitness Consultant or Trainer, Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, Physical Education Teacher, Physical Therapist, Spa Director, Sports Nutritionist, Wellness Director, and more.
According to the BLS, pay ranges for those in these health and wellness industries. As a Physical Therapist, you will need advanced degrees, but the median pay is about $87,930 per year. The job outlook is impressive for Physical Therapists, with jobs expected to grow by 28 percent by 2026. This demand is growing as baby boomers age, people live longer, and they understand the need to pursue healthy lifestyles. Occupational Therapists need a master's degree and can expect a median annual salary of about $84,270, according to the BLS. It also has a healthy job outlook, with a growth rate of about 24 percent by 2026. Exercise physiologists are also a growing industry. While entry-level exercise physiologists can expect a median wage of $49,270 annually, that number increases with experience and type of employment. In fact, exercise physiologists working for the government can expect an average annual salary of more than $72,000. During your studies in Sports Medicine, there are several organizations that can offer assistance. Many help students, by offering training guidelines and providing a variety of certifications. Some of the most important sports medicine associations include:
- American College of Sports Medicine Certification. ACSM has more than 50,000 members. It represents 70 occupations in sports medicine and offers a variety of certification programs.
- American Physical Therapy Association. APTA is a professional membership organization of more than 100,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and physical therapy students.
- American Society of Biomechanics. ASB encourages the exchange of information between those working in biometrics, which is the mix of mechanics and biological systems.
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. CAAHEP oversees education programs in 30 health science occupations. CAAHEP-accredited programs meet at least a minimum set of standards.
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. CAATE is a Texas-based nonprofit organization that ensures excellence in athletic training education.
- National Athletic Trainers' Association. NATA is a membership organization for certified athletic trainers. The NATA Board of Certification exam recognizes professional achievement.
- National Committee for the Accreditation of Coaching Education. NCACE is the U.S. authority on coaching education. It accredits sports organizations and institutions.
- National Strength and Conditioning Association. The NSCA is a nonprofit organization that advances the strength and conditioning profession.
Ranking Methodology: "It's science!"
The researchers and writers at Best Master's Degrees don't make recommendations based upon preference– we back our rankings with science. Here's a quick breakdown of how we organize ranking data:
- Finances (40%)
- Academic Rigor (35%)
- Student Gratification (25%)
Nearly half of the data used to score each ranking involves finances and are acquired from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, Glassdoor, and PayScale. Financial data encompasses the cost of tuition, fees, and class supplied; the average price of living; access to financial aid and social services; and lastly, the projected annual salary acquired from degree outcomes and income for loan repayment. The second largest category of information involves the quality of education, how competitive degree applicants should be for consideration, and how exclusive a degree program is overall. The final 25 percent of collected data is dependent on student and alumni reviews from sources such as PayScale, Rate My Professor, and Students Review.
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The amount of information available for specific degrees is plentiful, and Best Master's Degrees aims to provide as many resources as we can. Check out our Methodology page for more information and resource links.
#30 – Logan University
Online Master of Science in Sports Science and Rehabilitation
Logan University began offering chiropractic education in 1935. It strives to create healthcare leaders who are passionate about natural health care. It now offers online degrees to help give you flexible career solutions. You can receive an online Master of Science in Sports Science and Rehabilitation. It is an NSCA-recognized program. The MSR requires you to complete 23 credit hours of core courses and 10 hours of electives. You learn to check the neuro-muscular anatomy, apply principles of exercise physiology, and develop exercise and rehabilitation programs. After your coursework, you complete a six-credit clinical internship. The internship is an integral part of the MSR degree program. It gives you a chance to gain experience in specialized treatment areas. This is a popular degree for Doctors of the Chiropractic profession. There are several certification options available to you at Logan, including NSCA Personal Trainer, Certified Special Population Specialist, and ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist. If you already hold a DC, you may work toward Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician designation.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,900
#29 – Indiana Wesleyan University
Master of Science in Athletic Training
Indiana Wesleyan University offers Christ-centered education for working adults. Founded by The Wesleyan Church in 1920, it is Indiana's largest private college. The online program at IWU offers small classes and extensive online resources. It offers a Post-Professional 33-hour Masters of Science in Athletic Training. To gain admission to the MSAT program, you need a CAATE-accredited bachelor's degree in Athletic Training. You will also need to take and pass the NATA Board of Certification exam. When you begin the MSAT, you attend two weeks onsite at IWU in Marion, IN. During those two weeks, you take Advanced Prevention and Emergency Management Techniques and Athletic Training Clinical Anatomy with a cadaver. You complete two eight-week sessions each semester, taking two courses online each session. It is evidence-based training to prepare you for your career in athletic training. You complete the program in one calendar year. Your final course is an Athletic Training Seminar. This presents you with psychosocial issues you will encounter in both traditional and non-traditional athletic training situations.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,104
#28 – North Dakota State University
Master of Science in Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science: Leadership in Physical Education and Sport Option
North Dakota State University began as North Dakota Agricultural College in 1890. Even today, its official title is the North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. Forbes named NDSU a 2019 Best Value College. It is also a gold-level Military Friendly School according to Victory Media. The NDSU Distance and Continuing Education offer several online degrees, including a Master of Science in Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science. Within the MS program, you can pursue the Leadership in Physical Education and Sport option. This is an ideal degree if you plan a career as a sports leader, head coach, activities director, or physical education teacher. It assumes you already have extensive coaching experience. Throughout the program, you learn physical education theories and how to apply those in a practical way. Your entire program takes place online. Your instructor presents lectures through Blackboard, NDSU's online learning environment. You will complete readings from your textbooks and take part in email and chat room discussions as most courses are project-based. In others, you must have field experience. This is a competitive program and limited to 32 students. You may also enroll as a non-degree seeking student. You are able to take up to ten credits while awaiting formal program admission. It requires an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,484 / $9,726
#27 – California Baptist University
Master of Science in Kinesiology
California Baptist University was founded by the Los Angeles Southern Baptist Association in 1850. It continues to offer Christ-centered education to students from its Riverside campus. The Division of Online and Professional Studies now also offers online degrees. You can complete an online Master of Science in Kinesiology at CBU. The 30-credit program takes an average of 12 months to complete. You must have a bachelor's degree to gain admission to the MS in Kinesiology. Once admitted, you have a personal advisor to help you plan your schedule and work with you throughout the program. It is an interdisciplinary degree that combines advanced studies of fitness and wellness with the science of human movement. You also have a chance to learn and practice research. Your lectures are online. You will be able to view high-definition instructor tutorials and have a chance to practice physical testing and learn to interpret results. Courses include Ethics and Leadership in Kinesiology, Sports Nutrition, and Legal Aspects of Kinesiology. After your coursework, you finish one culminating project. This can be a comprehensive exam, graduate thesis, or final project. If you select the thesis or project, you will also prepare a presentation about your experience. The CBU master's degree helps you integrate a Christian perspective into Kinesiology and wellness.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,420
#26 – Ashland University
Master of Science in Applied Exercise Science
Ashland University is a private university with a Christian heritage. Founded in 1878, there are more than 6,600 students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Ashland offers online graduate programs tailored toward working professionals. You can complete a Master of Science in Applied Exercise Science in 15 months. It offers an online program that requires two in-person meetings. Ashland also offers you the chance to complete the MS through a hybrid mix of online and in-person classes. When you graduate with your MS in Applied Exercise Science, you are eligible to test to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. You are also eligible to test for the American College of Sports Medicine Health/Fitness Instructor certification. Your curriculum includes coursework for three terms. Those courses include Scientific Foundations of Nutrition in Sport, Physiological Basis of Exercise and Sport, and Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription. Your final capstone semester includes a six-credit thesis, an internship, and a practicum.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,885
#25 – Southern Arkansas University
Master of Science in Kinesiology-Coaching
Southern Arkansas University, established in the southern part of the state in 1909, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. The campus is about one hour east of Texarkana. It has four colleges and the School of Graduate Studies. SAU offers 358 online courses to more than 1,200 students. You can complete an online Master of Science in Kinesiology-Coaching. The degree is available through the Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation Department. SAU ranked as one of the Most Affordable Online College by SR Education Group. It is a non-licensure program that gives you the chance to extend your work experience and knowledge. The program helps you learn and then show competencies outlined by the National Standards for Sport Coaches. The 33-credit program takes as few as two years if you complete two classes per semester. You must complete a criminal background check before admission to the program. Each online course has no more than 20 students. You take courses in Sports Administration, Advanced Exercise Physiology, and Workshop in Kinesiology. You must complete a capstone portfolio in your last semester.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,130 / $7,866
#24 – Fresno Pacific University
Master of Arts in Kinesiology – Physical Education Emphasis
Fresno Pacific University began in 1944 as the Pacific Bible Institute. Established by the Mennonite Brethren Church, it began offering four-year degrees as Pacific College in 1963. Fresno Pacific offers an online Master of Arts in Kinesiology with a physical education emphasis. Courses are all online so you can continue working while completing your degree. The MA is ideal for your career as a physical education teacher or coach. To begin the FPU program, you will need a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. As an alternative, you need a bachelor's degree and four years of full-time experience in physical education teaching. To receive your MA in Kinesiology, you complete nine units of core courses. Those include Legal Aspects of Kinesiology and Research Methods in Kinesiology. You also complete 27 units of Kinesiology courses. These include Technology in Kinesiology, Psychology of Sport, and Assessment in Physical Education. You will need to complete a comprehensive kinesiology exam before you receive your degree.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,062
#23 – Sul Ross State University
Master of Science in Health and Human Performance
Sul Ross State University sits in the Davis Mountains in West Texas. It began in 1917 as Sul Ross Normal College, named for a renowned Texas statesman. It became a university in 1969. The College of Education and Professional Studies offers an online Master of Science in Health and Human Performance. The HHP is an online 33-hour program. This fast-track program takes one year to complete, with courses starting every eight weeks. The program includes a combination of lectures, discussions, and practical experience. You complete your first eight core courses which include Physiological Basis of Human Behavior, Issues in Sports Law, and Group Dynamics. You can customize your course program with your advisor through two unique offerings at Sul Ross. These are Problems in Kinesiology and a Seminar in Health and Kinesiology. You can repeat the courses with different content. After your courses, you take a comprehensive final. Once you pass the final, you complete an advanced practicum or internship in Exercise Science. The practicum or internship gives you a chance to put your classroom experience to work in the field. After your internship or project, you make a presentation to the faculty.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $2,082 / $8,943
#22 – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Master of Science in Kinesiology, Emphasis in Sport and Exercise Science
Corpus Christi, TX
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, founded in 1947, has a magnificent campus. It is the only university in the U.S. on its own island. It offers a scenic education on the Texas Gulf Coast. But if you cannot attend on-campus classes, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi offers an online Master of Science in Kinesiology. The 36-hour program has an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Science. You can complete it either online or in a hybrid of in-class and online learning. If you select to spend time on campus, you will have the opportunity to study at Island Hall. This state-of-the-art facility includes a motor development lab, biomechanics lab, exercise physiology lab, and an athletic training center. To receive your MS in Kinesiology, you complete five core courses in Kinesiology. You can then select a graduate research project option, thesis option, or comprehensive exam option. If you choose the graduate research project option, you complete three elective courses in applied kinesiology. You then complete a research project that gives you a chance to apply your classroom learning under the guidance of your advisor. If you select the thesis option, you complete three applied electives and write a thesis. If you choose the comprehensive exam option, you take four applied kinesiology courses and must pass the comprehensive exam.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $3,965 / $12,817
#21 – University of Texas at El Paso
Master of Science in Kinesiology
El Paso, TX
The University of Texas at El Paso stands as the second oldest university in Texas. Founded in 1914, it now has more than 25,000 students. UTEP offers an online Master of Science in Kinesiology. You complete the degree online, with an emphasis in Pedagogy of Physical Activities. The degree is a collaboration between four UT campuses and is through the UT System Online Collaborative. For admission into the program, you need an undergraduate Kinesiology degree. You will also need to complete the GRE. The 36-hour program has a thesis and a non-thesis option. You take courses in physical activity and physical education along with three courses in graduate-level kinesiology courses. If you choose the non-thesis option, you complete one extra course and a graduate research project. If you complete a research project, it is under the supervision of graduate faculty. After completing your project, you also provide a written report and make an oral presentation. To receive your MS in Kinesiology, you need to maintain a 3.0 GPA. You can have one grade of C during the program. The second grade of C usually results in dismissal from the Kinesiology program.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,941 / $13,649
#20 – Houston Baptist University
Master of Science in Kinesiology-Sport Management
Houston Baptist College began in 1960. The University was established by the Baptist General Convention of Texas and now has 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The Pampell Online Division offers faith-based education for working adults. You can complete the Master of Science in Kinesiology: Sport Management. This degree prepares you for an advanced sports career. You can apply for either fall or spring admission. You will file a degree plan during your first semester at HBU. The 35-hour program includes ten core courses. Those include Applied Research Methods in Sports and Kinesiology, Legal Issues in Sport, and Event and Facility Management. After you complete your coursework, you either write a thesis or take a two-semester internship in sport management. HBU offers several corporate partnerships, including with Texas Behavioral Health. This partnership enables you to attend university at a discounted rate. HBU also offers a Community Life and Worship Program. While it does not apply to your graduate program, the CLW program provides chances for you to grow spiritually while earning your degree.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,000
#19 – Concordia University-Saint Paul
Master of Science in Exercise Science
St. Paul, MN
Concordia University, St. Paul is a Christian liberal arts school. Founded in 1893, it offers student-centered education. You can complete an online Master of Science in Exercise Science at Concordia. For admission to CSP's program, you must have a bachelor's degree in a related area. You will also need to show that you have either field experience or have completed related research. The online degree requires 33 to 36 credits. It gives you the flexibility to learn on your own schedule. You examine the effects of exercise on health throughout your coursework. During your studies at Concordia, St. Paul, you take courses in Kinesiology, Research and Statistical Methods, Biomechanics, and Psychology of Sport and Exercise. Experiential learning is a key component of the Concordia program. Research projects and written work are also a big part of your master's degree program. You will have an opportunity to apply what you learn in the classroom to real-world settings. When you complete your degree in Exercise Science, you will have the skills needed to take on senior-level jobs in the exercise science industry.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,550
#18 – Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Master of Science in Kinesiology
Texas A&M University-Kingsville is about 45 minutes southeast of Corpus Christi. What began as a teaching college in 1925 is now part of the Texas A&M University System and home to almost 10,000 students. It offers a Master of Science in Kinesiology. If you want to pursue the degree online, you can complete the MS with a focus on Sport Management. The flexible program is ideal if you are working as an athletic or physical education professional and cannot attend graduate school full time. It promotes health, fitness, exercise science, and sports administration. The program is a combination of online learning, research, and service in kinesiology. TAMUK requires you to complete GRE or MAT scores for admission consideration. You must also have a bachelor's degree in Health or Kinesiology. The 36-hour online program requires you to complete three core courses. These are Physiology of Exercise, Research in Kinesiology, and Statistical Analysis of Research Data. The remaining courses are electives. There are two summer terms and you can usually complete four courses during the summer months. During the regular terms, there is usually one elective offered online. If you attend full time, you can expect to complete the MS in Kinesiology in four semesters.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $3,228 / $10,698
#17 – Towson University
Master of Science in Kinesiology
Towson University, established as a teacher training school in 1865, is part of the University System of Maryland. Located in Baltimore, it is now the city's largest university. It has about 23,000 students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. The Towson Learning Network manages the university's online programs. One of those is the Master of Science in Kinesiology. The program is small and selective and only admits students when positions open. It is ideal for PK through 12 physical education teachers. It helps strengthen your performance as a teacher. During the program, you learn research methodology, how to design and implement physical education curriculum, and how to evaluate teaching effectiveness. Once you receive your MS in Kinesiology from Towson, you are eligible to pursue National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification. To graduate, you will complete your coursework through asynchronous learning. This gives you a chance to finish the program on your own schedule. You'll complete individual assignments along with group projects. Once you have 24 credits, you will take a three-hour comprehensive exam. The exam features three questions. One question relates to the core Kinesiology courses while two questions draw from the Physical Education core. After completing the Kinesiology Comprehensive Exam, you take the Master's Capstone and write a thesis. This gives you a chance to research, analyze, and apply kinesiology theory in the real world.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,524 / $15,570
#16 – University of Hawaii at Manoa
Master of Science in Kinesiology & Rehabilitation Science: Rehabilitation Counseling specialization
The University of Hawaii at MÄnoa began in 1907. It is a land-, sea-, and space-grant university. It grew from five freshmen that first year to a research institute that is the flagship campus for the University of Hawaii System. The College of Education offers an online Master of Science in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science, with a specialization in Rehabilitation Counseling. The program helps prepare you to work in the rehabilitation field, providing services to persons with disabilities. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs accredits the Rehabilitation Counselor Education Program. The RCEP is a 48-credit program that you complete over three years. You take six hours each semester. It is a small cohort program with 16 students enrolled. You complete courses either in a synchronous format one evening each week or take the course at your convenience. Your courses include Human Growth and Development; Career Development and Vocational Counseling; and Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disability. Along with your online courses, you will complete three semesters of fieldwork in your community. Once you receive your MS in Kinesiology from the RCEP, you can take the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor exam and the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,600 / $37,080
#15 – McNeese State University
Master of Science, Exercise Physiology
Lake Charles, LA
McNeese State University, founded in 1939, ranks as one of the best regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees from its campus in Southwest Louisiana and online. Its online programs consistently rank in the top online programs. It has one of the Top 10 schools offering online degrees in Louisiana according to OnlineColleges.com. Its programs are also among the top 50 online programs with a combination of quality and affordability according to AffordableColleges.com. You can complete an online Master of Science in Health and Human Performance with a concentration in Exercise Physiology at McNeese. For admission to the program, you must submit GRE scores, hold an undergraduate degree in health and human performance, and complete three hours of both exercise physiology and tests and measures. The 33-credit MS degree includes courses in Research Methods in Health and Human Performance and Analysis of Health Care Delivery Systems. You will complete a non-paid field internship in health promotion or exercise physiology.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,703 / $13,740
#14 – George Washington University
Master of Science Exercise Science in Strength and Conditioning
George Washington University began in 1821 following an act of Congress. The physical university is only four blocks from the White House in the nation's capital. Today, there are more than 28,000 students. GW graduates include former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. GW's Milken Institute School of Public Health ranks No. 12 Best Public Health Graduate school by U.S. News & World Report. Through Milken Institute, you can complete an online Master of Science in Exercise Science with a specialization in Strength and Conditioning. To begin the 36-credit MS program, you must have a bachelor's degree in Exercise Physiology. You complete your coursework online through both live and recorded modules. There are 17 credits required in core courses. These include Advanced Exercise Physiology, Biostatistical Applications for Public Health, and Fundamentals of Nutrition Science. You also complete 19 credits in the Strength and Conditioning program. Those courses include Biomechanical Analysis and a six-credit internship. As a GW graduate student, you must take part in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. This can include lectures and seminars. You will take Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative Training before your practicum. You will need to complete a three-day capstone course on the Washington, DC campus during your second year.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $30,780
#13 – Northcentral University
Master's of Education, Athletic Coaching specialization
San Diego, CA
Northcentral University is a completely online university founded in 1996. There are more than 10,000 students completing both master's and doctoral degrees. At NCU, you can begin your program on your schedule with weekly start dates. All faculty members at NCU hold a doctoral degree. You work one-on-one with your professor, without participating in group projects. You can complete a Master of Education at NCU, with an Athletic Coaching Specialization. The program aims to give you the leadership skills you need to be a successful coach. You learn coaching strategies and help students reach their best athletic performance levels. You can complete the 30-credit program of ten courses in 15 months. To receive your MEd, you take nine credits of foundation courses. You will then take 18 credits in the Athletic Coaching specialization. Those specialization courses include Leadership in Coaching Today's Athlete, Legal Aspects in Coaching, and Coaching Psychology. To receive your degree, you complete a three-credit capstone course. Your capstone gives you a chance to use the skills developed in the program to address a specific need within coaching. When you graduate, you have a chance to attend the annual graduation ceremony held each summer in Phoenix, Arizona.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,864
#12 – Southern Utah University
Master of Science in Sports Conditioning & Performance
Cedar City, UT
Southern Utah University, founded as a teacher training school in 1897, offers more than 145 undergraduate and 18 graduate degrees. The physical campus is "University of the Parks" because of its location near several national parks. There are more than 10,000 students on the Utah campus. When it is not convenient or possible to complete your graduate degree in person, SUU offers online learning. You can complete an online Master of Science in Sports Conditioning & Performance. To begin the SUU program, you must have a bachelor's degree in physical education, exercise science, or sports medicine. As an alternative, you may hold a bachelor's degree in another field with a license or certificate as a fitness professional. This can include CSCS, NSCA-CPT, ACSM-CPT, or ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor. To receive your degree, you complete online courses in sports conditioning. Courses include Foundations of Sport Conditioning, Designing Resistance Training Programs, and Bioenergetics & Sport Nutrition. You will also attend three intensive summer courses on the campus. Those courses are Advanced Techniques of Sport Conditioning, Resistance Training Technique, and Evaluation in Sport Fitness. You complete a thesis during your last semester.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,574 / $23,784
#11 – Concordia University-Chicago
Master of Applied Exercise Science
Concordia University-Chicago began in 1864 as a teacher education college. Today it offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. Concordia partnered with the National Academy of Sports Medicine to offer an online Master of Science in Applied Exercise Degree. It is one of only two fully online NASM partnership programs. The MS degree requires 30 credits. You complete ten, eight-week courses. You can finish the program in one year or take one class each term over 20 months. The MS degree requires five core courses in Kinesiology, Research Design in Exercise Science, Applied Exercise Physiology, and Exercise and Sport Nutrition. You will need to take a final capstone experience during your last semester. You will also declare a concentration at Concordia. There are concentrations available in Fitness and Health Promotion, Human Movement Science, Sports Nutrition, Sports Performance Training, or Strength and Conditioning. Each concentration requires 12 credits. You can add a second concentration by completing an extra four classes. The Fitness and Health Promotion helps prepare you for the Certified Personal Trainer credential. The Human Movement Science prepares you for the National Academy of Sports Medicine's Corrective Exercise Specialist certification. The Sports Nutrition concentration helps prepare you for the Certified Sports Nutrition exam offered by the International Society of Sport Nutrition. The Sports Performance Training concentration helps prepare coaches and athletic trainers for the Performance Enhancement Specialist exam. The Strength and Conditioning concentration is for current practitioners. The program helps prepare you for the National Strength & Conditioning Association certification.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,910
#10 – University of Southern Mississippi
Master of Science in Kinesiology: Physical Education Emphasis
The University of Southern Mississippi is all about tradition, pride, loyalty, and excellence. Southern Miss began in 1910 as a teacher training school. Today, USM is an R1-designated research university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. You can now attend online classes at Southern Miss. One of those is the Master of Science in Kinesiology with a Physical Education emphasis. If you are a physical education teacher or coach, this program can give you advanced tools to help you succeed in the classroom. For admission to the MS program, you need a bachelor's degree and either a GRE or ACSM certification as an Exercise Physiologist or ACSM/NPAS Physical Activity in Public Health. You may also submit scores in Praxis II: Physical Education Content Knowledge or Praxis II: Principles of Learning and Teaching. The 36-hour program includes courses in Adapted Physical Education, Advanced Motor Development, Program Design in Physical Education, and Sport Skill Analysis. There is a thesis and a non-thesis option in this program. The non-thesis option requires a practicum. USM also offers an online Master of Science in Sport Coaching Education. This is a 36-hour program ideal if you are a coach and want advanced training in leadership, sports skills, and athletic evaluation. It requires courses in Sport Psychology, Foundations and Trends in Kinesiology, and Advanced Sport Coaching Methodology.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,514 / $10,514
#9 – Louisiana State University
Master of Science in Kinesiology, specialization in Sport Management
Baton Rouge, LA
Louisiana State University began in 1853. There are campuses in Alexandria, Shreveport, Eunice, and Baton Rouge. It is one of 30 universities across the U.S. with land-, sea-, and space-grant status. You can now complete your LSU degree online, learning from the impressive LSU faculty. LSU offers an online Master of Science in Kinesiology, with a specialization in Sport Management. This helps you advance your career in sport management. To gain admission to the LSU School of Kinesiology and complete your master's degree, you need a bachelor's degree in a related field. You will also need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. You can finish the 36-credit program in one year. It combines sport management theory, facilities management, policy development, sports law, and organizational development. It is a blend of both theory and practice. To complete the MS in Kinesiology with the Sport Management emphasis, you complete 18 credits in core courses. Those include Administrative Problems in Kinesiology, Sport Law, Social Issues in Sport, and Economic Issues in Sport. You complete 12 credits in Sport Management electives. These courses include Facilities Management, Sport Administration, and a Sport Seminar.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,132
#8 – Liberty University
Master of Science in Exercise Science and Wellness
Liberty University started as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971. Five years later, it changed to Liberty Baptist College and then became a university in 1985. It also launched its distance learning program that year, which is now Liberty University Online. Today, with online students, there are more than 100,000 students attending LU, including 30,000 military members. You can complete a Master of Science in Exercise Science and Wellness through LU Online. The 33-credit program takes an average of one and a half years to complete. All classes are online, each lasting eight weeks. The degree gives you a Christian perspective on the world of sports, fitness, and wellness. You complete five core courses for the degree. Those include Exercise Physiology, Statistical Analysis in Exercise Science, and Fitness Assessment & Programming. You will then complete six courses in your specialization. LU offers two specializations for the MS in Exercise Science and Wellness. The Fitness and Performance option is for those who work in commercial sports or at the high school or collegiate level. Courses include Advanced Strength Development, Advanced Conditioning and Recovery, and Advanced Biomechanical Analysis. The Nutrition and Wellness option prepares you to be a wellness coach or a nutrition and exercise specialist. Your concentration courses include Public Health and Physical Activity and Nutrition & Chronic Disease.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,904
#7 – University of Northern Colorado
Sport and Exercise Science Master of Science, Exercise Physiology emphasis
The University of Northern Colorado, founded in 1889, is a public university. There are almost 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Today, you can complete an online degree through UNC's Extended Campus. The online program lets you attend class when it is convenient for you. You have a chance to interact with your instructor and other students using video software. You can complete an online Master of Arts degree in Applied Sports Coaching. This 30-credit degree blends education theory with applied practice. You can start this program in any term. It requires five terms, which you can finish in 18 months. You take a short online orientation before you begin your studies. Courses include Sports Coaching Principles and Perspectives, Sports Injuries for Coaches, and Psychology for Sports Coaches. You complete an internship in Sport and Exercise Science. You work with your advisor to choose your internship. It can be for one or two semesters. You take a final written comprehensive exam to receive your MA degree.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,476 / $19,551
#6 – Georgia Southern University
Master of Science, Kinesiology
In 1906, First District Agricultural & Mechanical School opened its doors in Statesboro. From those humble agricultural beginnings, where rural school children learned homemaking and farm work, it evolved into a teacher training school in 1924. By 1959, it became Georgia Southern College and received full university recognition in 1990 as Georgia Southern. In nearby Savannah, Armstrong Junior College began in 1935 and expanded throughout the decades. In 1996, it became Armstrong State University. The final consolidation came in 2018 when the two colleges merged to become Georgia Southern University. Today, there are 27,000 students in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville, and in online classes. You can complete an online 36-credit Master of Science in Kinesiology with a Coaching Education concentration. This is ideal for experienced coaches who want to take their skills and knowledge to the next level. The National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education accredits this program. It offers a curriculum that follows the National Coaching Standards for Level 5 Coaching Status. The Sports Management Degree hub ranks the GSU program among the 15 Best Online Coaching Education Degree programs. This is a cohort program that begins each May. You continue your program with the same group of students as a support system. You take 12 classes over 14 months, which includes two summer terms, one fall term, and a spring term. You will complete a practicum in coaching during your last summer.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,636 / $26,518
#5 – University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Master of Science in Kinesiology
The Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas stretches from the Gulf of Mexico inland along the Rio Grande River. It is home to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. UTRGV is the state's newest public university, created in 2013. UTRGV has campuses and research sites in Brownsville, Edinburgh, Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. You can complete the 36-hour online Master of Science in Kinesiology at UTRGV. The program ranks No. 8 for Best Online Master's in Sports Medicine by Onlinemasters.com and No. 5 by Bestvalueschools.com. It is a flexible program. You work with your advisor to choose courses that best fit your career goals. For admission to the program, you must hold a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology or a related field with at least a 3.0 GPA. The MS requires four core courses. Those are History and Philosophy of Kinesiology, Research Methods, Applied Test and Measurements in Kinesiology, and Advanced Exercise Physiology. For your 18 to 21 hours of electives, you may take courses from any of the four participating UT System universities. There are two types of internships available during the program. The Kinesiology Internship requires 12 hours in Graduate Teacher Education and Certification. You work on-site in a public school setting. If you select the Internship in Sport, you work in an outside sports organization for 120 contact hours. After your coursework, you complete a capstone project. This can be either a thesis or a project-based independent study.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,720 / $13,190
#4 – University of Texas at Tyler
Online Master of Science Degree in Kinesiology
The University of Texas at Tyler is about half-way between Dallas and Shreveport, LA. It is part of the 14 University of Texas System universities. UT Tyler, founded in 1971, has six colleges that offer 80 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. There are 10,000 students, including those enrolled in the online program. You can get an online Master of Science in Kinesiology through the Department of Health and Kinesiology. The program, which you can take from anywhere on your schedule, includes coaching, health, wellness, exercise physiology, and personal training. This is also an ideal degree for physical therapists and athletic trainers. You can complete the classes entirely online or through a combination of online and in-person classes. The 36-hour program includes six core courses. Those are Research Design, Biometric Methods, Motor Learning, Exercise Physiology, and Biomechanics. You select another 12 hours of electives to complete your coursework. To receive your MS degree, you will need to complete a capstone experience. This is either a thesis or an internship/practicum. These experiences place you in schools or businesses to give you practical health and kinesiology experience.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,472 / $13,374
#3 – University of Louisiana at Monroe
Master of Science, Exercise Science, Sport Management Concentration
Monroe is a small city in northern Louisiana, about two and a half hours east of Shreveport. The city is home to the University of Louisiana at Monroe. It opened there in 1931, originally as the Ouachita Parish Junior College. It began to offer doctoral degrees by 1969 and became Northeast Louisiana University. It became NLU in 1999. Today, there are about 9,000 students studying across four Colleges and the Graduate School. ULM has a strong online program, offering 35 degrees through eight-week sessions. You can complete the online Master of Science in Exercise Science, with a Sport Management concentration. To gain admission to the MS program, you must present GRE scores. You must have 24 hours in undergraduate exercise science/kinesiology courses. The program at ULM is CAAHEP-accredited. You complete all your coursework online but must take your comprehensive exams on campus. To complete the 36-hour program, you take four core courses. Those are Sport Sociology, Governance and Ethics in Sport, Research Methods in Exercise Science, and Statistical Methods in Exercise Science. You will take two courses in sports wellness and psychology. These classes might include Psychology of Motor Learning, Nutrition and Wellness, or Sports Psychology. You then complete four courses in sport management. Those classes might include Legal Issues in Sport, Leadership and Administration in Sports, Finance and Economics in Sport, or Facility and Event Development. You also complete two extra graduate electives. Three of those hours can include an internship.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,490 / $18,590
#2 – University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Master of Science in Kinesiology
Odessa is in western Texas, about two hours south of Lubbock. It is home to the University of Texas Permian Basin, which accepted its first students in 1973. UTPB, surrounded by one of the country's largest oilfields, has more than 7,000 students. You can complete an online Master of Science in Kinesiology from UTPB. The program is in conjunction with three other participating UT campuses: El Paso, Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio. For admission to the program, you must have a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology or Physical Education. You can complete your degree through a combination of in-person classes, interactive video, and web-based classes. UT usually offers eight online courses each semester so you can complete the entire degree online if you choose. To receive the MS in Kinesiology degree, you take four core courses. Your core courses include Research Methods, Exercise Physiology, Sport or Exercise Psychology, and Introduction to Statistics. You choose one of three interest areas and complete three courses in that area. Those areas are Exercise Science, Psychology of Sport, Teaching, Coaching, or Administration. If you choose the thesis option, you complete 30 hours of coursework and then a six-credit thesis. This includes research in a lab or conducting a field experiment, collecting data, analyzing data, and presenting the findings. If you choose the non-thesis option, you complete 33 credits in course work and a three-credit project that includes field studies.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $3,821 / $4,451
#1 – Texas A&M University-Commerce
Master of Science in Health, Kinesiology & Sports Studies
Commerce is about 90 minutes northeast of Dallas. Texas A&M University-Commerce began there in 1889. With other campuses in the DFW metroplex and online offerings, it is the second largest school in the Texas A&M system with about 10,000 students. You can complete a hybrid online/in-class Master of Science in Health, Kinesiology, and Sports Studies at Texas A&M University-Commerce. The MS in HKSS has four concentrations available: Athletic Administration, Health Promotion, Exercise Science, or Physical Education Pedagogy. The Athletic Administration concentration is completely online and there is no thesis. This is a 30-hour program that you can complete in one year. You take an internship in your last semester and submit a final portfolio. The Health Promotion concentration is online. There is a thesis or non-thesis option. This 36-hour program has a wellness focus. The thesis option includes a six-credit thesis. If you choose the non-thesis option, you take an internship in your last semester and a final written comprehensive exam. The 36-hour Exercise Science concentration is about 60 percent online and you can choose a thesis or non-thesis option. This is a hands-on program, which includes fitness and health testing. You must pass a comprehensive final exam. You complete the thesis during your final two semesters or an internship in your final semester. The Physical Education Pedagogy is completely online and there is no thesis. You should hold teacher certification for this concentration. It is a 30-credit program that requires a final portfolio.