Best Online Sports Medicine Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

Sports medicine is broadly defined as any treatment that address physical fitness and health or injuries related movement.

The field offers numerous career opportunities. For example, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and health coaches all fall under the umbrella of sports medicine. These careers are projected to experience high job growth in the next decade – physical therapists may experience a 30% increase, while athletic trainers may increase 23%. With so many possible career options in the field, pursuing a broad undergraduate education in health sciences can be useful. Undergraduate programs provide education in health and wellness, the science of movement, and how to develop effective exercise programs.

A bachelor’s degree in one of the sports medicine fields can lead to immediate employment or be a step towards advanced clinical study. Whether your interests lie in professional sports, working with the disabled or elderly, or personal training, a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine can open up a wide variety of opportunities.


mini icon

Accredited Online College Programs

Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

What are the Best Online Bachelor Degrees in Health and Sports Medicine?

Best Online Bachelor's in Health and Sports Medicine Badge

Considering that the field of sports medicine is so expansive and encompasses everything from health programming to exercise science, nutrition, and physiology, the schools below offer a similar range of degree options.

While some emphasize the business facet of sports medicine and others direct client care, they all share one thing in common: they are the best online undergraduate programs in the nation for those who want to work in athletics and health care. To determine such a comprehensive and definitive list, we started first with the academic reputation of each program in the nation and then examined student retention—a reflection of student satisfaction—affordability, and the early salaries of graduates.

The result, after such exhaustive research, is a list of those programs that are the best in the nation at training and educating future physical therapists, sports scientists, and athletic trainers. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $129

    Overview

    Located in Gainesville with a student population tipping over 50k, the University of Florida (UF) is a flagship university that offers an impressive range of academic degrees and research opportunities, as UF is also home to more than 150 research facilities and centers. Even though many of these research centers, projects, and initiatives take place on campus, online students receive the same access and opportunities as on-campus students.

    Features

    The University of Florida lands the top spot on our list of best online bachelor degrees in sports and exercise science because its online platform incorporates the same curriculum, delivered by the same faculty, as the on-campus classrooms. Students can therefore expect the same amount of rigor and a degree experience that mirrors a traditional program. This BS in Health Education and Behavior degree is fully online and trains students to promote healthy lifestyles with individual clients as well as within diverse communities. UF graduates have found careers as:

    • Fitness Counselors
    • Health Education Specialists
    • Environmental Health Emergency Response Specialists
    • Public Health Information Officers
    • Exercise Science Consultants
    • Athletic Training Assistants
    • And more

    Notables

    Nationally and globally ranked as a whole by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Times Higher Education, many of UF’s of undergraduate and graduate programs—including the clinical medicine, biology, and chemistry departments, among others—are also ranked among the best in the country.

  2. Ohio State University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $186

    Overview

    Located in Columbus, Ohio State University (OSU) is an elite research school of nearly 60k combined undergraduate and graduate students (though there are over 100k if you include all campus locations, including its online community). It is one of the largest universities in the country, home to a prolific athletic program, a member of the Big Ten Alliance, and a huge contributor to research in energy, biomedics, cardiovascular health, and more.

    Features

    Offered through the College of Medicine, this online BS in Health Science degree introduces students to the various facets of human health while also preparing them (for those so interested) for medical school. OSU’s program will provide a solid foundation in health care, whether you’re interested in advanced schooling or you hope to dive right into a career after graduation. You can specialize by pairing the degree with a minor, in aging, cognitive science, disability studies, or integrative health and wellness. Some of the unique classes you will have the opportunity to take include:

    • Individual Differences in Client Populations
    • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
    • Introduction to Pathophysiology
    • Community and Policy Influence on Health care
    • Contemporary Topics in Health and Society
    • Among others

    Notables

    OSU is known for its many research efforts as well as its business, science, medicine, education, and politics departments. It is considered one of the top hundred universities in the nation by ARWU, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly, as well as being globally ranked by Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Ranking.

  3. Creighton University
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $445

    Overview

    A Roman Catholic, Jesuit university based in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, Creighton University was founded by the Society of Jesus and is currently a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. It is the state’s largest private, religious university with around 9k enrolled undergraduates. Creighton is organized into nearly a dozen colleges and schools, among them the School of Medicine, the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, and the College of Nursing.

    Features

    For those seeking a faith-based, liberal arts approach to health care and sports science, the online BA in Healthy Lifestyle Management degree at Creighton is a confluence of classes on physical activity, holistic health, lifestyle medicine, nutrition, health psychology, and cultural perspectives on health. This is a markedly interdisciplinary degree program, so students gain experience in teaching, research, and practicum, and thus graduate ready to find careers in:

    • Health Education
    • Health and Wellness Coaching
    • Wellness Planning and Consulting
    • Community Health Organizing
    • Recreational and Wellness Planning
    • And more

    Notables

    Creighton University is ranked (by U.S. News & World Report) first among regional colleges and universities. Similarly, it is consistently included in rankings put forth from Forbes and Washington Monthly.

  4. Arizona State University
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

    Tuition

    $585

    Overview

    Arizona State University (ASU) is a large, elite, research school with multiple campuses throughout the state and in downtown Phoenix. It is home to over 72k combined undergraduate and graduate students, several renowned research centers (ASU is among the top twenty in the nation for its research expenditures), major medical schools and hospitals, and one of the best distance education programs in the country.

    Features

    Known for its medical degrees and programs, ASU is a great choice for earning an online BS in sports science, exercise science, and health education. They offer a BS in Health Sciences degree with a concentration in Healthy Lifestyles Coaching that combines exercise science with holistic wellness, nutrition with health science. Students gain a foundation in preventative health care while taking classes in seven-week chunks, among them, a core comprised of the following courses:

    • Fitness for Life
    • Complementary Health care
    • Changing Health Behaviors
    • Eating for Lifelong Health
    • Health Coaching Concepts and Skills
    • Nutrition and Health Communications

    Notables

    Arizona State University is designated a top research school by Carnegie, and it is consistently included in public, national, and global rankings by U.S News, Washington Monthly, and ARWU.

  5. University of Wisconsin-Superior
    Location

    Superior, WI

    Tuition

    $305

    Overview

    A member of the well-regarded University of Wisconsin system, the Superior campus is a small public university that offers dozens of degrees across academic levels. It is considered the premier liberal arts school in the UW system and is thus a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Approximately 3k undergraduates attend UW Superior.

    Features

    Offered through the Health and Human Performance Department, the online Exercise Science degree at UW Superior readies students for either advanced education (so they can go on to become physical therapists, sports physicians, athletic trainers, and more) or to find a career right after graduation. The curriculum at UW Superior is a blend of coursework on nutrition, exercise physiology, pathophysiology, and hands-on clinical experience. Because of the practical nature of this online program, UW Superior graduates have found careers in:

    • Sport Nutrition
    • Exercise Physiology (clinical and nonclinical)
    • Cardiopulmonary Rehab
    • Personal Training
    • Health and Fitness Instruction
    • Coaching
    • And more

    Notables

    Due to the small size and liberal arts focus of UW Superior, the student to faculty ratio is distinctively low at 16:1. Students work closely with professors in a collaborative, mentorship model of education. UW Superior also connects its students with local communities through the frequently lauded Academic Service Learning program.

  6. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
    Location

    Indianapolis, IN

    Tuition

    $361

    Overview

    A public school, Indiana University–Purdue University–Indianapolis (IUPUI) is a mid-sized research institution that specializes in professional education and a liberal arts core. A member of both the university systems of Indiana University and Purdue, IUPUI works with all eight IU campuses to offer many online degrees and degree completion programs. Around 30k combined undergraduates and graduate students attend Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

    Features

    IUPUI offers an online BS in Health Sciences degree that prepares you to attend graduate school or to find a career in health promotion, development, and service. To specialize your degree you can also supplement the major with certification in one of three areas of health: gerontology, global health and rehabilitation studies, or rehabilitation and disability. Whether or not you decide to include a concentration, you will progress through a common core that includes classes on:

    • Health and Rehab Systems Across the World
    • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
    • Disability and Society
    • Ethical Issues in Health and Rehab Services
    • Nutrition and Exercise
    • Human Nutrition through the Lifespan
    • And more

    Notables

    IUPUI is also known for its research initiatives in an array of health fields, including in imaging, STEM education, nanosystems, and physician science, among others. Ranked “with distinction” by the President’s Higher Education Community Service, IUPUI is also well-ranked for its academics, its commitment to sustainability, and its commitment to diversity.

  7. University of Missouri
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $282

    Overview

    A public, land-grant research institution with over 30k undergraduate and graduate students, the University of Missouri (Mizzou) is organized into twenty colleges and schools. It is located in Columbia and home to dozens of renowned research centers and labs, including the MU Sports Park, the International Institute for Nano and Molecular Medicine, and its number of hospitals and clinics.

    Features

    Mizzou offers an online BHS—Bachelor of Health Science—degree that can be earned fully online. This program trains students in the areas of corporate wellness, sports health, human services, medical management, and pharmaceuticals. You’ll graduate from Mizzou’s program an expert in:

    • Clinical ethics
    • Public health principles and practice
    • Sports and exercise science
    • The U.S. healthcare system
    • Health literacy and leadership
    • Research methodology

    Notables

    U.S. News & World Report ranks Mizzou as among the top 100 best universities in the nation. ARWU, Forbes, and Washington Monthly also rank Mizzou nationally. In addition to its academic accolades, Mizzou is known for many things, such as its listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

  8. California University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    California, PA

    Tuition

    $624

    Overview

    California University (Cal U) is a public university and a member of the well-regarded Pennsylvania State System. It is also a mid-sized school that offers degrees across all academic levels, from bachelor’s to doctoral degrees, and in a variety of disciplines and fields. In fact, Cal U offers over 150 academic programs, including those housed under the nationally recognized Global Online College.

    Features

    The sports programming at Cal U is unique among those on our list: the online sports management studies degree comes paired with a track in wellness and fitness that easily translates into an advanced degree in sports medicine or direct client care after graduation. Also distinctive about this program is the emphasis on peer relationships. Students enter with a cohort who they work closely alongside, making this an ideal program for those who want a more traditional undergraduate experience. Cal U’s graduates have found careers in:

    • Gyms and fitness centers
    • Spas and rehab clinics
    • Exercise physiology
    • Strength coaching
    • Athletic training with high school and college-level athletes
    • And more

    Notables

    Cal U is consistently ranked among the top three best online colleges in the country. The global program has solidified a reputation in providing affordable, high-quality distance education and for over a decade has been included among Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report rankings.

  9. Northern Kentucky University
    Location

    Highland Heights, KY

    Tuition

    $425

    Overview

    Located just south of Cincinnati—in Highland Heights, Kentucky—Northern Kentucky University (NKU) is a public liberal arts school. Around 15k students attend Northern Kentucky and are enrolled in one of the six schools or colleges, including its renowned College of Informatics and Salmon P. Chase College of Law. NKU offers 60 bachelor’s degrees in the arts, sciences, education, business, law, and health fields.

    Features

    The online Health Sciences degree at NKU is one of the broadest on our list, with discrete tracks in transdisciplinary health, non-clinical health, and clinical medicine. While the clinical track is for those who already have experience in the healthcare professions, the non-clinical health track is for those who are looking to transition into the health profession. Both however, enable students to further their careers and/or advance into graduate school. The transdisciplinary track is for those who want to work in health promotion and wellness but not necessarily in a clinical setting. Students from all tracks take courses in:

    • Healthcare Management
    • Aging in Today’s Society
    • Healthcare Research
    • Global Perspectives of Healthcare
    • Concepts of Quality Patient Care
    • Statistical Methods

    Notables

    Since NKU is modeled after a liberal arts program, class sizes are notably small with under 25 students, on average, in each class. Equally, the student-to-faculty ratio is small as well, with around 17 students to each faculty member.

  10. University of the Incarnate Word
    Location

    San Antonio, TX

    Tuition

    $425

    Overview

    A private, Catholic university, the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is located in San Antonio, Texas. It was originally founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and today has nearly 12k students, making it the third largest private university, and the largest Catholic university, in Texas. UIW offers 80 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

    Features

    The online BS in Health Science degree program at UIW may not directly introduce you to sports science concepts, but the general degree program provides a broad base of education in which to work with. Meaning, you can find a career in wellness and exercise science after graduation, or you can move into graduate school to further specialize in sports medicine. This program is notably flexible and can be paired with multiple concentrations, in administration, nutrition, or general studies. All students, however, take core classes in:

    • Public Health
    • Healthcare Policy
    • Legal Issues in Healthcare
    • Bio Statistics and Health Sciences
    • Information Systems for the Health Sciences
    • And more

    Notables

    UIW has a renowned study abroad program that gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on, international learning experience in nearly 50 different countries—among them, China, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Brazil, Germany, and much more.

mini icon

Online College Resources

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.


Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2021

Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2021

July 30, 2021   |   CollegeChoice.net Staff

A law degree can increase earning potential and career opportunities. Here, we list the best online programs available.

Best Online Colleges and Universities

Best Online Colleges and Universities

June 3, 2021   |   Staff Writers

According to the , 6,932,074 students enrolled in at least one distance education course at degree-granting postsecondary institutions in fall 2018. The year 2021 marks an ideal time to pursue...

Discover a program that is right for you.

Search schools to find the program that is right for you.