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50 Best Master’s in Sports Science Degree Programs (Campus) 2019

Employment for fitness trainers, instructors, and other wellness professionals is expected to grow 10% through 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – which is much faster than other job sectors. Sport science is the study of how human muscles and other bodily systems work, develop, and interact with each other in the context of sport and human performance. This broad field includes studies in biomechanics, motor learning, human performance, sport psychology, health and wellness, and sport nutrition.

Strict categorizing of programs in sports science can be a challenge. It largely depends on the emphasis of the individual program and coursework available to the student. Sport science programs are found in areas like pre-med, kinesiology, exercise science, and human performance. Many students choose to one of these programs to work as professional fitness trainers, coaches, or wellness professionals – or as a stepping stone for advanced studies in medicine or physical therapy. Students interested in sport science have plenty of program options available. We have created this list of our top 50 campus based sport science master’s degree programs to give you an idea of the best programs out there.

Methodology

To identify the top 50 best sport science master’s, we started with a search on College Navigator to find out which schools offered these programs. We also consulted the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) which are two accrediting bodies for sport science programs. We reviewed programs in sport science, and sport science fields such as kinesiology, exercise science, and human performance to find programs that emphasize sports or athletics. We then applied a ranking using student to faculty ratios, average graduate tuition, graduation rates, and accreditations. Where there are ties, we favored the school with the lower average graduate tuition rate.

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 10:1 or less= 3 Points
  • 11:1 to 15:1=2 Points
  • Greater than 15:1= 1 Point

Average Graduate Tuition Rate

  • Less than $10,000 per year= 3 Points
  • $10,000 to $15,000 per year=2 Points
  • More than $15,000 per year= 1 Point

Overall Graduation Rate

  • Less than 30%= 1 Point
  • Between 30% and 50%= 2 Points
  • Greater than 50%= 3 Points

Accreditation

  • NSCA= 2 Points
  • CAAHEP= 2 Point

Below are 50 schools that offer the best sports science master’s degree programs.

Ranking the Top Master’s in Sports Science 2018

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#50 – Pennsylvania State University – University Park, Pennsylvania

MS in Kinesiology-Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $20,732/year in-state and $35,586/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 85%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Points: 5
The College of Health and Human Development at Penn State features a top sport science M.S. degree, offering a graduate program in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine. Students can expect to study areas related to pathoetiology, prevention and treatment of athletic and orthopaedic health issues. Students are engaged in research and collaborate with other faculty and clinicians around campus. Penn State is home to the Athletic Training Research Laboratory, featuring state of the art clinical assessment tolls that include a surface electromyography and electrogoniometry system, a physical exam and treatment area, and a function testing area.

#49 – Barry University – Miami Shores, Florida

Human Performance and Wellness, MS

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $17,820/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 35%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 5
The Human Performance and Wellness program at Barry University is a top sport science MS degree program that allows students to customize their program to meet their professional goals. This 36 credit hour program is comprised of 12 core credits followed by 24 credits of electives that can be selected to create a specialization. Graduates have found success working as corporate fitness coaches, fitness advisors, or wellness coaches. The program also provides a solid foundation for continuing education in areas like medicine and chiropractic care.

#48 – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Illinois

Master of Science in Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $15,186/year in-state and $28,773/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 85%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 5
The University of Illinois’ College of Applied Health Sciences features a top MS in kinesiology that can be completed in as little as one academic year plus one summer semester. Students complete 32 credit hour of sports science courses, 16 of which is focused on kinesiology. Students can choose from three different areas of specialization that include biobehavioral kinesiology; cultural, pedagogical and interpretive kinesiology; and exercise physiology. Both a thesis and non-thesis option are available, allowing students planning to continue their education to engage in in-depth research.

#47 – Temple University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Kinesiology (MS)

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,164/year in-state and $22,158/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 71%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Points: 6
The top master’s in kinesiology at Temple University is a comprehensive program offering concentration areas in both athletic training and integrative exercise physiology. Students are actively engaged in sports science courses and research, building a solid foundation for future professional and educational opportunities. Students will become leaders in their field by gaining knowledge and understanding of clinical practice and best practices to prevent sport injuries, aid in treatment, and enhance the performance of physically active individuals.

#46 – Oregon State University – Corvallis, Oregon

MS in Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,339/year in-state and $22,761/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 65%
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Points: 6
The College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University features a top kinesiology MS degree program with concentration areas in biophysical kinesiology and psychosocial kinesiology. The biophysical kinesiology focus encompasses exercise physiology, human performance, and neuromechanics. Students have access to the Translational Metabolism Research Laboratory which investigates human metabolic diseases and the Skeletal Biology Laboratory that is dedicated to reducing bone fractures related to osteoporosis. This top master’s in sport science also gives students the chance to study in the Human Performance Lab which conducts research in athletic performance and exercise energy metabolism.

#45 – Virginia Commonwealth University – Richmond, Virginia

MS in Health and Movement Sciences

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,466/year in-state and $23,487/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 63%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
Virginia Commonwealth University offers a top MS in Health and Movement Sciences featuring cutting edge laboratories and professional development opportunities for students with a passion for promoting healthy lifestyles. This 36 credit hour master’s degree program includes both a thesis and non-thesis option. Students choosing the non-thesis option need to pass a comprehensive examination in order to complete the program. New students are admitted during the fall, spring, and summer semester and full-time students can earn their degree in two years.

#44 – University of Tennessee, Knoxville – Knoxville, Tennessee

Master’s in Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,244/year in-state and $29,432/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 70%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
The kinesiology master’s degree program at the University of Tennessee Knoxville is a hands-on program with concentrations offered in biomechanics, exercise physiology, and sport psychology and motor behavior. All three concentration areas are competitive and class size is kept intentionally small. Students will have the opportunity to engage in cross-disciplinary research, allowing students to customize the program to meet their personal and professional goals. Most full-time students can earn their master’s degree in two years of study, part-time students can expect to take longer.

#43 – University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, Colorado

MS Strength & Conditioning

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,351/year in-state and $20,935/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 43%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 6
The MS in Strength & Conditioning program at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs features an interprofessional curriculum and hands-on training. This 37 credit hour master’s degree program includes sports science courses in exercise science, leadership, strength and conditioning, and dietary supplements. Elective offerings are available in sport nutrition, weight management, and advanced human anatomy. Students can choose to complete a graduate research project or thesis or elect to take a comprehensive exam.

#42 – Northern Michigan University – Marquette, Michigan

MS in Exercise Science

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,288/year in-state and $11,744/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 49%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
Northern Michigan University offers a master’s in exercise science designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a closely related field such as athletic training or sport science. Students complete 17 credits of core sports science courses followed by elective coursework to create an area of specialization. Required coursework covers topics like sports nutrition, research, and measurement. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available depending on the student’s educational and professional goals.

#41 – Humboldt State University – Arcata, California

Masters in Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 47%
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
Points: 6
The MS in Kinesiology from Humboldt State University is an advanced program that combines both theory and practical knowledge in areas like sport, nutrition, exercise, and health. This 30 credit hour top master’s in sport science includes a thesis or project in addition to field work or independent study. Graduates are prepared for success in doctoral or professional programs in a variety of areas including medicine, performance, and biomechanics.

#40 – University of Nevada, Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nevada

Master of Science – Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,144/year in-state and $19,332/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 42%
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Points: 6
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas features a top on-campus MS in kinesiology with emphasis areas in athletic training, biomechanics, or motor control and learning. Students are engaged in research projects to gain an in-depth understanding of application and cutting edge laboratory equipment. New students are admitted three times each year and should have an undergraduate degree in a closely related academic discipline. Both thesis and non-thesis plans are available with this top on-campus sport science master’s degree program. Most full-time students can complete their degree in just two years.

#39 – University of Central Arkansas -Conway, Arkansas

MS in Exercise Science

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $4,807/year in-state and $9,614/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 41%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
The Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Central Arkansas offers a master’s in exercise science directed at students with a passion for exercise physiology, biomechanics, and motor control. Unique sports science courses are available in areas like contemporary coaching problems, athletic administration, obesity prevention and management, and strength and conditioning. Both thesis and non-thesis plans are available, with non-thesis option students completing a comprehensive exam during their last semester.

#38 – Texas Woman’s University – Denton, Texas

Master’s in Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $4,672/year in-state and $12,142/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 36%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
Texas Woman’s University features both an MS and PhD program in kinesiology specializing in biomechanics. Students will learn the mechanics of the human body to prevent falls in the elderly, prevent injury, and enhance sport performance. Students learn through a variety of methods including lecture and applied exercises in the Biomechanics Lab. Students complete 30-36 credits and can choose to complete a thesis or professional paper and project. Full-time students can complete this top sport science master’s degree program in four semesters.

#37 – Fort Hays State University – Hays, Kansas

MS in Health and Human Performance

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $3,497/year in-state and $9,961/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 44%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
The MS in Health and Human Performance from Fort Hays State University is a comprehensive master’s degree program for students with a passion for wellness. Students can choose to focus in exercise science, sport administration, or movement and sport studies. Hands-on experience through an internship opportunity give students the chance to gain valuable hands-on training. All students complete 17 credits of core sports science courses followed by 15 credits of electives which can include a thesis.

#36 – East Stroudsburg University – East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Exercise Science (MS)

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,000/year in-state and $18,000/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 48%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Points: 7
Students with a passion for understanding the human body through movement and exercise will be interested in the top master’s in exercise science from East Stroudsburg University. Students complete most academic and laboratory experiences in state of the art facilities that include the Human Performance Laboratory and the Biomechanics Laboratory. The Biomechanics Laboratory features two and three dimensional motion analysis systems, electromyography systems, and infrared timing devices. Students can begin the program in the fall or spring semester and can choose a thesis or internship experience.

#35 – Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado

MS in Health and Exercise Science

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,917/year in-state and $24,312/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 69%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 7
The MS in Health and Exercise Science offered by Colorado State University College of Health and Human Sciences features a science-based curriculum and cutting edge research opportunities. Students utilize the state-of-the-art Human Performance Clinical Research Laboratory, which has received designation as a CSU Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence since 2008. Sports science courses are available in areas like exercise bioenergetics, research design, and exercise physiology. Full-time students can earn their master’s degree in two years. Graduates are prepared for professional employment or educational advancement in a PhD program.

#34 – Iowa State University – Ames, Iowa

Master’s in Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,944/year in-state and $22,656/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 73%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 7
The MS in Kinesiology from Iowa State University is an advanced study program designed for students planning to pursue doctoral study, continue on to a professional program in medicine or physical therapy, earn a graduate degree to compliment a teaching license, or for students who want to gain a deeper understanding of kinesiology. Areas of emphasis include exercise physiology, exercise psychology, biomechanics, motor control, physical activity and health promotion, pedagogy, and physical activity epidemiology. Both thesis and non-thesis tracks are offered and students can choose the appropriate track that meets their needs.

#33 – Ball State University – Muncie, Indiana

MA/MS in Exercise Science Sports Performance Program

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,554/year in-state and $21,172/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 62%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 7
Ball State University offers both an MA and MS in Exercise Science with a concentration in Sports Performance. This master’s program is designed as a terminal degree for students who want to become a strength professional working with college athletes. This flexible 34 credit hour program can be earned as a non-thesis degree, with a research paper (the MA program) or with a thesis (the MS program). Some sports science courses are even available online, adding to the program’s flexibility.

#32 – Mississippi State University – Mississippi State, Mississippi

Exercise Physiology Master’s Degree

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,208/year in-state and $22,248/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 58%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 7
Mississippi State University offers four different MS degree concentrations within the Department of Kinesiology. Students can choose from exercise physiology, sport pedagogy, sport administration, and disability studies. The exercise physiology master’s degree program is designed for students who want to work in fitness and allied health care professions. Students can take unique sport science course offerings in doping and supplement use in sport, graded exercise testing, and occupational physiology. Concluding options include a thesis, directed individual study, or internship experience.

#31 – Illinois State University – Normal, Illinois

Exercise Physiology Master’s Degree

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,765/year in-state and $15,445/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 69%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 7
The School of Kinesiology and Recreation at Illinois State University features an exercise physiology master’s degree program with state-of-the-art facilities that provide students with hands-on training needed for success. The SMART Clinic, Athletic Training Research and Education Laboratory, and Biomechanics Lab give students professional experience and real-world opportunities to work with patients and engage in simulations to improve their skills. Both a thesis and independent-study program option are available and graduatesof this top master’s degree program are prepared for doctoral study or positions in research, the fitness industry, or in wellness settings.

#30 – University of Maine – Orono, Maine

M.S., Exercise Science Concentration

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,722/year in-state and $25,146/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 58%
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Points: 7
The top MS and MEd sport science programs from the University of Maine uses both classroom and laboratory experiences to keep students engaged through hands-on learning. The exercise science concentration is a 33 credit hour master’s program that includes both a thesis and non-thesis option. Students complete sport science courses in areas like assessment and evaluation of human performance, advanced exercise physiology, and motor learning and performance. Students also complete six hours of elective coursework in a related area of interest to further develop their skills.

#29 – University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, Arkansas

Master of Science in Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,563/year in-state and $19,784/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 62%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 7
The MS in Kinesiology from the University of Arkansas is a flexible on-campus program with concentrations in either exercise science or adapted movement science. Exercise science students acquire the skills needed to become certified fitness directors through the ACSM. Adapted movement science students learn to work with individuals with disabilities in hospital or clinical settings. Service learning opportunities are available through internships, lab practicums, and research.

#28 – University of Houston Clear Lake – Houston, Texas

Exercise and Health Sciences M.S.

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,308/year in-state and $16,290/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: N/A
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 7
Recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the top MS in exercise and health sciences from the University of Houston Clear Lake is designed to educate future exercise and health science experts. Students can choose to concentrate in sport science or public health. Sport science students take courses in areas like technology in human performance, biostatistics, and the biomechanics of sports and exercise. Students complete a three credit hour graduate level internship experience to gain additional hands-on training.

#27 – University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah

MS in Exercise and Disease

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,725/year in-state and $23,740/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 67%
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Points: 7
The College of Health at the University of Utah offers a comprehensive MS in exercise and disease that addresses the impact exercise has on the reduction of disease risk and morbidity. Students will work closely with a mentor to complete a thesis that will be submitted to a peer reviewed journal. This 36 credit hour master’s degree program includes courses in research methods and statistics.

#26 – Bridgewater State University – Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Physical Education, Human Performance and Health Fitness Concentration, MS

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $1,675/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 59%
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Points: 7
Bridgewater State University offers a top on-campus sport science MS degree program for students with an undergraduate degree in physical education or a related field who want to advance their career in community based fitness. This 30 credit hour master’s degree program offers sports science courses in exercise metabolism, exercise prescription, and applied laboratory techniques in exercise science. Elective offerings are diverse and include competitive weight lifting, nutrition for sports, and biomechanics or resistance training. Students complete an internship experience to gain additional hands-on training.

#25 – Springfield College – Springfield, Massachusetts

Exercise Science and Sport Studies (MS and MEd)

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $30,510/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 74%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; New England Commission of Higher Education;
Points: 8
Springfield College features one of the most flexible on-campus sport science MS and MEd programs to make our list. Students can choose to concentration in Athletic Training, Exercise Physiology, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Sport and Exercise Psychology, or Strength and Conditioning. Students participate in classroom and lab learning, allowing them to smoothly transition to the field. On-campus, students have access to a strength and conditioning facility, a human performance lab, and an athletic training rehab room. Most full-time students complete their degree in just two years.

#24 – Sacred Heart University – Fairfield, Connecticut

MS in Exercise Science & Nutrition

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $28,114/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 72%
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
Sacred Health University features a top on-campus MS in exercise science and nutrition with program tracks in either performance or clinical. Students choosing the performance track study biomechanics, coaching, and nutrition in the context of performance and training. Students on the clinical path learn about exercise testing and prescription for a variety of health conditions and nutrition in the context of health. Sports science courses are offered during the late afternoon/evening to accommodate both full and part-time students. Students are engaged in hands-on learning through experiences in the motion analysis lab and the human performance lab.

#23 – Hofstra University – Hempstead, New York

Master of Science in Sports Science

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $23,256/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 63%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
The top on-campus sport science MS degree program from Hofstra University is recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, preparing students to work with athletes in both school and non-school settings. Students learn how to help athletes improve performance and reduce the risk for injury. Courses cover areas like performance testing, periodization, sport nutrition, and biomechanics. Fieldwork experience gives students valuable hands-on training needed for success in the field.

#22 – Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo, Michigan

Exercise and Sports Medicine—Exercise Physiology Concentration

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $14,310/year in-state and $28,900/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 51%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
The Department of Human Performance and Health Education at Western Michigan University features an innovative Exercise and Sports Medicine MS with an Exercise Physiology Concentration. This 36 credit hour master’s degree program includes both lecture based learning and hands-on experience in state-of-the-art labs. Sports science courses cover areas like biomechanics and clinical exercise physiology. Capstone options include a thesis, independent research, or a professional field experience.

#21 – Jacksonville University – Jacksonville, Florida

MS, Kinesiological Sciences

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,860/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 43%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
If learning about human movement through state-of-the-art technology is your passion, the MS in kinesiological sciences from Jacksonville University could be the perfect program for you! This top master’s degree program is focused on sport performance, injury prevention and fitness. Sports science coursework is research related and discipline specific, providing students with a solid understanding of real-world issues. Topics cover areas like movement performance analytics, mechanical modeling of human motion, and advanced biomechanical analysis. Students have the option to complete both a thesis and an internship experience depending on their professional and educational needs.

#20 – California Baptist University – Riverside, California

Kinesiology Master of Science

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,287/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 59%
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
The MS in Kinesiology program from California Baptist University is a 33-34 credit hour master’s degree program with concentrations available in Exercise Science, Physical Education, or Sport Management. The exercise science concentration prepares students for certification through the ACSM. Students take sport science courses in clinical exercise physiology, sport nutrition, and clinical exercise intervention for chronic disease. Each student completes either a comprehensive exam/field experience or thesis.

#19 – Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania – Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

Master of Science in Exercise Science (M.S.)

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,000/year in-state and $18,000/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 58%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Points: 8
The MS in Exercise Science from Bloomsburg University is a comprehensive program comprised of advanced coursework and clinical and research experiences. This 39 credit hourmaster’s degree program includes sports science courses in exercise program administration, mechanics of human movement, exercise nutrition and metabolism, and current issues in exercise science. Students complete either a thesis or a practicum experience. Graduates are prepared to pursue doctoral study, earn professional certification, or begin professional careers in areas like personal training and corporate wellness.

#18 – George Mason University – Fairfax, Virginia

Master of Science (MS) degree in Exercise, Fitness, and Health Promotion (EFHP)

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,228/year in-state and $30,932/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 71%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
George Mason University offers a 36 credit hour on-campus top master’s degree in exercise, fitness, and health promotion. Using a science based approach, students study the role physical activity plays in overall health and fitness. The program is recognized by the NSCA and has a solid reputation for excellence in sport science education. Students have a choice to complete either a research project or thesis. Both full and part-time students are welcome to apply, making this a great choice for working adults.

#17 – Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Illinois

Master’s in Sport Studies

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,050/year in-state and $27,624/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 40%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Higher Learning Commission
Points: 8
The Department of Kinesiology at Southern Illinois University features a top sport studies master’s degree program with sports science courses in sport psychology, sociology, and sport management/administration. Students have the option of completing an internship in sport management, research in kinesiology, a professional development project, or a thesis. Students of this 37 credit hour master’s degree program also need to complete a comprehensive examination at the conclusion of the program.

#16 – University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida

MS in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,770/year in-state and $27,335/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 88%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
The MS in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology from the University of Florida is a research focused master’s degree program with concentrations available in exercise physiology, biobehavioral science, athletic training, and human performance. Students gain valuable training through research relationships with the College of Engineering, the Department of Veterinary Medicine, the Veterans Administration Center, and the College of Medicine. While there are thesis and non-thesis options, all students need to complete a research option which provides them will valuable training and skills development.

#15 – Georgia Southern University – Statesboro, Georgia

MS in Sports Medicine

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,636/year in-state and $26,518/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 50%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
The Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University features an innovative MS in Sports Medicine that is part of the National Strength and Conditioning Education Recognition Program. The sports medicine program emphasis three main research and practical experience areas including strength and conditioning, biomechanics, and exercise physiology. Students are engaged in hands-on learning in the Exercise Physiology Laboratory and the Biomechanics Laboratory within the Biodynamics and Human Performance Center. In each of these lab settings, students work with the latest technology and assessment tools. Graduates have found success working as athletic trainers, coaches, sport nutritionists, and worksite fitness consultants.

#14 – Arkansas Tech University – Russellville, Arkansas

Master of Science Strength and Conditioning Studies

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,112/year in-state and $10,224/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 39%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
The MS in strength and conditioning degree program offered by Arkansas Tech University is a 33 credit hour program for students who plan a career in fitness. By completing this top master’s degree program, graduates are eligible for certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association as Personal Trainers or Strength and Conditioning Specialists. Sports science courses cover areas like biomechanics, trends in sport nutrition and metabolism, and measurement and evaluation in strength and conditioning. Students can choose to complete a research project or internship experience depending on their educational and professional goals.

#13 – Smith College – Northampton, Massachusetts

MS in Exercise & Sport Studies

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $49,760/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 88%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
Smith College features one of the top master’s in exercise and sport studies in the country. This unique MS degree program is designed to prepare future coaches for female athletes at the college level. The program is open to both men and women. Students are actively engaged in teaching research in the Human Performance Lab (HPL). The HPL features a teaching lab, a sample processing lab, a capsular function research lab and a research testing lab. Students can feel confident about finding a job after graduation as more than 90% of grads get a job offer in their preferred field.

#12 – University of Mary – Bismarck, North Dakota

MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $14,500/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 54%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Higher Learning Commission
Points: 9
The top MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology from the University of Mary is a blended master’s degree program with a clinical focus in exercise prescription for clinical populations that include individuals with diabetes, cardiac issues, cancer, and obesity. Students gain valuable hands-on training through evidence based practice and internship experiences. The University of Mary is a Catholic University and offers a curriculum rooted in Benedictine values.

#11 – Auburn University – Auburn, Alabama

Master’s in Exercise Science

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,342/year in-state and $28,026/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 77%
Accreditation: NSCA-ERP School; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 9
The Department of Kinesiology at Auburn University features a master’s in exercise science that prepares students for careers in human performance and training and conditioning. Sports science courses cover areas like advanced measurement and evaluation, research methods, nutrition, and psychology of coaching. Both a thesis and non-thesis program option is available. An internship experience exposes students to real-life challenges and opportunities they will encounter in the field. Two Human Performance Laboratories provide additional hands-on training opportunities.

#10 – The University of Memphis – Memphis, Tennessee

Exercise, Sport and Movement Sciences (MS)

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,054/year in-state and $17,838/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 43%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
The School of Health Studies at the University of Memphis offers a top MS in sport science featuring a research-centered curriculum. This 36 credit hour master’s degree program is ideal students planning to work in the field immediately after graduation as well as students continuing on to PhD study. Elective sports science course offerings give students the chance to customize their degree according to their personal and professional goals. Hands-on experience working in a faculty-directed laboratory give students the chance to work on research in a supervised setting.

#9 – California State University – Fullerton, California

Master of Science Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 66%
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
The top MS in Kinesiology offered by the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Development is a broad, comprehensive program designed to prepare students for advanced education or employment opportunities in wellness and human movement. CSU-F has an extensive offering of elective coursework designed to give students a tailor made master’s degree experience. Sports science courses like sports medicine and worksite health promotion provide students with unique training and experience. Students can choose from a thesis, project, or comprehensive exam for their culminating experience.

#8 – Salisbury University – Salisbury, Maryland

MS in Applied Health Physiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,056/year in-state and $12,654/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 71%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Middle States Commission on Higher Education; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
Salisbury University features an innovative MS in applied health physiology with credential focus areas in cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation, fitness/wellness, and strength and conditioning. Students benefit from individualized experiences and program staff who are dedicated to ensuring each students earns an appropriate professional credential. Internship experiences give students the chance to work closely with professionals in areas like private personal training facilities and hospital rehabilitation departments.

#7 – University of Central Florida – Orlando, Florida

MS in Sport and Exercise Science

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 30:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,916/year in-state $25,759/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 70%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
The School of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Central Florida is home to a top MS in sport science ideal with students who want a deeper understanding of applied physiology and the relationship between athletic performance and wellness. Core sport science courses cover sport nutrition, exercise and health, research, and assessment and evaluation in sport and exercise science. Students can complete a thesis or clinical practicum experience. Diverse elective course offerings include youth physical and athletic development, exercise endocrinology, and dietary and nutritional supplementation for athletic performance.

#6 – Southern Connecticut State University – New Haven, Connecticut

MS Exercise Science – Human Performance

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,757/year in-state and $18,102/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 48%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; New England Commission of Higher Education
Points: 9
Southern Connecticut State University features an innovative mS in exercise science with a focus on human performance. Students have access to a state-of-the-art research/teaching laboratory with equipment designed to assess body composition, metabolism, and muscle/joint strength and stability. Sports science courses cover areas like sports medicine, physiology of exercise, biomechanics of exercise and sport, and methods and procedures of physical fitness testing. This 30 credit hour master’s degree program takes just two years to complete.

#5 – Ashland University – Ashland, Ohio

MS Applied Exercise Science

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,180/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 60%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
The Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Ashland University features a top MS in exercise science designed to prepare students for a career helping others achieve their health goals. Students work alongside experienced faculty members and fitness experts in a state-of-the-art performance laboratory. Faculty come from a variety of areas including cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, and public health. Sports science courses include the physiology of exercise, wellness of special populations, and sport nutrition/substance abuse. Students can expect to gain valuable hands-on experience, preparing them for employment after graduation.

#4 – Florida Atlantic University – Boca Raton, Florida

Exercise Science and Health Promotion (ESHP) Master’s Program

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,467/year in-state and $16,695/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 51%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
Florida Atlantic University offers an exercise science and health promotion MS degree program that prepares students for careers in a variety of clinical, health, and fitness settings. Sports science coursework covers areas like functional biomechanics, advanced exercise physiology, and advanced sport nutrition. Students can choose from program tracks in exercise physiology or health promotion (available online). Graduates of this top master’s degree program are prepared for doctoral study or advanced careers in the areas of physical fitness and health promotion.

#3 – Appalacian State University – Boone, North Carolina

MS in Exercise Science

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $4,839/year in-state and $18,271/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 73%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
The top MS in Exercise Science from Appalachian State University is a highly individualized program with three concentration options. Students with an interest in furthering their education can choose the Research option. Clinical Exercise Physiology option students may also plan to further their education or pursue a professional program or career in clinical research or cardiac rehabilitation. Finally, the Strength and Conditioning option is there for students planning a career in strength and conditioning. Students are encouraged to actively participate in research and are required to complete an internship experience.

#2 – University of North Carolina – Charlotte, North Carolina

Masters of Science in Kinesiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $4,337/year in-state and $17,771/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 54%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 9
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers a CAAHEP accredited MS in Kinesiology program with small class size and a high retention rate. Students can choose between a clinical option (non-thesis) or a research option (thesis). Concentrations include the Clinical Exercise Physiology Concentration (thesis optional) and the Applied Physiology and Neuromechanics Concentration (thesis required). Students at UNC already working on their bachelor’s degree can take advantage of the Early Entry program, which allows them to complete both the BS and MS degree in just five academic years.

#1 – University of Louisville – Louisville, Kentucky

MS in Exercise Physiology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,246/year in-state and $25,486/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 54%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School; CAAHEP
Points: 11
Our top sport science master’s degree program is offered by the University of Louisville. They feature an MS in exercise physiology that includes a concentration in strength and conditioning for students who plan to work with college athletes. Sports science courses cover neuromuscular mechanics, nutrition and athletic performance, and strength and conditioning. A strength and conditioning internship experience provides students with valuable hands-on training. Graduates of our top ranked master’s degree program are prepared for certification through the ACSM and the NSCA.

 

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