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50 Best Master’s in Sports Science Degree Programs (Campus) 2021

Sports-Management-Degree-Guide-Top ProgramsThe demand for sport science professionals like trainers and wellness professionals is expected to grow 15% through 2029 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – which is much faster than average compared to other job sectors. Sport science professionals study how the human body works in the context of sport and human performance. They understand how to improve overall health and wellness through physical activity for a variety of different populations. Sport science experts may also have advanced training in areas like biomechanics, motor learning, human performance, sport psychology, health and wellness, and sport nutrition.

Sport science is a broad field and can be hard to categorize. It largely depends on the emphasis of the individual program and coursework available to the student. Sport science programs are found in a variety of areas like pre-med, kinesiology, exercise science, and human performance. Students may choose a sport science master’s program to become professional fitness trainers, coaches, or wellness professionals – or as a stepping stone for doctoral study or professional training 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 highlight some 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

Summary of the Top 10 Master’s in Sports Science Degree Programs:

  1. Salisbury University
  2. University of Louisville
  3. Southern Connecticut State University
  4. University of North Carolina
  5. Appalachian State University
  6. Ashland University
  7. University of Central Florida
  8. The University of Memphis
  9. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
  10. Jacksonville University

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

Ranking the Top Master’s in Sports Science 2021

#50 – Barry University – Miami Shores, Florida

MS, Human Performance and Wellness Program

Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $17,820/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 35%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 5
The College of Nursing and Health Science at Barry University features an affordable master’s in human performance and wellness that provides students with a strong foundation for careers in health and fitness-related professions. Students can customize their program by choosing elective courses that meet their professional goals and interests. An optional specialization in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology is also available. Students benefit from hands-on experience working in state-of-the-art facilities like the Athletic Training Lab and the Motion Analysis Center Lab. Graduates are successful in a variety of settings including corporate fitness and research.

#49 – Western Colorado University – Gunnison, Colorado

MS in Exercise and Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP)


Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,048/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 51%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 5
Western Colorado University features a specialized sport science master’s program in high altitude exercise physiology. Students will study how the body functions in extreme conditions using state of the art technology. A thesis requirement engages students in original research under the guidance of expert faculty. Courses include:

  • Health Promotion
  • Cardiopulmonary Physiology
  • Exercise and Sport Science Testing and Instrumentation

Students also compete a practicum or internship to gain valuable hands-on training and develop their professional skills. Exciting opportunities are available for students to shadow practicing clinicians, work with clinical populations, and participate in the Wellness Elevated program as a paid trainer during the end of their last year.

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

Master of Science in Kinesiology

For more information: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $15,016/year in-state and $27,187/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 85%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 5
The College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois offers a sport science master’s focused on the study of human movement, fitness, and tackling chronic disease. Students can specialize in one of five areas including:

  • Cultural, Interpretive and Science Studies
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Psychology
  • Motor Control/Biomechanics
  • Pedagogy and Physical Activity

Students can choose a thesis or non-thesis option. New students are admitted during the fall and spring semesters.

#47 – Life University – Marietta, Georgia

MS in Sport Health Science

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,802/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 28%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
Life University features a low-cost sport science master’s degree with five different program tracks. The rigorous program includes hands-on labs, practicum experiences, and internships that prepare students for success in the workplace. Specialty tracks include:

  • Exercise and Sport Science
  • Sport Industry Management
  • Sport Coaching
  • Nutrition and Sport Science
  • Chiropractic Sport Science

Students can complete their degree just two years. For full consideration, applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0 in their last 60 semester hours.

#46 – Pennsylvania State University – University Park, Pennsylvania

MS in Kinesiology-Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

For more information: Penn State University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $22,464/year in-state and $38,198/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 71%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Points: 6
Penn State College of Health and Human Development offers a research focused kinesiology master’s degree. This high-value sport science master’s degree program includes six interdisciplinary areas of study including:

  • Athletic Training and Sports Medicine
  • Biomechanics
  • Exercise Physiology
  • History and Philosophy of Sport
  • Motor Control
  • Psychology of Physical Activity

While the program is open to students planning to only pursue their master’s, developmental GA and fellowship funding opportunities are limited for these students since the emphasis of the program is on doctoral training. All students complete a master’s thesis under guidance of a faculty mentor. Graduates are prepared to work in academia or industry in areas like sports nutrition, exercise physiology, and athletic training.

#45 – Temple University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Master of Science in Kinesiology

For more information: Temple University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,956/year in-state and $23,346/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 74%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Points: 6
The affordable sport science master’s from Temple University is a flexible program that meets the needs of students to pursue doctoral study or research-based and applied careers focused on human movement. Two concentration are available including:

  • Integrative Exercise Physiology
  • Athletic Training

Courses are taught by renowned faculty who are engaged in cutting edge research. The dynamic urban environment is perfect for a wide variety of internships and practical experiences. Students in the IEP concentration can choose to complete a clinical internship, formal thesis, or mentored research project as their culminating experience. Athletic training students will complete an independent research project under the guidance of Temple faculty. Both program options can be completed in two years.

#44 – Oregon State University – Corvallis, Oregon

MS in Kinesiology

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,257/year in-state and $26,109/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 67%
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Points: 6
The top value master’s in kinesiology at Oregon State University incorporates the sciences to study the effect of movement on the body. Students will work closely with an advisor throughout the program to make sure they have the professional experience needed for success in the field. The diverse faculty and student cohort fosters a collaborative environment for outreach or research projects. Concentration areas are offered in:

  • Biophysical Kinesiology
  • Psychosocial Kinesiology
  • Adapted Physical Activity

Graduates can work in a variety of settings including hospitals, health departments, and health and wellness facilities.

#43 – Virginia Commonwealth University – Richmond, Virginia

MS in Health and Movement Sciences

For more information: Virginia Commonwealth University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,703/year in-state and $26,041/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 67%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
The College of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University features a high-quality sport science master’s program through their MS in Health and Movement Sciences. The program is designed for students interested in the application of health and movement science to areas like teaching, sport medicine, and exercise science. Courses include:

  • Psychology of Physical Activity
  • Movement Physiology
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology

Students interested in research or planning to pursue doctoral study can choose to complete a thesis. New students are admitted during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

#42 – University of Tennessee, Knoxville – Knoxville, Tennessee

Master’s in Kinesiology

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For more information: The University of Tennessee Knoxville

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,468/year in-state and $29,656/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 72%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
The University of Tennessee Knoxville offers a cost-effective master’s in kinesiology with three concentrations offered. Concentrations include:

  • Biomechanics
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Sport Psychology and Motor Behavior

Students work closely with faculty in diverse areas like pediatric exercise physiology and physical activity assessment. Admission to the program is competitive and applicants should have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate coursework.

#41 – Northern Michigan University – Marquette, Michigan

MS in Exercise Science

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,408/year in-state and $12,864/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 48%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
The budget friendly exercise science master’s degree from Northern Michigan University is designed for students with diverse undergraduate backgrounds. Students come from areas like athletic training, nursing, and sport science to gain advanced training in the physiological and biomechanical aspects of human movement. The curriculum includes 17 credits of required coursework and 15 elective credits which allow students to take specialized courses in areas they are passionate about. Required courses include:

  • Sport Nutrition
  • Statistics and Measurements
  • Advanced Exercise Physiology

A thesis option is also available for students seeking training and experience in research.

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

Exercise and Health Sciences M.S.

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,920/year in-state and $17,568/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: N/A
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 6
If you aspire to be an expert in the health and exercise sciences industry, the University of Houston Clear Lake can help you meet your goals. UHCL offers a master’s in exercise and health science with three different concentration areas. Students can choose to focus on:

  • Sport Science
  • Public Health
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology

All students complete an internship to develop their professional skills. A master’s thesis can be added to any concentration to gain research experience. The master’s thesis is a great addition for students planning to pursue doctoral study.

#39 – Northeastern Illinois University – Chicago, Illinois

Exercise and Sport Science MS

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,790/year in-state and $15,580/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 21%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
The top-value master’s in exercise and sport science at Northeastern Illinois University focuses on human movement and performance across the lifespan. Concentrations are available in either:

  • Exercise Science
  • Physical Education, Sport and Recreation

Courses are offered during the evening hours to accommodate working professionals. Students are engaged in a variety of applied experiences including directed research, independent study, and internships. New students are only admitted during the fall semester. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of exciting areas including cardiac rehabilitation and sport and fitness medicine.

#38 – Humboldt State University – Arcata, California

Masters in Kinesiology

Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 49%
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
Points: 6
Humboldt State University is part of the California State University system and is the most westerly four-year university in the contiguous states. The low-cost sport science master’s degree at Humboldt State University prepares students for doctoral study or professional careers and programs in health or physical activity. The master’s in kinesiology offers a thesis or comprehensive exam option for students to choose from. Students will gain knowledge in areas like exercise, health, and nutrition as it applies to a variety of professional settings. Applicants should have a minimum GPA of a 2.75 in their last 60 credit hours of undergraduate work. Students with a bachelor’s degree in an area other than kinesiology may need to complete foundational coursework.

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

Master of Science – Kinesiology

For more information: University of Nevada Las Vegas

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,675/year in-state and $21,328/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 45%
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Points: 6
The University of Nevada Las Vegas features a low-priced kinesiology master’s degree that includes directed research projects and use of high-tech laboratory equipment. Students can choose to focus on:

  • Athletic Training
  • Biomechanics
  • Motor Control and Learning

Both a thesis track and non-thesis track are available depending on the student’s professional goals. New students are admitted during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. To be considered for admission, applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in a related field and a minimum undergraduate GPA of at least a 2.75 in their last two years of study.

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

Master’s in Kinesiology

For more information: Texas Women’s University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,053/year in-state and $12,415/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 43%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
Texas Woman’s University offers a best-value master’s in sport science through their kinesiology program. The program specializes in biomechanics with courses focused on injury mechanism and prevention, fall prevention in the elderly, and training biomechanics. Students are engaged in interactive lectures and applied exercises in the lab. New students are admitted during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Graduates are successful working in areas like physical therapy clinics, sport equipment companies, and private practice.

#35 – University of Central Arkansas – Conway, Arkansas

MS in Exercise Science

For more information: University of Central Arkansas

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,018/year in-state and $10,037/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 43%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
The University of Central Arkansas features an affordable sport science master’s degree with thesis or non-thesis options. Students will study areas like exercise physiology, biomechanics, and motor control. Required courses include:

  • Data Analysis
  • Motor Learning
  • Evaluation of Neuromuscular Adaptation

Students who choose not to complete a thesis must pass a comprehensive exam during their final semester. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and new students are accepted at each semester.

#34 – Fort Hays State University – Hays, Kansas

MS in Health and Human Performance

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $3,726/year in-state and $10,602/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 43%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
The high-quality sport science master’s degree program at Fort Hays State University is a flexible program with three concentration areas. Students can choose to focus their degree in:

  • Exercise Science
  • Sport Administration
  • Movement and Sport Studies

Faculty provide all students with in-depth instruction in areas like statistical analysis, motor learning, and biomechanics. Students can choose to complete a thesis in any area of concentration. All students must pass a comprehensive exam in order to complete their degree.

#33 – Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo, Michigan

MS in Exercise Science


For more information: Western Michigan University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,360/year in-state and $30,432/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 57%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 7
Western Michigan University offers an inexpensive master’s in exercise science through their Department of Human Performance and Health Education. This 36-credit hour program combines practical application with current research findings in exercise physiology. A variety of elective courses are available to help students tailor the program to meet their professional goals. Required courses include:

  • Biomechanics
  • Neuromuscular Control
  • Laboratory Techniques in Exercise Physiology

Students can choose from a variety of capstone experiences including a thesis, independent research, or a professional field experience.

#32 – Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado

MS in Health and Exercise Science

For more information: Colorado State University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,520/year in-state and $25,791/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 70%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 7
The College of Health and Human Sciences at Colorado State University features a cheap master’s in health and exercise science with a balanced curriculum and relevant research opportunities. Courses are science-based and health-focused while maintaining the rigor needed to challenge students. Students are paired with a faculty mentor to help guide them throughout their time at CSU. Students work closely with their mentor in state-of-the-art research labs that use modern equipment and technology.

#31 – Iowa State University – Ames, Iowa

Master’s in Kinesiology

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,758/year in-state and $24,720/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 74%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 7
Iowa State University offers a flexible sport science master’s degree program with a variety of options for students planning a career in kinesiology. The program provides students with advanced training in areas like movement, exercise, and sport as they relate to overall health promotion and disease prevention. Students can choose from six areas of emphasis including:

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Psychology
  • Biomechanics
  • Motor Control
  • Physical Activity and Health Promotion
  • Pedagogy

Students planning to pursue doctoral study can complete a thesis. A non-thesis option is offered for students planning to pursue professional jobs after graduation.

#30 – Mississippi State University – Mississippi State, Mississippi

Exercise Physiology Master’s Degree


Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,800/year in-state and $23,840/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 61%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 7
The high-quality sport science master’s at Mississippi State University prepares students to work as exercise physiologists in a variety of wellness settings. The master’s in exercise physiology looks at the interactions between different physiological systems in diverse human populations including those with disabilities and high performing athletes. Elective course offerings include:

  • Graded Exercise Testing
  • Doping and Supplement Use in Sport
  • Biomechanics of Human Movement

Students can choose to complete a thesis, directed study, or an internship as their concluding experience. Most full-time students can complete this 33 credit hour program in about two years.

#29 – Illinois State University – Normal, Illinois

Exercise Physiology Master’s Degree

Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,892/year in-state and $9,504/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 70%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 7
The School of Kinesiology at Illinois State University features an inexpensive master’s in exercise physiology with the option to complete a thesis or an independent study. Students will learn how the body changes with exercise to help people acquire, use, and improve their motor skills. Core courses include:

  • Exercise and Cardiorespiratory Function
  • Exercise and Body Composition
  • Work Metabolism

Students complete six to nine credit hours of approved coursework in a cognate area. Graduates are prepared to work in research and development, key roles in the fitness industry, and advanced positions in a variety of health and wellness settings.

#28 – University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, Arkansas

Master of Science in Exercise Science


For more information: University of Arkansas

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,752/year in-state and $21,032/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 66%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 7
The University of Arkansas offers a top, low-priced master’s in sport science for students who want to become American College of Sports Medicine-certified fitness directors with supervisory status. This hands-on sport science program supports students by connecting classroom instruction with “service learning” opportunities through independent research, laboratory practicums, and internships. Required courses include:

  • Biomechanics
  • Physiology of Exercise
  • Statistics

An optional thesis is available and all students must pass a comprehensive exam to complete their degree.

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

MS in Health and Kinesiology

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,666/year in-state and $23,537/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 70%
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Points: 7
The Department of Health and Kinesiology at the University of Utah offers a top value master’s in sport science that prepares students for a variety of different certifications. Students are prepared to become a Certified Health Education Specialist or a certified Wellness Coach. This two-year program includes program tracks in:

  • Health Education Specialist and Wellness Coaching
  • Physical Activity and Well-Being
  • Cognitive and Motor Neuroscience
  • Exercise and Disease

A thesis track is available for students planning to pursue doctoral study or a career in research/laboratory work.

#26 – Bridgewater State University – Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Physical Education, Human Performance and Health Fitness Concentration, MS

Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $1,675/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 61%
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Points: 7
Bridgewater State University offers a cost-effective master’s in physical education with a concentration in human performance and health fitness. This innovative sport science master’s degree program is designed to prepare students for clinical and supervisory positions in the area of human performance and fitness. Courses are offered during the late afternoon and evening hours to accommodate working professionals. Students have access to state-of-the-art equipment and labs through the Adrian Tinsley Center. Another great perk is the affordable tuition whether students are in or out-of-state!

#25 – Sacred Heart University – Fairfield, Connecticut

MS in Exercise and Sport Science

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $34,806/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 73%
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
Sacred Heart University features a budget friendly master’s in sport science that equips students with the instrumentation and data analytical skills required by leading employers in the field. The program is tailored to meet the scheduling needs of working students by offering late afternoon/evening courses. State of the art facilities and equipment like the AlterG Anti-Gravity treadmill provide students with a relevant and modern educational experience. Students spend time engaged in a multi-semester internship to develop their professional skills. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of professional settings or to continue their education.

#24 – Springfield College – Springfield, Massachusetts

Exercise Science and Sport Studies (MS and MEd)

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $33,150/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 74%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; New England Commission of Higher Education
Points: 8
Springfield College features a variety of cost-effective sport science master’s degree programs to prepare students for careers in the health and fitness industry. Whether you aspire to work with top-level athletes or individuals with chronic conditions, Springfield College can help you achieve your goals. Program options include:

  • Adapted Physical Education
  • Applied Exercise Physiology
  • Athletic Counseling
  • Athletic Training Professional Preparation
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Strength and Conditioning

Graduates have the knowledge and abilities needed to pursue doctoral study or to be competitive in the workplace.

#23 – Hofstra University – Hempstead, New York

Master of Science in Sports Science

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $26,172/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 65%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
Hofstra University offers a high-quality sport science master’s degree program officially recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Students learn to work with athletes in school and non-school settings. Foundational coursework is offered in area like biomechanics and performance testing. Concentrations are available in:

  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Exercise Physiology

Each student completes a 300-clock hour internship working with a variety of individuals. The internship also gives students the chance to learn industry essentials like recordkeeping and equipment maintenance. Sport science graduates can be found working in health and fitness centers, elite training facilities, and sport and fitness management.

#22 – California Baptist University – Riverside, California

Kinesiology Master of Science

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,410/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 63%
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
California Baptist University features an inexpensive sport science master’s degree program. CBU’s master’s in kinesiology integrates classroom content with practical experience to prepare students for success in their chosen career. There are four concentration areas including:

  • Exercise Science
  • Nutrition in Health Sciences
  • Physical Education Pedagogy
  • Sport Management

Students can work closely with faculty on cutting edge research. State of the art equipment is available in the labs to give students experience evaluating cardiac outcomes and muscle function. The program takes one to two years to complete.

#21 – George Mason University – Fairfax, Virginia

Master of Science (MS) degree in Kinesiology

For more information: George Mason University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,594/year in-state and $33,906/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 71%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
The School of Kinesiology at George Mason University uses an evidence-based approach of instruction and hands-on experience to prepare their students for success in the field. Students will gain an advanced understanding of the physical activity related aspects of overall well-being, aging, and human performance. Hands-on training takes place in the SMART Lab where students use the latest technology to complete assessments and evaluations. Core courses include:

  • Movement and Fitness Assessment
  • Advanced Exercise Physiology
  • Scientific Foundation of Applied Kinesiology

Students can choose to complete a thesis or a directed inquiry for their capstone course. Graduates are well prepared to work in the private and government sectors in roles like sport scientists and clinical exercise physiologist.

#20 – Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Illinois

Master’s in Sport Studies

For more information: Southern Illinois University – Carbondale

Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,268/year in-state and $28,170/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 48%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Higher Learning Commission
Points: 8
The Department of Kinesiology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale features a unique sport studies master’s degree program that gives students a broad-based foundation. Courses cover areas like:

  • sport psychology
  • sport sociology
  • sport management

The flexible program allows students to choose to complete an internship, guided research, a professional development project or a thesis to finish their degree. Elective coursework offerings help students align their education with their career goals. This low-priced sport science master’s takes just two years to complete.

#19 – University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida

MS in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

For more information: University of Florida

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
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 College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida features a top value master’s in sport science through their MS in applied physiology and kinesiology program. UF offers thesis and non-thesis options, but both options include a research project. Students interested in completing a thesis can choose from exercise physiology or behavioral science. Those planning not to pursue a thesis can focus on human performance. New students are admitted during the spring, summer, and fall. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

#18 – Auburn University – Auburn, Alabama

Master’s in Exercise Science

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,080/year in-state and $30,240/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 79%
Accreditation: NSCA-ERP School; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 8
Auburn University was founded in 1856 and is the second largest university in Alabama. Auburn features a best-value sport science master’s with concentrations in biomechanics, exercise physiology, and motor behavior. This 33-credit hour program is comprised of 18 credit hours in exercise science and 15 credits of advisor approved coursework. Students can work closely with faculty in the School of Kinesiology Labs. Research efforts are ongoing in areas like sport biomechanics, the human-dog bond with sports and exercise, and neuromechanics. Applicants should have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 and GRE scores in the 25th percentile or above in each section.

#17 – East Stroudsburg University – East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Exercise Science (MS)

For more information: East Stroudsburg University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,062/year in-state and $14,706/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 52%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Points: 8
East Stroudsburg University offers an inexpensive exercise science master’s program focused on exercise physiology and biomechanics. Students can choose to complete either a thesis or an internship. Courses include:

  • Biomechanics of Human Performance
  • Strength and Conditioning Theory
  • Physiology of Human Performance

New students are admitted during the fall and spring semesters. Graduates are prepared for credentialing by organizations like the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

#16 – Ball State University – Muncie, Indiana

MA/MS in Sports Performance Program

For more information: Ball State University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,328/year in-state and $25,542/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 67%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 8
The innovative master’s in sport performance from Ball State University is a terminal degree for students with a passion for college strength coaching. This cost-effective sport science master’s program takes a cross discipline approach to exercise science and physical education. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to sit for the National Strength and conditioning Association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam. Courses include:

  • Mechanical Analysis of Movement
  • Mechanical Analysis of Movement
  • Exercise Physiology

There is no thesis requirement and some courses are even offered online.

#15 – University of Maine – Orono, Maine

Master’s in Kinesiology and Physical Education

Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,298/year in-state and $27,054/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 57%
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Points: 8
The College of Education and Human Development features an affordable sport science master’s for students planning a career in exercise science or physical education. Areas of specialization include:

  • Physical Education/Teacher Education
  • Adapted Physical Education
  • Exercise Science

The 30-credit hour curriculum includes both thesis and non-thesis program options. Students who choose the non-thesis option will complete a graduate apprenticeship. Core courses cover areas like human biomechanics and advanced exercise physiology. Graduates work in diverse settings as athletic trainers, administrators, directors, and teachers.

#14 – Florida Atlantic University – Boca Raton, Florida

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

For more information: Florida Atlantic University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,467/year in-state and $16,695/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 50%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
The Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at Florida Atlantic University offers a high-value sport science master’s program with on-campus tracks in exercise physiology or strength and conditioning. Courses are led by expert faculty who prepare students for advanced positions in a variety of wellness settings. Hands-on training opportunities are available through several labs including the Human Performance Laboratory and the Biochemistry Laboratory. All students complete an internship at an approved site. Full-time students can complete their degree in just three semesters.

#13 – Arkansas Tech University – Russellville, Arkansas

Master of Science Strength and Conditioning Studies

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,256/year in-state and $10,512/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 38%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
Arkansas Tech University boasts a strength and conditioning studies master’s degree program that prepares students to pursue industry certifications like the NSCA-Personal Trainer or the Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the NSCA. Students are engaged in hands-on learning through applied activities in core classes and a semester long internship. This budget-friendly sport science master’s fosters an environment to develop collaborative skills and teamwork. Graduates can work in roles like a university instructor, a university strength and conditioning coach, or a personal trainer.

#12 – Georgia Southern University – Statesboro, Georgia

MS in Sports Medicine

For more information: Georgia Southern University

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $4,986/year in-state and $19,890/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 50%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 8
The Waters College of Health Professions at Georgia Southern University features an on-campus master’s in sports medicine. This sport science master’s is one of the least expensive programs in the country that prepares students for a career in the exciting field of sport medicine. Students can pursue a concentration in either human movement or strength and conditioning. Courses cover areas like:

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Human Movement

Research opportunities are available through the Biodynamics and Human Performance Center. All students complete a thesis or a professional project in sport medicine. New students are admitted for the fall and spring semesters.

#11 – Smith College – Northampton, Massachusetts

MS in Exercise & Sport Studies

Student to Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $53,940/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 89%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
Smith College offers the only sport science master’s program in our ranking to specialize in intercollegiate coaching and athletic training in women’s sports. Ideal applicants should have a strong undergraduate background and experience as players or coaches in intercollegiate athletics. Courses include:

  • Musculoskeletal Anatomy
  • Sports Medicine
  • Sports Nutrition

The interdisciplinary program includes practical experiences that encompass all aspects of coaching and training. Students are mentored by coaches throughout their time in the program. New students are admitted for the fall semester.

#10 – Jacksonville University – Jacksonville, Florida

Master of Science in Kinesiological Sciences

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $14,742/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 52%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
The affordable master’s in kinesiological sciences at Jacksonville University can be completed in just 12 months following the accelerated track. New students are admitted during the fall, spring and summer. Available concentrations include:

  • Health and Wellness
  • Human Performance

Both concentrations include thesis or non-thesis options. Students interact closely with faculty members who have backgrounds in biomechanics. Graduates are successful pursing advanced education and careers in a variety of areas including sport psychology, exercise physiology, and occupational therapy.

#9 – Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania – Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

Master of Science in Exercise Science

Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,288/year in-state and $13,932/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 60%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Points: 9
The CAAHEP accredited exercise science master’s degree at Bloomsburg University is a comprehensive program that prepares students for doctoral research or careers in a variety of health and fitness areas. Students are trained in areas like:

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Physiological Assessment
  • Training for Optimal Performance

Students receive additional benefits like access to well-equipped labs, state of the art technologies, and library support. Thesis and non-thesis options are available.

#8 – The University of Memphis – Memphis, Tennessee

Exercise, Sport and Movement Sciences (MS)

For more information: University of Memphis

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 College of Health Sciences at The University of Memphis offers a cheap sport science master’s with four capstone options. Students can choose to complete an applied project, research lab residency, thesis, or non-research option. Students interested in pursuing advanced study in exercise science or a related discipline benefit from the research-centered curriculum. Students with other professional aspirations will gain the knowledge and skills needed to work in clinical, research, or physical activity settings. Elective course offerings are available to students so they can tailor the program to meet their professional goals and interests.

#7 – University of Central Florida – Orlando, Florida

MS in Sport and Exercise Science

For more information: University of Central Florida

Student to Faculty Ratio: 30:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,916/year in-state $25,759/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 72%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
The University of Central Florida features a 36 credit-hour master’s in kinesiology. Students will gain a strong foundation in applied human physiology and learn how it relates to areas like athletic performance and wellness across the life span. While all students are automatically enrolled in a non-thesis option, students who want to complete a thesis can seek permission. Required courses for this low-cost sport science master’s include:

  • Sport Nutrition
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Assessment and Evaluation in Kinesiology

Applications are accepted for the fall, spring, and summer semester. Students interested in consideration for fellowships or assistantships should apply by the fall priority date.

#6 – Ashland University – Ashland, Ohio

MS Applied Exercise Science

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,444/year
Overall Graduation Rate: 65%
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 9
Ashland University is a private, Christian university offering an exciting master’s in applied exercise science. The program is delivered in a flexible hybrid format with a mix of online and face-to-face courses. Course offerings include:

  • The Scientific Basis for Sport
  • The Physiological Basis for Exercise and Sport
  • Scientific Foundation of Nutrition in Sport

The program has earned recognition from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Students will be prepared to sit for certification as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist or as an American College of Sports Medicine Health/Fitness Instructor. Best part of all, students can complete their degree in just three semesters.

#5 – Appalachian State University – Boone, North Carolina

MS in Exercise Science

For more information: Appalachian State University

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 Department of Health and Exercise Science at Appalachian State University features a flexible sport science master’s degree program with three distinct options. Students interested in pursuing doctoral study can choose a track focused on research. Have a passion for cardiac rehabilitation and clinical research? The Clinical Exercise Physiology track can give you the knowledge and training in this area to be competitive in the workforce or pursue doctoral or professional study. Students with a desire to work in sports performance will benefit from the Strength and Conditioning track. A limited number of graduate assistantships are available to help offset the cost. Scholarships are also available to outstanding students.

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

Master of Science in Kinesiology

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: 64%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 9
The budget friendly kinesiology master’s degree offered by the University of North Carolina emphasizes clinical interdisciplinary education and research. Students can choose from three concentration areas including:

  • Applied Physiology
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology
  • Sports Performance

The applied physiology program requires a thesis and is a great choice for students planning to pursue doctoral study. The CAAHEP accredited clinical exercise physiology option is for students planning to become clinical exercise physiologists. Students planning a career in strength and conditioning can choose the sports performance concentration and pursue professional certification. All courses are taught by industry experts who provide students with individualized attention and guidance throughout the program. State of the art labs like the Health Risk Assessment Lab and the Clinical Exercise Physiology Laboratory give students valuable hands-on experience that makes it easy to transition from school to the workforce.

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

MS Exercise Science – Human Performance


Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,865/year in-state and $20,044/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 52%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; New England Commission of Higher Education
Points: 10
Southern Connecticut State University is one of only 153 institutions around the world to be recognized by Exercise is Medicine for cultural wellness on campus. They offer a low-cost master’s in exercise science featuring concentrations in either sports psychology or human performance. Core courses include:

  • Behavior Change in Health and Physical Activity
  • Advanced Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Prescription for Diverse Populations

Thesis and non-thesis program options are available, and courses are offered on-campus, hybrid, or online. SCSU offers the only CAAHEP accredited program in Connecticut.

#2 – University of Louisville – Louisville, Kentucky

MS in Exercise Physiology

For more information: University of Louisville

Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,260/year in-state and $27,374/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 59%
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; NSCA-ERP School; CAAHEP
Points: 11
The University of Louisville offers an innovative sport science master’s degree that prepares students for several exciting career options. This CAAHEP accredited program offers a concentration in strength and conditioning for students who aspire to work in college athletics. The program also prepares students for doctoral study in areas like exercise physiology, biochemistry, and medicine. Students can choose to complete a thesis or complete an internship. Most students can complete their degree in two years of full-time study.

#1 – Salisbury University – Salisbury, Maryland

MS in Health and Human Performance Program

Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,769/year in-state and $13,599/year out-of-state
Overall Graduation Rate: 70%
Accreditation: CAAHEP; Middle States Commission on Higher Education; NSCA-ERP School
Points: 12
Our top sport science master’s degree program is offered by Salisbury University. Salisbury University offers a high-value master’s in health and human performance focused on key areas like fitness, wellness, and strength and conditioning. The program is accredited by the CAAHEP and is recognized by the NSCA by their Education Recognition Program. All students participate in a supervised internship to gain valuable hands-on experience. Graduates are prepared to earn professional credentials through the ACSM and the NSCA.
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