Best Sports Medicine Schools in the United States

Professionals who work in the field of sports medicine focus on the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries. These professionals include orthopedic physicians as well as physical and occupational therapists, athletic trainers and nutritionists. Educational programs in this field can range from bachelor's degrees in kinesiology to athletic medicine fellowships.

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Top Three Schools with Sports Medicine Programs

1. University of Southern California in Los Angeles

In 2011, the University of Southern California (USC) was ranked among the top 50 national universities by Washington Monthly. In 2008, U.S. News & World Report gave USC's graduate physical therapy program a first-place ranking, and the school's graduate occupational therapy program was ranked third. In addition to master's and doctoral degrees in these fields, USC offers a sports physical therapy residency program. Its Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy also offers a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Biokinesiology to aspiring research scientists. Additionally, orthopedic surgeons can receive training in the Keck School of Medicine's athletic medicine fellowship. For students just starting out, a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology is available as well.

2. University of Virginia in Charlottesville

In 2012, the University of Virginia was ranked among the best public colleges in the nation by Forbes. In its 2012 list of the Top 10 Best Value Colleges, The Princeton Review ranked the university at first place. Students interested in teaching careers can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Education in Kinesiology. The university also offers graduate degrees, including a Master of Education in Kinesiology with concentrations in athletic training, adapted physical education and exercise physiology. A sports medicine concentration is available in the kinesiology doctoral program.

3. University of Pittsburgh

In 2008, the University of Pittsburgh's physical therapy master's and doctoral degree programs were ranked second by U.S. News & World Report, while its occupational therapy master's degree programs were ranked ninth. The university's Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition offers a Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in sports medicine. Current athletic trainers who enter this program can complete graduate assistantships at the university or with local schools. Other programs include a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training and a Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Science with a concentration in wellness and human performance. This program is geared toward students who would like to use exercise and proper nutrition to help patients prevent chronic disease.

Ten U.S. Schools with Sports Medicine Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Arcadia University Provides students with the opportunity to study sports science abroad Glenside, PA
Ohio State University Offers sports medicine grand rounds and symposiums as continuing education opportunities Columbus, OH
Stanford University Students and faculty at the Human Performance Laboratory conduct interdisciplinary research and provide care to Sanford's community members and athletes Stanford, CA
University of Delaware Sports and orthopedic clinical internship program available to students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Newark, DE
University of Iowa Athletic training students have access to one of the world's largest university teaching hospitals Iowa City, IA
University of Michigan Kinesiology department offers programs in movement science, athletic training, physical education and sports management Ann Arbor, MI
University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences emphasizes research and service for people with disabilities Pittsburgh, PA
University of Southern California Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program complete 43 weeks of clinical experience Los Angeles, CA
University of Virginia Students have access to the Exercise Physiology Lab and the Exercise and Sports Injury Lab Charlottesville, VA
Washington University in St. Louis Graduate physical therapy program ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report in 2008 St. Louis, MO
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