Career Pathways

What is sports medicine?

Sports medicine refers to all individuals responsible for keeping an athlete healthy. This team often includes an athletic trainer, chiropractic physician, physical therapist or medical doctor. Depending on the size of the athletic organization, the sports medicine team can range from one person to 20. In many settings, other specialties like dentists, ophthalmologists, sport psychologists, nutrition specialists, massage therapists and acupuncturists are also included on the sports medicine team.


The MS in sports medicine is designed for health care providers seeking specialization in the conditioning and treatment of athletes. This education and degree opens up opportunities in the sports industry and enhances a provider’s marketability to athletic populations.

Qualified Exams and Credentials

Sports medicine graduates are eligible for:

Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician exam (CCSP)

The Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP®) certification requires post-graduate education in chiropractic sports medicine.

Graduates of the sports medicine program are eligible to sit for the Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician examination (CCSP). This is a specialized credential within the field of chiropractic medicine that sets competency standards to treat athletes and active individuals. Without the master’s degree, one year of additional coursework is required before you are eligible to take the exam.

Diplomate American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians exam (DACBSP)

The Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (DACBSP®) certification requires successful completion of a written exam, a six-station practical exam, a written project, and 100 hours of practical experience in the field.

A licensed Doctor of Chiropractic who satisfy one of the following, and are able to provide official documentation demonstrating such, are eligible to sit the DACBSP® examination:

  1. Active Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician/Practitioner® (CCSP®) with completion of minimum of 200 hours postgraduate education in the DACBSP® Program, from an accredited chiropractic college
  2. Active Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician/Practitioner® (CCSP®) with completion of a Master of Science (MS) degree in an equivalent program in the domain of sports medicine.
  3. Completion of a sports medicine residency program in its entirety.

International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS)/ Internationally Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner (ICCSP) Diploma

The Internationally Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner (ICCSP) certification is designed by the Federation Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport (FICS) as a certification course to set an appropriate minimum standard in theoretical and practical sports chiropractic education for chiropractors wanting to develop special competence in the field of sports chiropractic and to be qualified to serve on FICS teams, or teams selected with assistance from FICS at international events.

The ICCSP program is a postgraduate certification program with a combination of distance learning (eLS) and two weekend seminars (hand-on modules). The faculty for the seminars consists of internationally prominent sports chiropractors with extensive experience in treating athletes at international sporting events.

Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM-PES) National Academy of Sports Medicine

The Performance Enhancement Specialist certification course is an evidence-based program designed for the health care professional involved in the treatment and care of recreational and competitive athletes. The program provides the student advanced knowledge in performance assessment techniques, total-body integrated training and sports specific program design.

Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES) National Academy of Sports Medicine

The Corrective Exercise Specialist certification course utilizes evidence-based strategies to compliment and expand the student’s knowledge in assessment and corrective exercise in clinical practice.

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NASM-CSCS) National Strength and Conditioning Association

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists® (CSCS®) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. Recognizing that their area of expertise is separate and distinct, CSCSs consult with and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.


A master’s degree in sports medicine is a natural fit for chiropractic physicians and other health care professionals who desire a specialty practice working with athletes. A sports medicine degree can open up opportunities to work with various sports teams (high school, collegiate and professional) and in sports-related facilities. In addition, this degree provides appropriate credentials for teaching in higher education settings.

This is an advance academic degree featuring an online format designed to provide flexibility for students. It allows you to continue to treat patients during your education. An in-person internship is required in the program and can be completed at an approved location that is convenient for the student, while also providing an experience that meets the student’s area of interest. The program is taught by multi-disciplinary instructors, offering unique and valuable insights for students.

Potential careers for sports medicine graduates include:

  • athletic coach for athletes in elite sport
  • performance enhancement specialist
  • sports medicine physician
  • strength and conditioning coach
  • sports chiropractor
  • professor