College of Health Professions
Master of Science in Sports Medicine
The Master of Science in Sports Medicine curriculum is one of 10 graduate programs in the United States that meets the curricular and experiential competencies for National Strength and Conditioning Education Recognition Program (Recognition in Research). As part of the program, students are mentored through the completion of an applied capstone research project. Having the experience of not only conducting a research project but also the opportunity and encouragement of taking the research completely through the dissemination (presentation and publication) process provides graduates an enhanced ability to evaluate research as it relates to future developments in sports medicine.
Courses, practical experience and research projects involve an interdisciplinary group of full time and part-time faculty with specialties in strength and conditioning, athletic training, exercise physiology, sports/orthopedic/cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, engineering, medical technology, computer-based applications, respiratory physiology, and international education. Additionally, students have practical experiences in a variety of settings such as medical technology, physical and respiratory therapy, and cadaver laboratories, MSSM students also have the option of gaining valuable experience in collegiate strength and conditioning centers, worksite health promotion programs, youth sport facilities, hospital-based wellness centers, and sports training institutes in the Savannah area.
Students in the program also have access to the Biodynamics Center during coursework and completion of their research projects. Opened in January 2008, the 2,800 square foot Biodynamics Center is dedicated to studying the prevention, evaluation and treatment of movement related disease and injury across the lifespan. Instrumentation contained within the Center include motion analysis, three forceplates, eight-channel electromyography unit, three muscle dynamometers, and several dedicated data acquisition and processing computers. In addition, a new metabolic cart, treadmill, and body composition measurement instruments were added to the Center July 2010.
Some students begin this degree program by first earning a Certificate in Strength and Conditioning, however please consult the current graduate catalog for specific information and requirements.
What is Sports Medicine?
Sports medicine refers to the broad field of medicine that is concerned with assisting individuals, both athletes and members of the general population, to reach optimal health and performance goals. In meeting these objectives, practitioners work with individuals to not only improve fitness and physical performance, but also often address injury prevention and recovery. While many persons practicing sports medicine are physicians, many sports medicine practitioners are individuals with specialized education, training and certifications focused on various aspects of physical activity and athletic participation such as exercise physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics, nutrition, physical performance assessment and training for various levels of sport, and fitness programming.
Based on recent hiring trends with some of our recent graduates, it also appears that persons with advanced degrees in sports medicine with knowledge specific to strength and conditioning are in demand because opportunities to work with athletes at the professional, college, and high school level continue to advance. Additionally, there appears to be an increasing number of opportunities for employment to work with “tactical athletes” such as the military, police and fire fighters, and rescue groups.