Are Sport Science Degrees the way to go?

Where can one go to school and get a degree that actually means something and can be applied to sports like track and field, olympic weightlifting, and powerlifting? Or is there such a thing?

Well here’s one suggestion,

Exercise Physiology Accredited Academic Programs

The American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) was founded in 1997 to unite exercise physiologists and promote the professional development of exercise physiology. The Society serves to protect the well being of exercise physiologists by enhancing the recognition of their work and educating the public about their importance and functions in the athletic, fitness, allied health and medical fields. ASEP also fosters the exchange of ideas and research among exercise physiologists, and provides a forum for the continual advancement of the profession.

Work began on the development of the accreditation program in early 1998, shortly after the inception of ASEP in 1997. Through the collaborative efforts of exercise physiologists from around the country, the accreditation “guidelines” manual was submitted for final approval of the Board of Directors at the 1999 national meeting. The manual represents a compilation of two years of work by exercise physiologists who have identified the minimal standards that are acceptable for educating students for a career in this profession.

Academic accreditation is an important and essential component to any profession. The Accreditation Committee of ASEP desires to work with your academic program to ensure that standards are met and graduating students are worthy of the title “exercise physiologist”. Accreditation benefits everyone:

  1. academic programs are critically evaluated and improved,
  2. students are better prepared for certification exams and the workforce, and
  3. employers are more confident that they are hiring competent professionals.
    In time, students will gravitate to ASEP-accredited programs, as there will be little incentive to enroll in a program not recognized by ASEP.

We encourage you to carefully read the accreditation manual, support the professional development of exercise physiology, and seek ASEP accreditation. For more information about the accreditation process – click here.

Slippery Rock University
Exercise Science Program
Wright State University
Exercise Biology
University of New Mexico - Abuquerque
Exercise Science Program
Marquette University
Exercise Science Program
Bloomsburg University
Exercise Science Major
The College of St. Scholastica
Exercise Physiology Major

Directory of Non-Accredited Academic Programs

Thank you for your inquiry regarding ASEP’s list of academic programs in exercise science and/or exercise physiology. Please understand that the majority of the departments offered a degree in, for example, physical education, human performance, or kinesiology with an emphasis (or specialization) in exercise science or exercise physiology. Only a few academic programs offer a degree in exercise physiology with, for example, an emphasis in cardiac rehabilitation, research, etc. We hope you find the information helpful. Most URLs identify the graduate section of the department, school, or college. With a little clicking, you will also be able to locate other sections (such as the undergraduate information, too). Some URLs are more complete and helpful than others, especially regarding specific requirements, admission procedures, assistantships, course descriptions, and who to contact. Not all colleges and universities with such programs have been identified at this time.

Abilene Christian University
Andrews University
Appalachian State University
Arizona State University
Arkansas State University
Brigham Young University
Auburn University
Austin State University
Ball State University
Barry University
Baylor University
Bloomsburg University
Boise State University
Brigham Young University
Buena Vista University
Cal Poly State University
California State University, Fresno
California State University, Fullerton
California State University, Long Beach
California State University, Northridge
Campbell University
Castleton State College
Centenary College of Lousisiana
Chapman University
College of St. Scholastica
Colorado State University
Concordia University
Creighton University
Creighton College of Arts and Sciences
East Carolina University
East Stroudsburg University
East Tennessee State University
Eastern Washington University
Florida Atlantic University
Fort Lewis College
Frostburg State University
Furman University
George Washington University
Grand Canyon University
Gustavus Adolphus College
Humboldt State University
Illinois State University
Iowa State University
Indiana University
Jacksonville State University
Kansas State University
Kent State University
Kennesaw State University
Louisiana State University
Louisiana Tech University
Maharishi U. of Management
Mankato State University
Marquette University
McNeese State University
Miami University
Michigan State University
Montana State University
Montclair State University
Murray State University
Norfolk State University
Northern Arizona University
Northern Michigan University
Northeastern University
Northern Illinois University
Oakland University
Old Dominion University
Oregon State University
Pennsylvania State University
Purdue University
Radford University
Rice University
Queens College,City University of New York
San Diego State University
San Francisco State University
Southern California College
Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Southeastern Louisiana University
State University of New York at Buffalo
St. Cloud State University
SUNY at Buffalo
SUNY College at Brockport
Syracuse University
Texas Woman’s University
Thomas More College
Truman State University
Tulane University
Virginia Tech
University of California, Davis
University of Central Arkansas
University of Georgia
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Connecticut
University of Dayton
University of Florida
University of Houston
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Louisiana - Monroe
University of Louisville
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Memphis
University of Miami
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota, Duluth
University of Missouri, Columbia
University of Mississippi
University of Montana
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
University of Nebraska, Omaha
University of New Mexico-Albuquerque
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
University of North Dakota
University of North Texas, Denton
University of Northern Iowa
University of Oregon
University of Pittsburgh
University of San Francisco
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
University of Tennessee
University of Texas, Austin
University of Texas, Tyler
University of Toledo
University of Utah
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Ursinus College
Utah State University
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest University
Washington State University Spokane
Graduate Program
West Chester University
West Texas A&M University
West Virginia University
Western Maryland College
Western Michigan University
Willamette University
Wright State University
York University

Sadly, I don’t see SFU, UVIC, or UBC on that list. Surpisingly York University is on the second list but If I have learned more from CF and then I possibly could at York university then is that piece of paper really necessesary? I mean look at CP, JD, and others. They seemed to have built there business on self promotion. :confused:

Unless you have the financial means to attend those universities then wouldn’t a better plan be to save up around 50,000 and then build your own gym where you can train various athletes? Here you are your own boss and you take control of your future especially if your a good self promoter or bullshitter. I am seriously thinking about doing this instead of wasting 50,000 on a university degree; at least this way, I won’t be working for peanuts and bread crumbs the rest of my life!

you may have met svass at the seminar in Vancouver. He is getting some sort of degree at SFU. Maybe send him a PM and ask him about it.

Background understanding is great but you need to learn in the real world in the final stages. Internships are a great way to get a “runing start” into the business. Get to know what’s really being done out there, away from the classroom. If you are interested in this approach with me, you can inquire at

I agree with Charlie. These days you need a degree to get in the door but the degree itself doesn’t teach you want you really need to know. But then that is the same with any degree.

When I analysed the first destination database from the top Sport Science Uni in the UK, I found that only 13% of thier graduates went into sport related jobs other than PE teachers or further study/research! And it is probably harder to get on that program than most medical degrees and on par with getting into Oxford and Cambridge.

The problem is that there arn’t that many jobs in sport (at least in the UK). The jobs there are don’t pay well. If you want money you need to become a “guru” - and that takes entrepreneurial flair and good marketing sense not a sport science degree.

If I wanted to make serious money in sport I would probably study management/accounting or marketing then apply this knowlege to the business aspects of the industry. Furthermore, if everything goes wrong you can get a regular job without much problem. But I guess it depends if you care about money or not and what your expectations are in terms of standard of living until you make it to the top.

tc Wrote " the degree itself doesn’t teach you want you really need to know. But then that is the same with any degree."

C’mon I am taking rhythms and dance(manditory class) :frowning: , are you saying that will not help me in my future as a janitor? I will have to leap and pirouhette over spills and move to the rhythm of my mop! I have also taken drama, the teacher was retiring so A’s for everyone!!!..I can dance and create drama out of any situation now, and you are trying to tell me I didn’t learn anything that will help me in my future endevors…I assume you missed out on classes like these when you attended you institution of academeia (is that a word??)…just kidding I agree so much of the crap that make you take in school is such a waste you could probably get out in 1 yeat if you took the classes that mattered to your particular major! All about the benjermins baby! :stuck_out_tongue:

Though Phys. ed. is not thought of as a sports science, I am amazed at the number of PE programs which do not feature any actual exercise science or coaching related courses. I say this because the vast majority of PE people I know of get into the major because they want to teach PE(though some really want an easy job where they can sit on their butts, roll basketballs out and tell the kids to play pick-up b-ball) but primarily because they want to coach. A bit off topic I know.

Woops, I overlooked that avenue! :smiley: Too much time spent studying for science degrees warps the mind. Actually drama etc is actually pretty relevant to the real world because good communication skills are so important! I know a number of drama students/musicians that have gone on to be big wigs in business simply because they could speak well infront of large groups of people. I appologise to all the drama students out there:o

I have a degree in sport science…but it means nothing!! Real world experience, a ton of reading and talking to a wide range of people is the way to go…together with enthusiasm, interest and pure love of learning.
Some ‘sport scientists’ are positively dangerous!

I also have a degree in Kinesiology and I agree that the classroom only teaches you 1% of what you really need to experience in the real world of coaching and sports science.

Not only do I apply what I have learned in the classroom but I also apply common sense.

At what school/country did you get your degree at?

BTW, isn’t having a sport science degree a good way of picking up potential clients?

While having a degree may impress novice clients, having the facts is more important. The two don’t always go together.


To be honest my degree collects dust on a daily basis. I am not in the business of QUACKERY. Charlie is right many people see you have a degree and think you know everything about that field. Well the truth is this, Science changes everyday, and many universities are teaching the same Sports Science information compiled in the 80’s and 90’s. I was an outcast when I didnt agree with all the so-called training facts many of my professors tried to lay on the class. It was outdated needed to be challenged.

Right on!!

I guess if I start my own gym/performance center then I can have a waiver signed by all of the members of my gym so they can’t sue me if something goes wrong! Wait a minute, every gym in Canada/U.S. already does that!

Unfortunately this is exactly how PE teachers are. Most don’t know diddly squat about teaching PE or individual fitness. The administrators who do the hiring also don’t care. They usually just hire the principals son because he can coach JV girls basketball. The daily PE program usuall consist of him throwing the class a basketball and him sitting in his office. I wonder why PE is losing funding and people do not value physical fitness in our country? The students don’t enjoy it and they learn nothing.

I have to disagree with your last sentence. I did have fun in P.E. but you are right that I didn’t learn didly squat.


If you want to work and still study at the same time, check out United States Sports Academy. They offer an on-line sports science degree and the prices are reasonable.

Ok so I have been accepted onto a Mechancial Engineering course but recently I have become more and more interested in training and training theory. What started as research to optimize my own training for sport has become an interest in the science of perofrmance improvement in general. In fact just recently I have been thinking that may be what I would like to do for a career. I am really interested in Mech Engineering also but I can’t live two lives. At this stage it is too late to change Uni courses so is it possible to become a respected and fully qualified coach without a Sports Science degree? I know there are examples of people but nearly every Strength coach of decent repute out there seems to have at least a BSc if not an MSc if not a pHD! Any advice?

Don’t look at the degree type, look at the courses of their CV.