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University of Pittsburgh    
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 21, 2024
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Sports Medicine and Nutrition - Sports Medicine Concentration, MS

The Sports Medicine (SM) program focuses on enhancing the knowledge base in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries and illness. Athletic Trainers, other health care professionals, and individuals interested in sports medicine will find the curriculum well-suited to meet their post-professional goals and objectives. Several graduate assistantships are available for applicants who are Certified Athletic Trainers.

For more information, please contact:

Katelyn Allison, PhD, ACSM EP-C
Co-Director, MS in Sports Medicine
Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition
Mary E. Murray, EdD, ATC
Co-Director, MS in Sports Medicine
Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
5065 Forbes Tower
Fax: 412-383-6636


The Sports Medicine (SM) concentration leading to a Master of Science degree in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is a two-year graduate program housed within the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition.

Program Summary
36 credits (full-time-only)
4 terms
Program starts fall term only

Sports medicine is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on health care issues for athletes and physically active individuals. The SM program has a research focus and provides a core curriculum that is central to the pathokinesiology of joint injury and the principles by which restoration of joint function is accomplished. Graduates of the program seek appointments in both clinical and educational settings at colleges and universities, high schools and private sports medicine clinics. Individuals who have successfully completed our program include athletic trainers, physical therapists, bioengineers and exercise physiologists.    

Graduate assistantships are available to applicants who are athletic trainers and include appointments at the University of Pittsburgh. The yearly assistantships include tuition remission and stipend.


Students are provided with a research experience within the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory/Warrior Human Performance Research Center that focuses on issues central to clinical research in orthopedics and sports medicine. Research includes the use of electromyography, motion analysis, isokinetic dynamometry, physiological, proprioceptive, and balance assessment modalities for the purpose of defining and restoring function as well as optimizing performance in military personnel, injured athletes, and in physically active individuals.

The NMRL boasts:

  • 30 years of comprehensive, relevant sports medicine research as part of the University of Pittsburgh
  • A 10-year history of Department of Defense (DoD) Human Performance Operation and Injury Prevention Research
  • Unique understanding of DoD Human Performance Operation and Injury Prevention needs
  • Multi-disciplinary, team-centric approaches to research
  • Cutting-edge and innovative research capabilities

Admission Requirements:

All applicants must:

  • Complete the SHRS ApplyYourself online application
  • Submit the application fee of $50 (U.S.)
  • Submit a self-evaluation essay addressing your purpose for applying to the program, your ability to successfully complete the program, and your goals (short and long term)
  • Submit three letters of reference, preferably from individuals who have instructed you in academic settings and/or supervised research activities. These letters should address the applicant’s academic, professional, clinical (as appropriate) and personal attributes; as well as potential for meaningful graduate study
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Additional requirements for international applicants can be found on the SHRS website

Application deadline is March 15.

Applicants applying for a Clinical Graduate Assistantship must apply by January 15. There is a mandatory, on-campus, interview with program faculty to be considered for the assistantship. You will be contacted by the department to schedule if qualified. FAQ

Both MS and PhD students may be eligible for the following Scholarships

George I. Carson Graduate Fellowship of the University of Pittsburgh

Funds from the George I. Carson Graduate Fellowship are awarded to graduate students who are or were affiliated with an athletics program at the University of Pittsburgh as undergraduate and are or will be students at a University of Pittsburgh graduate or professional school. The recipients must be of high moral character, or outstanding undergraduate academic achievement, and demonstrate the potential for outstanding graduate study. Deadline for application will be approximately May 1 for the upcoming fall term and spring term. Students may apply for both the fall and the spring at the same time using the May deadline.

Sports Medicine Resource Fund

This graduate scholarship was created to help defray the cost of professional development activities. Eligible students are those individuals who have completed their undergraduate Athletic Training degree at the University of Pittsburgh and are now continuing their education at Pitt through the Master’s in Sports Medicine Program. This $1000 scholarship can be used toward travel and attendance at a professional meeting.

Freddie H. Fu, MD Graduate Research Award

The award is named for and presented in honor of Freddie H. Fu, MD for continued support of research in the field of Sports Medicine. The purpose of this award is to encourage graduate research activity by recognizing exceptional student research projects and defraying some of the expenses associated with the student research. The number of awards presented each year will be contingent on the number of quality proposals submitted and monies available.

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

The ACSM provides research grants and scholarships from various endowments and funds including education, minority scholarships, and Foundation Research Grants. For more information.

NATA Research and Education Foundation Graduate/Doctoral Scholarship

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association provides a number of scholarships to eligible students on the basis of academic and clinical excellence as well as participation in campus and community activities that demonstrate qualities of leadership and service. Applicants must be student members of the NATA by November 1 of the year preceding submission of the application, be enrolled in an accredited curriculum program and intend to pursue the profession of athletic training as their means of livelihood and have a minimum GPA of 3.2 or higher. Completed applications must include a statement of support by a certified athletic trainer and verification of academic standing. The amount of each scholarship is $2300.00. Applications will be posted on the NATA website approximately September 1. Go to NATA Foundation for additional application information. Deadlines for portions of the application begin in January. Learn more about this scholarship.

NATA Research & Education Foundation Master’s/Doctoral Research Grant
View more about this grant.

Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships are available to master’s candidates who are athletic trainers and include appointments at the University of Pittsburgh. The yearly assistantships include tuition remission and stipend.

Academic Standards

An average of at least B (GPA=3.00) is required in all courses that make up the MS emphasis in sports medicine. A student who receives a grade lower than a C is required to retake the course according to School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences policy.

Student Scholarship Appointment Standards

The Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, in accordance with the University of Pittsburgh and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, defines a student scholarship as a teaching assistant, teaching fellow, graduate student assistant, or student employee trainee (TA/TS/GSA/SET). Although student scholarship appointments may not be made for more than one year, a student may be reappointed. While it is impossible to guarantee reappointments, most students making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree and whose teaching or other service performance is satisfactory will receive at least one renewal of their appointment or an offer of other financial assistance. If it is impossible to offer renewal or other appointments, priority will be given to those with superior academic, teaching, and service qualifications.

The criteria for reappointment are the quality of assigned work and academic achievement. Unsatisfactory academic performance is a cumulative GPA below 3.00 or completion of fewer than 9 credits of graduate work per term. As such, students who have a cumulative GPA below 3.00 at the time of scholarship reappointment will not receive reappointment of their scholarship. This policy is in accordance with the University of Pittsburgh Policy Statement for Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, and Graduate Student Assistants.

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