Students selecting the Sports Medicine Program of the Kinesiology Department typically continue their education at the graduate level or plan to attend medical school or other professional schools such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, physician’s assistant, or similar graduate school programs. Graduates may also be directly employed in medical and corporate settings. Medical and corporate settings include both preventative and rehabilitative programs.
Graduates who choose not to seek post-baccalaureate education are generally encouraged to obtain certification for exercise testing, physical fitness evaluation, or exercise prescription through the American College of Sports Medicine (http://www.acsm.org/), or they may obtain athletic trainer certification through the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (http://www.nata.org/). A few students pursue teaching certifications and employment in elementary, high school and university level education.
A specific intention of the sports medicine curriculum is to provide a strong natural science foundation and to interface this foundation with application to human physical function. Currently, Sports Medicine students are required to complete 44 hours of required and elective courses in the kinesiology and related disciplines of the 120 hours required for graduation. Twenty-nine hours of required core courses in Kinesiology and 15 elective courses in health, chemistry, physics, biology and biochemistry provide this foundation.
The Sports Medicine Program is the only academic specialization on campus that includes courses in human anatomy and human physiology. In addition, students receive a solid foundation in nutrition, biomechanics, performance psychology, motor learning, statistics, research methods, and exercise physiology. Students gain practical experience through academic labs in exercise physiology, motor learning, and anatomy labs. Students are encouraged to select from the electives according to their respective career goals. Students in the sports medicine program are expected to develop a strong scientific knowledge base as well as adept critical reading, writing, and oral communication skills.
Qualified students of the sports medicine program will be encouraged to participate in an independent study. This independent study allows integral involvement in basic or applied research directed by a faculty advisor. The application (proposal) process for independent studies is outlined in the web page listed below.
Students are encouraged to apply for any one of a variety of highly competitive internships. The internship generally provides students an opportunity to experience the application of preventative and rehabilitative sports medicine concepts and practice at a health care or corporate setting. The close proximity of Rice University to the Texas Medical Center allows students to find experience in a medical setting for potentially every medical specialty in practice.
Graduates of the Sports Medicine program receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology with Concentration in Sports Medicine.