Do you want to be a front-runner in the healthcare industry? If so, consider a degree in Sports Medicine from Mercyhurst University, a quality education that can lead you to a high-demand career in athletic training, exercise science and prepare/qualify you for a graduate degree in a physician assistant program, physical therapy, occupational therapy and medical school. 

The Department of Sports Medicine has a designed its programs to emphasize evidence-based medical principles, personal and professional responsibility, and teamwork/cooperation, all while focusing on strengthening problem solving, decision making and communication skills. A degree in Sports Medicine, founded in a strong liberal arts education from Mercyhurst, will prepare you for a high-demand career in athletic training and exercise science, or help you transition into an advanced degree in a physician assistant program, physical therapy, occupational therapy or medical school.

You'll learn principles of how to prevent, treat and manage injuries and illnesses common to the physically active individual. Our program also approaches education through the use of frequent hands-on exercises and clinical work to gain real-world experience. You'll have opportunities to work with certified athletic trainers, off-campus clinicians and other employed health professionals. Not only will you get to train with individuals in the field, you'll train with some of the most advanced equipment available in the industry, including military- and Olympic- grade training equipment. Upon graduating from our program, you'll be on your way to a career in an industry that is estimated to grow by up to 31 percent (average) by 2020*.

And, with a 14-1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 20 students, you’re never just a number at Mercyhurst. In fact, many upper level courses average 10 or fewer students. We keep our classes small so you can get individualized attention from professors to ensure your success in class and beyond. 

*Reported by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

You can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Medicine with the option of four concentrations: pre-physical therapy, pre-medicine, pre-physician assistant and pre-occupational therapy. These concentrations provide a foundation for students to pursue entrance into a doctoral physical therapy program and pre-medicine, for students aspiring to go on to medical school, pre-physician assistant for students wishing for entrance into a master's degree physician assistant program and pre-occupational therapy for students seeking acceptance into a master's degree occupational therapy program.

The Sports Medicine degree program requires students to declare one of these concentrations, or take a dual concentration. Each concentration involves clinical experience related to that specific profession, giving students hands-on training opportunities.

The Sports Medicine department also offers a Bachelor of Science degree program in Athletic Training and also a Bachelor of Science degree program in Exercise Science. Both of these major degree programs provide employment opportunities within their specific professional environments by providing the student with the required educational didactic and clinical proficiencies which qualifies the student to sit for their specific professional certification exams.

The numerous Sports Medicine department degree program offerings creates options for the student to customize their professional and pre-professional education by allowing the student to declare a dual major or minor. This creates many post-baccalaureate and employment opportunities with various career pathways in the health and allied health disciplines.


Pre-Occupational Therapy

Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-Physician Assistant

Pre-Physical Therapy

Our Missions

Sports Medicine

The mission of the Sports Medicine department at Mercyhurst University is to provide the students with the necessary didactic competencies, psychomotor skills, clinical proficiencies, clinical experiences, research design, application, presentation and certification through a holistic approach. It is the goal of the department to also develop the student in areas of citizenship, stewardship, and self-awareness.


  • List and describe the duties, responsibilities, and skill set of health professions that compose the Sports Medicine field
  • Recognize and evaluate the anatomical and physiological processes of the physical active individual
  • Apply the specific hands on skill set that Sports Medicine health professionals utilize
  • Describe and apply the management, organizational and leadership skills of health professionals
  • Think critically and solve problems about medical and scientific concepts
  • Comprehend, synthesize and apply the proper research methodology process for health professions

Athletic Training

The mission of the professional athletic training program at Mercyhurst University is to provide the student with the necessary didactic and psychomotor competencies, clinical proficiencies and experiences required to qualify for the BOC examination. In the spirit of the core values of Mercyhurst University, athletic training students shall achieve this by becoming well-rounded, educated, professional, and ethical athletic trainers prepared to enter the allied health field.

Vision Statement: The Mercyhurst University professional athletic training program aspires to offer an extensive academic and clinical experience with devoted faculty to ensure the professional growth of each student pursuing BOC certification.


  • Athletic training students demonstrate dispositions essential to becoming effective professionals and utilize plans, policies, and procedures to ensure responsive and effective operations
  • Athletic training students utilize critical thinking, and analytical skills to enhance clinical decision making
  • Athletic training students know and apply the requisite discipline-specific scientific and technical concepts critical to their development.
  • Athletic training students use effective communication skills to enhance health care delivery
  • Articulate the clinical evaluation findings to the patient and other health care professionals. Explain and appraise safety hazards associated with activities, activity areas, and equipment by following accepted procedures and guidelines. Develop informed awareness/understanding of ethical conduct/ social responsibility/ academic and professional integrity.

  • Determine and direct standard immediate care procedures and explain and implement the transfer of care for conditions beyond the scope of practice of the athletic trainer. Develop a clinical impression by interpreting the signs, symptoms, and predisposing factors of the injury, illness, or health-related conditions. Reassess the status of injuries, illnesses, and/or conditions using standard techniques and documentation strategies to determine appropriate treatment, rehabilitation, reconditioning and/or the need for prophylactic/protective measures; evaluate readiness to return to a desired level of activity. Access/analyze information that facilitates learning/critical inquiry; to adhere to standards of academic honesty and evidence based practice

  • Describe and apply physical conditioning principles by designing and implementing appropriate programs. Determine and direct standard immediate care procedures and explain and implement the transfer of care for conditions beyond the scope of practice of the athletic trainer. Explain and administer therapeutic modalities and therapeutic and conditioning exercise(s) using standard techniques and procedures. Identify, inspect and palpate the involved area(s) using standard techniques to assess the pathology and extent of the injury, illness, or health-related condition. Know, apply, and communicate about standard protective equipment and the risks associated with participation and specific activities. Know, apply, and communicate standard immediate care procedures

  • Articulate the clinical evaluation findings to the patient and other health care professionals. Describe and apply the principles of healthy lifestyle behaviors using effective education, communication, and interventions. Know, apply, and communicate about standard protective equipment and the risk associated with participation and specific activities Access/analyze in writing information that facilitates learning/critical inquiry; to adhere to standards of academic honesty and evidence based practice

Exercise Science

The mission and general objective of the Bachelor Exercise Science degree at Mercyhurst College is to provide the student with the necessary didactic competencies, proficiencies and experiences both academically and clinically in order that they have the necessary requirements and background to sit for at least one of the two industry leading credentialing examinations. The students are required to sit for the NSCA-CSCS or the ACSM-HFS. Successful completion of the credentialing process will aide in procuring gainful employment as an exercise specialist in a variety of settings; High Schools, Universities, Hospital Wellness Centers, Corporate Fitness Centers, or Private Practice to name only a few. Academic study at Mercyhurst University will also aide in the preparation for post graduate study in fields such as Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, or Public Health. Students within the Exercise Science program are required to complete a baccalaureate research project which culminates their academic course of study. This research project will aide greatly with preparation for post graduate courses of study and/or prepare the student to interpret current peer-reviewed published research in accepted professional journals. The curriculum in the Exercise Science program is designed to give the student every opportunity to fulfill all college requirements towards graduation and in so doing expose the student to the holistic liberal arts experience. This unique combination of the professional preparation and the holistic liberal arts experience will enable the student to easily see the larger community picture and how the individual fits within this community to help create a caring and sustainable society

Program Vision: The Undergraduate Exercise Science program aspires to gain stature as a leading clinically focused program


  • Demonstrate knowledge of patient pre-participation health screening, risk classification, and evaluation
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the benefits and risks associated with physical activity
  • Demonstrate knowledge of health related physical fitness testing, interpretation, and exercise prescription in the healthy population
  • Demonstrate knowledge of behavioral theories and strategies for promoting exercise and health
  • Demonstrate proficiency in research methodology and scientific writing

Clinical Observation Sites

LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center
5515 Peach Street
Erie, PA 16509

Millcreek Community Hospital
5515 Peach Street
Erie, PA 16509

UPMC Hamot Hospital
201 State Street
Erie, PA 16550
Phone: 814-877-6000

Shriners Hospital for Children
1645 West 8th Street
Erie, PA 16505

Athletic Training Affiliated Sites

Athletic Training Majors complete 6 hands-on clinical assignments and 1 Senior Capstone Experience emphasizing lower extremity, upper extremity, equipment intensive and general medical experiences with both male and female populations across 15 affiliated settings with over 30 Clinical Instructors and Approved Clinical Instructors (ACI/CI).

High Schools

• Cathedral Prep High School
• Central Tech High School
• Harbor Creek High School
• McDowell High School
• Mercyhurst Prep High School
• Seneca High School
• Strong Vincent High School
• Northwestern High School


• Penn State-Behrend
• Gannon University
• Mercyhurst College


• UPMC Hamot Sports Medicine

Professional Teams

• Erie BayHawks (NBA-D)
• Erie Otters (OHL)
• Erie Sea Wolves (AA Eastern League)

General Medical

• Millcreek Community Hospital 



  • Bod Pod
  • 2 Parvo Med gas analyzers
  • Treadmills

Athletic Training Research

Prior to graduation each athletic training student is required to complete a baccalaureate research project. Students must complete a formal manuscript by May 1 of their senior year, and present their research at the annual Mercyhurst University Research Symposia. In addition, students are encouraged to submit their research to various local, state and national meetings and clinical symposia.

Current Projects

  • “The Effects of Russian Stimulation on Postural Stability in the Knee Joint Following ACL Reconstruction”
  • “A Comparison of Kinematics Between Shod and Barefoot Running”
  • “The Effects of Submaximal Exercise on Cognitive Function”
  • “Postural Stability and Shot Velocity in Elite Hockey Athletes”
  • “The Analysis of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation And Static Stretching and its Effects on Sprint Speed”
  • “The Immediate Effect of Cryotherapy at the Ankle Joint on Postural Control”
  • “The Effects of Cold Water Body Immersion on Muscle Recovery After Repeated Cycling Performances”
  • “The Effect of Cryotherapy on Accuracy and Strength in the Shoulder”
  • “He Effects of Cryotherapy on Balance and Proprioception in the Lower Extremity”
  • “Yoga Poses and Foam Roller Exercises Increase Core Strength and Postural Stability in Active Individuals”
  • “The Effects of Mental Imagery on Core Stability”
  • “The Effects of Static, Dynamic, and PNF Stretching Protocols on Maximal Concentric Strength of the Knee Flexors and Extensors”
  • Lyudmila Belousov "The Effects of Scheduled vs. Non-Scheduled Environment on Postural Control" presented at the PATS student symposium in March 2012

Meet the Faculty

Sports Medicine
Dyan Jones, Ph.D.
Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences
Janice Haas, M.S.
Associate Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences, Program Director, Physical Therapist Assistant, Assistant Professor
Joshua Long, M.S., ATC, CSCS, CES
Chair, Department of Sports Medicine, Assistant Professor
Derek Beeler
Assistant Professor, Clinical Education Coordinator