Main Content:
Kristofer Herlitz (MS ’23) pictured third from the left with his Sports Science classmates

Kristofer Herlitz (MS ’23) pictured third from the left with his Sports Science classmates

Congratulations to Kristofer Herlitz!  

Herlitz was awarded with the Pitt Sports Science program’s Emerging Sports Science Professional Scholarship at The 3 World of Sports Science 2023 virtual conference in March. 

The scholarship acknowledges and supports students who demonstrate high-level scholastic achievement and professional skills in the field of sports science. In addition to a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA, they must write an essay describing their professional goals and how the program is preparing them for a career in sports science. The scholarship is awarded in partnership with Hawkins Dynamics, a leader in technology that supports the work in this field. 

“The scholarship has helped me gain connections to people and opportunities in sports science. The money helps to support me while I interview for full time roles and face the potential reality of moving.” said Herlitz.  

“I appreciate Hawkin Dynamics for awarding me the scholarship in order to pursue my career in sports science head on.” 

The Right Fit in the Pitt Sports Science Program 

Herlitz’s road to sports science at Pitt started after receiving his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

“I first heard the phrase ‘sports science’ at the end of my senior year and had no idea it was an entire field.” He wasn’t planning to attend graduate school at the time, but when he interviewed for an internship with Pitt Football, he happened to learn about the Sports Science program. “It seemed too perfect to pass up!” recalls Herlitz. 

Once admitted into the program, Herlitz was selected for the internship with Pitt Football throughout the fall and spring semesters.  

“My favorite part about my internship with Pitt Football was the mentorship. Pitt Rehabilitation Science Doctoral Research Fellow Patrick Peterson’s tutelage was the catalyst I needed to push uncomfortably hard and come out the other side as a well-rounded sports scientist,” says Herlitz. Under Peterson’s guidance, Herlitz learned how to collect data using sports science technology and then analyze the data using “R” programming language. He credits these skills for preparing him in his current role as a sports science intern with the Pittsburgh Penguins, a connection facilitated by Peterson. 

Herlitz continues, “Peterson was and still is instrumental in aiding my learning and connecting me with other leaders in the field.” 

The Sports Science program at Pitt is a unique experience, as it offers students a chance to gain practical experience in conferences such as NCAA and in Division 1 athletics, all in just one year.  

“A one-year master’s degree is perfect for someone who thinks two years is too much to commit to. One year of concentrated learning and practical experience seems much easier to digest,” Herlitz comments. 

Backed with the support of the Emerging Sports Science Professional Scholarship, Herlitz plans to work full-time as a sports scientist in a professional or collegiate athletic setting. Everyone at Pitt and in the Sports Science program are looking forward to what he does next.


Interested in getting involved with the SHRS Sports Science program? Visit our webpage or email to speak with an enrollment specialist today!


Published July 21, 2023