Coaching Master's Degree Programs

A master's degree in coaching can prepare you for a career guiding athletes and managing a team. Learn about types of coaching master's programs, courses, and program prerequisites and find out the current job statistics for sports coaches. Schools offering Athletic Coaching degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Master's Degrees Are Available in Coaching?

Master's degrees in coaching teach you about coaching and athletic administration, and prepare you to manage a team as well as handle its regulatory and business functions. You could also enroll in a master's degree program in health promotion or kinesiology with a specialization in coaching.

These degrees are available in both online and on-campus formats. Online degrees may require you to complete assignments and turn them in via e-mail. You may also have to participate in discussion boards for conference calls. Master's degrees in coaching can typically be completed in 2-3 years and culminate in either a thesis or a comprehensive exam.

Course FormatIn-person or online
Admissions RequirementsBachelor's degree, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, sports experience
Course OfferingsLeadership, psychology of athletes, injury prevention, psychology of coaching
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%
Median Salary (2014)$30,640

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are There Prerequisites?

While admissions committees will consider students who hold any type of bachelor's degree, some might prefer those who hold a degree in a related field, like sports science, health and nutrition, biology or physical education. You should expect to submit standardized test scores and letters of recommendation. Having played a sport could also be useful preparation.

What Kinds of Classes Can I Take?

Classes in master's degree programs in coaching combine training from the sports science, medical, psychology and business disciplines. While much of the instruction takes place in the classroom, you may also be able to participate in internships that allow you to work with players and gain coaching experience. Some programs also incorporate pedagogical training or intensive courses in specific sports. The following are examples of courses you might find in the curriculum:

  • Sports leadership
  • Psychology of coaching
  • Risk management for athletics administration
  • Psychology of elite athletes
  • Performance and conditioning
  • Injury prevention

How Is the Job Outlook and Pay?

For coaches, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected an employment growth rate of 6% between 2014 and 2024. This is about as fast as average. Growth in this profession will likely be caused by general population growth, according to the BLS. The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for coaches was $30,640 as of May 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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