Best Coaching Degrees

An undergraduate degree in coaching will prepare students for the exciting athletics industry. Here, we list the best online programs.

Updated September 20, 2022

Best Coaching Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

Join the Growing Industy of Coaching

Ever want to experience a team’s win not from the spectator’s side, but from the coach’s position? A degree in coaching can make that a reality.

The tradition of sports and recreation is largely associated with American culture. Every year, families and fans gather around at the large spectacle of sporting events and tournaments, whether it be a local community event or one at the professional level. There is just something about coming together and cheering on a team while wearing the same colors and screaming the same chants. People can enter into this industry in ways other than becoming a professional player.

An undergraduate degree in coaching will prepare students for the exciting athletics industry. Whether graduates choose to become coaches themselves or work more on the business-side of things, this major will give students the opportunities to experience this bustling career themselves. This growing industry is expected to reach a value of $73.5 billion by 2019 according to Forbes, definitely creating more job opportunities in the future.

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What type of coaching degree should you get?

The most common degree that falls under this category will either be a bachelor’s in sport management or a bachelor’s in sports and recreation management. This degree prepares graduates to coach or manage athletics at the community, collegiate, or professional level. Often related to business, students will take courses such as Finance, and see how it relates to sports. Students will also take science courses such as wellness and physiology.

This degree is offered either on-campus or online. An online degree may be preferable for already working adults or for those whose schedules do not fit with traditional daytime classes. Online students still get all the benefits of an on-campus course; tutoring, internship programs, and community involvement are just a few of the things available. An online program is also sometimes more affordable.

Check out our ranking of the Best Bachelor’s in Sport Management.

How much do people make with an online coaching degree?

According to PayScale, the average salary of a sports management degree holder is $47,000. However, a starting salary can be anywhere from $35,000 to the early $40,000s depending on title and location. For instance, sports managers in New York earned an average salary of $58,000, while those in Iowa only earned $37,000. It is safe to say that the coaching industry is not a “get rich quick” one, but rather one that is rewarding over the long term.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of business managers for athletes is $62,080, regardless of experience. The top ten percent of earners made more than $194,810. While coaches make the least amount of money, top managers and analysts can easily make six figures. Those with a Master’s degree can also increase earning potential, but experience is said to be just as important in this industry.

 
 

What can you do with an online coaching degree?

An undergraduate degree in this major prepares graduates for entry-level positions within the athletics and recreation industries. Other than coaching, some typical jobs include marketer, facilities manager, recruiting, or athletic director. Because of the business nature of the industry, a successful worker will need to have a solid understanding of the economics of the field. Some degrees offer concentrations that prepare students for a particular job.

Sport management majors can be employed by a variety of businesses, with the most typical ones being sports teams themselves, sport networks, apparel companies, or marketing firms. It should be noted that a holder of an online degree will not have any less or more job opportunities than one who took classes on-campus. In fact, “online” will never be written anywhere on the diploma.

What are the requirements for an online coaching degree?

Applicants should have a high school diploma or GED from an accredited institution. A strong candidate should possess a GPA of at least 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale and have at least average SAT/ACT test scores. While not required, taking advanced courses in physiology, anatomy, economics, or statistics would also be an asset.

Students can expect to take about 120 credit-hours and complete the program in about four years. Coursework will include sports (coaching or sport psychology), wellness (kinesiology, nutrition, injury prevention), and business classes (i.e. accounting, human resources, finances). Many times an internship will be required for graduation. This well-rounded degree will prepare young professionals for the diverse set of jobs available.

What are the best online coaching degrees?

We’ve found that the best degrees are those that offer fair not only fair prices, but ample flexibility and convenience as well! To find the best degrees for you, we look at the best schools in the country based on reputation, student satisfaction, program quality, and return on investment. Then we review the bottom line - just how much is this going to cost? Check out our methodology page for a more in depth description of our data.

Once we determine all of the above, we curate a list of stellar schools for you! These not only represent the best degrees you can get, but also ones that will fit your budget. Check out our picks below!

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Best Coaching Degrees

American Public University

  • Charles Town, WV
  • 4 years
  • Online

American Public University offers 46 bachelor's degrees, including its bachelor's in esports program. Students gain the knowledge and skills required for diverse career paths in the esports program. The degree also prepares graduates for master's-level programs, which open up additional career opportunities.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces major principles and practices in esports. General education classes emphasize key skills like writing, research, communication, and critical thinking. Students can explore other interests by choosing a minor or a second major.

Incoming degree candidates can expect strong support services when they enroll at the school. For example, career counselors help students identify strengths and plan for the job market.

American Public University at a Glance:

Location: Charles Town, West Virginia

Type of School: Private

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 46

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,804

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,804

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,804
Out-of-state
$6,804
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
45,249
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Coaching Degrees

Bellevue University

  • Bellevue, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,176
Out-of-state
$7,176
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,637
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Coaching Degrees

Troy University

  • Troy, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,800
Out-of-state
$15,600
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
16,436
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Coaching Degrees

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A public institution, Florida International University enrolls learners in a top-ranked sports and fitness program. From its Miami campus, the school runs in-person and online programs. Undergraduates benefit from flexible course options and rigorous academic standards.

The bachelor's in physical education requires general education and major courses that build key knowledge and skills. Students meet general education requirements by taking classes in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Graduates prepare for entry-level roles or further education in advanced sports and fitness courses, which cover theoretical and practical issues in the field.

Florida International University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 58%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 27-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 78

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 36

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,721

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $16,529

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $8,958

Graduation Rate: 63%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $41,500

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Coaching Degrees

Averett University

  • Danville, VA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

A private institution, Averett University offers a top-rated bachelor's in health and sport science. Degree-seekers enroll in online classes and take in-person courses on the Danville campus. Undergraduates benefit from rigorous academic standards and comprehensive institutional support services.

Majors earn a bachelor's degree after completing courses in the health and sport science program along with general education requirements. The general education curriculum introduces major academic subjects including humanities, math, and natural sciences. Learners prepare for the workforce or further education by taking advanced courses that cover theoretical and practical topics.

Averett University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 65%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 52

Undergrad Tuition In State: $35,450

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $35,450

Graduation Rate: 42%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $40,300

Average Tuition
In-state
$35,450
Out-of-state
$35,450
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
65%
Students Enrolled
894
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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