Coaches are invaluable to a team’s overall success. A good coach knows how to implement educational methods and pedagogy just as a teacher might, and has the leadership and communication skill necessary to derive a team to success.
This rewarding field provides lifelong benefits, allowing you to interact with talented athletes in a growing industry of sport. Obtaining a master’s degree in coaching will allow you – and your team – to rise to the top and to overcome any obstacles that come your way.
Online degrees are ideal for individuals seeking graduate-level education in coaching. They allow students to work while completing their studies, and many can be completed either full- or part-time to allow you to accommodate your studies to your existing schedule. These programs are also typically more affordable and require less of a time commitment than their on-campus counterparts.
Compare this list to our master ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.
What kind of Master’s degree in coaching should you get?
Consider your ideal sport in this decision. Think about what kind of position you would like to hold, as well as your ideal school. For example, if you are interested in teaching at an elementary level, you might want to consider a program that is more ingrained in aspects of physical education. Coaches at the professional level might instead think about programs that focus more on leadership, recruitment, and kinesiology.
When considering your sport of choice, think about your institution of choice, as well. For example, if you’re interested in coaching skiing, you would want to research the best winter sports. By envisioning these personal goals, it will be easier for you to decide on the best program for your time and money.
How much money do people make with a Master’s degree in coaching?
The salary range for individuals with master’s degrees in coaching will vary widely depending on where and in what setting they work. For example, coaches working in a high school setting are typically paid a set amount of a stipend for a given season. However, physical education teachers will make much more, averaging $60,000 a year, while professional coaches can make several million in a single season.
Better yet, these jobs are expected to grow exponentially, increasing at a rate of six percent over the next ten years. As sports become more popular and ingrained in our culture, more skilled and dedicated coaches will be needed to help meet these needs.
What can you do with a Master’s degree in coaching?
Master’s degrees in coaching are beneficial for individuals who plan to work, or currently work, as coaches at any level. These degrees help provide graduates with the experiences and credentials necessary to move up in the workforce.
They are also designed for those seeking to become teachers of physical education, as well as those looking to move into sports administration. You might work as a health and wellness coach, a high school teacher, or a coach for a professional sports team with one of these degrees.
What are the requirements for a Master’s degree in coaching?
Most coaching degrees require that students begin their studies with a related undergraduate education in a topic such as physical education, kinesiology, or sports psychology. However, this varies widely by institution, and many do not require any prerequisite knowledge at all.
While enrolled, you can expect to take a range of classes in communication, leadership, and coaching fundamentals. You will learn about coaching pedagogy and exercise science, as well as areas such as nutrition and motivational techniques.
What are the best Master’s degrees in coaching?
The best master’s degrees in coaching are those that will service your individual career and educational goals, both now and in the future. Some programs are designed to help professionals attain success at all aspects of coaching, ranging from the elementary school level all the way up to professional athletics, while others allow you to specialize in a particular sport.
Think about your budget, time constraints, and personal goals before deciding on your school, and consider our rankings below to help you get started on the search for a perfect online master’s degree in coaching.
See our rankings methodology page.
Michigan State University
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $14,970
Offering a small yet comprehensive Master of Science in Kinesiology, Michigan State is a solid choice for students seeking to expand their understandings of movement and activity at the graduate level. This department is top-ranked and prepares students through interdisciplinary, collaborative research emphasizes the importance of physical activity across the lifespan. While students are fully trained in the techniques, strategies, and theory behind coaching throughout this program, they also graduate as well-prepared practitioners capable of educational research and leadership.
Regardless of whether they choose to study online or on-campus, Michigan State students have exceptional opportunities to engage with various business, organizational, and industry partnerships to help develop policy initiatives. These initiatives are often put directly into practice and are usually related to promoting healthy lifestyles. Students will take broad, far-reaching courses in topics such as:
- Athletic Administration in Higher Education
- Sport Law for Administrators and Coaches
- Psychosocial Bases of Coaching
- Issues and Techniques in Student-Athlete Development
Michigan State is home to several virtual and physical research laboratories and initiatives that allow students to gain experience in movement, exercise science, and other areas. The most prominent facilities include the Motor Learning and Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory, which allows students to research the fundamental questions of motor learning, and the Center for Physical Activity and Health, which has helped to position the university as a leader in global activity change.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 98.03
Average Net Price: $14,761
The Master of Science in Sport Management at the University of Florida, offered with a unique concentration in High-Performance Coaching, is a great fit for students seeking to learn how to assist athletes in their quest to achieve top athletic performance. Through this concentration, students will work closely with actual athletes to determine their physical and mental capabilities, and will also draw from the latest research to create individualized solutions to common coaching dilemmas.
This program requires 15 credit-hours of coursework as part of the specialty, which satisfies all overall elective requirements for the master’s degree. The specialization focuses on the psychological and physiological elements of athlete performance. In addition to a range of electives, students will take classes in topics such as:
- Sport Psychology
- Performance Enhancement
- Athlete Health and Safety
- Training High-Performance Athletes
In addition to the concentration in High-Performance Coaching, the Sports Management degree also features specialties in Athlete Development and Sport Law. Students can meet the requirements for various certifications in sport management as well. This nationally ranked program is taught by experienced faculty within the university’s college of law, allowing students to draw from a unique background in legalese that is beneficial in a real-world setting.
Georgia Southern University
College Choice Score: 95.65
Average Net Price: $16,121
The Master of Science in Coaching Education at Georgia Southern is designed for professional coaches, as well as those simply looking for a broad background in the subject. The program is one of few that follows National Coaching Standards and allows graduates to begin coaching at any level or type of sport. Students pursue a range of health- and exercise-related courses, making this broad program a good value for anyone seeking a comprehensive overview of the subject.
Starting at less than $500 per credit-hour, this affordable program is even more affordable when pursued online. Through the online dimension, students have access to the same research and collaborative opportunities as they would receive access to on campus. A total of 12 classes are required, including studies in:
- Psychology of Peak Performance
- Sport Coaching I
- Team Dynamics
- Injury Prevention
The Department of Health and Kinesiology at Georgia Southern is ranked as one of the best in the country, offering a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees including athletic training, food science, and sport psychology. All programs and courses are highly interdisciplinary, allowing students to collaborate with other students within the department as well as across campus – even when pursued in the online setting.
University of South Florida
College Choice Score: 95.54
Average Net Price: $11,398
The Master of Science in Exercise Science at the University of South Florida is designed with both potential educator, fitness instructors, and coaches in mind. It is designed for fitness professionals and educators who are currently employed and allows students to study a variety of topics, including instructional design and movement theory. All courses are easy to access from Blackboard learning technology, allowing students to interact on their own time as well as in live time with instructors and peers.
This program allows students to choose from one of two unique study programs. These programs allow for differentiation based on individual career goals, such as physical education in public schools or coaching in a private setting. Available tracks include Strength and Conditioning, Health and Wellness, and Exercise Science, leading to 32 total credit-hours for completion. Required courses include:
- Theories and Models of Health and Physical Activity
- Lifespan Fitness
- Psychology of Exercise
- Topics in Strength and Conditioning
This unique program allows students to work closely with faculty members on research areas of interest. Currently, the most popular research areas include powerlifting, physique enhancement, environmental and occupational health, and sports nutrition. The department has years of experience in providing distance-, laboratory-, and field-based experiential education opportunities, giving graduate students a leg up for decades of success in the workforce.
Ball State University
College Choice Score: 94.60
Average Net Price: $13,369
Ball State has offered exceptional online education for decades, with an online degree in coaching education that was the first to be offered of its kind. The degree, which was the first to go online in 2002, establishes the most important dimensions of coaching education. This flexible online program is taught by distinguished, quality faculty with real-world experiences in coaching and kinesiology. Students receive access to cutting-edge research, receiving an education that is exceptionally valuable in the competitive job market of today’s athletic industry.
The program in Athletic Coaching Education at Ball State is taught by distinguished faculty who have experiences coaching at all levels, from high school stars to Olympic legends. A range of classes is available at Ball State, including:
- Teaching and Motivation for Coaches
- Physical Preparation and Conditioning
- Organization and Administration for Coaches
- Foundations of Physical Education Research
The success of Ball State alumni cannot be understated, with many of them working in coaching positions for schools in the Big 10 and Mid-American Conferences, among others. The degree allows students to take only two classes per semester while still managing to graduate in less than five years. This flexibility is important, allowing working professionals to remain employed while receiving a valuable education in coaching.
College Choice Score: 93.26
Average Net Price: $27,757
Xavier University’s online Master of Education in Coaching Education and Athletic Development helps students meet the ever-changing needs of coaching in a modern school setting. Students receive interdisciplinary training in sports psychology, physical therapy, and other topics, as well as extensive experiences in the actual art and science of coaching. This program provides exceptional opportunities for students to conduct and engage with the latest research.
In addition to the collaborative and research-based opportunities available as part of this program, students will also gain a finely honed understanding of the personal and community responsibilities a coach might have. Coursework emphasizes engagement in the community and overall leadership providing students with the twenty-first-century skills necessary to be successful in any environment. Available courses include:
- Psycho-social Aspects of Coaching
- Coaching Ethics and Philosophy
- Sport Leadership and Team Building
- Sports Safety, Risk Management, and Injury Prevention
Xavier is a small Jesuit Catholic university that puts character and community building first in its list of required core competencies. Because of the ability it ingrains in its students to reach out to others and interact fully with the community, Xavier graduates are highly successful at finding jobs. Over 98% of all Xavier graduates are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. The professional development services available at Xavier are like none other, with this active group providing students with access to career fairs, interviewing trainings, and even resume building workshops.
University of Arkansas
College Choice Score: 92.56
Average Net Price: $15,411
The University of Arkansas’ online Master of Education in Physical Education is designed for future teachers as well as for those seeking careers in coaching and recreation. This program is ranked one of the best online programs by U.S. News and World Report, taking most students around two years to complete. Offered entirely online, this program is GRE-exempt, making it easier for students from all backgrounds to obtain a high-quality education in coaching, physical education, and leadership.
Thirty-three total credit-hours are required. While the program of study will vary for each individual student based on their coaching aspirations, most students will take classes such as:
- The Physical Education Curriculum
- Professional Issues in Physical Education and Sport
- Risk management in Physical Education and Athletics
- Scientific Principles of Movement and Performance
This highly affordable program, starting at just $420 per credit-hour, offers students multiple methods of paying for their education. For example, the Arkansas Teacher Opportunity Program provides myriad scholarships and grants to qualified students. Because coursework is delivered entirely online, it is also typically easier for busy working professionals to remain employed while taking classes, helping to save both time and money.
College Choice Score: 91.14
Average Net Price: $39,021
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, PA, Drexel offers a fully online Master of Science in Sport Coaching Leadership that provides students with a broad overview of every aspect of coaching. This program incorporates coaching theory, preventing and treating injuries, sports psychology, and even budgeting. While this program is offered entirely online in an asynchronous format, students are required to attend a week-long residential program in an international setting, which allows them to interact with fellow students and professionals from around the world.
Students in this program are able to specialize in coaching a sport of their own choosing. Available specializations include lacrosse and rowing, with custom concentrations available in other areas as well. Regardless of the concentration, required core courses include:
- Ethics in Coaching
- Coaching Theory and Principles
- Pedagogical Strategies in Coaching
- Sport Performance and Energy Systems
This program is designed with high-level coaches in mind, including coursework in NCAA compliance and recruitment methods. Because the curriculum is divided into four 10-week terms, it is highly flexible, allowing students to move quickly through course material. Drexel is rated as one of the best colleges in regards to value and quality by U.S. News and World Report, and provides graduates with resumes that stand out (in a good way!) to potential employers.
West Virginia University
College Choice Score: 90.79
Average Net Price: $10,814
West Virginia University’s Master of Arts in Athletic Coaching Education features one of the strongest and proudest alumni bodies out of any schools within this ranking. The department emphasizes the importance of pride, academics, community services, and athletics, encouraging future coaches to remain involved within the communities that they coach. Offered online, this program encourages students to network with the local community, helping to provide internship and job opportunities both before and after graduation.
Requiring 36 credit-hours, this program can easily be completed in under two years, even when pursued part-time. This fast-paced program includes field experiences in coaching, and is highly collaborative. Students work closely with peers to develop collaborative experiences. Students will take several core courses, such as:
- Training Theories for Coaches
- Psychology of Coaching
- Motor Behavior for Sport Coaches
- Coaching Education Administration
Graduates of this program are highly successful at finding jobs, benefiting from the university’s strong alumni connections. Students are encouraged to reach out to graduates both recent and not, nearby or far away. The program is affordable and taught by innovative faculty who involve students daily in their on-campus and online-based research. The personal and professional connections in this program cannot be understated, and lead students to a lifetime of coaching success.
University of Denver
College Choice Score: 90.45
Average Net Price: $32,940
The Master of Arts in Sport Coaching at the University of Denver resides within the college’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology. This unique location allows students to be at the forefront of athletic developments and to enrich their understandings of coaching principles with psychological underpinnings. This program is the only one in the country to be offered in such a format, and allows students to work closely with sports research specialists and industry partners alike.
The program is highly flexible, allowing students to pursue various areas of interest while at the same time completing a core set of required courses. Available concentrations include strength and conditioning, which is a unique specialization taught only at the University of Denver. Thirty-six credit-hours of study are required, including:
- Organization and Administration of Sport
- Sociocultural Aspects of Sport Coaching
- Motor Learning and Sport Pedagogy
- Strength and Conditioning and Injury Prevention Program Design
Students work closely with faculty mentors as well as engaged alumni throughout the course of their studies, gaining skills in interpersonal abilities as well as coaching techniques. The program is taught by respected faculty members who have experience at all levels of coaching, ranging from the high school to professional levels of the industry. Students have the opportunity to pursue unique concentrations that allow them to receive prestigious professional recognitions that help them obtain the most coveted jobs upon graduation.
University of Southern Mississippi
College Choice Score: 88.92
Average Net Price: $11,916
The Master of Science in Sport Coaching Education at the University of Southern Mississippi is designed for those seeking to gain experience in organizational leadership and management in sport, as well as in the theory behind motor development and kinesiology. Students may pursue this exceptional program, designed for part-time learners, through a thesis or non-thesis track, taking around two classes per semester for part-time completion.
Thirty-six total credit-hours are required for this program which emphasizes leadership and coaching methods at all levels of sport. Students will become acquainted with every aspect of coaching by taking classes in subjects such as:
- Advanced Motor Development
- Motor Learning
- Sport Psychology
- Foundations and Trends in Kinesiology
This program is rated as one of the most military-friendly in the country, featuring funding and scholarship assistance for active duty and veteran military members. While the program is already affordable, offering online students the low in-state tuition rate, this feature helps make higher education a reality for those who have served the nation.
College Choice Score: 87.63
Average Net Price: $21,899
The Master of Coaching Education at Ohio University, offered entirely online, provides students with the academic and career preparation necessary to be successful in a competitive job market. Students learn how to inspire and push players to meet their goals in this rigorous degree program, the curriculum of which is designed around the Eight Domains of Coaching Competencies developed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. While it prepares students for success coaching any sport, the curriculum offers an additional track in soccer coaching education, which is offered in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
The curriculum in this program is highly flexible, allowing even the busiest professional coaches to continue working while receiving their certifications. Courses are offered asynchronously, allowing students to log on to work on coursework at any time of the day. It can be completed in less than two years. Students will take classes such as:
- Foundations of Coaching I
- Management and Leadership in Sport
- Finance for Athletic Coaches
- Psychology of Coaching
Ohio University has repeatedly been ranked by the Princeton Review as well as U.S. News and World Report as one of the best colleges, a testament to the program’s flexible and rigorous style of education. This nationally recognized program is designed for students of all backgrounds, equipping them with the leadership skills necessary to be successful in any environment. It is open to students from any academic discipline, requiring no GRE scores for many applicants.
Concordia University at Irvine
College Choice Score: 87.38
Average Net Price: $26,180
Concordia’s graduate degree (available as a Master of Arts or a Master of Science) in Coaching and Athletic Administration combines the faith-based education of the institution with a hands-on, service-oriented approach to athletics. This distance learning program is one of only a handful to offer an online program that is ingrained in a faith-based program. As a result, students graduate from this program as profound leaders, ethical coaches, and professional coaches who are ready to tackle any challenges the workforce throws at them.
This program is incredibly close-knit, emphasizing the importance of collaboration with peers both near and afar, as well as alumni, industry partners, and instructors. Core and elective courses include:
- Principles of Coaching & Leadership
- Ethics and Sport
- Research Methods & Analysis
- Legal Aspects of Sport
- Sport Medicine & Performance
- General Medicine and Pharmacology
This nationally-acclaimed program provides students with the training necessary to be successful in a twenty-first-century workplace. The format of the program is unique in that students can start their semesters whenever it is most convenient for them. This flexible learning model allows students to align their coursework with their downtime from work and coaching commitments. Online students also have the ability to complete short blasts of intensive training seminars right on campus. Each student will also create a final culminating professional portfolio, which will include documents that will assist them in future interviews and presentations.
College Choice Score: 87.05
Average Net Price: $6,349
The Master of Science in Leadership and Coaching at Bellevue is designed to provide intensive training in organizational leadership and consulting. Students will gain insight into sports-specific strategies and learn how to interact with others. The program emphasizes the importance of teamwork and effective communication, and is beneficial for coaches of any sport, at any level.
In addition to the core course requirements needed for graduation, Bellevue also offers students the ability to obtain crucial certificates along the way. These certificates help promote graduates to their future employers, and are available in areas such as Executive Coaching and the certification of the International Coach Federation. Major requirements include:
- Leadership Theories and Research
- Developing Leader Effectiveness
- Leadership and Team Dynamics
- Social Psychology of Leadership
This program is highly affordable, starting at just $575 per credit-hour. Because this program is so flexible and easily adapted for any work schedule or life commitments, Bellevue has repeatedly been recognized as a top university for first-time and returning adult learners. The coaching program, in particular, recognizes the needs of students who fall outside the “normal” boundaries of first-time, full-time students.
University of Nebraska
College Choice Score: 86.43
Average Net Price: $15,520
The Master of Arts in Education in Physical Education at the University of Nebraska Kearney is designed to provide teachers with a broad understanding of pedagogy and skill in the areas of movement and athletics. Two concentrations are available: the pedagogy emphasis allows graduates to explore instructional strategy and curriculum development in all levels of the school system, while the special population emphasis is designed for educators looking to serve individuals with disabilities.
This program may culminate in either a thesis or comprehensive examination, depending on the curricular and career goals of the candidate. Graduates are prepared to work teaching physical education and coaching at any grade level, from kindergarten to college-aged students. Required and elective courses include:
- Curriculum Design in Physical Education
- Physiology of Exercise
- Analysis of Physical Education Teaching
- Education Research
This online degree is identical to the one that is offered on campus. In addition to the program in Physical Education, the university also offers 30 other online degree programs, of which multiple have won the distinction of being ranked eighth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Class sizes in the online campus are small, averaging 25 to 30 students, and allow students to interact closely with talented, dedicated faculty members. Furthermore, all online students have full access to the same resources available to on-campus students, such as student orientation services, video tutorials, discounted software, and library services.
American Public University
College Choice Score: 86.27
Average Net Price: $11,470
American Public has made its mark as a university that offers accelerated, affordable, and convenient online degree offerings. Originally designed to serve the country’s active duty and veteran military members, American Public offers a comprehensive Master’s of Sports and Health Sciences Professionals program. This program supplies students with an interdisciplinary approach to physical activity, with each class offered fully online and available 24 hours a day.
This program is designed to allow students to work closely with developing effective movement programs at the personal and team-based level. It offers a range of attractive credit transfer options for students who have completed studies at an alternative institution. Areas of study include:
- Sports Law, Risk, and Regulation
- Coaching Theory and Methodology
- Sports Conditioning
- Leadership Concepts in Coaching
American Public is ranked one of the best providers of online degree programs by U.S. News and World Report. Starting at just $350 per credit-hour, the program allows students to obtain an education that is typically cheaper than one offered at a public, in-state institution. Many students are able to receive course credit for prior work experience or college courses attempted, eliminating the need to take repetitive courses and spend additional time and money.
University of Idaho
College Choice Score: 85.55
Average Net Price: $14,787
The Master of Education in Physical Education and Physical Activity Pedagogy at the University of Idaho provides students with the training necessary to be successful in local schools and communities. This program involves students in nationally-recognized research and includes necessary partnerships to provide students with hands-on experiences in a range of settings. The program also emphasizes character education and allows students to work closely within local communities to develop curriculum for sports teams or in gathering data for servant leadership initiatives.
This program can be completed in a single year, or over multiple years if it is more suitable to a student’s busy career and personal life. It can be started at any time throughout the year, and involves students in problem-based research to solve physical activity issues in their chosen settings. A sampling of courses might include:
- Research in Physical Activity, Theory, and Design
- Ethical Practice and Communication in Physical Activity
- Leadership, Programming, and Marketing
- Contemporary Issues in Health and Activity
This affordable program grants students a variety of ways to finance their education, in addition to rock-bottom tuition rates. Most notably, the Department of Movement Sciences, in which the program is housed, offers a substantial Movement Sciences Scholarship for qualified students. With an average starting salary of up to $55,210, graduates of the University of Idaho finish their degrees with minimal debt and are prepared to enter into high-demand careers.
Old Dominion University
College Choice Score: 84.26
Average Net Price: $15,218
The Sport Management program at Old Dominion provides students with the skills necessary to pursue top careers in coaching and athletic training. The unique format of this degree includes extensive studies in areas such as marketing and financial skills, as well as communication and team building. Online classes at Old Dominion are offered both synchronously and asynchronously, granting students the necessary flexibility to complete their coursework at their own pace, but also the ability to interact with other students and instructors.
In addition to an exceptionally hands-on curriculum, this program also includes a mandatory practicum and internship. These internships can be completed near the student’s hometown, and allow them to obtain crucial experience in coaching and leadership. Curriculum requirements include:
- Adapted Physical Education
- Advanced Studies in Adapted Physical Education
- Motor Learning and Development
- Curriculum Development in Physical Education
Most graduate students in the Sports Management program at Old Dominion will undertake a substantial amount of internship experience hours. Most complete around 400 hours, working for organizations such as ESPN, the Woman’s Sports Foundation, professional sports teams, and university athletic departments. These internships are arranged all over the country, and allow students to gain experience in an area of their own choosing.
Western Michigan University
College Choice Score: 83.90
Average Net Price: $15,489
Western Michigan’s fully online Master’s of Coaching Sport Performance is provided through the School of Human Performance and Health Education. This multi-dimensional program prepares students for coaching careers at any level and for any sport. Students receive training based on industry feedback, as well as on the Eight Domains of Coaching from the National Standards for Sport Coaches. This program is flexible and easy to complete, with most students finishing in less than 18 months.
While most students finish this program quickly, it is flexible enough to allow them to take up to six years to chip away at individual courses. It is ideal for students with busy and varied schedules, allowing them to complete coursework at any time of the day. Students will take classes such as:
- Principles and Practice of Effective Coaching
- Governance and Administration of Sport
- Research Procedures in Human Performance and Health Education
- Program Evaluation in Sport and Physical Activity
This program includes several hands-on learning opportunities for students to gain experience in the field. For example, online students have the unique opportunity to attend sports-related conferences from all over the world. The university also hosts an exceptional Sports Mentoring Association that allows students and colleagues to collaborate on projects and learn from leaders in the field. This one-of-a-kind feature takes away any disadvantage in networking that online learning might pose, allowing students to receive the best possible education and professional collaborative experiences.
College Choice Score: 83.79
Average Net Price: $18,356
Greenville University offers a Master of Arts in Coaching that is offered asynchronously throughout 8-week terms. The program was designed to be as flexible as possible, and courses can be completed in any sequence. As a result, most students complete their degrees within less than two years. Greenville offers Christ-centered classes for students seeking to expand their skill sets in recreation and related topics.
This program can be completed in convenient eight-week chunks. Students will take classes in the basic, foundational skills of coaching, as well as in broader sports administration and leadership. Each student will also complete a capstone project to demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge before graduation. Required courses include:
- Leadership in Coaching
- Faith Development through Sports
- Coaching Character
- Sport Skill Analysis
Online programs at Greenville have a demonstrated track record of success, receiving multiple accolades for best overall programs. These recognitions stem largely from Greenville’s affordable price tag, as well as the services available to online students and the quality of online programs. By providing students with a quality, affordable education that meets their unique career goals, most students are highly successful at finding long-term careers and can finish their studies at Greenville in under two years.
Emporia State University
College Choice Score: 80.61
Average Net Price: $12,939
Located in scenic Emporia, KS, the Master of Science in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation is designed for students seeking to move forward in their careers as coaches. The program has been offered for over a decade, and is provided with a flexible distance-learning option that allows candidates to maintain their current obligations while they work towards degrees. Most students complete the program within two years, although it is possible to pursue an accelerated version of this program and complete in under a year.
While this program is designed for prospective educators, this degree is a great option for anyone seeking to enhance their abilities in coaching and physical education. It includes 18 core credits and 15 of elective credits, providing students with flexibility in designing their career paths. Core courses include studies in:
- Applied Psychology of Health, Sport, and Human Movement
- Advanced Technology in HPER
- Advanced Exercise Physiology
- Ethics in Sport and HPER
This program is highly accessible and has been completed by students from all 50 states as well as multiple foreign countries. As a result, students are granted the opportunity to interact with colleagues from all over the world and within the country, enjoying diverse viewpoints and important in-class discussions. As a result, this program is one of the most well-respected and established programs in the field, earning it a reputation among graduates and employers alike.
University of Central Missouri
College Choice Score: 80.42
Average Net Price: $13,567
The fully online Master of Education in Positive Coaching at the University of Central Missouri is designed to provide students with training on how to incorporate positive techniques into a coaching environment. In addition to intensive training in leadership, communication, and team building, students will also engage in hands-on learning experiences and service activities. It is designed to prepare students for careers as counselors, administrators, coaches, and officers.
Each class is offered in an eight- to sixteen-week block, allowing students to take classes at any time throughout the year. Most students graduate within two to three years of beginning coursework. Most courses are self-paced, allowing students to take tests and quizzes at the times that are most flexible. Elective and required courses include:
- Sport and Applied Coaching Psychology
- Positive Psychology
- Positive Leadership in Sport
- Legal Aspects of Sport and Coaching
This highly affordable program allows online students to pay the low in-state tuition rate, costing most students only around $12,494 for the entirety of their studies. In addition, most students receive some financial aid, with an average aid package of $140,000 servicing the university’s total population of graduate students. Over 75 percent of this university’s graduate students receive financial aid, making it a best value college for almost every student.
College Choice Score: 78.82
Average Net Price: $20,767
The flexible online program in Physical Education at Canisius College can be started at any time and completed in less than two years. The program includes well-designed blocks of research, teaching, and elective courses. While this student can satisfy professional certification requirements for the state of New York, it also prepares students to earn certification in other states and also for lifelong success in coaching and athletics.
Before graduating, each student creates a portfolio of work that includes resumes, lessons, assignments, and mission statements. These portfolios are frequently utilized by graduates in their search for a job, helping them find high-ranking careers as a result of their demonstrated success in coaching and physical education. Other program requirements include:
- Statistics in Physical Education/Health
- Research Methods in Physical & Health Education
- Analysis of Curriculum and Teaching
- Advanced Human Growth and Motor Development
This program is designed to provide students with a far-reaching approach to physical education, not just reinforcing concepts learned in undergraduate studies but enhancing them to the next level. Students will complete portfolios during their studies, helping them to land jobs with top employers around the world. This online program is ranked highly as one of the best online graduate education programs by U.S. News and World Report, a testament to the college’s dedication to student services and engagement, as well as the advanced standing of high-quality faculty members, prominent technology and admissions criteria at the university.
University of Northern Colorado
College Choice Score: 77.68
Average Net Price: $13,065
The Master of Arts in Applied Sports Coaching at the University of Northern Colorado is designed for practicing coaches seeking to enhance their knowledge in athletics and training. This program applies new methods and project-based research to a flexible online program. This degree can fit into any coach’s busy schedule, allowing students to begin at any academic term and providing an education that is applicable to all coaching endeavor.
Required coursework is not specific to a single sport, preferring instead to challenge students with responsive coursework in a variety of broad subject areas. Course requirements include:
- Sports Coaching Principles and Perspectives
- Evaluation of Coaching using Technology
- Introduction to Sports Injuries for Coaches
- Training and Conditioning Principles for Sports Coaches
Online students at the University of Northern Colorado pay a flat per-credit tuition rate, with no additional fees for distance learning. This affordable program can be completed in under five terms, with the addition of a graduate internship. This internship is usually conducted in a local setting, and in the area of sport and exercise science. As a result of these extensive internship requirements, the University of Northern Colorado is one of only three schools in the country that holds Level 5 comprehensive accreditation from the National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education.
Pittsburg State University
College Choice Score: 76.72
Average Net Price: $12,967
Pittsburg State offers a fully online Master of Science in Health, Human Performance, and Recreation. This degree is designed for professionals who have already studied or are employed in a related field, but also provides training for those from alternative backgrounds. The program features two concentrations, including Human Performance and Wellness, as well as Sport and Leisure Service Management.
Thirty credit-hours are required, in addition to a research paper, final project, and final written examination. All course material can be accessed and completed online. In addition to completing courses in their chosen concentrations, each student will also complete core requirements such as:
- Methods of Assessment in Health Human Performance and
- Special Investigations
- Foundations of Human Performance and Wellness
- Foundations of Recreation and Leisure
Pittsburg State, or “Pitt State,” as it is colloquially known, features a low student-to-faculty ratio of just 19:1. Students have access to dedicated faculty, providing them with the attention necessary for post-graduate success. Over 90 percent of graduates are either employed in their particular field of study or enrolled in further study within six months of graduation, a testament to the exceptional student services and support provided by this institution.