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Master of Arts (MA in Coaching): Coaching Degree Overview

A Master of Arts in Coaching program explores coaching methods, strength training techniques and sport psychology. Learn about the coursework and job outlook for the field.

Essential Information

Prospective and existing coaches in a master's program learn coaching styles and proper training methods, as well as budgeting and fundraising techniques. Professional development seminars might allow students to examine the fundamentals of a specific sport. Programs typically include coaching field experiences. Exercise science laboratories and graduate assistantships might be included.

Applicants must hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree, and some programs require a major or minor in coaching. Additionally, some M.A. in Coaching programs may require previous coaching experience. Programs are typically 36 credit hours, and there may be some online availability.


Master's Degree in Coaching

The coaching program enhances students' leadership skills and increases employment opportunities. Students explore theories in human performance, program evaluation, administration of sports and mental training for athletes. Common courses include:

  • Sports safety
  • Measurement and evaluation
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Methods of coaching
  • Social aspects of sports

Popular Career Options

Graduates are prepared to work as coaches or instructors within schools, universities or community programs. They should have the training necessary to teach athletes, hold practices, instill sportsmanship practices, evaluate game strategies and minimize training risks. Common career titles can include:

  • High school coach
  • University coach
  • Private sports instructor
  • Scout

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

As stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for coaches and scouts are predicted to increase by 6% during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). BLS reports from May of 2015 estimate the median annual salary of these professionals as $31,000.

Continuing Education Information

According to the BLS, those interested in coaching in public schools may be required to obtain a state certification. They predicted those who are state certified to teach academic subjects will have the greatest chances of obtaining coaching positions within schools.

While a Ph.D. in Coaching is not commonly offered, students seeking leadership roles in physical education or motor behavior may consider a doctoral degree in physical education. The degree is available as a Ph.D. in Physical Education or a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a concentration in physical education pedagogy. Within a doctoral program in physical education, students learn the psychology of physical education and cognitive factors in motor skill acquisition. Coursework may involve research, dissertation or group projects.

A master's degree program in coaching teaches students coaching methods, leadership skills and other related theories to prepare them for various coaching jobs. Graduates can expect average job growth, and may have to obtain state certification.

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