Masters Degree Programs for Aspiring Athletic Directors

Oct 12, 2019

Aspiring athletic directors may consider a master's degree program in athletic administration. Find out more about degree options, what you can expect to learn in these programs and what you can do with your degree upon completion.

Essential Information

Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) programs in Athletic Administration train prospective athletic administrators to oversee coaches, secure funding, and plan marketing strategies in schools, as well as recreational and professional industries. In these programs, students build leadership skills such as management approaches, conflict resolution, athlete assessment, decision-making and ethics. They also gain expertise in budgeting and financial management by exploring marketing, advertising and funding strategies for athletic events. In addition, these programs emphasize legal issues, such as compliance and the importance of rules and regulations at all levels. Students also learn to monitor athlete welfare and development through the provision of training and academic support.

In order to apply to one of these two-year programs, students must hold a bachelor's degree. Many programs give preference to students with a background in athletics. Prior to graduation, students must fulfill an internship or practicum requirement and conduct independent research, often culminating in a comprehensive final project.

Master's Degree in Athletic Administration

Coursework in these programs cover all aspects of athletic administration. Common course titles include:

  • Coaching and leadership principles
  • Sport facility management
  • Event planning
  • Publicity and promotion
  • Sport and recreation legal issues
  • Public relations in sport and recreation
  • Sports medicine

Employment and Salary Outlook Info

Athletic directors can find job opportunities in high schools, colleges and universities, health and fitness, recreation and professional sports. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that coaches and scouts (a job category that included athletic directors) could expect to see 11% growth in employment from 2018-2028. These professionals earned a mean annual salary of $43,870 in May 2018.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates seeking advanced professional or academic positions can enroll in doctoral degree programs in sports management or athletic administration. In these programs, students conduct advanced research in the areas of athletics, education, statistics and law.

For students who want to become athletic directors, master's degree programs in athletic administration provide the comprehensive training they need for success in the field. Graduates may also pursue other sports-related executive positions or pursue a Ph.D.

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