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Masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration: Program Overview

If you want to become a sports coach or athletic director, you may want to consider earning a master's degree in coaching and athletic administration. Learn more about topics of study, application requirements, and opportunities for graduates.

Essential Information

Master's degree programs in coaching and athletic administration prepare students for leadership positions in athletic organizations. Students in these programs examine ethical and moral issues as well as governance and policy development in interscholastic athletic programs. They also explore the principals involved in the marketing and management of athletic events and facilities.

Teaching and administrative skills are strengthened through classroom work and group discussions of curriculum development and coaching philosophy. Students are required to gain hands-on experience in the field by completing a practicum prior to graduation.

In order to apply to one of these programs, students must hold a bachelor's degree, possibly with a minimum GPA. They may also be required to submit letters of recommendation or a resume.


Master's Degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration

Common course topics in these programs include:

  • Leadership and administration
  • Sport and recreation research methods
  • Sports medicine
  • Public relations
  • Policy development
  • Facility management

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment for coaches and scouts was expected to grow 6% in the 2014-2024 decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The projected growth for athletic trainers is 21%, which is much faster than average.

The median annual salary for coaches and scouts, according to the BLS, was $31,000 as of May 2015. The BLS also reported median annual wages of $44,670 for athletic trainers in May 2015.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Coaches in public schools are typically required to be state-certified. Certification requirements vary but typically include a bachelor's degree and an exam. Athletic directors can complete the NIAAA (National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association) certification exam to become a certified athletic administrator. Graduates may also choose to further their education through a Ph.D. in athletic administration and sports management.

In summary, master's degree programs in coaching and athletic administration provide broad, interdisciplinary training in fields such as management, marketing, and sports medicine. Graduates are prepared for athletic leadership careers.


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