Online Masters Degree in Coaching: Program Overviews

Learn about online master's degree programs with coaching courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

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Essential Information

It is possible to earn an online master's degree in athletic administration or physical education with a specialization in coaching. These programs can be completed primarily online, but some may be offered in blended formats that include on-campus orientation or an internship, which can often be completed at the school where the student is employed.

Most programs require that applicants hold a bachelor's degree in physical education, education or a related field and have prior coaching experience. Courses include physical training, evaluation methods, sports safety and administration. Students also learn about research methodology and current issues in coaching. Students can view archived lessons and download course materials at any time, as long as certain due dates are observed. They may be required to complete a final paper or portfolio before graduation.

Master's Degree in Coaching

Some online master's programs pair coaching with athletic administration. Students entering these programs typically must have a bachelor's degree in a field like physical education, education or biology. They also should have a history of sports involvement, preferably including several years of coaching sports teams.

Program Information and Requirements

Online graduate-level coaching programs generally can be completed in two years. While coursework is available entirely online, some schools might require students to be on campus for an orientation period. A final research paper or coaching portfolio often is required.

Online coaching students need access to high-speed Internet, as well as a printer and CD-ROM or DVD drive. Some schools require a Windows operating system, while others are flexible. Students may need Microsoft Office to complete assignments, and updated browsing and security software is recommended. Online instructors communicate with students mainly by e-mail.

Common Courses

Some graduate coaching classes focus on strategies for specific sports. Other topics might include legal issues, organization and scouting tactics.

Sports Safety

In this course, coaches learn to prevent injury and create a safe athletic environment. Areas covered include basic first aid, protective equipment and preventative conditioning.

Ethics and Philosophy

Coaching students learn methods of communication and reinforcement intended to facilitate emotional and social growth. This course conveys the values and opportunities gained from sports involvement.

Physical Preparation

This class details physiological systems used in physical activity and effective methods of conditioning the body. Topics include strength, cardiovascular conditioning and flexibility. Students design effective training programs with attention to health and nutrition.

Career Information for Graduates

Coaches are employed by all levels of academic institutions, from elementary schools to universities. They are also in demand for amateur and professional adult sports teams. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, coaches and scouts had annual median wages of $31,000 in May 2015.

Experienced coaches can enroll in online master's degree programs to study a wide range of coaching-related topics, from athletic training and sports psychology to legal and administrative challenges in the field. Because these distance learning programs offer significant scheduling flexibility, enrollees can continue coaching as they earn this degree.

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