All athletes need guidance and support to perform to their fullest potential. Grad School Hub's 5 Best Master's in Coaching for 2019 can help develop graduates' ability to propel their clients from the bench to the arena.

Coaching programs generally address the ethical, psychological, and sociological aspects of athletic leadership. They develop graduates' skills in identifying and solving a variety of problems in the field.

Students may learn theoretical aspects of holistic health and sports strategy and have the opportunity to apply this understanding toward real-world problem-solving. Such difficulties may include athletic challenges relating to ethics, gender, and team dynamics.

Coaching duties typically include athletic administration; exercise and strengthening strategy development; and general guidance and support on and off the field. Physical educators coach athletes in various environments, from school gymnasiums to professional arenas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, median pay for coaches is $32,270 per year. As of the bureau's most recent report, the coaching field is growing at a faster-than-average rate of 13 percent.


The following list features the top five accredited graduate Coaching programs in the nation. Grad School Hub evaluates each program based upon aspects including but not limited to tuition and fees, graduate career prospects, and student satisfaction. More information on the evaluation process can be found on Grad School Hub's Methodology page.

#5 – Bellevue University

Master of Science in Leadership and Coaching

Bellevue, NE


Bellevue University is a private university focused on adult education. Bellevue's diverse community includes student age groups ranging from 18 to 65, or older. The university also emphasizes affordability and has the lowest tuition and fees of all programs on this list. Bellevue provides its Leadership and Coaching degree entirely online.

Curriculum requirements include courses in Leading Change in Organizations, The Role and Relationship Dynamics of Executive Coaching, and Social Psychology of Leadership. Students are expected to complete an internship along with three accompanying internship courses. The curriculum's culminating research project involves planning and presenting an applied project or thesis addressing leadership issues.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,349

#4 – Ohio University

Master of Science in Recreation Studies with Coaching Education

Athens, OH


Established in 1804, Ohio University was the first university chartered by an Act of Congress. Today, the research university is ranked #91 among the country's Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report. Many students enrolled in the program work as graduate assistants for the university's intercollegiate athletic teams. OU's Coaching Education program requires courses in Ethics and Diversity for Athletic Coaches, Management and Leadership in Sport, and Psychology of Coaching. Elective offerings include Dynamics of Skill Acquisition and The Olympic Movement.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: N/A

#3 – University of Missouri

Master of Education in Positive Coaching

Columbia, MO


Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri was the first public higher education institution west of the Mississippi River. Today, the public research university is the largest in Missouri. Mizzou's Positive Coaching program is offered entirely online. Its curriculum covers topics including ethical and legal aspects of athletics, gender, multicultural issues in sports, and healthier school environments.

The core curriculum consists of three courses: Applied Positive Coaching, Positive Psychology, and Sport and Applied Coaching Psychology. Students must also complete a culminating Positive Leadership capstone course. Most students complete the program part-time in two and a half years, while full-time students can finish their degree within one year.

Graduate Tuition: $16,317

#2 – West Virginia University

Master of Science in Sport Coaching

Morgantown, WV


West Virginia University was founded under the Morrill Act as the Agricultural College of West Virginia. It is now a public, research-intensive university with land and space grants. WVU's Sport Coaching program is offered entirely online. Most courses are eight weeks in length, allowing students to focus on one class at a time. The plan of study includes courses in Leadership in Interscholastic Athletic Administration, Psychology of Coaching, and Sport Movement Analysis. Students commence the program with a Coaching Techniques course and conclude it with a coaching internship. The program can be completed in five semesters.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,814

#1 – Michigan State University

Master of Science in Sport Coaching and Leadership

East Lansing, MI


Founded in 1855, Michigan State University served as a model for all subsequent land-grant universities. The university is now one of the nation's largest by enrollment. It also leads in graduate coaching education, taking first place on this list. MSU's Sport Coaching and Leadership courses are delivered online through project-based assessments, reading assignments, and video lectures.

Course examples include Promoting Positive Youth Development through Sport and Psychosocial Bases of Coaching. The curriculum culminates in an integrative capstone course. The capstone is offered with a hybrid section, which involves six days of on-campus instruction. The cohort program starts each year in mid-May and typically takes two years and four months to complete.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,970