25 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Coaching

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Updated September 28, 2022

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From school gymnasiums to Olympic arenas, strong leadership is essential to develop athletes into champions. Grad School Hub's 25 Best Online Master's Degrees in Coaching prepare students to inspire and lead athletic champions.

Best Online Master's in Coaching

Coaching programs encompass ethical, leadership, physiological, psychological, and sociological aspects of physical education. They elevate graduates' ability to solve problems and support athletic students and professionals both on and off the field.

Along with theoretical studies of physical wellness and sports dynamics, students are given opportunities to apply leadership skills and solve real-world problems. These problems may include injuries or unique athletic challenges concerning legal issues, multicultural approaches, and sports sociology.

Explore these promoted online degree programs.

These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.

25 Best Online Master's Degrees in Coaching

  1. Michigan State University

    East Lansing, MI



    Founded in 1855, Michigan State University served as a model for land-grant universities created under the Morrill Act. Today, the university continues to exemplify academic excellence, offering Grad School Hub's #1 online graduate coaching program. MSU's Department of Kinesiology offers a concentration in Coaching. Students can expect to take concentrated courses such as Ethics in Athletics in Higher Education, Psychosocial Bases of Coaching, and Sport Law for Administrators and Coaches. Students can choose from four capstone options: a thesis, project, internship, or coursework-only route with certifying exam. Internships are available in the East Lansing community at high schools, local sports organizations, and within the university athletic department.

  2. University of South Florida

    Tampa, FL



    The University of South Florida is a public space-grant university in Tampa, FL. It is classified in the top tier of research universities by the Carnegie Foundation. USF offers three concentrations within its graduate Exercise Science program: Exercise Science, Health and Wellness, and Strength and Conditioning. The program curriculum covers topics such as commercial and community fitness and wellness, clinical rehabilitation, and sports performance. Course offerings include Lifespan Fitness, Psychology of Exercise, and Sport in Society. Students can also complete independent studies or internships. To finish the program, students have the option to complete a comprehensive exam or research thesis.

  3. Ball State University

    Muncie, IN



    Ball State University is a state research university in Muncie, IN. Its Athletic Coaching Education program is taught by faculty who have coached Olympians and NCAA champion athletes. The program uses a cohort model with class sizes ranging from 12 to 20 students, which helps students study and network with their peers. The graduate coaching program of study includes courses in Current Issues in Coaching Research, Growth and Development for Coaches, and Teaching and Motivation for Coaches. Each student also completes a physical education internship, which can be completed on-site in their community.

  4. University of Arkansas

    Fayetteville, AR



    The University of Arkansas is the flagship institution of the University of Arkansas and the largest university in the state. It is ranked #78 among the Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report. U of A's Physical Education program is designed to advance the skills of practicing physical education professionals. Prospective students must obtain an undergraduate degree in kinesiology or have experience in a related field for admission. Required courses include Project Implementation and Data Analysis, Risk Management, and Sport Psychology. All degree candidates must pass a cumulative written exam to graduate. The program takes two years to complete.

  5. West Virginia University

    Morgantown, WV



    West Virginia University is a state research-intensive university in Morgantown, WV. WVU's Sport Coaching program takes a holistic approach to physical education. The program considers both the development of the athlete and the personal wellness of the coach. The curriculum addresses content areas of applied sports science, leadership development, pedagogy, and professional knowledge. Course content takes an issues-based approach, incorporating movement analysis, the psychology of coaching, training theory, youth development, and more. Courses generally take eight weeks to complete, allowing students to focus on one area at a time. The program includes an introductory Coaching Techniques course and a capstone Coaching Internship.

  6. Georgia Southern University

    Statesboro, GA



    Georgia Southern University is a public, Carnegie-classified Doctoral Research Institution. It is part of the University System of Georgia, with the main campus in Statesboro and additional units in Savannah and Hinesville. Its graduate coaching program is accredited by the National Committee for the Accreditation of Coaching Education. GS offers a Coaching Education concentration within its graduate Kinesiology program. The concentration offers courses in athletic training, coaching administration, coaching effectiveness, and performance enhancement. These courses include Sports Administration and Sports Biomechanics, and Teaching Analysis and Psychology of Peak Performance.

  7. University of Idaho

    Moscow, ID



    Founded by Idaho's territorial legislature in the year 1889, the University of Idaho is the state's oldest public university. U of I is also the state's land-grant and primary research university. U.S. News & World Reportranks it #87 among the Top Public Schools in the country. U of I's Physical Education program provides graduate students with a master's degree and physical education teacher certification. Core courses include Health Methods and Administration and Programming and Marketing for Healthy Active Lifestyles. The program offers students opportunities to get involved in nationally recognized research and hands-on community partnerships.

  8. University of Nebraska at Kearney

    Kearney, NE



    The University of Nebraska at Kearney is ranked 10th in Top Public Schools and #47 for Best Value Schools by U.S. News & World Report. UNK's Physical Education Master Teacher program offers two tracks: Pedagogy Emphasis and Special Population Emphasis. The Pedagogy Emphasis prepares graduates for physical education roles in elementary to post-secondary school settings. The Special Population track emphasizes the needs of students with disabilities and leads to the Nebraska Department of Education's Adapted Physical Education endorsement. Core courses for both tracks include Philosophy of PE, Sports, Recreation and Leisure and Education Research. All students must complete a comprehensive exam or thesis.

  9. Emporia State University

    Emporia, KS



    Established in 1863, Emporia State University is Kansas' third-oldest public university. U.S. News & World Reportranks it #29 within the country's Top Public Schools. The Health, Physical Education, and Recreation program at Emporia State provide students with thesis and non-thesis options. Core courses for both options include Advanced Exercise Physiology, Applied Psychology in HPER, and Ethics in HPER and Sport. The thesis core includes an additional Design and Assessment course. Non-thesis requirements include a Statistics course and a Masters Research Project. Students following either route can choose from electives such as Art and Science of Coaching, Exercise Metabolism, and Instructional Strategies in Sex Education.

  10. American Public University

    Charles Town, WV



    American Public University System is a private, for-profit online education establishment serving a large military population. In 2016, 56 percent of students reported they served on active duty at initial enrollment. APU's Sports and Health Science program studies humans' functional, physical, physiological, and psychological adaptations. Core requirements include courses in Critical Thinking in the Sports and Health Industries, Motor Learning, and Nutrition for Sports Performance. The curriculum culminates in a Sports and Health Sciences Capstone. The capstone involves a research project in concepts and applications covered throughout the curriculum. The degree program takes two full-time years to complete.

Typical coaching duties include analyzing physical and emotional strengths and weaknesses; overseeing practice sessions; planning strength and conditioning exercises; and providing direction, encouragement, and motivation. Physical educators may coach people from elementary P.E. students to professional athletes.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for coaches is $32,270 annually. As of the bureau's most recent report, the coaching field is growing at a faster-than-average rate of 13 percent.

Best Online Master’s Degrees in Coaching

#1 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
#2 University of South Florida Tampa, FL
#3 Ball State University Muncie, IN
#4 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
#5 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
#6 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
#7 University of Idaho Moscow, ID
#8 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
#9 Emporia State University Emporia, KS
#10 American Public University Charles Town, WV


The following list outlines the nation's 25 Best Online Masters in Coaching. Each program is offered either fully or partially online. Grad School Hub considers programs that have been accredited by reputable accreditation organizations.

Each program is evaluated based on factors such as affordability, graduate prospects, teaching methods, and student satisfaction. More information on the ranking process is outlined on Grad School Hub's Methodology page.

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GradSchoolHub.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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