Why This Matters

  • SPORTS COACHING IS A $9 BILLION INDUSTRY

    Sports coaching is big business. In the United States alone, it’s a $9 billion industry and has steadily grown in recent years.

  • COACH AND SCOUT JOBS ARE INCREASING 12%

    Jobs for coaches and scouts are growing much faster than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 12% job growth for the field through 2029, creating another 34,300 new positions.

  • INCREASE YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL BY $29,000

    The average annual salary for coaches who have a master’s of arts in the field is $63,967, compared to an average salary of $34,840 across all coaching and scouting positions.

Our Research

We reviewed many Master’s in Coaching degree programs, including Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Education (MEd) degrees. Our list includes online, on-campus, and dual-mode programs.

To ensure the quality of programs on our list, we only considered regionally accredited programs. Many also have national accreditation through the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 67 hours to write this article
  • 203 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 349 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Master’s in Coaching Degree Programs

Best Master's in Coaching Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Coaching is generally considered a bachelor-level entry field, and most jobs require only an undergraduate degree. A master’s degree may help distinguish you from others in the field, though, as a master’s will give you an advanced understanding of leadership philosophy, kinesiology, exercise science, and physical development.

The vast majority of coaches have played the sport that they coach at a high level, since coaches need an intimate understanding of their sport. Consider your athletic experience as you evaluate a potential career in coaching and before you apply to any master’s programs in the field.

At college levels and higher, coaches often spend a lot of time traveling for competitions and on recruiting trips. Also take your willingness to travel for work into account as you further evaluate this potential career path.

Coaches who coach at public high schools must meet the requirements of their state’s high school athletic association. This may include becoming certified in CPR and first aid and passing a background check. You can learn what your state’s specific requirements are from the National Association of State Boards of Education.

Because coaching involves working directly with athletes, many of these programs contain an in-person component. Make sure your schedule will allow you to complete any in-person internship or coursework.

What’s Next?

As you evaluate these Master’s in Coaching degrees further, consider these two questions:

  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? These degree programs tend to range from 30 to 36 graduate-level credits, although a few programs are longer. Most students complete the coursework in two years when studying full-time, and enrolling part-time will increase the duration of a program.
  • Am I eligible for this program? Master’s programs generally require an undergraduate degree. The majority of these programs will accept any bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, however.

Once you have a short list of possible programs, contact the admissions office for each one or check their webpages to get application details. Research the required application materials that must be submitted and the applicable deadlines.

Additionally, think about how you’ll pay for a degree program. Ask programs about their financial aid and scholarship opportunities. If you’re working, you may also qualify for tuition reimbursement from your employer.