Master of Science in Sport Coaching & Leadership
Who Should Apply
If you are committed to working in the profession of sport coaching or sport leadership, our program is for you. High-performance coaches, teacher-coaches, and youth sport coaches as well as sport leaders (administrators, athletic directors, and coach developers) will benefit from our program. Ideal students already have some coaching or leadership experience and are currently working in the field.
What You'll Learn
You will develop competencies related to sport science including program planning, sport psychology, skill acquisition, and exercise physiology will prepare you with skills to plan and conduct training sessions, communicate effectively, and optimally develop athletes. You'll also learn skills for ethical decision-making and reflective practice.
How You'll Learn
The masters degree typically takes 2-3 years to complete. Courses are delivered online using a combination of high-quality video-lectures, readings, and project-based assessments. Many courses also include live videoconference meetings to discuss critical issues and opportunities to engage with expert faculty.
There are two concentrations in the masters degree, the Coaching Concentration and the Leadership Concentration. The concentrations differ in regard to the required number of courses in each of the four cognate areas (physical, psychosocial, legal, safety, & administration, and human development). The masters program is 30 credits.
Core Courses (Required 9 credits)
- KIN 852 - Ethics in Sport Coaching and Leadership (1 credit)
- KIN 872 – Coaching Science & Applied Research (3 credits)
- KIN 880 – Sport Coaching and Leadership Practicum (3 credits)
- KIN 896 – Integrative Capstone in Sport Coaching and Leadership (2 credits)
|Legal, Safety, & Administration
|Total Concentration Credit Requirement
Cognates and Courses
- KIN 856 – Physical Bases of Coaching (3 credits)
- KIN 868 – Skill Development in Athletes (3 credits)
- KIN 855 – Psychosocial Bases of Coaching (3 credits)
- KIN 849 – Theory and Practice of Modern Sport Leaderships (3 credits)
Legal, Safety, and Administration Cognate
- KIN 854 – Legal & Administrative Issues for Coaches and Administrators (3 credits)
- KIN 829 – Safety and Injury Control (3 credits)
Human Development Cognate
- KIN 857 – Promoting Positive Youth Development through Sport (3 credits)
- KIN 865 – Stages of Athlete Development (3 credits)
- KIN 815 – Principles of Strength and Conditioning Coaching (3 credits)
- KIN 859 - Scholastic Athletic Administration (3 credits)
- KIN 850 - Special Topics in Sport Coaching and Leadership (3 credits, can take up to 9)
Sample Program Plan
Summer Semester 1 (May–August)
- KIN 872 – Coaching Science: Applied Research
- KIN 829 – Safety & Injury Control
Fall Semester 1 (August–December)
- KIN 855 – Psychosocial Bases of Coaching Athletes
- KIN 857 - Promoting Positive Youth Development Through Sport
Spring Semester 1 (January–May)
- KIN 868 – Skill Development in Athletes
- KIN 849 - Theory and Practice of Modern Sport Leadership
- KIN 852 - Ethics in Sport COaching and Leadership
Summer Semester 2
- KIN 856 – Physical Bases of Coaching
- KIN 850 - Special Topics in Sport Coaching and Leadership
Fall Semester 2
- KIN 880 – Coaching and Leadership Practicum
Spring Semester 2
- KIN 896 – Integrative Capstone in Sport Coaching and Leadership (hybrid)
Costs for the Master's Degree
- TUITION *
- $25,890 ($863.00 per credit–hour)
- BOOKS & SUPPLIES
- MSU APPLICATION FEE
* 2018-19 tuition rate – current rates are published on Controller’s Office website – scroll down to the line that reads On-line Education Masters. Tuition costs may vary from state to state in the USA.
Do I need to have previous coaching or sport leadership experience to be considered for admission to the program?
Previous work in the field is a strong predictor of success in the program, as it helps you to connect theory to practice. Having a coaching job (paid or volunteer) is required during the practicum experience.
Can I complete the graduate certificate first, then transfer credits to the master's degree program?
Students who have a minimum 3.0 grade point average in all three courses of the graduate certificate must first apply to be accepted into the master's degree in sport coaching and leadership program. Once accepted, they may apply to have these courses transferred into the master's degree program, where these credits are generally accepted (barring unforeseen complications). MSU currently allows the transfer of up to 9 approved credits into the M.S. in Sport Coaching and Leadership Program.
Is financial aid available for students in the master's degree program?
Federal financial aid is typically available for students who meet requirements (contact the MSU Office of Financial Aid for more information). As of October 2017, students needed to be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit-hours to be eligible for graduate financial aid. This may be difficult to arrange given the timing of our course offerings, so please speak to the program coordinator if that presents an issue for you.
Are there any required undergraduate courses for admission?
Although we do not have a requirement for specific undergraduate coursework to be admitted to the program, it will help to have completed undergraduate coursework in kinesiology, social/behavioral sciences, health sciences, and life sciences. That being said, we have had a long history of graduate students with backgrounds in primary/secondary education that have experienced success in our courses. Typically, the biggest adjustment for a student with a limited science background is developing effective scientific reading and writing skills, but past students have shown success meeting these requirements.
How much instruction is delivered online vs. face-to-face?
More than 95% of our instruction is delivered fully online, primarily through asynchronous methods (scheduled, self-paced modules). Some courses will feature occasional synchronous, face-to-face video/teleconferences where appropriate. Two courses (KIN 872 and KIN 896) have optional hybrid sections; students who choose these hybrid sections will be required to attend a six-day residency (“Coaching Week”) in the middle of that semester. Although not required, we strongly recommend choosing the residency/hybrid option, as it gives you an opportunity to meet faculty and peers, and to engage in intensive learning activities that can benefit your professional and academic development.
How many courses are offered?
Currently, there are ten courses required by the program for a total of 30 credit-hours. Where deemed appropriate by the student’s advisor, a student may request to take additional credits of independent study.
Can the courses be taken in any sequence?
For the masters degree program, the answer is generally, no. This is a cohort program that begins in May with KIN 872, required before taking other courses. KIN 896 is taken last. There is some flexibility, but courses are only offered in their listed semesters, so we recommend that students follow the prescribed course sequence.
You will need a computer with internet access. It is ideal to have the speed of a typical cable-modem; dial-up connections will experience very slow loading of streaming video lectures and other high-bandwidth content. Individual courses may have specialized technological needs (such as specialized apps or software), but adequate tutorials will be provided as part of the course.
If you have questions about accessibility, please call the Help Desk, (800) 500-1554 or (517) 355-2345.
As with all computing situations involving the Internet or other file sharing, practice safe computing — install and use a virus detection and repair software package, and back-up your work regularly!
Apply to the program
January 15th of each year.
Please submit all application materials through the online graduate application. When applying, use program code 6767.
Required Application Materials
- Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (must be sent directly from student’s undergraduate institution)
- Two letters of professional recommendation. One letter should clearly demonstrate your ability to be successful as a student (academic sources are ideal); the second letter should detail your experience and strengths as a sport coach/leader.
- Written academic statement clearly stating your professional goals and how you anticipate this program would help you to attain them (750 words max).
- Professional resume detailing your academic and work experience (2 page max; please note that a Curriculum Vitae is not ideal for this requirement).
Optional Application Materials
- Written personal statement that illustrates your unique qualities and experiences that might make you a stronger candidate for admission (750 words max) – paste into appropriate page in graduate application
- GRE scores are not required; however, if your scores are strong and you feel they would be a helpful supplement to your application, you may include them.
Letters of reference can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
Kinesiology Graduate Secretary
308 W Circle Dr., Room 134
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
All other materials should be submitted through the online graduate application.
Students interested in applying for the Kinesiology MS degree, which is a different degree program, should visit the Department of Kinesiology Masters Programs.