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Department of Kinesiology

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MSU shares expertise with working sport coaches and leaders, with an intensive summer program.
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Sport Coaching & Leadership

Sport Coaching & Leadership Menu
Sport Coaching & Leadership Menu

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)
Concentration Requirements


Cognate Area Coaching Concentration Leadership Concentration
6 credits
3 credits
6 credits
6 credits
Legal, Safety, & Administration
3 credits
6 credits
Human Development
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
Total Concentration Credit Requirement
21 credits
21 credits


Cognates and Courses
Physical Cognate
  • KIN 856 – Physical Bases of Coaching (3 credits)
  • KIN 868 – Skill Development in Athletes (3 credits)


Psychosocial Cognate
  • 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

    • $25,890 ($863.00 per credit–hour)
    • $500
    • $65

* 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.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Technological Requirements

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.

Application requirements

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 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.







Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education
620 Farm Lane, 335 Erickson Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1034
Phone: (517) 355-1837
Fax: (517) 353-6393