MS in Sport Coaching, Leadership, and Administration
Please note that students that matriculated into this program from Summer 2021 onward will follow the new curriculum outlined below that will be effective in Fall 2022. Students who intend to complete this degree in this format before Fall 2022 should speak to their advisor and the program coordinator about these plans to work through potential complications.
Who Should Apply
If you are committed to working in the sport professions, our program is for you. High-performance coaches, teacher-coaches, and youth sport coaches will benefit from our coaching concentration. Sport leaders (administrators, athletic directors, and coach developers) will benefit from our sport administration concentration. Historically, students with prior or current work experience in the sport professions truly thrive in our program.
What You’ll Learn
All students will gain a foundational knowledge in the science of sport coaching and sport administration, ethical decision-making, reflective practice, and the skills of a culturally-competent practitioner. Students in the coaching concentration will develop competencies in sport science including program planning, sport psychology, skill acquisition, and exercise physiology, which will prepare you with skills to plan and conduct training sessions, communicate effectively, and optimally develop athletes. Students in the sport administration concentration will develop competencies in the administration and governance of sport programs, organizational behavior, leadership theory, finance, marketing, communication, and legal aspects. Students also select courses from the other concentration to diversify their skills and knowledge.
How You’ll Learn
Most students have completed the masters degree in 20-28 months (5-7 consecutive semesters, summers included). All courses are semester-long, and each semester lasts 14-16 consecutive weeks. Courses are delivered online using a combination of high-quality video-lectures, readings, and project-based assessments. Many courses also include live video-conference meetings (Zoom) to discuss critical issues and provide opportunities to engage with expert faculty.
Choosing a Concentration and Selecting Courses
This degree has two concentrations: coaching and sport administration. Ideally, you should choose your concentration area before you apply to the program, but there is some flexibility once you have begun the program. Concentration requirements with course numbers are listed below; full course descriptions can be found on the Courses page.
MS Coaching Concentration
Required courses (6 credits)
KIN 872 (in first semester), KIN 852, and KIN 896
Selectives (15 credits)
Physical cognate (2 courses): select from KIN 829, KIN 856, KIN 865, or KIN 868
Psychosocial cognate (2 courses): select from KIN 846, KIN 849, KIN 855, or KIN 857
Administration cognate (1 course) – select from KIN 851, KIN 853, or KIN 854
Electives (6 credits)
Choose 1 additional course from either the physical or psychosocial cognate + choose 1 elective course (consult with your advisor first)
Practicum or Internship (3 credits)
Choose KIN 880 (Practicum) which is strongly recommended, or KIN 893 (Internship) which is appropriate in some cases
MS Sport Administration Concentration
Required courses (18 credits)
KIN 872 (in first semester), KIN 849, KIN 852, and KIN 896 (9 credits)
All courses from the Administration cognate (9 credits): KIN 851, KIN 853, and KIN 854
Selectives (6 credits)
Physical cognate (1 course): select from KIN 829, KIN 856, KIN 865, or KIN 868
Psychosocial cognate (1 course): select from KIN 846, KIN 849, KIN 855, or KIN 857
Elective (3 credits)
Choose 1 elective course (consult with your advisor first)
Internship or Practicum (3 credits)
Choose KIN 893 (Internship) which is strongly recommended, or KIN 880 (Practicum) which is appropriate in some cases
Costs for the Master’s Degree
- Tuition: $27,990 ($933 per credit–hour)
- Books and supplies: $500-800
- MSU application fee: $65
* 2022-23 tuition rate – current rates are published on Controller’s Office website – scroll down to the line that reads On-line Education Masters. Fees may vary. Tuition for a hybrid course section may differ based on your state of residence.
Do I need to have previous coaching or sport administration 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 course (KIN 880). Similarly, an internship position is required for sport administration students when taking the internship course (KIN 893).
Can I complete the graduate certificate first, then transfer credits to the master’s degree program?
Yes, this is possible in most circumstances with a few caveats. First, a grade of 3.0 or higher in courses from the graduate certificate is required. Second, students from the graduate certificate program must then apply to the master’s degree program and be accepted; admission is typically granted with grades above 3.0. Third, once you are accepted into the master’s degree program, you must request a transfer of these courses into the master’s degree program. MSU currently allows the transfer of up to 9 approved credits into a master’s degree program, meaning that 1 credit would not be transferable – so, we advise that you complete the application and transfer before completing the graduate certificate program.
If you are uncertain about committing to the full master’s degree program, an alternative route is to complete a graduate certificate en route to a master’s degree. This can be done through proper course planning before beginning the master’s degree program. The advantages to this approach are having the choice to pursue a full master’s degree or take an “off-ramp” to a graduate certificate without having to re-apply to a program. A second advantage is that you are eligible for federal student loans in the master’s program, but not the graduate certificate program. The disadvantage of this approach is that the required first course in the master’s degree program does not count towards the graduate certificate program, and thus 3 credits would not be applicable.
If you are undecided and need more advice on which pathway is best for you, please contact the program coordinator, Dr. Andy Driska.
Is financial aid available for students in the master’s degree program?
Yes. In most cases, 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 5 credit-hours to be eligible for graduate financial aid. Our standard 20-month program plan (5 consecutive semesters) will ensure that you meet this credit-hour requirement.
Are there any required undergraduate courses for admission?
No. We have had students that have performed well with undergraduate degrees in journalism, communications, business, education, and English (to give a few examples). These students have been successful in our courses by their deliberate efforts to reserve time and put in the effort to complete their course learning activities. Typically, the biggest adjustment for some students has been with academic and scientific writing required in our courses, but many students have shown marked improvements in their writing skills while part of the program.
How much instruction is delivered online vs. face-to-face?
The balance of asynchronous online instruction (self-paced learning with deadlines) and synchronous “virtually present” face-to-face instruction (such as Zoom meetings) varies by instructor and course. Typically, 90-95% of instruction is asynchronous online instruction.
There are occasional opportunities for on-campus, physically-present instruction. Typically, the introductory course will have a hybrid option, which includes attending a 4-day residency program at MSU in the summer. In the future, 3-day on-campus engagement events will be held during the fall and spring semesters. These engagement events will provide an opportunity to meet faculty and other students, but will be extracurricular (non-credit). More about these events will be shared in Fall 2021.
How many courses are offered?
Currently, there are 17 different courses available in the program. The balance of required courses, selectives, and electives varies between the two concentrations (see above Choosing a Concentration and Selecting Courses).
Can the courses be taken in any sequence?
Yes, with two exceptions. Students in the master’s degree program must take KIN 872 in their first semester, and take KIN 896 in their final semester. Aside from those two requirements, the course sequence is generally determined by the concentration requirements and the individual courses selected with the student’s advisor. All courses are offered at least once every year, with some courses available in two semesters, and KIN 896 available in all semesters.
You will need a computer with internet access. Internet speed equivalent to 4G wireless will typically suffice. Students with slower connection speeds 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. You will also need a video camera/webcam to complete course assignments/projects.
Cloud-based back-up of all student work is highly recommended, and MSU students have access to Google Drive for file storage and back-up. This makes recovery of lost files possible, and makes it easier to assemble a final capstone portfolio or capstone project.
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