This is a list of schools and programs that focus on the most affordable accelerated options for Masters in Coaching online degrees. The rise in the number of accelerated online Master’s in Coaching degrees that are currently available will come as little to no surprise to the professionals in the field.
This is because the sports field has always required at least a graduate education from its professionals, something that can be very difficult to accomplish through a traditional program. It is also necessary because as the sports world learns more about performance training, sports psychology, and more, in-service professionals are having to go back to school to ensure that they have the most up-to-date information available to them for their athletes.
Thankfully, the number of coaching degrees available has made it possible to do an updated ranking for the field. This ranking includes degrees that take less than two years to complete as a full-time or part-time student, are offered entirely online or with low-residency options, and are affordable enough to make it worth a professional’s time. The programs listed below are also the best degrees in America and are great choices for any professional.
This ranking would not have been possible without the research that was done through the National Center for Education Statistics and its publicly available College Navigator database. An initial group of 25 schools was formed just by searching for online Master’s in Coaching program.
The schools were then compared to each other based on factors such as tuition fees and estimated time to completion for each degree. The final 10, which are listed below, were chosen based on the school’s total estimated in-state graduate tuition cost for the program.
Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Master’s in Coaching
10. Upper Iowa University
Online Master of Sport Administration, Concentration in Coaching and Leadership Education
Students enrolled at Upper Iowa University have the opportunity to complete an accelerated online Master’s in Coaching program in just two years. This program, which as created in collaboration with Championship Productions, is designed as an online degree program; there are no campus residency requirements. This curriculum offers two concentrations: Sport Management or Coaching program and Leadership Education.
Students also have the option to complete a stand-alone graduate certificate in Leadership. The degree is offered 100 percent online through the school’s learning management system; courses are delivered asynchronously or synchronously in eight-week terms. It is possible for a student who takes one course every term to graduate in two years. This degree requires that a student complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone seminar, and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Team Building Techniques, Ethics in Sport, and Sport Law and Contract Negotiation.
9. Adams State University
Online Master of Coaching
Adams State University confers an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Coaching program that was designed for pre-service and in-service professionals interested in learning more about the field. This degree is held wholly online and can be completed in two years; the curriculum is sequential and advises that students study part-time year-round in order to graduate within the time allotted.
Students will complete all of their coursework, including projects and exams, through the school’s learning management system. Courses are held on-demand or live during the evenings to better accommodate working professionals. Students will note that this degree program does require a practicum; this can be completed in their community under the supervision of a preceptor. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 36 credit hours, the practicum, and a field-based research project for graduation. Sample courses include Strategic Management and Leadership in Sport, Methods of Coaching, and Sport Law.
8. Ball State University
Online Master’s Degree in Athletic Coaching Education
The accelerated online Master’s in Coaching program that is offered by Ball State University is delivered to educators who are interested in working in educational settings. This is a 100 percent online cohort program; students will progress through the program in sequential order and complete the degree in two years as they study part-time. All courses can be found through the school’s virtual portal and are offered asynchronously or synchronously in 16-week sessions.
Students will also need to complete the Internship in Sport and Physical Education, which is completed on-site in a student’s community under the supervision of an approved preceptor. Other degree requirements include 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Physical Preparation and Conditioning, Teaching and Motivation for Coaches, and Current Issues in Coaching Research.
7. Angelo State University
San Angelo, Texas
Online Master of Education in Coaching, Sport, Recreation and Fitness Administration, Concentration in Coaching degree and Sport Administration
Angelo State University is proud to provide students with the chance to earn an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Coaching. This degree is open to professionals who have an undergraduate degree in kinesiology, sports science, or a related field. It is offered entirely online and can be completed in two years when students choose to study full-time every semester, including summer semesters. As a professional degree, students can expect to complete a variety of assignments and tasks that will help build their competency within the field.
This program offers two concentrations: Coaching and Sport Administration or Recreation and Fitness Administration. All courses for this degree can be found online through the school’s learning management system; sessions are offered live or on-demand in the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students can expect to complete 48 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Coaching Administration, Human Kinetics, and Administration of Athletic Academic Units.
6. Greenville University
Online Master of Arts in Coaching
The accelerated online Master’s in Coaching degree that is available from Greenville University was developed to provide working coaches with the graduate education they deserve. This program is offered 100 percent online; there are no residency requirements. Full-time students can complete this degree in less than two years. Courses for this degree are delivered live or on-demand in eight-week sessions, making it possible for students who take just one course every term to graduate in less than two years. Students can expect to complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive final exam for graduation. Sample courses include Trends and Issues in Education, Advanced Sport Coaching Methodology, and Sport Skill Analysis.
5. Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana
Online Master of Art in Physical Education: Coaching
Indiana State University is home to an exceptional suite of accelerated online Master’s in Coaching degree. This program is offered both as a Master of Arts and a Master of Science; both offer the coaching concentration, and both are available 100 percent online with no residency requirements. It is possible to complete this degree in two years or less. Students will note that this program is delivered through the school’s learning management system; courses are held asynchronously or synchronously in the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 33 credit hours, a culminating experience, and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Sport in American Society, Women and Sport, and Administration and Management for Coaches.
4. The University of Missouri
Online Master of Education in Educational, School and Counseling Psychology with an Emphasis in Positive Coaching
Students interested in an alternative to the accelerated online Master’s in Coaching will find what they are looking for at the University of Missouri. Students will note that while this is a Master of Education degree, it will not lead to teacher certification or licensure in any state. This is a 100 percent online course of study; there are no residency requirements. Students will complete their degree in eight-week courses that are delivered through the school’s virtual portal; sessions are offered live or on-demand. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework, the Positive Leadership in Sport Capstone, and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Positive Psychology, Foundations of Sport Performance, and Sport and Applied Coaching Psychology.
3. Georgia Southern University
Online Master of Science in Kinesiology, Coaching Education Concentration
Georgia Southern University confers an affordable accelerated online Master’s in Coaching that was designed to be completed in two years or less. This is a fully online program; there are no residency requirements. As a sequential program of study, students will have the opportunity to take two courses every eight-week term, providing them with a part-time plan of study that will not interfere in their personal and professional lives. This program is delivered exclusively through the school’s learning management system; courses are offered on-demand or in live sessions during the evening. This degree requires that students complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a coaching practicum, and a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Teaching Analysis, Sport Coaching, and Research Methods of Coaches.
2. American Public University
Charles Town, West Virginia
Online Master of Science in Sports and Health Sciences
The accelerated online Master’s in Coaching provided by American Public University is focused on sports and health sciences, making it a great choice for in-service professionals who want an advanced education on the disciplines that most affect their career. This degree is offered entirely online and can be completed in two years when students study full-time. Courses are offered through the school’s virtual portal and can be completed in asynchronous or synchronous sessions that are offered in the traditional 16-week academic term format. This degree requires that students complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Optimal Sports Performance, Advanced Biomechanics, and Ethical and Leadership Principles of Health and Wellness Management.
1. The University of Nebraska at Kearney
Online Master of Arts in Education, Physical Education Master Teacher
The University of Nebraska at Kearney provides students with an education-focused accelerated online Master’s in Coaching. This degree was designed for teachers who are interested in working in physical education. The program has two concentrations: Pedagogy and Special Population. Students will find that this degree is offered 100 percent online with no residency requirements. All courses are delivered through the school’s learning management system in the form of asynchronous or synchronous courses that follow the traditional 16-week academic term format. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework and a final comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Analysis of Physical Education Teaching, Motor Development and Learning, and Physiology of Exercise.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Affordable Accelerated Online Master’s in Coaching?
- University Coach
- Assistant Coach
- Exercise Physiologist
- Sports Development Officer
- Elite Athlete Coach
- Personal Trainer
- Sports Information Director
- Sports Administrator
- Olympic Team Coach
- Secondary School Teacher
- Sport and Exercise Psychologist
- Athletic Director
- Rehabilitation Specialist
- Team Physical Therapist
- Sports Therapist
How Much Can You Earn in this Field?
The median salary range for coaches in America is currently between $71,271 to $82,261. The full salary range for the field is estimated to be between $61,000 to $103,000. This range includes positions within schools, fitness facilities, healthcare facilities, and more. It also includes positions in which professionals may need extra education and training for their careers, such as sports psychologists or sports rehabilitation therapists.
The range does not include the most lucrative position: coach of a national professional team. These salaries can range between $1 million to $6 million per year and are dependent on several factors, including a professional’s educational level, past work experience, and track record of winning games and championships. Becoming a coach of a national football or basketball team is incredibly difficult for professionals but can reap a variety of benefits in the end.
Professionals should also note that this salary range does not include related fields to coaching. These include becoming an author, running a private coaching firm, working as an advocate in sports-specific issues, sports journalist, motivational speaker, or working with the Olympic team outside of coaching. These are also lucrative positions that can fetch $1 million per year or more but will require a great deal of experience, determination, and perseverance prior to establishing a career.
What are the Various Disciplines of Coaching?
Coaching is a field in which professionals generally choose one discipline sport to coach athletes in, such as football, soccer, track and field, basketball, and baseball. Professionals are often required to have formidable knowledge on a variety of fields, all of which intersect to provide the team or individual athlete with a well-rounded coach that understands them, their sport, and what it takes to be the best within that sport.
The main disciplines at play for a coach are psychology, sports psychology, kinesiology, leadership, management, nutrition, physiology, and rehabilitation science. These are the main tentpoles of the field but could be broken down further to include mental training, visualization, team management, sport-specific training, cross-training, recovery, and more. This is because the disciplines are crucial to an athlete’s success in their chosen sport and must be reflected by their coaches.
Unless a professional chooses to work as a personal trainer or in the fitness industry, they will more than likely choose one or two discipline sports to learn about. This sport will become their main career focus; this can explain why most NFL football coaches come from the university level because they have years of experience training athletes in that discipline sport. It also helps professionals because it narrows down their education to how a discipline sport can affect an athlete’s mind and performance during their career.
Do Programs Require an Internship or Practicum for Online Master’s in Coaching Programs?
Most programs do require a field experience of some kind for graduation; however, not all programs have this requirement and it is possible to find some that don’t. There are a few on this ranking that does not require an internship or practicum. Others also strongly encourage but do not require, a field experience for graduation.
The reasoning for a field experience at the master’s level is to ensure that professionals have work experience that is equal to their education. Since many students approach the sports coaching program with little to no work experience in the field, requiring at least 100 contact hours in the form of a field experience provides them with a glimpse into the field and how their career may look like after graduation. It also ensures that there is some work experience on a student’s resume before graduation, making it easier for them to find work in the field.
Field experiences, whether it takes the form of an internship or supervised practicum, are beneficial to employers as well. Since most field experiences are supervised by the school that a student is attending, an employer can be reasonably sure that the professional applying for the job is competent in their understanding of the workplace. It also gives them a reference that can be called to inquire about how a potential candidate did while working in that environment.
Not all students will want to take on a field experience, especially if they are already working in the sports coaching field in some capacity. This makes sense because their career is already providing them with experience. This is why it is possible to find schools that make internships optional for in-service professionals.
Students without work experience are strongly encouraged to at least consider a field experience through an online program. These experiences take place in a student’s community and work around their work schedule, making it a flexible addition to the degree. Whether the experience is optional or not, all pre-service professionals will see only benefits from completing this requirement.
Coaching isn’t about pushing an athlete to their limits; it’s about learning an athlete’s needs and strengths and working to build the strongest strategy to make them succeed in their chosen sport. Behind every successful athlete is at least one coach who, through education and training of their own, guided that athlete to victory. And while many professional coaches may be able to boast that they have a knack for coaching, the truth is that most people in the field could benefit from earning an accelerated online Master’s in Coaching.