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Program Overview

Are you looking to increase your competency and knowledge as a coach or sport leader but cannot make a commitment to a full masters degree? Our fully online 10-credit graduate certificate is designed to increase knowledge and skills for coaches and sport leaders at any level. High-performance, teacher, and youth sport coaches along with sport leaders such as administrators or directors and coach educators and developers can gain fundamental knowledge and skills in a variety of sport sciences.

The graduate certificate in Sport Coaching and Leaderships allows you to pick three courses from our four cognate areas to build your foundational knowledge of the sport sciences. Courses in sport psychology, skill acquisition, human development, leadership, positive youth development, safety promotion, law, ethics, and administration allow you to tailor your graduate certificate to fit your interests as a coach. Our graduate certificate is designed to fit your needs as a coach with fully online courses to enable you to work around your busy schedules. To learn more, set-up a phone appointment with the program director to see if our certificate will match to your interests and goals.

Based on your chosen courses and competency areas, the graduate certificate can help you become more efficient in any of the following areas:

  • Effective communication skills (to improve communication with athletes and other sport stakeholders)
  • Effective planning skills (to develop practice plans and program environments to enhance athletic performance and personal development)
  • Effective sport pedagogy (including instructional messages and constraints-led approaches to technical and tactical development).
  • Safety, injury control, and risk management.
  • Reflective practice skills (to help with your daily, weekly, and lifelong professional development)
  • Ethical decision-making skills
  • General sport science knowledge (to become a better consumer of evidence and information and how they inform practice as a coach or sport leader).
  • Scientific writing skills (to better communicate your learning experiences during the program.

Our graduate certificate will enable you to build your confidence and help you improve in your coaching or leadership capacity. While not a requirement for entering into the coaching profession, our graduate certificate will give you the skills and knowledge to help you advance in the job market. Completing the graduate certificate also allows for you to transfer your classes into the masters degree program.



  • KIN 829Safety and Injury Control
  • KIN 849Theory and Practice of Modern Sport Leadership
  • KIN 852Ethics in Sport Coaching and Leadership1 Credit
  • KIN 854Legal and Administrative Issues
  • KIN 855Psychosocial Bases of Coaching
  • KIN 856Physical Bases of Coaching
  • KIN 857 Promoting Positive Youth Development through Sport
  • KIN 865 Stages of Athlete Development
  • KIN 868Skill Development in Athletes

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

    Undergraduate degree transcript that shows a minimum GPA of 3.0 from an accredited institution of higher education. There is not a requirement for a specific undergraduate degree

  2. Previous work experience

    Current résumé (2 page max) that highlights all work experiences relevant to sport coaching and leadership

  3. A written personal statement

    Academic statement of 750 words where you explain how this program will help you meet your professional goals

  4. Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete a university graduate application (program code: 6768)

Applicants should apply using the MSU Graduate Application, program code 6768.

International applicants should speak with the program director about potential restrictions for online degree programs.

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Key Dates

Fall 2021

Application Deadline

June 15, 2021

Start Date

September 1, 2020

Winter 2021

Application Deadline

October 15, 2020

Start Date

January 11, 2021

Summer 2021

Application Deadline

January 15, 2021

Start Date

May 17, 2021

Tuition & Fees

In State Tuition

  • $898
  • Per Credit Hour

Out of State Tuition

  • $898
  • Per Credit Hour


As one of the top research universities in the world, Michigan State University has advanced the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years.

MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community.