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Program Overview

Professionally minded, passionate, lifelong learners hold the key to developing the effective sport programs of tomorrow. But what do highly motivated future coaches and sport leaders need to learn? We believe that kinesiology and the sport sciences form the backbone of an effective sport program. Our online master's degree builds fundamental knowledge and skills in the sport sciences, including sport psychology, skill acquisition, human development, physiology, and anatomy. Courses in leadership, positive youth development, safety promotion, law, ethics, and administration help our students to build programs of distinction. Our semester-long practicum course employs intensive video review and reflection to help students refine their coaching practice, and our capstone options help students to integrate knowledge and skills acquired during the program.

If you are up to the challenge of a rigorous, Big Ten quality program, and you are prepared to advance as a coach or sport leader, then this program is for you. Our degree delivers core competencies for sport coaches and leaders at the youth, age-group, scholastic, intercollegiate, or professional level. Designed with current coaches and leaders in mind, the online delivery of coursework enables you to work around a busy schedule. To learn more, set-up a phone appointment with the program director to see if our program will be a match for your interests.

Program Outcomes

Our eight program competencies cut across coursework and help you to become a more effective coach or sport leader in the workplace.

  • 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)

Career Outlook

Primarily, our alumni tell us that this degree has built their confidence and has prepared them to be more outspoken and assertive in the workplace. Although a degree is not a requirement for entering into the coaching profession (unlike teaching or nursing), this degree will enhance your knowledge and skills and help you advance in the job market. There are some circumstances where a degree is a requirement for placement or advancement. A master's degree is typically required for new coaches who want to work at the intercollegiate level. Depending on state and school district policies, this master's degree can enable a salary increase for teacher-coaches; if this situation pertains to you, we recommend that you discuss the matter with your supervisor(s).



  • KIN 852Ethics in Sport Coaching and Leadership 1 Credit
  • KIN 872Coaching Science: Applied Research3 Credits
  • KIN 896 Integrative Capstone in Sport Coaching and Leadership2 Credits


  • KIN 855 Psychosocial Bases of Coaching Athletes 3 Credits


  • KIN 815 Principles of Strength and Conditioning 3 Credits
  • KIN 829 Safety and Injury Control 3 Credits
  • KIN 849 Theory and Practice of Modern Sport Leadership 3 Credits
  • KIN 850 Special Topics in Sport Coaching and Leadership 3 Credits
  • KIN 854 Legal and Administrative Issues for Administrators and Coaches 3 Credits
  • KIN 856 Physical Bases of Coaching Athletes 3 Credits
  • KIN 857 Promoting Positive Youth Development Through Sport 3 Credits
  • KIN 859 Scholastic Athletic Administration 3 Credits
  • KIN 865Stages of Athlete Development 3 Credits
  • KIN 868Skill Development in Athletes 3 Credits
  • KIN 880Sport Leadership Practicum3 Credits

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

  2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  3. Previous work experience

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

  4. A written personal statement

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

  5. 2 letters of recommendation

    Two letters of recommendation – one should come from an academic source who can vouch for your credentials as a student, the other should come from workplace source who can vouch for your credentials on the job.

  6. Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete a university graduate application (program code: 6767)

International students should complete the international application and should consult 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

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.