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20 Best Online Masters in Sports Coaching 2019

If you are ready to take your coaching career to the next level, earning a master’s in sports coaching from a regionally accredited university could be a great choice! Professional, highly trained coaches are needed at every level of sport from amateur to elite. Coaches help athletes improve performance, perform health and fitness assessment, implement coaching programs for a variety of populations and needs, and understand the role of behavior in health, fitness, and overall athletic performance. Earning a master’s in coaching online can prepare graduates for roles like head coach, scout, fitness trainer, or community health consultant.

We created this ranking of the top 20 best online masters in sports coaching to showcase what we believe to be the best programs in the U.S. from regionally accredited universities. To be considered for our ranking, schools must offer a master’s in coaching or a directly related field in an online format with minimal on-campus residency requirements. From there, we looked at areas like curriculum, professional development opportunities, and elective course offerings. We believe the best schools offer a well rounded curriculum with courses that align with the National Standards for Sport Coaches. Once we had our list narrowed down, we applied our ranking methodology using average graduate tuition and faculty to student ratio as indicated by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Average Graduate Tuition

  • Less than $10,000 per year= 5 Points
  • $10,000 to $15,000 per year= 4 Points
  • $15,001 to $20,000 per year= 3 Points
  • $20,001 to $25,000 per year= 2 Points
  • Greater than $25,001 per year= 1 Point

We also looked at a school’s student/faculty ratio and awarded more points to schools with a lower ratio. We believe a lower student to faculty ratio allows students to receive individualized attention and support throughout the program.

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 12:1 or less= 5 Points
  • 13:1 to 15:1= 3 Points
  • Greater than 15:1= 1 Point

#20. Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan

Online Sport Coaching and Leadership Master’s of Science

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $18,132/year in-state and $35,628/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning
Points: 4
The affordable online Master’s in Sport Coaching and Leadership from Michigan State University is designed for coaches committed to professional development and improvement. Students are taught by expert instructors that work with the MSU Department of Athletics and the US Olympic Committee. New cohorts begin mid-May of each year and students earn their degree in 28 months. Courses are delivered online in both synchronous and asynchronous formats and two courses are offered in a hybrid format that incudes six days of on-campus intensive instruction.

#19. Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo, Michigan

Online Master’s in Coaching Sport Performance

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $15,638/year in-state and $29,569/year out-of-state
Accreditation: NCACE; Higher Learning Commission
Points: 4
Western Michigan University features a top, low-cost, online coaching sport performance master’s program through their Extended University Programs. The economical online master’s degree program is designed for coaches at all levels of competition and is flexible enough for working professionals. This NCACE accredited program features rolling admissions and there is no GRE requirement for admission. Online courses cover areas like program evaluation, the governance and administration of sport, sports safety and injury management for coaches, and skill acquisition and human performance. Students can complete the program at their own pace and can earn their degree in just four terms.

#18. University of Northern Colorado – Greeley, Colorado

Online Master’s in Sport Coaching

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,476/year in-state and $19,551/year out-of-state
Accreditation: NCACE; Higher Learning Commission
Points: 5
The cheap online top master’s in sport coaching from the University of Northern Colorado is an applied program for students who want to advance their coaching practice through knowledge and applied practice. This NCACE accredited program includes both coursework and an internship experience. Online courses cover areas like training and conditioning principles for sports coaches, psychology for sports coaches, and sport administration for sports coaches. New students begin the online master’s degree program at the fall semester and can complete their degree in just five terms.

#17. University of Denver – Denver, Colorado

Online MA Sport Coaching

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $49,392/year
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
The Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver features a high-value online master’s in sport coaching recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as an applied graduate program. The curriculum was designed around NCACE standards and includes required courses in the psychology of athletic performance, organization and administration of sport, and the biomechanics of athletic performance. All students are paired with a Mental Skills Consultant or sport psychologist during their practicum course. This unique feature provides additional support and perspective to students as they gain valuable hands on experience.

#16. West Virginia University – Morgantown, West Virginia

Online MS in Sport Coaching

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,990/year in-state and $25,776/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
West Virginia University features a cheap online master’s in sport coaching offered through the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences. This fully online affordable sport coaching master’s program is comprised of 10 courses that align with the International Sport Coaching Framework established by the International Council for Coaching excellence. Online master’s courses cover areas like coaching techniques, the psychology of coaching, interscholastic sport organization and administration, and strength and conditioning methods for coaches. Most students can complete the program in five semesters of study.

#15. Ohio University – Athens, Ohio

Online Master of Coaching Education


Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,444/year in-state and $17,436/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
The top economical online master’s in coaching education from Ohio University features a curriculum built around the National Standards for Sport Coaches. Students will gain knowledge and skills in areas that directly impact athletes and their performance. Online master’s courses cover areas like injury prevention and risk management, performance and conditioning for athletic coaches, and performance recovery strategies for coaches. All courses are offered online except the Global Sport Coaching Seminar, which is a four day intensive for students to engage with peers and faculty for a three credit course. There is no GRE required for admission and students can complete the program in about two years.

#14. Ball State University – Muncie, Indiana

Online Master’s Degree in Athletic Coaching Education

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,730/year in-state and $21,666/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
Do you want to get a step up on the competition? The best-value, cheap, online master’s in athletic coaching education from Ball State University can help you get the edge you are looking for! Online master’s courses are taught by faculty who have coached on both a national and international level. Class size is kept small and courses cover areas like teaching and motivation for coaches, skills and tactics for coaches, and sport safety and injury prevention. All students complete an internship in their own community, gaining valuable hands-on training and experience.

#13. The University of Southern Mississippi – Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Online Sport Coaching Education MS

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,514/year in-state and $10,514/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a 100% online cheap master’s in sport coaching education that is affordable and military friendly. Students gain an advanced understanding of areas like leadership techniques, human mental and physical development, and sports skills to take their career to the next level. Students can choose to complete a thesis or a practicum experience depending on their professional goals. This low-cost online master’s degree program is tailor to meet the needs of working professionals and is offered in a flexible part-time format.

#12. Concordia University – Irvine, California

Online Master’s in Coaching and Athletics Administration

Concordia University - Irvine

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,774/year
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
Points: 6
The best-value online master’s in coaching and athletics administration from Concordia University Irvine is the nation’s largest coaching program. This cheap master’s degree program is offered online, on-campus, or through a blend of both. Online master’s courses cover areas like ethics and sport, principles of coaching and leadership, legal aspects of sport, and research methods. Throughout the online master’s program, students will build their professional portfolio, giving students an edge over the competition in the job market. Students can earn their degree in just 15 months.

#11. Point Park University – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Education in Athletic Coaching

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $15,858/year
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Points: 8
Point Park University created a top-value master’s in athletic coaching online for those who want to become inspirational coaches. This 30 credit hour online master’s program is framed by the National Standards for Sport Coaches. The online master’s program is flexible to meet the needs of working professionals. Online master’s courses cover areas like communication skills for coaches, supervision and evaluation of athletes, sports psychology, and diversity and ethical responsibility in coaching. Graduates have been successful working in a variety of settings including professional sports teams, travel sports programs, and colleges and universities.

#10. Southwest Minnesota State University – Marshall, Minnesota

M.S. Physical Education Coaching of Sport Online

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,164/year
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 8
The cheap online master’s in coaching from Southwest Minnesota State University features a curriculum that is guided by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education coaching standards. This fully online master’s degree program includes two practicum experiences that allow students to develop their professional skills. Online master’s classes cover areas like physical preparation and conditioning, sport safety and injury prevention, legal aspects of sport for coaches, and the psychology of athletic performance. When students graduate from the program, they leave with a portfolio that showcases the NASPE standards the student has accomplished.

#9. Xavier University – Cincinnati, Ohio

Online Coaching Education and Athlete Development (CEAD) – M.Ed.

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,700/year
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 9
The affordable online Coaching Education and Athlete Development M.Ed. from Xavier University is a 24 month program that aligns with both the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and the National Council for the Accreditation of Coaching Education standards for sport coaches. This cohort based online master’s degree program uses an in-depth approach to coaching education. Students take six credits per semester, usually year-round. Online master’s courses cover areas like athlete development, sport pedagogy and coaching analysis, sport leadership and team building, and coaching ethics and philosophy. While the majority of coursework can be completed online, students come to campus twice during the program for short residencies.

#8. Columbia College – Columbia, South Carolina

Master’s in Athletic Coaching Online

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,969/year
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 10
Columbia College offers a best-value master’s in athletic coaching online for coaches to broaden their skills and education. This online master’s degree program can be completed in just one year and is designed to accommodate working professionals. Faculty are distinguished professionals with real world experience and the highest academic credentials in the industry. Onliine classes are each eight weeks long and students are provided with E-books for all courses. Online master’s course content covers sports nutrition, sports medicine, performance enhancement, and leadership in athletic coaching. Graduates are employed in a variety of careers including sports organization and administration, coaching, and private sports instruction.

#7. Greenville University – Greenville, Illinois

Online Coaching MA

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,082/year
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 10
Greenville University features a top affordable online master’s in coaching that integrates Christian values and focuses on character development on and off the field. The online master’s degree program is designed for working coaches at all levels including those employed by churches, community sports organizations or non-for-profits. Online courses cover areas like equality in school and society, coaching evaluation, sport skills analysis, and coaching character. Students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills during the capstone project. During the capstone project, students lead the design and implementation of an improvement effort within their own school district or organization.

#6. Adams State University – Alamosa, Colorado

MS in Coaching Online

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $4,590/year in-state and $7,146/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning
Points: 10
The cheap master’s in coaching online from Adams State University is for coaches who want to enhance their knowledge and skills while becoming more marketable in this elite field. This 36 credit hour online mater’s degree program takes about two years to complete. For budget conscious students, it doesn’t get much more affordable than Adams State. Online master’s courses cover a wide spectrum including statistics in kinesiology, sport and exercise psychology, strength and conditioning, and strategic management and leadership in sport. Students complete a practicum in kinesiology, gaining valuable field experience.

#5. University of the Cumberlands – Williamsburg, Kentucky

Master’s in Coaching Degree Online

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,670/year
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 8
The University of the Cumberlands features a top-value online master’s in coaching for students who want to be successful coaches at all levels. This 30 credit hour affordable master’s degree program includes online coursework in coaching and fitness leadership, exercise testing and prescription, applied nutrition, and exercise physiology. Graduates have been successful choosing career options as a head coach, athletic director, fitness trainer, or community health consultant.

#4. East Tennessee State University – Johnson City, Tennessee

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,460/year in-state and $23,598/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Points: 6
East Tennessee State University features a best-value online master’s in sport science and coach education for students seeking professional roles in strength and conditioning and sport coaching. Coach education courses cover areas like management skills for coaching, sport conditioning, and sport physiology. There are no residency requirements which makes this a great choice for working professionals. Students develop an understanding of the role of sport and sport performance at all levels and learn strategies to reduce sport injury and disease.

#3. Western New England University – Springfield, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Sport Leadership and Coaching Online

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $24,318/year
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Points: 5
Western New England University features a top online master’s in sport leadership and coaching offered through the College of Business. This 30 credit hour online master’s degree program offers tracks in both Athletic Administration and Athletic Coaching. The majority of courses are taught in a convenient online format and students only need to come to campus for two, one-week residencies. Courses offered through this top online master’s in coaching cover areas like sport leadership, maximizing team performance, compliance and governance of sport and athletic organizations, and organizational behavior and theory.

#2. Southern Arkansas University – Magnolia, Arkansas

Master of Science in Kinesiology – Coaching Online

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,130/year in-state and $7,866/year out-of-state
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Points: 6
Southern Arkansas University features a cheap online master’s in kinesiology with a focus on coaching. This 33 credit hour online master’s degree program takes about two years to complete. The curriculum follows the guidelines set by the National Standards for Sport Coaches. The flexible online format is ideal for working professionals or those unable to attend a traditional campus based program. Courses cover areas like sport administration, the psychology of athletic coaching, advanced exercise physiology, and legal issues in kinesiology.

#1. Northcentral University – San Diego, California

Athletic Coaching, MEd Online

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,864/year
Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
Points: 8
Northcentral University is our top choice for an online master’s in coaching. Northcentral University is a regionally accredited online university serving students from around the world. The athletic coaching specialization prepares students to enter the coaching profession. Most students can complete their degree in just 15 months. Online master’s courses cover areas like legal aspects in coaching, coaching fundamentals of speed development, and wellness coaching. New courses begin each week and there are no scheduled lecture hours or group assignments. All courses are taught by doctoral level faculty who spend time engaging with students to help them achieve their personal and professional goals.

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