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Best 20 Online Master’s in Coaching in 2021

September 30, 2021 | Staff Writers

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

There are more than a dozen online master’s in coaching programs available to students all over the country. These programs enable students to earn their advanced degrees while still working full-time jobs. 

Top 5 Master’s in Coaching

Rank School Location
1Greenville UniversityGreenville, Illinois
2Xavier UniversityCincinnati, Ohio
3 The University of Central MissouriWarrensburg, Missouri
4Southwest Minnesota State UniversityMarshall, Minnesota
5Adams State UniversityAlamosa, Colorado

Why Earn An Online Master’s in Coaching?

Sports coaching is a profession there’s always going to be a need for. In fact, sports coaches will see a 12% increase in job opportunities between now and the end of 2029. Considering the expected growth for most other careers is only 4%, this amounts to a significant increase. Coaches with an advanced degree automatically have more job opportunities open to them.

We’ve put together a list of online master’s in coaching programs and ranked them based on tuition and total online enrollment. In both categories, the lowest is the best. Unless otherwise mentioned, each program takes two years to complete. This is our list of the top 10 best online master’s in coaching

Best 20 Online Master’s in Coaching Programs 

1

Greenville University

  • Greenville, Illinois
  • Points: 100

The online master’s in Coaching from Greenville University lets students earn a Master of Arts in Education: Coaching. Graduates of this program are qualified to work as Athletic Coaches or Directors. They can also work as Athletic Administrators for the high school or college of their choice. Other career possibilities earning this degree opens up include scouts, private sports instructors, and recruiters.

school overview

Tuition: $3,927 per semester
Credit Hours: 33
Total Online Enrollment: 236
Visit School Website
2

Xavier University

  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Points: 100

The Master of Education in Coaching Education and Athlete Development (CEAD) program at Xavier University focuses on the art and science of coaching and addresses the true purpose of the profession: athlete development. This in-depth approach to coaching education includes character development, promoting sport participation throughout a person’s lifespan, and the pursuit of excellence through sport. Designed as a two-year fully online Cohort Model, the program utilizes the Integrated Coaching and Sport Education (I-CaSE) model developed by Dr. Ron Quinn, Xavier University’s CEAD program director.

It should be noted that completing this program does not give graduates a teaching license to practice in any state in America.

school overview

Tuition: $4,275 per semester
Credit Hours: 30
Total Online Enrollment: 823
Visit School Website
3

The University of Central Missouri

  • Warrensburg, Missouri
  • Points: 100

The Master of Education program at The University of Central Missouri lets students earn a degree in Positive Coaching and Athletic Leadership. The university’s College of Education belongs to the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, making it a great place for students to study. The program is ideal for Athletic/Performance Coaches, Athletes, Educators, and even eSports coaches.

school overview

Tuition: $2,778 (2.5 year program)
Credit Hours: 30
Total Online Enrollment: 1,412
Visit School Website
4

Southwest Minnesota State University

  • Marshall, Minnesota
  • Points: 100

The Master of Education program at Southwest Minnesota State University offers a Master in Science in Physical Education: Coaching of Sport. Courses for this program were created to comply with the National Association of Coach and Physical Education NASPE) standards.

Students participate in practicum experiences and project-based learning while enrolled in this program. They also create a portfolio that reflects their knowledge of the standards the NAPSE expects.

school overview

Tuition: $4,131 per semester
Credit Hours: 36
Total Online Enrollment: 471
Visit School Website
5

Adams State University

  • Alamosa, Colorado
  • Points: 100

The online master’s in coaching program at Adams State University contributed to it being named as one Top Performer in Social Mobility, by US News & World Report. Completing the Master of Science program prepares graduates to work in a variety of settings that include professional, recreational, intercollegiate, and interscholastic.

school overview

Tuition: $4,068 per semester
Credit Hours: 36
Total Online Enrollment: 1,427
Visit School Website
6

West Virginia University

  • Monongalia County, West Virginia
  • Points: 90

College Choice named West Virginia University‘s Master of Science in Sport Coaching program the #3 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Coaching Degrees and the #9 Best Online Master’s in Coaching Degrees. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings named West Virginia University in the top 1.5% of the world’s best universities.

The curriculum for this program was created to comply with the International Council for Coaching Excellence’s International Sport Coaching Framework. While students don’t complete a thesis as part of the program, they practice analyzing information that will help them improve the outcomes of their coaching efforts.

school overview

Tuition: $4,605 per semester
Credit Hours: 30
Total Online Enrollment: $2,577
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7

Concordia University-Irvine

  • Irvine, California
  • Points: 90

As the top online graduate program for coaching, Concordia University Irvine‘s Master of Science in Coaching & Athletics Administration degree is extremely valuable to its graduates. The program has been so successful that the university recently expanded it and now offers students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Coaching And Exercise Sciences. However, the Coaching & Athletics Administration degree is recommended for students who already work as athletic administrators or coaches.

Students even have the option of earning either a Master of Science or a Master of Art. This type of flexibility is not seen in similar programs at many other universities. The flexibility isn’t the only thing that makes this program unique and valuable. Benefits of enrolling in this program include an online clinic, National Conference Courses, and the Coach’s Playbook.

school overview

Tuition: $6,660 per semester (15-month program)
Credit Hours: 36
Total Online Enrollment: 1,956
Visit School Website
8

University of Southern Mississippi

  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Points: 90

The Master of Science in Sport Coaching Education degree from the University of Southern Mississippi is considered to be among the country’s best programs for coaching education. Students enrolled in the program can choose the thesis or non-thesis option. Those who opt out of writing a thesis are required to complete a practicum in order to graduate.

Students that have graduated from this program have gone on to work as assistant, or strength and conditioning coaches, kids fitness coaches, youth sports instructors, college scouts, and athletic performance coaches.

school overview

Tuition: $4,446 – $4,816 per semester
Credit Hours: 36-39
Total Online Enrollment: 2,539
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9

University of Northern Colorado

  • Greeley, Colorado
  • Points: 90

The University of Northern Colorado had an online master’s in coaching program before most other universities did. The university leads the sports education industry throughout the U.S. Their program model is now used by many other universities, to offer their students degrees in coaching.

While the Master of Arts in Sports Coaching program is taught completely online, students must use their own coaching job to complete an action research project in order to earn their degree. The project requires students to test a concept or technique they learned about in the program, at their job. They then analyze the concept or technique and report their findings.

school overview

Tuition: $5,800 per semester (18-month program)
Credit Hours: 30
Total Online Enrollment: $1,652
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10

Florida State University

  • Tallahassee, Florida

Florida State University’s Master’s in Athletic Coaching opened in 2021, and was designed by coaches for coaches. Students include volunteer, school, collegiate, and professional coaches. The 30 credit hour degree can be completed in 14 months, or students can complete it over several semesters based on their needs. Enrollment is open for fall, spring, and summer starts. Florida State University is ranked #19 in the national public universities in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.

school overview

Tuition: $3,330 per semester
Credit Hours: 30
Total Online Enrollment: 2,738
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11

Point Park University

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Points: 90

There are four universities in Pennsylvania that offer programs in coaching. But Point Park University is the only one that runs courses approved by Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association(PIAA.) The PIAA approved courses in Point Park University’s Master of Education in Athletic Coaching program are Safety and Physical Conditioning of Athletes II and The Art and Science of Athletic Coaching.

Every course included in the program fulfills the requirements of Pennsylvania teachers’ Act 48. Students who graduate from this program can coach students of all ages, from Kindergarten through college. They can also work for professional sports teams or travel sports programs and clubs.

school overview

Tuition: $550 per credit (~$3,300 per semester)
Credit Hours: 30
Total Online Enrollment: 860
Visit School Website
12

East Tennessee State University

  • Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Points: 80

The Master of Science in Sport Science Coach Education program at East Tennessee State University is a part of the ETSU Center of Excellence for Sport Science and Coach Education (CESSCE.) Because of this, students enrolled in the program have the ability to participate in coach clinics, activities in the sports community, and continuing education. The purpose of the CESSCE is to improve the understanding of how sports help shape the world’s population. It provides students with opportunities to perform specialized research as part of the program.

school overview

Tuition: $6,759 per semester
Credit Hours: 36
Total Online Enrollment: 2,060
Visit School Website
13

University of Denver

  • Denver, Colorado
  • Points: 80

The online MA in Sport Coaching (MASC) program at the University of Denver educates and prepares coaches of all sports and levels — as well as strength and conditioning coaches — to enhance athlete, team, or client performance. Students benefit from a comprehensive, flexible, and individualized curriculum designed by internationally respected faculty experts in coach education. Enrollment in the program is limited to ensure each class is under 20 students and the program boasts an average class size of 12 students. They also offer an online graduate certificate in Strength, Conditioning, & Fitness Coaching and the Psychology of Coaching.

school overview

Tuition: $8,395 per semester
Credit Hours: 31
Total Online Enrollment: 50
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14

Rider University

  • Township, New Jersey
  • Points: 80

The Rider University Master of Arts in Athletic Leadership offers a specialization in Coaching. This requires students to complete classes such as Developing a Philosophy of Coaching, Fundamentals of Athletic Training and Wellness, and Concepts and Principles of Coaching.

school overview

Tuition: $8,730 per semester
Credit Hours: 36
Total Online Enrollment: 349
Visit School Website
15

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, Florida
  • Points: 70

Students at the University of Florida can earn the online Master of Science in Sport Management with a specialization in High-Performance Coaching. The specialization is designed to enhance the efficacy of active coaches and to better prepare students for managerial coaching positions or careers in athletic administration. Individuals who will benefit from this training path include those pursuing career trajectories leading to these positions: head coach; associate head coach or coordinator; strength and conditioning coordinator; or sport administrator. The program offers three additional specializations and two graduate certificates that support emerging trends, meet sport industry demand, and provide students with the opportunity to customize their education to match their interests and career goals. In addition to the leading-edge curriculum, online students gain access to UF’s expert career coaches who are internationally recognized industry veterans with decades of experience in sport management.

school overview

Tuition: $5,271.75 per semester (9 credits)
Credit Hours: 36
Total Online Enrollment: 4,766
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16

Ball State University

  • Muncie, Indiana
  • Points: 70

According to the U.S. News & World Report, the Master of Arts in Athletic Coaching Education degree at Ball State University helped the school land in the top 20 Best online programs for veterans. Bell State University was the first to offer athletic education degrees online, starting in 2002. Students that have graduated from this program have gone on to coach in events like the Missouri Valley and Mid-American Conferences.

school overview

Tuition: $2,694 per semester (18-month program)
Credit Hours: 30
Total Online Enrollment: 5,037
Visit School Website
17

Ohio University

  • Athens County, Ohio
  • Points: 70

In 2020, Ohio University overhauled its online Masters of Coaching Education program. The program has received national recognition for its ability to help coaching students become competitive in the field. The standards all sports coaches are held to were used to design the program’s curriculum.

school overview

Tuition: $2,004 per semester
Credit Hours: 30
Total Online Enrollment: 7,975
Visit School Website
18

Northcentral University

  • San Diego, California
  • Points: 60

The online Master of Education in Athletic Coaching program at Northcentral University is taught by faculty who have earned doctorates in the same field of study. Faculty serves as mentors for the students, and students can get one-on-one face time with their professors whenever they need it. NCU offers weekly course starts, no scheduled lecture hours, no group assignments, weekly assignments, and the ability to schedule courses around your personal and professional obligations. No matter the degree level you pursue, you can rest assured that you will be mentored by doctors in your field of study. You won’t have to fight for facetime as one of many within a classroom. At NCU, you’ll have the opportunity to interact one-to-one with your professor, receiving personalized mentoring.

*They have eight-week courses with weekly starts. If a semester is based on 15 weeks, most students will complete two courses within these eight weeks. Courses are $745/credit hour, and courses are three credits, so completing two courses in a semester would cost $4,470.

school overview

Tuition: $4,470 ($745/credit hour)
Credit Hours: 30
Total Online Enrollment: 11,729
Visit School Website
19

Michigan State University

  • East Lansing, Michigan
  • Points: 40

Michigan State University is ranked # 4 in online graduate programs in education, by the U.S. News & World Report. Its Master of Science in Sport Coaching and Leadership program requires students to spend one semester completing a practicum in order to refine their coaching skills. The goal of the program is to help its students become more assertive throughout their careers.

school overview

Tuition: $6,735 per semester
Credit Hours: 30
Visit School Website
20

Drexel University

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Points: 40

For most athletes, the joy and accomplishment of competition ends when the play clock is up. Drexel’s online MS in Sport Coaching Leadership program allows you to continue with the sport you love, working with fellow athletes as you develop your career and theirs. The program is offered by Drexel’s full-time faculty and prepares coaches to meet challenges both on and off the field.

Drexel is a comprehensive global research university with a unique model of experiential learning that combines academic rigor with one of the nation’s premier cooperative education programs.

If you are still struggling to choose an online master’s in coaching program, our Degree Finder can help you make the decision.

school overview

Tuition (per credit): $1,017
Credit Hours: 45
Graduate student population: 8,791
Visit School Website

How We Rank Programs

We took online graduate tuition rates from each school’s website and total online enrollment from the web. Most schools on the list charge the same for online tuition as in-state tuition, though some have separate rates for online tuition. Tuition per semester was calculated based on the standard two-year program length, with a few notable exceptions. 

After sorting by tuition rates and then by total online enrollment we assigned points to each school. Schools get a maximum of 50 points per category. We add these two scores together to get a program’s final ranking on the list.

For more options check out our Sports Management degree programs.

See An Incorrect Ranking?

We strive to rank each school correctly. If you work for one of the schools on the list and feel we made an error in our rankings, please contact us. We will promptly fix the mistake. 

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Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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