Best Online Master’s in Coaching

by TBS Staff

Updated October 19, 2022

TheBestSchools.org

thebestschools.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.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

A master's in coaching online expands professional opportunities in the private and public sectors.

The degree may focus on sports coaching, coaching education, and athletic administration or emphasize life skills, business leadership, and executive coaching. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, life coaches work as rehabilitation counselors, school and vocational counselors, and personal care and service workers, fields poised for 13%–15% growth by 2026.Athletic coaches will experience comparable growth in 2026, with a projected 13% rise.

In an online master’s in coaching program, students study theories and techniques of motivation, performance, and leadership while applying course content to experiential learning exercises and activities. Many programs include an internship, allowing learners to gain hands-on experience in a professional setting.

Courses in research, communication, management, and team dynamics provide students with information and resources applicable to working with individuals, groups, and organizations. Online coaching programs may prepare learners for professional licensure in coaching, strengthening employment and earning potential.

The Best Online Master's in Coaching Programs

#1 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

University of South Florida-Main Campus

  • Tampa, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of South Florida-Main Campus, located in Tampa, offers a flexible online master of arts in physical education. The program emphasizes industry-relevant knowledge and skills, preparing graduates for decision-making responsibilities. A master's degree can also train graduates for roles in new industries.

The curriculum explores coaching research and methodologies. Learners prepare for the job market by choosing a specialty through electives. The program recommends that applicants bring a background in coaching or a related field.

Online enrollees complete internships in their local community to gain real-world experience. Graduate students expand their professional network through internships and online events.

University of South Florida-Main Campus at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 48%

Total Online Master's Programs: 27

Program Name: Master of arts in physical education

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,350

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,048

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,559
Out-of-state
$15,473
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
44,246
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master of science in kinesiology at Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, located in Baton Rouge, offers high academic quality. The program helps graduates increase their salary potential and take on more professional responsibilities. A master's degree also helps candidates pursue new careers.

The curriculum explores theoretical and practical perspectives in the field. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. The program recommends a background in coaching or a related field when applying.

Online enrollees can often complete professional internships at approved locations in their own community. The program encourages graduate students to expand their professional connections through internships and networking events.

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 75%

Total Online Master's Programs: 10

Program Name: Master of science in kinesiology

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,132

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $9,132

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,038
Out-of-state
$8,038
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
31,756
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Emporia State University

  • Emporia, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Emporia, Kansas, Emporia State University hosts a top-ranked master of science in health, physical education and coaching. The program strengthens industry-specific skills, preparing graduates for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree helps candidates advance in their current field or pursue a new career.

The curriculum emphasizes current research in coaching. Learners often choose a specialized concentration, which can help them stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants without a background in coaching may need to complete prerequisites.

Online enrollees meet any in-person requirements, such as internships, at approved sites in their local area. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

Emporia State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 85%

Total Online Master's Programs: 18

Program Name: Master of science in health, physical education and coaching

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,394

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,888

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,154
Out-of-state
$19,071
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
5,877
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
58% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Jacksonville State University

  • Jacksonville, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master of science in sport management at Jacksonville State University, located in Florida, offers high academic quality. The program helps graduates increase their salary potential and take on more professional responsibilities. A master's degree allows candidates to move up the career ladder or pursue a new career.

The curriculum emphasizes the best practices in coaching. Learners focus the degree with electives or a concentration. The program builds on prior coaching experience during a bachelor's program.

Online enrollees participate in internships at approved locations in their local area. The program encourages graduate students to expand their professional connections through internships and networking events.

Jacksonville State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 55%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program Name: Master of science in sport management

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,600

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,200

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,720
Out-of-state
$19,440
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
9,021
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Ball State University

  • Muncie, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Based in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University hosts a top-rated online master of arts in athletic coaching education. Students train for leadership roles in the field while earning their degree. Master's graduates can also explore opportunities in new fields.

The curriculum emphasizes current research in coaching. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused careers. The master's program recommends a background in coaching before applying to the program.

Online enrollees work with the program to find internship opportunities in their local area. Graduate students expand their professional network through internships and online events.

Ball State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 77%

Total Online Master's Programs: 30

Program Name: Master of arts in athletic coaching education

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,850

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $21,954

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,358
Out-of-state
$26,138
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
22,443
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus

  • Portales, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master of science in physical education at Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus, located in Portales, prioritizes flexibility. The program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training graduates for leadership roles and an increased earning potential. A master's degree allows candidates to move up the career ladder or pursue a new career path.

The curriculum explores coaching research and methodologies. Learners take electives and other specialized courses to gain career-specific training. The master's program recommends a background in coaching before applying to the program.

Online enrollees participate in internships at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students also participate in networking events to expand their professional connections.

Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 58%

Total Online Master's Programs: 7

Program Name: Master of science in physical education

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,044

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $9,342

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,996
Out-of-state
$5,994
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
5,685
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

SUNY College at Brockport

  • Brockport, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master's in physical education teacher education program at SUNY College at Brockport, located in Brockport, New York, offers a flexible online format. The rigorous curriculum prepares graduates for advanced roles in the field. Master's candidates can pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The curriculum examines theoretical and practical perspectives on physical education. Learners individualize the program to prepare for focused careers. The admission requirements include a background in physical education or a related field.

Online enrollees gain real-world experience through internships offered in their local area. The program encourages graduate students to participate in hands-on experiences and networking events to grow their professional connections.

SUNY College at Brockport at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 55%

Total Online Master's Programs: 7

Program Name: Master's in physical education teacher education

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,310

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $23,100

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$16,980
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
7,924
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#8 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Valdosta State University

  • Valdosta, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Based in Valdosta, Georgia, Valdosta State University hosts a top-rated online master's in physical education. The program builds specialized skills for leadership roles in the coaching field and related industries. A master's degree can also prepare candidates for opportunities in new fields.

The curriculum explores coaching research and methodologies. Learners specialize the program by choosing from a variety of electives. Applicants without a background in coaching may need to complete prerequisites.

Online enrollees meet any in-person requirements, such as internships, at approved sites in their local area. The program encourages graduate students to expand their professional connections through internships and networking events.

Valdosta State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 57%

Total Online Master's Programs: 11

Program Name: Master's in physical education

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,572

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,470

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,371
Out-of-state
$15,426
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
57%
Students Enrolled
11,270
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

West Virginia University

  • Morgantown, WV
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Morgantown, West Virginia University offers an online master's in sport coaching. The program encourages career training throughout its curriculum, preparing students for leadership positions. A master's degree also helps graduates pursue new career paths.

The curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners focus their training by choosing electives based on their interests and career goals. The admission requirements include a background in coaching or a related field.

Online enrollees add to their resume by pursuing internships at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students expand their professional connections by attending virtual networking events.

West Virginia University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 84%

Total Online Master's Programs: 18

Program Name: Master's in sport coaching

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,134

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $26,154

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,976
Out-of-state
$25,320
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
84%
Students Enrolled
26,839
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Pittsburg State University

  • Pittsburg, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Pittsburg State University, located in Pittsburg, Kansas, offers a flexible online master's in sport and leisure service management. The program strengthens specialized skills, preparing enrollees for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. Earning a master's degree helps candidates move into a new career or advance in their current field.

The curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches. Learners take electives and other specialized courses to gain career-specific training. The admission requirements include a background in sports or a related field.

Online enrollees coordinate with the program to complete internships at approved sites in their local area. Graduate students expand their professional connections by attending virtual networking events.

Pittsburg State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 96%

Total Online Master's Programs: 10

Program Name: Master's in sport and leisure service management

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,678

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $17,510

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,694
Out-of-state
$17,038
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
6,645
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#11 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Birmingham, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master of science in kinesiology at University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a flexible online format. The program emphasizes advanced practice skills, training enrollees for leadership roles and an increased earning potential. With a master's degree, graduates can also pursue new careers.

The curriculum examines theoretical and practical perspectives on kinesiology. Learners can individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. The program builds on prior coaching experience during a bachelor's program.

Online enrollees complete internships in their local area to gain hands-on experience. The program encourages graduate students to participate in hands-on experiences and networking events to grow their professional connections.

University of Alabama at Birmingham at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 74%

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Program Name: Master of science in kinesiology

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,100

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,188

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,568
Out-of-state
$20,400
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
22,080
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#12 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Fort Hays State University

  • Hays, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Fort Hays State University, located in Hays, Kansas, enrolls students in its online master's in health and human performance program. Students train for leadership roles in the field while earning their degree. Master's graduates can pursue new career opportunities.

The curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches. Learners choose electives or a specialization to gain focused career training. The program builds on undergraduate training or professional experience in coaching.

Online enrollees work with the program to find local internships. These and other practicum activities also provide professional networking opportunities.

Fort Hays State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 91%

Total Online Master's Programs: 10

Program Name: Master's in health and human performance

Graduate Tuition In State: $3,582

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $10,206

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,990
Out-of-state
$14,070
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
15,908
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#13 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Morehead State University

  • Morehead, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Morehead State University, located in Morehead, Kentucky, enrolls students in its online master's in sport management program. The program strengthens specialized skills, preparing learners for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. Master's graduates can also pursue new career opportunities.

The curriculum examines theoretical and practical perspectives on coaching. Learners individualize the program to prepare for focused careers. The program encourages applicants to gain experience in coaching before applying to the program.

Online enrollees coordinate with the program to complete internships at approved sites in their local area. The program encourages graduate students to participate in hands-on experiences and networking events to grow their professional connections.

Morehead State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 78%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program Name: Master's in sport management

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,260

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $10,260

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,970
Out-of-state
$13,556
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
9,654
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#14 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

University of South Dakota

  • Vermillion, SD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Based in Vermillion, University of South Dakota hosts a top-rated online master's in kinesiology and sport management. The program draws on a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree can also train candidates for roles in new industries.

The curriculum examines theoretical and practical perspectives on coaching. Learners often choose a specialized concentration, which can help them stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants without a degree in coaching or a related field may need to meet prerequisites.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. The program encourages graduate students to attend networking events to expand their professional connections.

University of South Dakota at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 86%

Total Online Master's Programs: 10

Program Name: Master's in kinesiology and sport management

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,062

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $11,656

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,697
Out-of-state
$11,172
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
9,920
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#15 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Greenville University

  • Greenville, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master's in education with a coaching concentration at Greenville University, located in Greenville, Illinois, offers a flexible online format. The program emphasizes industry-relevant knowledge and skills, preparing enrollees for decision-making responsibilities. Master's degree-holders can advance their current career or move into new careers.

The curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to coaching. Learners focus their training by choosing electives based on their interests and career goals. The program recommends that applicants bring a background in coaching or a related field.

Online enrollees complete internships in their local community to gain real-world experience. Graduate students also build professional connections by attending networking events.

Greenville University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 56%

Total Online Master's Programs: 5

Program Name: Master's in education with a coaching concentration

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,082

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $8,082

Average Tuition
In-state
$27,580
Out-of-state
$27,580
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
56%
Students Enrolled
1,092
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#16 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Western Kentucky University

  • Bowling Green, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The master of science in recreation and sports administration program at Western Kentucky University, located in Bowling Green, offers a flexible online format. The program strengthens specialized skills, preparing graduates for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. A master's degree can also train candidates for roles in new industries.

The curriculum incorporates theoretical and applied approaches. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. The program recommends that applicants bring a background in coaching or a related field.

Online enrollees gain real-world experience through internships offered in their local area. Internships and other networking events help graduate students expand their professional network.

Western Kentucky University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 97%

Total Online Master's Programs: 27

Program Name: Master of science in recreation and sports administration

Graduate Tuition In State: $12,140

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,340

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,802
Out-of-state
$26,496
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
18,171
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#17 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Azusa Pacific University

  • Azusa, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master's in physical education program, offered by Azusa Pacific University from its Azusa, California, campus, ranks as a top degree. The program strengthens specialized skills, preparing learners for leadership roles with a higher earning potential. A master's degree allows graduates to move up the career ladder or pursue a new career path.

The curriculum explores physical education research and methodologies. Learners individualize the course of study by selecting electives and concentrations. The program recommends that applicants bring a background in coaching or a related field.

Online enrollees gain hands-on experience during professional internships in their local area. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

Azusa Pacific University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 67%

Total Online Master's Programs: 11

Program Name: Master's in physical education

Graduate Tuition In State: $17,592

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $17,592

Average Tuition
In-state
$39,640
Out-of-state
$39,640
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
9,297
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#18 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

University of Southern Mississippi

  • Hattiesburg, MS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students seeking an online degree can enroll in the master's in coaching and sport performance at University of Southern Mississippi, located in Hattiesburg. The rigorous curriculum prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities. A master's degree allows graduates to move up the career ladder or pursue a new career.

The curriculum examines theoretical and practical perspectives on coaching. Learners choose electives or a specialization to stand out in a competitive job market. Applicants with prior experience in coaching or a related field often meet the admission requirements.

Online enrollees work with the program to identify internship opportunities at approved sites in their local communities. The program encourages graduate students to expand their professional connections through internships and networking events.

University of Southern Mississippi at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 97%

Total Online Master's Programs: 21

Program Name: Master's in coaching and sport performance

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,786

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $10,786

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,786
Out-of-state
$10,786
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
14,133
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#19 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

Indiana State University

  • Terre Haute, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Terre Haute, Indiana State University enrolls students in its top-ranked online master of science in sport management. The program helps graduates move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. A master's degree can also prepare candidates for opportunities in new fields.

The curriculum explores research and methodologies in sport management. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. The program recommends a background in coaching before applying to the program.

Online enrollees add to their resume by pursuing internships at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students also build professional connections through virtual networking events and other activities.

Indiana State University at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 90%

Total Online Master's Programs: 18

Program Name: Master of science in sport management

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,542

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,814

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,036
Out-of-state
$19,960
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
90%
Students Enrolled
12,144
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#20 Best Online Master’s in Coaching

University of Nebraska at Kearney

  • Kearney, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online master's in general kinesiology and sport sciences, offered by University of Nebraska at Kearney from its Kearney campus, ranks as a top program. Students train for leadership roles in the field while earning their degree. Earning a master's degree can also help graduates pursue new career opportunities.

The curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners take specialized courses to stand out in a competitive job market. The master's program recommends that applicants bring a background in coaching or a related field.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students grow their professional connections through internships and virtual networking events.

University of Nebraska at Kearney at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 85%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program Name: Master's in general kinesiology and sport sciences

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,048

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,296

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,090
Out-of-state
$13,290
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
6,279
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
Best Online Master's

Online Master’s in Coaching Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%

Affordability - 15%

Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Featured Online Master's in Coaching Programs

What is a Master’s in Coaching Degree?

Students in a master’s in coaching program take courses covering general topics, such as anatomy, sports medicine, psychology, and leadership. These courses prepare coaches to address the physical and mental needs of their athletes.

Many online master’s degree in coaching programs offer concentrations. Students who select a sports administration concentration learn how to manage and improve sports programs. A specialization in kinesiology teaches students how to promote physical strength and endurance.

Some programs require distance learners to complete a practicum wherein students coach at a local facility under a supervisor.

Online Master’s in Coaching Programs

Online master’s in coaching degrees allow learners to complete coursework on a flexible schedule. Students working full time can complete classes at a convenient pace while maintaining personal and professional responsibilities. Part-time and full-time students enjoy access to lectures, assignments, and assessments through an electronic platform.

Asynchronous programs provide classes in a flexible, non-sequential format, which is ideal for part-time learners. In synchronous programs, typically offered with a cohort model, students progress through coursework at the same pace as their peers. Both asynchronous and synchronous programs include 2–3 years of coursework. In accelerated degrees, learners may graduate in 12–18 months.

Coaching degrees often include practicum or internship requirements. Current coaching professionals can complete internships at their current place of work, applying degree knowledge to practical experiences. Learners new to the coaching field may work in sports settings, business organizations, or counseling settings. Programs with thesis options prepare students for graduate study. Students develop a research question, acquire and assess data, and report findings under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

The Advantages of a Master’s Degree in Coaching

A bachelor’s in coaching degree prepares students to work as athletic coaches in elementary, middle, and high schools. Master’s in coaching online programs develop managerial skills applicable to coaching careers and athletic administration professions. Students learn how to motivate and work with individuals, groups, and teams. Earning a master’s in coaching online also provides learners with opportunities to participate in practical learning experiences, applying theoretical and technical degree content to real-world experiences.

A master’s in coaching builds executive leadership and motivational skills for business professionals, education and vocational counselors, and caregivers. With a graduate degree in coaching, learners advance to administrative and leadership positions or work in an entrepreneurial role as a life coach. A master’s in coaching also gives learners the tools and capabilities to pursue doctoral study in organizational leadership, coaching education, sports management, and related disciplines.

Choosing an Online Coaching Graduate Degree Program

When choosing an online coaching graduate degree, students should consider factors such as cost, school size, program length, and degree requirements. Degree length varies by credits, internship requirements, and options for thesis or research projects.

In-state schools often offer more affordable options to students than out-of-state schools, although many colleges and universities provide flat-fee tuition for online learners regardless of residency. Students with previous coursework should explore prospective schools’ transfer policies.

Accreditation for Online Coaching Master’s Degrees

Colleges and universities maintain regional or national accreditation through a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). As a government agency, the ED establishes educational policies for colleges and universities. An industry group, CHEA includes more than 3,000 member institutions. Both the ED and CHEA cooperate with accrediting bodies to ensure schools’ compliance with national educational standards. Accrediting bodies work with colleges and universities to maintain academic standards through voluntary oversight and accountability.

Regional accreditation indicates an institution offers a rigorous, research-based program, while nationally accredited schools provide vocational and technical programs. Nonprofit schools usually hold regional accreditation. Programs and departments within a school may hold programmatic accreditation through a professional or specialized agency. Online master’s in coaching programs may hold accreditation through bodies like the International Coaching Federation.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Master in Coaching Degree Program?

Degrees in coaching include 30–36 credit hours of coursework. Students complete online master’s in coaching programs in 1–3 years depending on part- or full-time status. Accelerated degrees allow students to enroll in multiple classes at a time, while traditional programs may offer only one or two classes each term.

Additional factors that influence the length of a degree include whether or not the program provides synchronous or asynchronous coursework. Learners in a synchronous program who miss a class offered on a specific timetable may extend their degree until the course becomes available again. Internship and practical requirements also affect the length of a program.

Whether students complete a degree on a full-time or part-time schedule can influence tuition costs, with many schools offering lower tuition for students enrolled full time. Programs with per-credit tuition, however, cost the same for all learners.

Courses in an Online Master’s in Coaching Program

  • Strategic Leadership: Strategic leadership coursework introduces students to theories and techniques of leadership while teaching learners how to analyze, assess, and apply principles of strategy to lead organizations and teams. Students study strategic initiatives, issues facing leadership development, and how to align resources with organizational and team goals.
  • Ethical and Professional Principles of Coaching: Ethical and professional principles of coaching classes emphasize ethical guidelines for coaching individuals and groups. Learners explore record keeping, dual relationships, and dynamics of coaching. Coursework also focuses on preventing, managing, and addressing ethical dilemmas.
  • Evaluation in Coaching: These classes provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to acquire data and improve athletic and programmatic performance. Learners explore evaluation techniques and tools used in coaching individuals and groups. Students use case studies to apply evaluation methods and practices.
  • Sport Coaching Methodology: In this class, students study theories and practices of sport team development and individual athlete coaching. Students learn techniques for coaching in a sports context and how to develop success among athletes.
  • Coaching with Technology: Coaching with technology introduces coaches to tools and trends in coaching, such as data collection technology and instructional online resources. Students learn how to incorporate diagnostic equipment, tablets, handheld devices, and other technological tools in coaching.

What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Coaching?

Coaches with experience and education enjoy diverse career options. The professions below represent common career paths for graduates.

Source: PayScale

Coaching Professional Organizations

The NCAA provides a list of coaching associations for coaches at the collegiate level. Coaches from Division I and Division II classes can access links to their specific sport. The NCAA also provides a platform for Division III coaches. Each sport website includes membership information, professional development resources, and event information. The ICF advances coaching by promoting high standards and ethical excellence in the field. Members gain access to business development, lifelong learning, and networking opportunities. Coaches participate in ICF’s conferences, development series, and convergence activities each year. ICF also offers credentials to coaches with requisite experience and training. IAPLC promotes, supports, and inspires life coaches through certifications, trainings, and career guidance. Members fall into 15 categories based on credentials and experience, creating networks of life coaches who enjoy the association’s publications, telesummits, and giveaways. Designed to promote the field of corporate executive coaching, ACEC integrates organizational and transformative coaching competencies into educational and training programs. ACEC and the MEECO Leadership Institute examine tools, research, and techniques within corporate executive coaching through conferences and university partnerships. Members receive access to MEECO TV, webinars, research publications, and mentorship opportunities. PCA partners with 3,500 schools and youth sports groups to provide online and live workshops, courses, and publications. PCA also provides resources for leaders, coaches, parents, and athletes to build truthful, constructive, and supportive sporting environments.

Header Image Credit: John Giustina | Getty Images


The Top 10 Sports Careers for Non-Athletes

Popular with our students.

Highly informative resources to keep your education journey on track.

Take the next step toward your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

woman in an office