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Information on Graduate Degree Program in Coaching

Majors Overview July 20, 2015

This article talks about graduate degree programs in coaching and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Graduate Programs in Coaching

There is a degree of fluctuation in the education and training requirements for coaches. Some coaches begin their careers by training young children on recreational teams before advancing into high school-level coaching roles. High school coaches who mainly teach in classroom settings are usually required to hold college degrees; those who teach outside classroom settings are required to satisfy state-level certification norms before they can assume coaching roles.

Schools offer most graduate degree programs in coaching within two broad categories. The categories are the Master of Science (M.S.) in Curriculum and Instruction, and the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Coaching and Athletic Administration. Schools offer master’s degree programs with a focus on athletic coaching aimed at improving and enhancing coaching skills through the evaluation of techniques and methods used by other coaches. Coursework also covers research strategies and topics from which coaches, in general, can profit. Schools offer numerous graduate degree programs in coaching in both wholly and partially online formats.

The program’s coursework can change drastically depending on the academic emphases. Students learn the skills needed for utilizing and identifying reliable and authentic techniques for analyzing and assessing common issues that may come up in modern educational settings. In order to graduate from the program, students will have to complete either an integrated project seminar or written thesis.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to be eligible for licensure in the state in which they intend to teach. Candidates without this qualification may be considered, provided they have a minimum teaching experience of two years or are currently in a job that is instructional in nature.


Students usually complete program coursework within 36 credit hours, including an integrated project or thesis. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Techniques and methods for assessment and research
•Integrative Project Seminar or research thesis
•Issues and Perspectives in American education
•Curriculum development and integration

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, coaches and scouts brought in an average annual wage of $28,360 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During that period, about 243,900 individuals were employed as coaches, mainly in a school setting; some found employment with sports associations and health clubs. Coaching assignments at the professional or collegiate level can be obtained only after numerous years of successful coaching experience.

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education may pursue a doctorate in coaching or similar field of study. Coaches can seek numerous continuing education opportunities, including coaching clinics with a focus on specific areas of coaching and specific sports.

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