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Master of Arts (MA) Degree Program in Coaching Overview

Majors Overview July 24, 2015

This article talks about Master of Arts (M.A.) degree programs in Coaching and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Coaching

In a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Coaching program, students explore strength training techniques, coaching methods, and sports psychology. Students can examine the basics of a specific sport via professional development seminars. Educational requirements must be met to qualify for admission.

Students typically have to complete 36 hours of coaching field experiences and classroom study. Schools might offer these programs online. Program coursework might include graduate assistantships and exercise science laboratories.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree; a minor or major in coaching is in some programs. Additionally, previous coaching experience may be required in some MA in Coaching programs.


Coursework is devised to enhance leadership skills of students and increase job opportunities. In addition to fundraising techniques and budgeting, proper training methods and coaching styles are learned by existing and prospective coaches. Students can increase their marketability by studying topics such as principles of effective coaching and sociology of physical activity.

Students explore topics such as program evaluation, theories in human performance, mental training for athletes and administration of sports. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Conditioning and strength
•Social aspects of sports
•Evaluation and measurement
•Sports safety
•Coaching techniques

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek employment as instructors or coaches within universities, schools, or community programs. The program would have made them adept at teaching athletes, holding practices, instilling sportsmanship practices, evaluating game strategies and minimizing training risks. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•University coach
•High school coach
•Private sports instructor

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of fifteen percent has been predicted for coaches and scouts (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $28,360 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

State certification may be mandatory to those seeking coaching jobs in public schools. The best job opportunities in the field are expected to go to those who have state certification to teach academic subjects (BLS). While few schools, if any, offer a Ph.D. in Coaching, students aspiring to leadership roles in motor behavior or physical education may choose to enroll in a doctoral degree program in physical education. Schools offer the degree as a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a concentration in physical education pedagogy, or as a Ph.D. in Physical Education. Coursework in a doctoral program in physical education includes cognitive factors in motor skill acquisition and the psychology of physical education. A dissertation, research, or group projects may be in the coursework.

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