Coaching Sport Performance

Master of arts (MA)

x's and o's play on chalkboard

Program details

Credits required: 36

Location(s) offered
Program type(s)

Industry highlights

Employment of coaches and scouts is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Rising participation in high school and college sports could increase demand for coaches and scouts.Bureau of Labor Statistics

A great coaching degree should be about more than X’s and O’s.

At almost every level, coaches are evaluated based on wins and losses. But we know that coaches are more than just people on the sideline, managing games, coaxing performances out of players. They’re educators tasked with teaching athletes about their bodies, about the mechanics and mental aspects of sport. Winning is one part of their jobs, but it’s also about connecting with, inspiring and educating athletes, helping them achieve their own potential, on and off the field.

The WMU Department of Human Performance and Health Education's online coaching sport performance master’s degree prepares students for successful coaching careers at all levels of competition, from community youth programs to collegiate, Olympic and professional athletics. Our curriculum meets the highest standards of accreditation and is designed to allow working adults the flexibility to take the classes they want at a pace that suits them.

Application deadlines

Aug. 1 for fall (September)
April 1 for summer (May)
Dec. 1 for spring (January)

The eight domains of coaching

The National Standards for Sport Coaches represents a core body of knowledge that captures the scientific and practical competencies expected of coaches at all levels. Commonly known as the eight domains of coaching, the standards include:

  • Philosophy and Ethics
  • Safety and Injury Prevention
  • Physical Conditioning
  • Growth and Development
  • Teaching and Communication
  • Sports Skills and Tactics
  • Organization and Administration
  • Evaluation

The coaching sport performance master’s degree program at WMU has been accredited by the NCACE because it is perfectly aligned with the eight domains. From philosophy to physical conditioning to evaluation, we will help you become a better coach and educator.

Who should apply?

The coaching sport performance program is designed to prepare students for coaching success at any level. Coaches (or aspiring coaches) at the high school, college or Olympic level will learn the skills and techniques to help their students and players grow as individuals and allow them to reach the next level as athletes. Youth coaches, instructors or athletic facility managers can learn skills to be more effective in their coaching activities.

The GRE is not required for admission. And even if you're working full time, you can still complete the degree in as little as eighteen months.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the coaching sport performance program are prepared for coaching at the highest levels of competition. Beyond head or assistant coaching, some jobs that may benefit from this degree include athletic directors, team or league management, strength and skills specialists, trainers, physiotherapists, scouts and even umpires or referees.

An elite program for coaches

WMU is one of only two universities in the U.S. to offer a master’s degree that has earned a Level five accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education. This elite accreditation reflects educational content that emphasizes advanced training, conditioning, techniques and tactics that produces coaches able to work year-round with elite athletes. Simply put, WMU graduates are prepared to coach athletes competing at the very highest levels.

State authorization

This Online program requires an internship or field placement. If you plan to complete this activity outside of the state of Michigan, you must complete the Activity Request Form at the time of enrollment for this course.

Activity Request Form

Employer tuition reimbursement

If your employer has a tuition reimbursement program, find out about WMU’s deferment program for employer paid tuition.

"Best bang for the buck"

Washington Monthly placed WMU on a list of national universities that offer "the best bang for the buck." WMU came in at No. 50 based on the economic value students receive per dollar.