Online Graduate Programs For Applied Sport Coaching

Master's Degree or Graduate Certificate

These online Sport Coaching graduate programs are designed to enhance your coaching knowledge and expertise, and to advance your existing coaching practices through evaluation and application of current research.

A master's degree and a graduate certificate are available, and online courses allow you to fit your education into your busy schedule. See the Course of Study section below for details.

The content explored throughout the program applies to all coaching contexts and sports. This program will advance your knowledge and skill in the art of sport coaching whether you are a...

  • Teacher interested in or currently coaching.
  • Club or youth sports leader.
  • High-performance coach.
  • Coach in any other capacity.

An NCACE Accredited Master's Program

Official logo for NCACE accredited programs

This Sport Coaching master's program has received Level 5 comprehensive accreditation from the National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education. UNC is one a select few universities that hold Level 5 accreditation. Certificate students take the same courses as those offered for the accredited master's program.

Program Objectives Include...

  • Principles and Perspectives in Coaching.
  • Sport Psychology.
  • Utilizing Technology in Coaching.
  • International Coaching Perspectives.
  • Sport Administration for Coaches.
  • Injury Prevention / Training and Conditioning Principles.
  • Applied Coach Education and Development Research.

Athlete Assessments Profile of  Professor Douglas

Athlete Assessments recently profiled professor Scott Douglas' athletic, administrative and coaching histories, the applied learning focus of the Sport Coaching master's degree, and role of CoachDISC Profiles for students. Read the profile and a Q&A:

From Coaching on the Court to Coaching in the Classroom (

Photo of Dr. Scott Douglas, Program Coordinator

Coaching Excellence and Career Opportunities

The UNC Sport Coaching online graduate programs were developed to meet the growing demand for quality sport coaching at all levels. These programs can benefit club coaches, recreation facility coaches, high school coaches (particularly those for whom graduate credit hours or a master's degree lead to pay increases), and athletic directors (to facilitate the ongoing development of their coaches).

Advance your career interests and become a world-class coach who develops high-performing athletes and teams.

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Delivered Fully Online

Because of our innovative program design, you will be able to focus on one course at a time for most of your coursework.

  • All courses are completed online.
  • Before the program begins, there is a short online orientation course to prepare you for success in the program.

To see a typical list of courses by term, visit an example Current Students page for this program.


Master's Degree (30 Credit Hours)

  • You can earn your degree in just four academic terms (about 15 months).
    • In the first summer term, you will take two 6-week courses and one 12-week course.
    • In the fall and spring terms, you will take one course at a time (five or six weeks each).
    • The final summer term you will complete your comprehensive exam.
  • You can choose (along with your advisor) the focus of your internship work.

For full program requirement details, see the official master's degree program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog. Please note that the current catalog shows this program as 31 credit hours. The program is approved to shift to 30 credit hours (including three credit hours of SES 692) in the next UNC graduate catalog. Students who are admitted to summer 2024 term will be advised to update to the next catalog to complete the program under the 30-hour requirement.

Graduate Certificate (15 Credit Hours)

  • The course lengths noted above for the master's degree are also true for your coursework, as you will be choosing from among the same courses as those offered for the master's degree.
  • You can complete the program in as little as eight months if you take five courses within your first two terms. Or you can choose to spread out your enrollment, particularly if you prefer elective options that will be offered in later terms.
  • There are no internship or action research requirements for the certificate program.

This brand new program will appear in the 2024-2025 UNC Graduate Catalog, which will be released this summer. Please contact the Program Coordinator if you would like to see a breakdown of course options prior to then.

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What Our Students Say...

As a current professional athlete, I know that I can’t play baseball forever. UNC’s online Master’s degree in Sport Coaching is providing me with the opportunity to prepare for a dream career once my playing days are over.

– Brandon Bailey, Professional Pitcher, Class of 2022

Photo of Brandon Bailey, Sport Coaching master's student and major league baseball pitcher

The Sports Coaching MA program at the UNC provided me with 21st Century skills that not only make me a better coach but a better teacher.

The coursework challenged traditional notions about coaching, and reinvigorated my appreciation of the power that coaches have on the overall development of the whole athlete. Each course within the program presented material and knowledge that I can directly apply to my athletes.

Plain and simple, the program transformed my coaching from average to excellent because I have skills, knowledge, and purpose behind my instruction.

– Chad Shaw, Eaton HS, program graduate

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