Preview the Program

Request a full video featuring an interview about our master's in athletic coaching education with Dr. Larry Judge, professor and director of the graduate athletic coaching education program. The video link will be sent to your email immediately.

Coaches across the country have one question in common: How can I get a step up on the competition?

The answer can be found in Ball State University’s graduate program in athletic coaching education. More than a weekend workshop or a noncredit certificate program offering a handful of basic courses, this is a master of arts degree in physical education with a coaching specialization.

Taught by faculty who perform on national and international stages of coaching and who have coached Olympians and NCAA champion athletes, Ball State’s program is a world-class master’s degree.

Ball State is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. What this means to you is that we have met rigorous academic standards and professionalism that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and other institutions of higher learning.

Advisor

Casey Shultz, Academic Advisor and Recruiter

Why a Master's Degree in Athletic Coaching?

But it’s do-able because the program is fully online with absolutely no residency requirement. That means you can earn the degree without leaving your coaching position, and you can complete an internship in your workplace.

Since you’ll be taking courses in organization and administration, sport safety and injury prevention, and teaching and motivation, you can take what you learn to practice the next day.

Take note also that coaching salaries are seeing a dramatic rise, particularly at the college level, where compensation for coaches in certain sports has escalated in recent years.

  • We have the experience. In 2002, we were the first athletic coaching education program in the country to go online.
  • Our faculty members are published authors, active researchers, and recognizedauthorities in their athletic areas.
  • Taking just two classes per semester, you can finish in five semesters.
  • Our class sizes—usually in a range of 12 to 20 students—make individual instruction and maximum interaction possible.
  • You’ll study with classmates who are coaching in youth leagues, high schools, and colleges throughout the country.
  • Alumni of our program are coaching across the country, including the Big 10, the Mid-American Conference, and the Missouri Valley Conference.
  • The job market for coaches is expected to grow by 29 percent through 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Our curriculum is based on the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) National Standards for Sports Coaches, emphasizing the eight domains of coaching for building elite athletes and winning teams.
  • Competitive tuition rates.
  • New cohorts begin each spring and summer.
  • We also offer an all online license update in physical education with a coaching specialization. The licensure update courses can be applied to the master's in coaching education. Please note, the license update and the master's program do not lead to an initial teaching license. You will need to take additional courses to attain a teaching license.
  • No GRE required.

The good news for those who pace the sidelines and coach their teams to victory is that career opportunities for athletic coaches are expected to rise 20 percent, a much faster rate than other occupations, over the next several years. The prospects look particularly good for coaches with advanced training and experience.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, what is driving the growth in the coaching field?*

  • The need to replace the many high school coaches who will retire or transfer will provide the most coaching opportunities. (The best prospects are for those who are state-certified to teach academic subjects.)
  • The increased need, especially at the college level, for coaches in women’s athletics.
  • The demand for private sports instruction is expected to grow as parents encourage their children to pursue fitness and their full potential.
  • The increasing number of retirees who will need instruction as they participate in leisure activities such as golf and tennis.

To find some of the latest job postings in the coaching field at:

Get started on your next coaching career move, by requesting more information about the Ball State master's in physical education with a coaching specialization. 

* Information from Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Meet your mentors 

As a student of our master’s program in coaching education, you will work one-on-one with faculty who have made ours a world-class program. They have years of experience in all levels of teaching, coaching, and mentoring, and are active in their field and in athletics-related research.

Read their stories and meet professors who are at the pinnacle of their profession:

  • Larry Judge, Ph.D. 
    Professor of Kinesiology, Associate Chair of the School of Kinesiology, and Coordinator of the Graduate Athletic Coaching Education Program

  • David Pearson, Ph.D. 
    Associate Professor of Exercise Science and Associate Chairperson, Graduate Programs Coordinator, and Coordinator of the Sports Performance Graduate Program 

  • Stacy Walker, Ph.D.  
    Associate Professor of Athletic Training and Clinical Education Coordinator 

  • Thomas Weidner, Ph.D. 
    Chair of the Ball State School of Kinesiology and Professor of Athletic Training

  • David Bellar, Ph.D.
    Adjunct Instructor

    Assistant Professor 
    University of Louisiana at Lafayette

  • Kimberley Bodey, Ed.D. 
    Adjunct Instructor

    Associate Professor 
    Department of Recreation and Sport Management 
    Indiana State University 

  • Cheryl Rogow, Ed.D.
    Adjunct Instructor

    Professor 
    Physical Education and Athletics 
    College of Marin
     
  • Kevin McGill, J.D. 
    Adjunct Instructor

    McGill earned his J.D. from the Massachusetts School of Law.

  • Jeffrey C. Petersen, Ph.D. 
    Adjunct Instructor

    Associate Professor 
    Graduate Program Director, Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation 
    Sport Management Graduate Program Coordinator 
    Baylor University

  • Thomas Sawyer, Ed.D. 
    Adjunct Instructor 

    Professor 
    Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport 
    Graduate Coordinator of Sport Management Program 
    Indiana State University

Meet Our Students and Faculty

Learn from their experience! Current students, alumni, and faculty all followed unique paths to get to Ball State Online, but they all have one thing in common: Ball State Online offered them opportunities to pursue their passion and further their careers.

Course Requirements

Photo of runners in a gym

The online master’s in athletic coaching education program provides you the opportunity to study and network with classmates who are your coaching peers from across the country. We keep the classes small to maximize class interaction and to give you ample time to connect one on one with our world class professors.

If you’ve never been in an online classroom, you’ll be surprised at how well you’ll get to know members of your cohort and how much you’ll enjoy being part of this team.

Plan of Study

You have your choice of beginning the program with a spring cohort or a summer cohort. Depending on when you start will affect the sequence of courses you will follow. Below are recommended plans of study to meet course requirements for this 30-credit program, which would allow you to finish in five semesters.

Summer Cohort Plan of Study

You may start the master's program in athletic coaching education during the spring or summer semesters. If you start in the spring, we recommend the following course schedule to finish within five semesters:

Photo of coach with players

Spring

  • ACE 604 Physical Preparation and Conditioning (3 credits)
  • ACE 625 Evaluation in Coaching (3 credits)

Summer

  • ACE 675 Teaching and Motivation for Coaches (3 credits)
  • Choice of either:
    • ACE 692 Organization and Administration for Coaches (3 credits)
    • PEP 601 Foundations of Physical Education Research (3 credits)

Fall

  • ACE 618 Skills and Tactics for Coaches (3 credits)
  • ACE 670 Sport Safety and Injury Prevention (3 credits)

Spring

  • ACE 632 Philosophy and Ethics (3 credits)
  • Choice of either:
    • ACE 688 Current Issues in Coaching Research (3 credits)
    • PEP 601 Foundations of Physical Education Research (3 credits)

Summer

  • ACE 612 Growth and Development for Coaches (3 credits)
  • PEP 600 Internship in Sport and Physical Education (3 credits)—Your internship will be on-site in your own community, and perhaps even at your own workplace. We will help you find the opportunity most helpful to your career goals.

You may start the master's program in athletic coaching education during the spring or summer semesters. If you start in the summer, we recommend the following course schedule to finish within five semesters:

Photo of people using gym equipment

Summer 

  • ACE 604 Physical Preparation and Conditioning (3 credits)
  • ACE 632 Philosophy and Ethics (3 credits) 

Fall

  • ACE 612 Growth and Development for Coaches (3 credits)
  • ACE 618 Skills and Tactics for Coaches (3 credits)

Spring 

  • PEP 600 Internship in Sport and Physical Education (3 credits)—Your internship will be on-site in your own community, and perhaps even at your own workplace. We will help you find the opportunity most helpful to your career goals.
  • Choice of either:
    • ACE 688 Current Issues in Coaching Research (3 credits)
    • ACE 692 Organization and Administration for Coaches (3 credits)

Summer 

  • ACE 625 Evaluation in Coaching (3 credits)
  • ACE 670 Sport Safety and Injury Prevention (3 credits)

Fall 

  • PEP 601 Foundations of Physical Education Research (3 credits)
  • ACE 675 Teaching and Motivation for Coaches (3 credits)

Course Requirements

Admission is a two-step process:

Step 1Apply and meet the admission requirements of the Ball State Graduate School.   

Step 2: Meet the following admission requirements of the Ball State School of Kinesiology:

  • Complete the School of Kinesiology application.
  • Have an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 on a scale of 4.0.
  • Submit an approximately 1,000 word statement of purpose relating to the program's purposes and objectives.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation.
  • Submit a resume which includes all of your pertinent coaching experience.
  • You may be asked to complete a phone interview. 
  • If you are an international student, you will also need to meet admission requirements of the Ball State's Rinker Center for International Programs.
  • Although not requirements for admission, we would prefer candidates who meet the following criteria:
    • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in education, physical education, biology, or other related major.
    • Have at least five years of coaching experience either as an assistant or head coach in an interscholastic, club, competitive, or structured sport venue by completion of the program.
    • Have completed sport-specific certifications (e.g., NFHSASEPUSATF).

Application Deadlines

The deadlines below are for having ALL application materials to Ball State.

  • Spring Semester: October 1
  • Summer Semester: February 1
  • Cohorts are not accepted for the fall semester

All supporting documents should be sent to:

Amy Vold, administrative coordinator
School of Kinesiology
HP 360P
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact Casey Schultz.

Applications

Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all application on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

GET STARTED

Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, certain states have regulations regarding licensing programs in nursing and education. Learn more about state authorizations for non-Indiana students.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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