Skip to main content


May 13, 2024

Next Start Date


Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour


Total Credit Hours

Online Asynchronous

Learning Format

Where Motivation and Passion Meet

Students in our Sport Coaching program learn by applying the latest recommendations for best practice to their own coaching. This program is perfect for success-oriented individuals who have a coaching placement at the collegiate, scholastic, club or community level.

Whether you are motivated by career advancement in coaching or improving the sport performance of your current teams and athletes, our degree prepares you to be a lifelong learner who can adapt professional practices to meet the changing needs of the dynamic sport industry. Our issues-based approach emphasizes the real-world challenges and opportunities confronting coaches at all levels. This unique approach is reflected in our course content which includes coaching techniques, training theory, positive youth development, strength and conditioning methods, movement analysis, motor behavior, psychology of coaching, and interscholastic sport administration and leadership.

This program can be started in any term and all online students will pay the equivalent of in-state tuition. The fully online format is ideal for busy coaches who need to balance demanding schedules with other priorities including family, work, and continuing education.

Sport Coaching graduate sitting in his office with WVU memorabilia.

The MS in Sport Coaching program at WVU has recently rated as #1 in the Best Online Master’s in Coaching Degree Programs of 2022, #6 in 30 Best Online Master’s in Coaching, and #6 in Best Online Masters in Coaching. West Virginia University School of Sport Sciences recognized by Newsweek magazine.

The courses in our nationally recognized online program are developed in collaboration with industry leaders from organizations like the Kansas City Royals, University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, West Virginia University Athletics, USA Hockey, and USA Ultimate to ensure that the learning experiences are readily applied to coaching practice. Our university faculty are all also actively engaged in coaching and coach development working with athletes from local youth sport all the way through the national and international levels of sport.

Attend a Virtual Information Session

Thank you for your interest in the Sport Coaching M.S. program at West Virginia University! Attend a Virtual Information Session and learn more about the Sport Coaching M.S. program.

May 7, noon May 7, 6:00 p.m.

Kelly Legg, Personal Online Admissions Coach

Kelly is here to help.

Kelly Legg, Your Personal Online Admissions Coach

As a graduate of the WVU with a degree in business administration, Kelly understands your needs and is here to support and simplify the enrollment process for you. You can have open and honest discussions with her about how your passion in life can become your career. Contact Kelly today!

Learn More About Kelly Request Information


Online Sport Coaching Admission Requirements

A baccalaureate degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. Students may be admitted provisionally with a GPA of 2.75 or lower; however, provisional students must earn a 3.0 in the first 9 hours of coursework to continue in the program. Admission preference is given to individuals with coaching experience. All students need access to sport teams and athletes on a regular basis, given the applied nature of many course assignments.


  • Pay the graduate application fee
  • Resume highlighting professional background, experience, and qualifications
  • Professional statement: 1-2 written pages on professional goals and reasons for seeking admission
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU) and
    1. Mail to:
      WVU Office of Graduate Admissions
      One Waterfront Place
      PO Box 6510
      Morgantown, WV 26506-6510
    2. or Email to:

No GRE is required. TOFEL scores are required for international students.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until August 1 for a fall term start, December 15 for a spring term start, and May 1 for a summer term start.

Apply Now

Kristen Dieffenbach profile image.

Kristen Dieffenbach

Sport Coaching M.S.
"The work that I do to develop and support coaching education and development systems across a wide range of organizations will help support NICA’s mission and vision."

As an NICA board member, Dieffenbach contributes her extensive background as a competitive cyclist, 20 plus years of coaching developmental and elite cyclists and working in coach education in the national cycling community with USA Cycling.

"The work that I do to develop and support coaching education and development systems across a wide range of organizations will help support NICA’s mission and vision."
"Kristen brings a wealth of experiences and knowledge about cycling, long-term athlete development and coaching to the position on the NICA National Board of Directors. The NICA's mission and vision align well with Dr. Dieffenbach’s position as director of the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences while guiding their initiatives," Valerie Wayda, Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Academic Affairs and program coordinator for athletic coaching education, said.

In addition to the Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences in CPASS, Dieffenbach holds several related qualifications, including the USA Cycling Certified Elite Coach certification. She has served in various positions with national and international organizations, including the United States Center for Coaching Excellence and Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

Dieffenbach says that she was honored to be asked to join the board, which is led by her former athlete and now colleague Amanda Carey, NICA president.

"I am excited to help in the continued development of a growing organization. This group is bringing best evidence-based practices for long term holistic development to life for young people. It provides access and opportunity to engage in a lifetime sport that has been such a big part of my life since learning to ride when I was five."

NICA has 31 scholastic leagues which incorporate middle and high school students around the country, including the WV Interscholastic Cycling League.

"I have been involved with NICA for more than a decade, speaking at their national conference and at state events, supporting their volunteer coaching and long-term athlete development work."

The NICA racing organization hosts a variety of programs that promote entry and engagement for youth and families into a cycling community and lifestyle. Programs include NICA GRiT (Girls Riding Together), NICA Teen Trail Corp and NICA Adventure.

Dieffenbach says that joining the board aligns with the research and applied work she has focused on as a coach, performance consultant and director of the CACSS.

"It provides opportunities to expand on the efforts that my students and I have done with coaching education within the WVICL. Being an NICA board member complements what I do as a WVICL board member, advisor of the WV Cycling Club and a mentor rider with the Morgantown chapter of Little Bellas."

Dieffenbach says she is looking forward to finding opportunities to continue to support cycling in the community and state.

"Specifically, I want to support the exciting pilot project that the Youth Cycling Coalition awarded to Morgantown last year. This effort will help students with a passion for sport science and cycling find ways to bring their academic backgrounds to real world application."

James Wyant profile image.

James D. Wyant

Sport Coaching M.S.
"I promise all my students that I will see them successfully through my courses, provided they are determined to put in the work and effort."
"Possessing the "heart of a teacher" requires my students to understand the needs of those they teach in the K-12 setting and to find ways to inspire and reach those they serve in the school setting."

James Wyant decided to pursue a career in teaching because he finds it a very enriching experience to help individuals acquire the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.

"I value the teacher’s role as positive change agents in schools and communities," he says. "Now, as a faculty member, my primary responsibility is to help prepare the next generation of educators."
"In addition, the opportunity to teach and research issues related to teaching allows me to contribute positively to the betterment of the field."

As a faculty member, he says, one of his fundamental responsibilities is to train future teachers.

"I take this responsibility seriously because teachers are critical to society. Therefore, in my classes, I always tout the importance of possessing ‘the heart of a teacher.’"
"In working with future teachers, I help them see the value of being supportive, empathetic, and patient with K-12 students. To this end, possessing a heart of a teacher requires my students to understand the needs of those they teach in the K-12 setting and to find ways to inspire and reach those they serve in the school setting."

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827. Please contact the WVU Financial Aid Office at (304) 293-5242 or for additional information.

The Sport Coaching M.S. requires 30 credit hours to complete. Cost per credit hour is $673.
$20,190 – Residents and Non-Residents

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Your future in Sports Coaching

The Sport Coaching degree from the College of Applied Human Sciences provides students with the essential skills and knowledge to work with athletes in a variety of contexts across their lifetime. Our program is designed to provide the following learning outcomes:

  • Content Knowledge – Students will demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to synthesize and apply Professional Knowledge, Interpersonal Knowledge, and Intrapersonal Knowledge through the use of best practices related to athlete development and sport coaching.
  • Reflection and Critical Thinking – Students will develop and utilize critical thinking skills as they refine their professional practice and promote lifelong athlete development.
  • Professionalism and Ethics – Students will model leadership competencies including ethical practices representative of professional conduct.

The Benefits to Choosing Our Program

WVU professors in Coaching Education have designed a curriculum that focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective coach. Additional focus is placed on holistic athlete development, including sport skills, life skills, long-term development and periodized training.

The fully online format allows working professionals to complete courses during fall, spring and summer, without having to be on-campus. The course load is two courses a semester (one course every 8 weeks) to allow students to balance the master's program with family, work and coaching responsibilities. Courses promote online interaction and peer support within and between cohorts.

The Sport Coaching master’s program can be completed in five semesters. The program utilizes the International Council for Sport Coaching Excellence’s International Sport Coaching Framework and professional development guidelines from coaching education and coach development industry leaders.

Career Outlook for Sport Coaching

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Sport Coaching M.S. degree may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.

Sports Coach or Scout
Projected Growth: 11% or higher *Bright Outlook

Fitness and Wellness Coordinator
Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Education Administrator
Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Recreation and Fitness Studies Teacher
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Athlete and Sports Competitor
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Umpire, Referee and Other Sports Official
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Athletic Trainer
Projected Growth: 11% or higher *Bright Outlook

Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor
Projected Growth: 11% or higher *Bright Outlook

Secondary School Teacher
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Course Title Credit Hours
Core Courses 6
ACE 508 Coaching Techniques 3
ACE 585 Capstone in Coaching 3
Elective Courses 24
ACE 518 Psychology of Coaching 3
ACE 522 Motor Behavior for Sport Coaches 3
ACE 539 Create Healthy Competitive Environments 3
ACE 541 Positive Youth Development in Sport 3
ACE 510 Training Theories for Coaches 3
ACE 568 Sport Movement Analysis 3
ACE 569 Strength and Conditioning Methods for Coaches 3
ACE 530 Coaching Education Administration 3
SM 535 Sport Management Processes 3
SM 571 Interscholastic Sport Organization and Administration 3
SM 578 Leadership in Interscholastic Athletic Administration 3

Total Hours: 30

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Masters in Sport Coaching?

Since we require 30 credits to complete the program, it will take as little as 5 semesters to finish. Since it's online, students can take their time with each course based on their availability.

Is an online Masters in Sport Coaching worth it?

A Master’s Degree in Sports Coaching is an ideal degree for individuals seeking to pursue careers that involve working with athletes across a developmental perspective. These degree programs provide in-depth instruction of theory and current practices, and many include practical experiences to enable students to gain real-world skills to increase success. Graduates are equipped with a functional knowledge of various dimensions of the coaching profession including interpersonal knowledge, professional knowledge related to pedagogy/content and applied sport science, and leadership development.

Are there any unique curricular sequencing issues I should be aware of?

The MS in Sport Coaching incorporates “book-end” courses (ACE 508 and 585) which are offered each term affording you the flexibility to start and finish the program in any term. ACE 508 Coaching Techniques enrolls first-semester students and is taught in a smaller section size to help you better acclimate to the program. In that course you will work with program faculty to become more familiar with the current industry standards for coaching and reflect on your current coaching practices. All graduating students enroll in ACE 585 Capstone in Coaching as their final course in the program. Here students revisit many of the key concepts learned, apply them to their coaching, and set goals for their continued professional development.

Are internships required for Sport Coaching?

While a formal internship is not required, we expect students to have access to teams and athletes across their duration in the program given the applied focus of many assignments and projects. The age and ability levels of the athletes does not matter as we prepare our coaches to work with individuals across a developmental continuum.

WVU Online

Be a decision maker. First, your degree. World-class academics at an exceptional value.

Occasionally a student will encounter an issue with an online course that he or she doesn’t know how to resolve. Should this occur, please visit the link below.

Internal Student Complaint Process

Contact Us

WVU Online
West Virginia University
PO Box 6800
Morgantown, WV 26506-6800

Phone: (800) 253-2762

Connect with WVU Online

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube TicToc Icon