Online Masters in Physical & Coaching Education

An online masters in physical education and coaching degree teaches how to create an effective curriculum to motivate students and athletes of all ages. By examining and applying current research in the fields of athletics, physical activity, and education, courses are focused on sharing the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle with the next generation.

Did You Know?

Currently, more than a third of children in grades 9-12 fail to exercise at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week.

All About Online Masters in Physical Education and Coaching

While pursuing an online masters in physical education and coaching degree, programs strive to teach how to:

  • Enhance your leadership skills
  • Explore practical, successful coaching strategies
  • Examine the latest training techniques
  • Apply ethics and values in all aspects of coaching
  • Research current theories in physical education instruction
  • Apply research to the classroom setting

Another important aspect of these programs is learning how to motivate different learning styles, ages, and athletic ability. For instance, students of all ages may not want to participate in physical activity for one reason or another.

Or, when coaching, there may be those on the team who are more concerned about themselves than the good of the team as a whole.

Interdisciplinary Approach to Learning

In both circumstances mentioned above, different motivational techniques are important, which is why psychology is key to reaching all students and athletes. Other fields you may examine in your coursework and research include:

  • Nutrition
  • Kinesiology
  • Statistics
  • Injury Prevention
  • Education

This well-rounded and interdisciplinary approach helps apply research and trends in each of these fields for a more complete understanding of physical education and coaching and how to apply various techniques in the field.

Admissions Requirements

Depending on whether you choose an online master’s in physical education or focus more on the coaching aspect, the specific admissions requirements will vary. For instance, for physical education degrees you may need to have earned a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education, kinesiology, or recreation.

Other admissions requirements usually include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from accredited university
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • GRE scores
  • Professional resume

Every school and program has unique admissions requirements. For instance, some schools require that you earned your bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.75 GPA, while other schools may look for applicants with a higher GPA.

In addition, some schools only require one letter of recommendation while others look for two or more. Plus, there are some graduate schools that don’t require any letters of recommendation.

These differences, and others, are why it’s so important to check with each of your favorite schools, and their specific requirements, before applying to make sure that you meet their requirements.

Graduation Requirements

Though every program has a unique design, many share similar graduation requirements, which include:

  • Complete all required core courses
  • Complete specific number of electives
  • Pass comprehensive exam

In addition, many schools ask that you complete a capstone or thesis project. The specific requirements depend on the school. However, at many schools this is a portfolio, which includes a collection of how you applied various theories and research while completing required courses.

Other schools ask that you complete project or activity that makes a significant contribution to the field through a thesis or presentation.

Many programs also require that you complete field research or student teaching, depending on the design of your program. This is usually a part of physical education programs that offer initial teaching certification and preparation as part of the program.

Benefits of Earning Your Master’s Degree Online

Choosing to pursue your degree online allows you the ability to earn your degree without relocating. As many students pursuing an online masters in physical education and coaching degree work full-time, online learning also allows you to perform coursework whenever it is convenient for you.

Keep in mind that some online programs have residencies at the end of every semester, where you go to the campus for a certain amount of time, usually two to seven days. This provides an opportunity to take additional required courses and to meet with your professors and classmates in person.

In addition, some online programs, and some courses in certain programs, require that you meet online at a specific time to listen to a lecture or for other assignments.

Before applying, check with a variety of schools to see the different formats and structures, such as online or on-campus physical education master’s degrees, and decide which is the perfect fit for you.

Difference Between Physical Education and Athletic Coaching

There are many similarities between physical education and athletic coaching, as both fields and degrees are focused on motivating people to perform at their best while performing a physical activity.

However, the key differences are where and how you are reaching those athletes.

In physical education, you may shape the minds of students through different sports and activities. On the other hand, when pursuing an online athletic coaching degree, your courses and research will focus on different motivational strategies and key concepts in different sports so that you can motivate athletes of all ages.

Before applying to any schools, be sure to understand the differences in the focus of each of the degrees available, and research different schools to find those that fit your goals and expectations.

Key Concepts in Physical Education

Over the past two decades, physical education has become recognized as essential to a young person’s overall education experience. As a result, while pursuing a physical education master’s program, you’ll examine how to:

  • Connect lessons of other courses
  • Teach the benefits of an active lifestyle
  • Understand the rules of different sports and activities
  • Create a stronger bond between peers

In addition, online physical education master’s degrees focus on teaching the four essential components of physical education, which are:

  1. Policy and environment
  2. Curriculum
  3. Appropriate instruction
  4. Student assessment

Combined, programs strive to teach a complete understanding of educational requirements, goals for different age groups, and how to effectively teach different activities and rules to students.

Physical Education Online Masters Degree Common Courses

If you choose to pursue an online master’s in physical education, typically your courses are focused on creating effective curriculum and lesson plans, strategies for teaching students of different ages, and physical activities that you can teach your students.

Some of the courses you may take include:

  • Statistics in Physical Education and Health
  • Analysis of Curriculum and Teaching
  • Advanced Teaching Methods in Physical Education
  • Physiological Issues in Physical Activity
  • Issues in Health Promotion and Wellness
  • Skill Acquisition in Physical Education and Sport
  • Administration of Physical Education, Recreation, and Sport

These courses usually analyze different strategies in physical education through an application of current theories and research in the field specifically and in teaching in general.

However, all programs have a unique design and the courses will vary from school to school.

Did You Know?

According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), students who are physically active tend to have better grades, school attendances, cognitive performance, and classroom behavior.i

Key Concepts in Athletic Coaching Education

Many coaching education master’s programs are under the umbrella of education and have similar requirements to a physical education master’s degree.

However, some programs have the athletic coaching master’s degree in the department of psychology. While these programs still have many similarities, they may have a different focus.

Either way, athletic coaching education master’s programs strive to teach how to:

  • Motivate athletes at different age groups and skill levels
  • Structure effective practices
  • Plan and direct physical conditioning programs
  • Teach athletes proper techniques and game strategies

Usually, your coursework will combine current theories, research, and how to apply these principles to different sports and different age groups.

Athletic Coaching Online Masters Degree Common Courses

Some of the common courses you may take while earning an online master’s in coaching education include:

  • Growth and Development for Coaches
  • Skills and Tactics for Coaches
  • Current Issues in Coaching Research
  • Evaluation in Coaching
  • Psychology of Athletic Performance
  • Understanding Sport Research
  • Strength and Conditioning and Injury Prevention Program Design

Of course, the specific structure of your program will vary depending on the school and your focus. While all programs teach leadership skills and how to apply various coaching strategies, some may have the additional focus of strength and conditioning or sport psychology.

Why Is Physical Education Important?

As Americans continue to battle obesity, physical education has taken on new importance because teachers can effectively show students the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, such as staying active and eating healthy.

As new research that suggests between 17% and 28% of children ages 2 to 19 are obese, it has become more important to teach physical activities to this age group.

Some of the benefits of health and physical education include:

  • Positive relationship with academic achievement and test scores
  • Positive association with attention, concentration, and on-task behavior
  • Encourages healthy habits throughout the lifetime
  • Reduces discipline referrals and participation in high-risk behaviors

Did You Know?

Nearly 92% of students that attended health education class believe that it is important to their future health.

Potential Careers in Physical Education

Some of the careers you may pursue after earning your online masters in physical education and coaching are:

High School Teachers:

  • Projected Job Growth (2016 -2026): $58,030ii
  • 2016 Annual Median Salary: 8%iii

Middle School Teachers:

  • Projected Job Growth (2016 -2026): $56,720iv
  • 2016 Annual Median Salary: 8%v

Elementary School Teachers (Except Special Education):

  • Projected Job Growth (2016 -2026): $55,800vi
  • 2016 Annual Median Salary: 8%vii

Coaches and Scouts:

  • Projected Job Growth (2016 -2026): $31,460viii
  • 2016 Annual Median Salary: 13%ix

These roles all have different requirements, though each only need a bachelor’s degree. However, for each of these roles, earning a master’s degree may help you stand out from other candidates when applying.x

In addition, some states require that teachers who have earned their bachelor’s degree, teaching certification, and have obtained a teaching position, earn a master’s degree to stay current with research and trends in the field.xi

Some students choose to continue their education for a doctoral degree in education, which may provide even more opportunities in leadership and management positions, as well pursuing careers as a postsecondary teacher.

Phys Ed Certification Requirements

All states require that teachers in public schools earn a license or certification in the specific grade level that they will teach. However, the specific requirements for those certifications vary in every state.

The most common requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
  • Bachelor’s degree with above a minimum GPA
  • Complete teacher preparation program
  • Supervised student teaching
  • Pass background check and general teaching certification test

Keep in mind that in most states, certification or licensure continues throughout your career, as teachers are generally required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license or certification.xii

Find the Perfect Online Masters in Physical Education and Coaching Today!

Are you looking for a degree that will teach how to motivate athletes and students, and share with them the benefits of an active lifestyle?

Then an online masters in physical education and coaching may be for you!

Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page for more information about each school, such as the structure of each program, common curriculum, and how to apply!

[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii] [viii] [ix] [x] [xi] [xii]

  • Georgia Southern University

  • Minnesota State University - Mankato

  • Prescott College

  • University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

  • The University of Southern Mississippi

  • University of Nebraska - Kearney

  • University of Northern Colorado

  • Mississippi State University

  • University of West Alabama

  • Greenville College

  • North Georgia College & State University

  • Adams State University