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College of Education, Clemson University, South Carolina

Master of Science: Athletic Leadership

M.S. Athletic Leadership (Online)

Athletic Leadership (Online)

Our graduate programs at Clemson University build on the rich experiences and expertise of faculty and students to provide an educational environment in which both groups share in research, exploration and inquiry. The result of this synergy is impact — on our community and beyond.

Specialty Concentrations

The athletic leadership program in Clemson University’s College of Education is moving forward to address the need of leadership development and ethical decision making in the intercollegiate athletic coaching and administrative community. The purpose of the AL master’s degree will be to provide current and aspiring coaches and administrators, especially those at the intercollegiate level, an opportunity to obtain a graduate degree that focuses on leadership, ethics and coaching development within the current landscape of athletics in educational settings. This program will be developed to promote personal and professional growth in leadership, coaching integrity and community influence. The need for strong and effective leaders within the intercollegiate athletic community provides Clemson’s athletic leadership program an opportunity to impact the future of college athletics through education, philosophical coaching development, leadership development and student athlete development.

The athletic leadership graduate program affords students the opportunity to receive a comprehensive discipline of study that (1) develops effective leaders in the fields of coaching and athletic administration; and (2) expands on the body of knowledge regarding ethical decision making, policy regulations and leadership at the intercollegiate setting.

This program meets the needs of students who are also working professionals. All courses are offered in an online format and designed around the time constraints and responsibilities of the intercollegiate coaching community. If you are accepted into the program, you will progress through the program by enrolling in two courses (taken consecutively) each term and complete the program in two years. Throughout this process, students will interact with instructors and students electronically in both synchronous (at the same time) and asynchronous (at different times) formats.

While the program provides a great deal of flexibility to meet the need of the coaching profession, students are responsible for allocating sufficient time in your schedules to access course material, review lectures, study content materials and complete assignments.

The two-year Master of Science degree online program is designed specifically around the time demands of the intercollegiate coaching community. The degree is designed to prepare coaches and administrators to build a philosophical foundation of leadership by equipping them with knowledge related to:

  • Leadership Theories
  • Student Athlete Development
  • Ethical Decision Making
  • Policies and Governance of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Marketing and Finance of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Psychological Components of Athletic Performance
  • Community Influence

Traditional cohort students are accepted and begin courses in the fall semester of the academic year. While this is the preferred course of action for degree completion, the faculty and staff of the athletic leadership program also accept students who wish to begin the program in the spring semester. Summer entrance is only allowed by approval of the Athletic Leadership Program Coordinator when circumstances are warranted. Students who are applying within five years of undergraduate graduation must take the GRE. For potential students who have graduated with their undergraduate degree more than five years ago have the option to request a GRE waiver if they possess five-plus years of direct work experience in the field. Most successful candidates for admission to the program will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • An acceptable score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or approved GRE Waiver.
  • Two letters of reference.
  • Experience in the field of coaching, student athlete development or athletic administration.

You may apply on the web on the Graduate School’s application page. Applications for fall enrollment should be received by July 1, and applications for spring enrollment should be received by November 1st. Every required item in support of your application must be on file by that date.

 Required Documents:

The athletic leadership program admits a maximum of 45 students per academic year. The majority of students work in intercollegiate athletic positions or have direct responsibilities within the educational setting of working with student athletes. Students in the program are commonly (but not limited to) new professionals, graduate assistant coaches, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, student athlete academic service providers, student affair professionals and athletic administrators at various roles.

Degree completion would require students to successfully complete the 12 courses designed specifically for this degree. These courses are offered in succession and follow the following path to degree completion:

Fall Semester – Year 1 Fall Semester – Year 2

AL 8490: Leadership Development in Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

AL 8500: Strength and Conditioning in Intercollegiate Athletics

AL 8440: Survey of Research Methods in Intercollegiate Athletics

AL 8650: Marketing and Communications Responsibilities in Intercollegiate Athletics

Spring Semester – Year 1 Spring Semester – Year 2

AL 8640: Ethical Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics

AL 8530: Legal Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics

AL 8630: Sociological Dynamics in Intercollegiate Athletics

AL 8700: Intercollegiate Athletics Finance

Summer Semester – Year 1 Summer Semester – Year 2

AL 8610: Administration and Organization of Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

AL 8620: Psychological Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics

AL 8510: Intercollegiate Athletics Facility Management and Planning

AL 8710: Governance and Policy in Intercollegiate Athletics

Program requirements are consistent with the Clemson University Graduate School admission requirements.

Download the Athletic Leadership Handbook

Mike Godfrey
Athletic Leadership Graduate Program Coordinator
[email protected]

Misty Soles
[email protected]

Adjunct Faculty
Janna Magette
[email protected]

Special Topic Faculty

Elliott Charles
[email protected]

Kyle Young
[email protected]

For more information, please fill out this form or visit the Clemson University Graduate School website. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact Alison Search.