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Sports Leadership

Master of Science in Sports Leadership

A coach talks to basketball players on the court.

A Master of Science in Sports Leadership will prepare you to make an impact as a coach or leader in the rapidly growing sports industry.


Is this program right for you?

Do you love sports and want to make a positive impact on lives? UW-Madison, a world-leading academic and athletic institution, is here to help you take the next step toward a career of meaning and influence in athletics.

As sports participation in the U.S. reaches peak levels, the Master of Science in Sports Leadership (MSL) program will prepare you to lead with distinction in the sports industry.

From top scholars and renowned leaders, you’ll learn about the complexities of diverse sports settings and how to successfully compete and create opportunities across multiple levels.

By the program’s end, you’ll be prepared for a successful career in fields such as athletic administration, coaching, professional sports and club sports.

This master’s degree program is 30 credits, including nine required courses and one elective. It is 100 percent online, which means you can complete it from anywhere in the world and on your own time.

Is this program right for you?

Do you love sports and want to make a positive impact on lives? UW-Madison, a world-leading academic and athletic institution, is here to help you take the next step toward a career of meaning and influence in athletics.

As sports participation in the U.S. reaches peak levels, the Master of Science in Sports Leadership (MSL) program will prepare you to lead with distinction in the sports industry.

From top scholars and renowned leaders, you’ll learn about the complexities of diverse sports settings and how to successfully compete and create opportunities across multiple levels.

By the program’s end, you’ll be prepared for a successful career in fields such as athletic administration, coaching, professional sports and club sports.

This master’s degree program is 30 credits, including nine required courses and one elective. It is 100 percent online, which means you can complete it from anywhere in the world and on your own time.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.*
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0.

*The admissions committee may consider an applicant that does not meet these requirements. Supporting factors include documentation of potential for leadership and relevant experiences that affect your ability to serve in leadership roles.

Application materials required:

  • Online application
  • Resume/CV
  • Essay
  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation

Connect with us

Alumni Insight: Master of Science for Professional Educators (MSPE)

October 27
5-5:30 p.m.
Join alumni from the MSPE program as they discuss their experiences in the program, how it met their academic needs, why it was a good fit and how it might help you in your future pursuits.
Register for Alumni Insight: Master of Science for Professional Educators (MSPE)

Virtual Open House: Explore and Apply to Graduate School at UW-Madison

November 10
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Meet with staff and faculty from our 160+ graduate degree programs, gain insight into the application process, and discover the array of services and resources available to graduate students at UW–Madison.
Register for Grad School Virtual Open House

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Program highlights

  • Our program is completely online, so you can complete your degree from almost anywhere in the world.
  • Courses include a field internship that places you with an established sports leadership professional.

The UW–Madison School of Education is ranked #4 among schools of education in U.S. by U.S. News and World Report 2021.

How you'll learn

  • Courses are delivered 100 percent online, so you can learn from anywhere on your own time.
  • Earn your degree in 4 semesters over 1-2 years.

Sample curriculum

Core courses

  • ELPA 700: Field Experience in Educational Leadership
  • ELPA 710: Introduction to Intercollegiate Athletics Administration
  • ELPA 750: Coaching Athletics 1: Everyday Practices of Top Leaders
  • ELPA 751: Leadership and Justice in Sports
  • ELPA 752: Coach as Teacher: Mastering Instructional Practice On and Off the Field
  • ELPA 753: Psychology and Coaching in Sports
  • ELPA 754: Running a Championship System: The Badger Sports Leadership Road Course
  • ELPA 755: Coaching Athletics 2: A Bell Cow Way
  • ELPA 777: Higher and Post-Secondary Education Capstone Seminar

Electives

  • KINES 325: Group Development and Behavior Management
  • KINES 527: Principles of Strength and Conditioning
  • KINES 555: Sports Science & Athlete Monitoring

Want to sample an online course?

Test drive Canvas, our online learning platform, with two modules from a real UW–Madison master’s program.

Test drive Canvas

Stay in touch

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Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events

Connect with a coach