Master of Arts in Athletic Leadership Curriculum

Do more than play the game.
Earn the skills to become a game changer.

Whether you’re coaching a team from the sidelines or running it from the front office, you’re always looking to improve your game. The ability to motivate people, communicate your vision and understand the big picture are all important qualities of a successful leader.

Rider’s online Master of Arts in Athletic Leadership is designed for working professionals who are looking to grow their leadership skills while building on their knowledge of important issues that are relevant for a career in sports.

Rider University Online Master of Arts in Athletic Leadership Curriculum

Rider’s online curriculum can equip you with skills to qualify for leadership positions in athletics. Enhance your abilities in coaching, training, sports psychology, athletic administration and more.

Internships in coaching and/or administration provide real-world experience to complement the online coursework. You can complete two 3-credit internships or one 6-credit internship, totaling 240 credits hours at 40 hours of activity per credit. We will take sport seasonality into account with your selection of internships.

You may also be able to receive credit for prior professional experience, including up to 6 hours of credit for past experience as a full-time coach or athletic administrator, or 3 credit hours for a season of coaching (junior high, high school, post-graduate, volunteer or paid) or administrative work in sports.

Our online courses are taught by sports professionals who are accomplished in their areas of expertise and understand what it takes to be successful. They are well respected in their fields and committed to your academic success.


Required Courses (15 Credit Hours):

ATHL 501Sport Psychology3 Credits
ATHL 502Evidence-Based Research and Athletics3 Credits
ATHL 515Athletic Leadership3 Credits
ATHL 650Internship of Coaching 3-6 Credits
ATHL 651Internship of Administration 3-6 Credits

Coaching Track (21 Credit Hours):

Must also complete 3 courses from Electives below (9 credits)

ATHL 503Strength, Speed, and Conditioning3 Credits
ATHL 504Fundamentals of Athletic Training and Wellness3 Credits
ATHL 601Concepts and Principles of Coaching3 Credits
ATHL 602 Developing a Philosophy of Coaching3 Credits

Athletic Administration Track (21 Credit Hours):

Must also complete 3 courses from Electives below (9 credits)

ATHL 505Athletic Communication and Marketing3 Credits
ATHL 506Athletic Facilities Management3 Credits
ATHL 621Concepts and Principles of Athletic Administration3 Credits
ATHL 622Administrative Decision-Making3 Credits

Sports Psychology Track (21 Credit Hours):

Must also complete 4 courses from Electives below (12 credits)

ATHL 520Applied Sport Psychology3 Credits
ATHL 521Clinical Sport Psychology3 Credits
ATHL 522Assessment in Sport Psychology3 Credits

Career Exploration Track (21 Credit Hours):

This track allows you to explore career possibilities by completing 21 additional credit hours from the elective courses and other track options.

Elective Courses:

Elective credits may be selected from the list below and from classes under any track option.

ATHL 507Athletic Governance and Policy3 Credits
ATHL 508Risk Management and Wellness3 Credits
ATHL 509Sport Law3 Credits
ATHL 514Women and Sports3 Credits
ATHL 516Sport Analytics3 Credits
ATHL 517Athletic Finances3 Credits
ATHL 518Athlete Development3 Credits
ATHL 519Ethics in Sport3 Credits
ATHL 550Current Issues in Athletics3 Credits

Considering a Career Change to Athletic Leadership?

Rider welcomes students from all backgrounds into the online MA in Athletic Leadership program. Your enrollment advisor can help set you up for success. Make a smooth transition into the program — and your new career path.


Benefits of Your Online MA in Athletic Leadership Degree

You’re ready to pursue your goals. We’re here to help you do it. At Rider, we’re committed to your growth, transformation and leadership. We connect you with rigorous academic, artistic and professional programs of study through a flexible online platform.

Prepare to thrive professionally and continue to invest in your personal development. Our people, programs and opportunities focus on helping you build a successful career and rewarding life where you can truly make a difference. That’s the promise of a Rider education.

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Study 100% online

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Choose from 7 start dates

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Complete your degree in fewer than 2 years

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Specialize in 1 of 4 track options

The Value of Your Online Master of Arts in Athletic Leadership

When you graduate with your online MA in Athletic Leadership degree from Rider University, you earn the chance to prove your value as a leader in a fast-growing field.

Employment of postsecondary education administrators, which includes athletic administrators, is expected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026. Employment of coaches and scouts is projected to grow 13% during this same timeframe*.

*According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.