Personalized attention. Professional growth. Community impact.

Fuel your passion for coaching and advance your career in athletics. This online master’s program combines kinesiology, sports management, and athletic training.

You can meet the program and curriculum requirements for athletic director eligibility in the region in as little as one year.


Spring Semester: December 1
Summer Semester: May 1
Fall Semester: July 1

For Aspiring or Veteran Coaches

This innovative degree will introduce you to new concepts and trends in the field, legal and ethical issues of coaching, and inclusive leadership—all valuable expertise for schools, colleges, and athletic associations.

Explore sport psychology, applied physiology, nutrition, facilities management, and media relations while gaining experience in the field with an internship or capstone in a location based on your preference.

Flexible / Convenient

This 30-credit, fully online program can be completed at your own pace in either one or two years. This flexibility allows students in the program to work full or part-time. You may take one virtual class at a time and can begin in the fall, spring, or summer term.

Students in this program range from club coaches, high school and middle school coaches, and collegiate coaches.

Athletic Eligibility

Students who still have athletic eligibility and would like to participate in a D3 sport at Loras will also be able to do so while completing this program.

Enhance Your Resumé

During your final semester, you will gain additional experience in the field with a 3-credit internship or capstone in a location based on your preference.

Learn More


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Quick Highlights

  • Fully online, asynchronous classes
  • 30 credits completed in one or two years
  • Great for current or aspiring coaches
  • Meets curriculum requirements for athletic director eligibility in Iowa
  • Eligible athletes can continue to participate in NCAA competition

Admission Criteria & Eligibility

A holistic admission decision will be based on multiple factors, including your motivation for pursuing this degree, work history, volunteer activities, and other involvement.

  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and some level of coaching experience is preferred for admission.
  • Applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA and/or no coaching experience must submit two letters of recommendation and a personal statement outlining interests and professional goals to in addition to the other requirements.

Application Checklist

Requirements, Outcomes & Schedule

Book a Chat

Schedule a personalized visit or a video chat to learn more about the curriculum, internships, outcomes, enrollment process, etc.

Get in Touch

Megan Henderson 

Graduate Admission

Financial Aid

Advanced degrees are worth the investment. We have options to help you make your educational goal a reality, and financial aid helps open doors for your future.

Tuition & Fees

Understand the costs before applying. Review tuition, fees, and living expenses to create a realistic budget. Financial planning is key to success in an advanced degree.


Loras offers scholarships to new, incoming graduate students. Each master’s degree program has a one-time, $2,000 scholarship for one new student, each program entry term.

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

This is a natural progression for so many seeking a career in coaching or other leadership-driven roles. The experience and credibility that the faculty provide make this program a win-win for all aspiring coaches, leaders, and administrators in sports.

— Chris Martin, Loras Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Coaching LEadership FAQ

What are preferred undergraduate majors for admission into the program?

This program does not require any specific undergraduate degree. Having either a kinesiology, exercise science, or sports management degree may provide some insight to the program.

How long will it take to receive an application decision? How will I be notified?

Following our receipt of all your application materials, your file will be reviewed by the graduate admissions director. You will be notified of an admission decision in your online Applicant Status Portal typically within one week.

What is the format of the classes?

All classes, except for the internship/capstone course, are online in an asynchronous format. The internship/capstone course must occur with an athletic team under the direction of any of the coaching leadership faculty.

Is there a preferred entry point into the program?

There is no preferred entry point into the program; you may be admitted into either the spring, summer, or fall terms.

Does this program accept transfer credits?

Students can transfer a maximum of 9 graduate credits into the program from a previous institution. The courses must be similar in content to coursework offered at Loras and approved by the program director.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Students can complete the program in twelve months. Students also may spread the program across twenty-four months.

Will there be an orientation prior to the first class?

Yes, students are required to attend the graduate student orientation prior to beginning coursework so they can become familiar with the faculty, campus services, and their peers.

I’m currently a coach. Should I do the internship or capstone course?

You will likely complete a capstone course under the direction of a faculty member.

Graduate Programs FAQ

What if I’m still finishing up my bachelor’s degree?

Applicants who are undergraduate students in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree may be awarded a provisional acceptance to Loras’ graduate programs based on receipt of your in-progress, unofficial transcript and all other application materials.

Full acceptance is contingent upon receipt of the final, official transcript(s) and the conferred undergraduate degree.

If a program has a minimum GPA requirement, you must meet the minimum GPA at the time the undergraduate degree is conferred for full acceptance.

Is there on-campus housing for graduate students?

Loras-owned housing is available for graduate and postbaccalaureate students in Smyth Hall. Smyth is an alternative residence hall located in the center of campus. Smyth is comprised of single and triple rooms, and is also home to the religious studies and theology faculty. Amenities include:

  • Free laundry facilities (washers and dryers)
  • Free wifi
  • Kitchen (stocked with pots, pans, baking sheets, etc.) on B level

Room Information

  • Rooms contain a bed/dresser/desk unit, desk chair, and wastebasket
  • Beds are XL Twin sized, so students are encouraged to bring extra-long sheets
  • Students may bring a mini-fridge under five cubic feet
  • Heat is included, but A/C is not, so students are welcome to bring their own window air conditioning unit (must be 5000 BTU or less) or else a portable A/C unit.
  • Basic cable is not provided, but students are welcome to bring a streaming device of their choice to use in Smyth.

View current housing costs.

Can I take some courses as a non-degree student?

Individuals who would like to take some graduate courses for professional development, continuing education credits, or just personal enrichment may take up to 9 graduate credits as a non-degree “Special” student.

Special Student Application

Special students may not enroll in practicum, clinical, or internship courses without approval from the program director.

In order to enroll in the course(s):

  1. Complete the free Loras College Special Course Application. Select “Graduate Course” as the Course Registration Type. You will need to upload copies of your unofficial transcript(s) from each college/university attended before submitting the application.
  2. The transcripts will be evaluated by the Program Director to ensure that any necessary pre-requisite course requirements have been met.
  3. After review of the transcript(s), the Registrar’s Office will be in touch with information about your next steps.
    • Please note that enrolled degree-seeking students have registration preference if a course is full.
    • After the completion of 9 non-degree credits, a student must then apply for formal admission into the graduate program in order to move forward and take additional courses.
    • Graduate courses completed by a Special student with a grade of B or better may be applied to a future graduate degree at Loras College with the approval of both the program director and the academic dean.
    • Financial aid is not available to non-degree Special students.
    • Students interested in any of Loras’ Professional Development programs should refer to the individual program webpage for application and enrollment instructions.

Is there an option for conditional admission?

A program director may require specific conditions be completed to meet the program requirements prior to full admission into a graduate program.

You may be awarded a conditional admission if the program director recommends the you complete additional undergraduate coursework to achieve a minimum GPA requirement of the program.

If you have not met all program requirements at the time of application, a student may be awarded a conditional admission per the discretion of the program director. Refer to the individual program policies and program directors for specific conditional admission policies.

What is a maximum course load per semester?

You are considered a full-time graduate student when enrolled in 6 credits per term. Please note,  you only need to take at least 3 credits per term to be eligible for federal financial aid.

May I play a sport while in graduate school?

Graduate students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program to be eligible to participate in NCAA athletics at Loras.

Student athletes enrolled in one of our degree-seeking master’s programs need to have full-time status (taking at least 6 credits per term) during the semester(s) you’re practicing or competing in the sport. You also need to be making satisfactory progress towards your degree.

If you wants to participate in athletics while being enrolled less than full-time, you will need to work with your coaches to determine if you are eligible for a waiver.

Please note that while 6 credits per term is considered full-time for graduate students at Loras, you only need to take at least 3 credits per term in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.

Meet Your Professors

Elaina Biechler

Elaina Biechler  PhD

Associate Professor of Kinesiology
Coaching Leadership Program Director

Sharon Feld

Sharon Feld  EdD LAT ATC

Assistant Professor of Athletic Training
Athletic Training Clinical Education Coordinator

Tom Kult

Thomas Kult  MA CSCS

Instructor of Kinesiology
Director of Loras All-Sports Camp

Anne Marx

Anne Marx  EdD

Professor of Sport Management