Coaching Sport Performance

Program description

The primary mission of the Master of Art in coaching sport performance is to prepare students for successful coaching careers at all levels of sporting competition including: youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate, Olympic, para-Olympic or professional.

Allcia Smith coachingThe high quality curriculum is based on the "The eight domains of coaching" from the National Standards for Sport Coaches. It represents a core body of knowledge that captures the scientific and practical competencies expected of coaches at all levels. The standards include:

  • Evaluation
  • Growth and development
  • Organization and administration
  • Philosophy and ethics
  • Physical conditioning
  • Safety and injury prevention
  • Sports skills and tactics
  • Teaching and communication

The program can be completed in 18 months

Its curriculum contains 36 semester hours of course work in 11 three credit-hour didactic courses and two credit hours for practicum experience that can be completed in 18 months.  However, you have up to six years to complete the program.

Flexibility of an online program

The program is being converted to an online deliverable format to respond to the needs of full-time coaching professionals. The program, built upon the existing on-campus program, is designed specifically for those practicing coaching professionals who intend to further their academic studies while keeping their full-time jobs.

Multiple admission dates

Students have a choice to start with the program in either fall, spring or summer semesters.

Program courses


We are one of the two colleges in the country that are accredited at the highest level (Level 5) by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education. This means that the Master of Arts in coaching sport performance is a leader in quality coaching education by meeting the standards to prepare students to become master coaches at all levels of sporting competition including: youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate, Olympic, para-Olympic or professional.

Admission requirements

WMU has a new online graduate application system that allows all students (domestic and international) to submit required information into one system. General application information for the University, as well as specific requirements for individual programs, are captured into this system.

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Application deadlines

  • For fall semester: Aug. 1
  • For summer semester: April 1
  • For spring semester: Dec. 1

All application materials must be received by the dates listed. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed for possible admissions.

Admission decisions

Once your application is complete it will be reviewed and you will be notified by letter of the decision for admission.


Graduate assistantships

In order to be eligible for a graduate teaching assistantship an applicant must be accepted into a graduate program offered in the Department of Human Performance and Health Education. Students must be enrolled full-time (minimum six credits per semester) during the appointment as a graduate assistant.

To apply for a graduate teaching assistantship

  1. Complete the application form;
  2. Submit three letters of recommendation. If the graduate program requires letters of recommendation these same letters may be used;
  3. Submit a copy of your resume/CV.

Please submit all documents by March 6, 2018 to:

Dr. Yuanlong Liu
Department of Human Performance and Health Education
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5426 USA

Student Organizations



Alicia Smith coaching"The Coaching sport performance curriculum inspired me to become a better coach and gave me the tools to help develop my athletes into elite performers. The education, support and learning environment I received while attending Western Michigan University was the catalyst that propelled my program to the next level resulting in the Division I softball State Championship in 2011, 2012 State Runner up and 2013 H.S. Division I softball State Championship. My ultimate goal is to share the knowledge I gained with each of my athletes to augment the life skills they will utilize to navigate the rest of their lives."

- Alicia Smith, head coach, Mattawan High School Softball

"The coaching sport performance program at Western Michigan University, provided me with a deeper understanding of how to effectively manage all different aspects of a team as well teaching me the biomechanics of different movements that has made me a more efficient and successful coach. This program has made me more confident in my abilities as a coach and it has opened many doors for me for future employment opportunities."

- Peter Stoepker, assistant baseball coach, Calvin College