Online Master of Science in

Sports Leadership

Whether you’re interested in becoming a coach, administrator, or sports executive, leadership is a well-documented, multi-faceted, and underappreciated aspect of success as a sports leader. ACU’s online Master of Science in Sports Leadership is designed to prepare you for your role as a high-performance leader in the sports industry.   

Whether you’re interested in becoming a coach, administrator, or sports executive, leadership is a well-documented, multi-faceted, and underappreciated aspect of success as a sports leader. ACU’s online Master of Science in Sports Leadership is designed to prepare you for your role as a high-performance leader in the sports industry.   

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Become More Than Just A Coach

With an online master’s in Sports Leadership, you will learn how to communicate effectively with your teammates, players and partners, as well as integrate simple team management strategies, and comprehensive psychology-based principles you can apply into your administrative duties for greater teamwork and growth. You will gain the knowledge and skills to achieve your goals and aspirations of enhancing the athletic performance, and overall mental and physical health of others, as well as your own. 

Locked-In Tuition

Locked-In Tuition.

Our Locked-In Tuition program guarantees you’ll pay the same price for your entire graduate degree.

About the Program

sports leadership

ACU’s online Master of Science in Sports Leadership provides you the opportunity to learn alongside other students looking to enter or currently working in the sports industry. Offering three concentrations depending on your educational or professional goals, this program aims to increase core analytical, nutritional, and administrative skills via courses related to problem-solving, decision-making, preventive care, and interpersonal communication – all geared toward making you a better athletic leader inside and out. With the unique ability to be in courses with seasoned professionals, current NCAA athletes, and aspiring athletic educational administrators, this master’s degree can propel you into becoming not only an expert on the field or court, but also a  well-rounded team player.

Program Structure

All the Details on Your Degree

Throughout the 30 credit hours, you will advance your understanding of how to address the physical, psychological, human resources, and financial aspects of sports leadership, coaching, and administration. Through a set of core curriculum courses, you will be able to identify and develop comprehensive skills to evaluate ethical dilemmas and potential conflicts facing sports managers, demonstrate competency in designing research studies related to athletics, and understand the significance of assessing your team’s opinions, strengths, and weaknesses. 

Stackable Certificate:
Earn a certificate while completing your master’s degree.

While enrolled in the Analytics concentration of the Master of Science in Sports Leadership program, you will also earn a graduate-level Certificate in Business Analytics. Earn this valuable credential as you progress through your degree at no additional cost. 

Required Hours

30 hours
20 months

Example Coursework

Sports Foundations
Ethics and Legal Issues in Sport
Self Assessment in Sports Leadership
Teams & Team Leadership

Upcoming Start Dates

August 20, 2024
January 14, 2024


Front office personnel
Sports administrators
Athletic agents


Focused on making you an expert in sports administration and management, this degree is ideal for those looking to propel their careers toward greater competence and professional development via our three distinct concentrations. 

sports leadership


Designed to meet the educational needs of professionals in the sports industry looking to increase core data-related skills, the analytics concentration teaches concepts related to situational analysis, problem-solving, and decision-making in the sports industry to further understand performance windows, the win/lose culture, and other sports-related phenomenons. 



athletic administration

Athletic Administration

Designed to help current or aspiring athletics administrators, the athletic administration concentration helps you understand the dynamics of interpersonal conflict, manage athletic finances, and develop a deeper appreciation for foundational leadership theories and applications for a number of institutional settings. 





Designed to help current or aspiring coaching staff understand the basic aspects of coaching, the coaching concentration focuses on preventive care of athletic-related injuries, psychologically-based principles of coaching, nutritional science for exercise and sports, as well as applicable sports psychology theories and strategies.

Meet the Program Director

Brandon Podgorski, Master of Science in Sports Leadership

Professor Brandon Podgorski is the Program Director for the Master of Science in Sports Leadership. He has almost 20 years of experience in higher education as a professor, coach, and athletic director and eight years of experience in revenue development. Podgorski has taught a wide array of sports marketing and management classes and has been a frequent guest on local, regional, and national media publications to discuss current issues in sports.

As a scholar in sports leadership, Podgorski’s research interests are in college athletics, sports business, and youth sporting development. He is passionate about developing ethical coaches, administrators, and professionals.


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sports leadership

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate of those in sports and fitness is predicted to increase by 13% within the next few years. With close to 470,000 open positions projected every year across the country, the need for educated and well-trained sports professionals is at an all-time high with opportunities existing in various types of settings and disciplines from small to large teams, public education, colleges and universities, and professional leagues. 

sports leadership

To be considered for admission, students must: 

  • Complete the online program application accompanied by a non-refundable processing fee.
  • Submit official transcripts from the accredited colleges or universities that awarded the baccalaureate.
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Probationary status may be granted for those with a GPA less than 3.0.
  • Submit a current resume and letter of intent.
  • The following course prerequisites must be completed prior to matriculation:

    • Communication – 3 hours
    • English – 6 hours
    • Math (College Algebra or higher) – 3 hours
    • Kinesiology/Biomechanics/Physical Education (For coaching concentration applicants)2-3 hours

Graduation Requirements: Students must earn a 3.0 GPA or higher to meet graduation requirements and successfully complete all required courses.

SACSCOC Stamp Color

Abilene Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Ga. 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of ACU.

Abilene Christian University enjoys a strong national reputation as one of the leading private Christian universities in the west and southwest, indicated by various ratings (such as U.S. News and World Report and other reports).