Best Coaching Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Coaching programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Coaching is the process of helping people achieve their goals. Coaches work with their clients to identify the goals, and to develop and implement plans for achieving those goals. Coaches also provide support and guidance to their clients as they work to achieve their goals.

Coaching is a growing field, as more and more people are seeking help to achieve their personal and professional goals. Coaches are in demand in a wide variety of settings, including schools, businesses, and private practice.

Coaching degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in coaching, including life coaching, executive coaching, and career coaching. Students in coaching degree programs learn about the different theories and techniques of coaching, and how to apply those techniques to help people achieve their goals.

How to Choose the Right Coaching Program

When it comes to choosing a coaching degree program, there are a few things prospective students need to keep in mind. The first is the level of competition for jobs in the field. While coaching is a popular profession, there are many qualified candidates vying for a limited number of positions. As a result, it is important to choose a program that will give you an edge in the job market.

Second, consider the type of program you want to enter. There are many different types of coaching programs, from those that focus on sports to those that focus on business or life coaching. Make sure you choose a program that matches your interests and career goals.

Third, consider the cost of the program. Coaching programs can be expensive, so make sure you have a realistic budget for your education. Also, consider whether you want to study full-time or part-time. Part-time programs may be more expensive in the long run, but they may be more flexible for working adults.

Fourth, consider the location of the program. Some programs are offered online, while others are offered in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Consider your lifestyle and whether you prefer the flexibility of an online program or the structure of a traditional program.

Finally, consider the time commitment required for the program. Coaching programs can vary in length from a few months to several years. Make sure you choose a program that fits your schedule and your lifestyle.

Best Bachelor’s in Coaching Programs

The best programs for Coaching ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Abilene Christian University
Abilene, TX

The Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance from Abilene Christian University is a 120-credit hour program that is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of the many aspects of health and human movement activities. The program is divided into two parts, with the first part covering general education and university requirements, and the second part focused on major coursework. Major coursework covers topics such as health and human performance, exercise physiology and applications, strength and conditioning for performance, and exercise and special populations.

Rank 2
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree from Arizona State University is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with the skills needed to work in the preventative side of health care. The program uses a combination of lifestyle coaching, physical activity, and health care education to improve the health of the community. Students will also explore fitness, nutrition, healthy eating, stress management, and cultural aspects of health.

Rank 3
Florida International University
Miami, FL

The Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Sport Management from Florida International University is designed to prepare students for a career in the recreation and sports management field. The program provides students with an interdisciplinary introduction to all the most important aspects of the business of sports and recreation, including marketing, strategic planning, management, human resource management, law and liability.

Rank 4
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM

The University of New Mexico offers an online bachelor’s degree completion program in Instructional Technology & Training. The program focuses on providing students with the background needed to design and develop online and face-to-face training in a variety of fields and disciplines.

Rank 5
Western New England University
Springfield, MA

The Bachelor of Science in Sport Leadership and Coaching degree from Western New England University is a five-year program that is ideal for students who want to enter the sport industry as an administrator or coach. The program is offered through the College of Business, which is accredited by AACSB International. The curriculum focuses on expanding students’ leadership capabilities in a practical way, and offers two cohort tracks: Athletic Administration and Athletic Coaching. The program also includes two required one-week residencies on campus.

Rank 6
Kent State University at Kent
Burton, OH

The Bachelor of Science in Physical Education & Sport Performance at Kent State University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and places a strong emphasis on field experience, internships and professional development experiences. There are three concentrations students can choose from: Health and Physical Education, Physical Education Teacher Licensure, and Physical Activity and Sport Performance.

Rank 7
University of the Cumberlands
Williamsburg, KY

The Bachelor of Science in Coaching degree from University of the Cumberlands is designed for those who have a passion for mentoring and helping others reach their full potential. The curriculum covers essential topics such as human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, fitness, sport management, officiating games, and athletic injuries. Students will also study coaching and leadership. The faculty are industry experts who will help students tailor the program to fit their interests and career goals.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Coaching Program

Students in a bachelor’s in coaching program learn the skills and strategies needed to become successful coaches at the high school, collegiate or professional level. The coursework emphasizes the importance of developing a positive coaching philosophy, as well as the ability to effectively communicate with and motivate athletes.

Most programs require students to complete between 120 and 128 credits, which can be done in four years of full-time study. In addition to general education requirements, students take classes in sports psychology, kinesiology, nutrition and exercise science. Many programs also require students to complete an internship.

Coaching is a demanding profession, so students should expect to put in long hours, often working nights and weekends. They should also be prepared to deal with the stress that comes with being responsible for the success or failure of a team.

Common Coaching Courses

A degree in coaching will prepare you to work with athletes at different levels, from amateur to professional. Coaching degree programs will typically include classes in the following areas.

Instructional Design

This course covers the process of designing effective instructional materials and experiences. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of learner characteristics and needs, the use of various instructional strategies, the selection and application of appropriate instructional media and technology, and the evaluation of instructional materials and experiences. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the instructional design process to create effective instructional materials and experiences.

Human Anatomy & Physiology

This course is an study of the structure and function of the human body with an emphasis on the systems involved in movement. The course will cover all 11 body systems with a focus on the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Students will learn how each system works independently and together to maintain homeostasis. The course will also cover common injuries and diseases associated with each system. Upon completion, students should be able to identify all major bones, muscles, and organs, and describe their functions. Students should also be able to explain how the body systems work together to maintain homeostasis and how they are affected by common injuries and diseases.

Motivational Psychology

This course covers the psychological factors that affect motivation and performance in sport and exercise settings. Topics include the role of goal setting, self-efficacy, attributions, and self-talk in motivation, as well as how to create positive reinforcement and punishment contingencies. Theories of motivation are also explored, along with their application to coaching. Upon completion, students should be able to apply motivational theories to real-world coaching situations and create positive motivationally climates that enhance performance.


This course covers the study of the mechanical laws governing the movement of living organisms. Topics include an introduction to biomechanics, linear and angular motion, force and torque, work and energy, muscle physiology, and injury prevention. Upon completion, students should be able to apply biomechanical principles to the analysis of human movement and the design of training programs to improve athletic performance and prevent injuries.

Coaching Principles and Strategies

This course covers the basic principles and strategies of coaching. Topics include the coaching relationship, developing a coaching philosophy, setting goals, planning practices, teaching techniques, mental preparation, dealing with adversity, and ethics. Upon completion, students should be able to apply coaching principles and strategies to real-world situations.

Career Options for Coaching Graduates

Graduates of coaching programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including sports, fitness, and education. They may also work in fields such as business, counseling, and human resources.

Athletic Coach

Athletic coaches typically work with amateur or professional athletes to help them improve their skills and succeed in their sport. Coaches often specialize in a particular sport, such as basketball, football, or track and field, and may work with athletes of all levels, from youth leagues to college teams to professional organizations. In addition to providing one-on-one or small group instruction, coaches also develop practice plans, scout opponents, and give pre- and post-game speeches. They also may be responsible for managing a team’s budget and equipment.

Health Coach

Health coaches work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health. This can include anything from eating healthier and exercising more to quitting smoking or managing stress. Health coaches typically have a background in health and wellness, and they use that knowledge to help their clients set and reach goals. They may work with individual clients or groups, and their work may take place in a variety of settings, including hospitals, corporate wellness programs, fitness centers, and community health centers.

Life Coach

Life coaches work with clients to help them identify and achieve personal goals. The job entails assessing clients’ strengths and weaknesses, setting achievable goals, and developing action plans. Life coaches also provide accountability and support to help clients stay on track. They may work with clients one-on-one, in group settings, or over the phone or internet.

Career Coach

Career coaches help people manage their careers, whether that means finding a new job, transitioning to a new field, or simply advancing in their current position. Career coaches typically have a background in human resources, counseling, or a related field. They may work with individuals or groups and use a variety of techniques, including assessments, exercises, and one-on-one coaching, to help clients identify their goals and develop a plan to achieve them.

Director of Athletics

The director of athletics oversees the sports program for a school, college, or other organization. They are responsible for managing coaches and other staff, developing budgets and schedules, fundraising, and promoting the organization’s athletics program. In some cases, the director of athletics may also be responsible for managing facilities and equipment.

Insights From a Coaching Graduate

Mario Elliott is a Head Coach at the University of Michigan. He has a bachelor’s degree in coaching from the University of Michigan. Mario has over 20 years of experience coaching college football.

ClimbtheLadder: What were the biggest takeaway(s) you got from your Coaching program that you may not have gotten otherwise?

Mario Elliott: The biggest takeaways from my coaching program were the importance of discipline and hard work. In order to be a successful coach, you have to be able to discipline yourself and your team. You also have to be willing to put in the hard work to be the best.

ClimbtheLadder: What should students interested in Coaching be good at?

Mario Elliott: Coaching is a demanding profession that requires a high level of dedication, commitment, and passion. Students interested in coaching should be able to work long hours, be organized, and be able to motivate and inspire others.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Coaching program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Mario Elliott: I didn’t expect the program to be so intense. I was in class all day, every day. I also didn’t anticipate how much time I would have to spend on homework and studying. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.


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