Athletic Leadership


The athletic leadership program in Clemson University’s College of Education is moving forward to address the need of leadership development and ethical decision making in the intercollegiate athletic coaching and administrative community. The purpose of the Athletic Leadership master’s degree will be to provide current and aspiring coaches and administrators, especially those at the intercollegiate level; an opportunity to obtain a graduate degree that focuses on leadership, ethics and coaching development within the current landscape of athletics in educational settings. This program will be developed to promote personal and professional growth in leadership, coaching integrity and community influence. The need for strong and effective leaders within the intercollegiate athletic community provides Clemson’s athletic leadership program an opportunity to impact the future of college athletics through education, philosophical coaching development, leadership development and student athlete development.

The athletic leadership graduate program affords students the opportunity to receive a comprehensive discipline of study that (1) develops effective leaders in the fields of coaching and athletic administration; and (2) expands on the body of knowledge regarding ethical decision making, policy regulations and leadership at the intercollegiate setting.

This program meets the needs of students who are also working professionals. All courses are offered in an online format and designed around the time constraints and responsibilities of the intercollegiate coaching community. If you are accepted into the program, you will progress through the program by enrolling in two courses (taken consecutively) each term and complete the program in two years. Throughout this process, students will interact with instructors and students electronically in both synchronous (at the same time) and asynchronous (at different times) formats. 

While the program provides a great deal of flexibility to meet the need of the coaching profession, students are responsible for allocating sufficient time in your schedules to access course material, review lectures, study content materials and complete assignments.


Admission to the Program
Traditional cohort students are accepted and begin courses in the fall semester of the academic year. While this is the preferred course of action for degree completion, the faculty and staff of the athletic leadership program also accept students who wish to begin the program in the spring semester. Summer entrance is only allowed by approval of the Athletic Leadership Program Coordinator when circumstances are warranted. 
Application Deadlines
All application materials must be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • July 1, to enroll in the Fall semester
  • November 15, to enroll in the Spring semester

Application Requirements
To be considered for the program, applicants must:

GRE Waiver Requirements

Please review program website for GRE waiver requirements.

Additional information concerning supporting materials can be found at:


The athletic leadership program admits a maximum of 25 students per academic year. The majority of students works in intercollegiate athletic positions or has direct responsibilities within the educational setting of working with student athletes. Students in the program are commonly (but not limited to) new professionals, graduate assistant coaches, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, student athlete academic service providers, student affair professionals and athletic administrators at various roles.

Degree completion would require students to successfully complete the 12 courses designed specifically for this degree. These courses are offered in succession and follow the following path to degree completion:

The course schedule includes:

Fall Semester - Year 1
  • AL 8490 Leadership Development in Intercollegiate Athletic Programs
  • AL 8500 Strength and Conditioning in Intercollegiate Athletics
Spring Semester - Year 1
  • AL 8640 Ethical Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics
  • AL 8530 Legal Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics
Summer Semester - Year 1
  • AL 8610 Administration and Organization of Intercollegiate Athletic Programs
  • AL 8620 Psychological Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics
Fall Semester - Year 2
  • AL 8440 Survey of Research Methods in Intercollegiate Athletics
  • AL 8650 Marketing and Communications Responsibilities in Intercollegiate Athletics
Spring Semester - Year 2
  • AL 8630 Sociological Dynamics in Intercollegiate Athletics
  • AL 8700 Intercollegiate Athletics Finance
Summer Semester - Year 2
  • AL 8510 Intercollegiate Athletics Facility Management and Planning
  • AL 8710 Governance and Policy in Intercollegiate Athletics

South Carolina is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Clemson University (CU) is an approved SARA institution, which means we adhere to established standards for offering post-secondary e-learning programs in all member states. Please review our state authorizations to see if this program is offered in your state and our process for student complaints against the university.


For more information about this online program, please visit the M.S. Athletic Leadership webpage, or contact Mike Godfrey,, 864-884-4406, or Stephanie Henry, Student Services Coordinator,

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per credit hour

*Price is approximate and may not be reflective of current cost. Please check the Student Financial Services Page for the most accurate tuition rates.

Program contacts

Mike Godfrey

Stephanie Henry