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Master’s in Sports Leadership

Do you love sports and want to make a positive impact on lives?

UW-Madison, a world-leading academic and athletic institution, is here to help you take the next step toward a career of meaning and influence in athletics.

As sports participation in the U.S. reaches peak levels, the Master of Science in Sports Leadership (MSL) program will prepare you to lead with distinction in the sports industry.

From top scholars and renowned leaders, you’ll learn about the complexities of diverse sports settings and how to successfully compete and create opportunities across multiple levels.

By the program’s end, you’ll be prepared for a successful career in fields such as athletic administration, coaching, professional sports and club sports.

This master’s degree program is 30 credits, including nine required courses and one elective. It is 100 percent online, which means you can complete it from anywhere in the world and on your own time.

Now accepting applications for 2024

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Degree at a Glance



Program Type

Master’s Degree


4 to 5 semesters


30 graduate Credits


$900.00 per credit*
*additional fees may apply

International Eligible

Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP):31.0504
Get more information for international students

Application Deadline

Rolling admissions

Degree Conferred

Master of Science in Sports Leadership

Program page in the UW Guide

Why choose this master’s degree

Wisconsin Excellence. You will learn sports leadership from renowned scholars and leaders at one of the best universities in the world.

Badger Athletics. Model leadership from coaches and competitors who achieve at the highest levels.

Justice Oriented. We want to empower you to make a positive impact on society as sports leaders. Whether at youth, high-school, college or pro levels we will equip you to be a cutting-edge leader for the good.

Designed for you. As a sports leader, your time is precious. We understand that you have demanding schedules. Our program is online, flexible, and tailored to meet your needs. No matter where you live or how busy you are, you can complete our programs in 16 months.

Sports Leadership - Sample Course Sequence

Year 1 Summer

  • ELPA 752 Coach as Teacher
  • ELPA 753 Psychology and Coaching in Sports
  • ELPA 754: Building a Championship System

Year 1 Fall

  • ELPA 750 Coaching Athletics 1
  • ELPA 751 Leadership and Justice in Sports
  • Elective

Year 1 Spring

  • ELPA 700 Field Experience in Educational Leadership
  • ELPA 710 Introduction to Intercollegiate Athletics
  • ELPA 755 Coaching Athletics 2

Year 2 Summer

  • ELPA 777 Higher and post Secondary Education Capstone Seminar

The course sequence is flexible. Students may take one to three courses per term. Contact the Program Director to design a course sequence that works for you!
Each of the Core Courses offers optional synchronous course meetings. Dates and times for those meetings will be posted on the course syllabus.
Electives must be an online graduate level course, 3 credits. Approval from Program Director required.

Contact Information

For program and curriculum information, contact:
Sara Jimenez Soffa PhD
Program Specialist