Master of Sport Coaching and Performance

Degree Requirements for Master of Sport Coaching and Performance (5270)

The Department of Health and Human Performance offers a Master of Sport Coaching and Performance that is designed to improve coaching effectiveness at the youth, collegiate, Olympic and professional levels. The program is comprised of 30 hours of graduate course work delivered through a rolling cohort model offered exclusively online. Candidates may start the program at the beginning of any semester, fall, spring, or summer. Candidates are encouraged to take two courses (6 hours) per semester, at any time, and are expected to take two courses throughout the duration of the program.

Candidate Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically analyze and evaluate sport specific, evidence-based coaching practices. 
  2. Comprehend legal aspects/current issues of sport coaching and performance.
  3. Design effective training sessions for individuals and/or teams using evidence-based coaching practices.
  4. Demonstrate professional development of sport coaching and leadership skills.
  5. Develop a coaching philosophy based upon theoretical and practical knowledge of evidence-based coaching practices.

Course Descriptions

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SCP 700 - Skill Acquisition in Sport Credit(s): 3

Candidates will develop a practical understanding of skill acquisition to enhance athlete performance within the practice and competitive sport environments. Optimizing practice conditions, issues in motor learning, and the development of skill are investigated.


SCP 705 - Sport Coaching Pedagogy Credit(s): 3

Candidates will reflect upon their own coaching practices, critically evaluate coaching trends, and identify key pedagogical concepts to enhance athlete performance. Topics include sport coaching pedagogy, learning theories, and teaching games for understanding.


SCP 710 - Research in Sport Science and Coaching Credit(s): 3

A multidisciplinary approach to the application of sport science research into practice. Candidates will interpret scientific language in journals, access published and web-based resources, and investigate the use of technology to measure performance in training and competition.


SCP 715 - Current Issues in Sport Coaching Credit(s): 3

This course will examine contemporary issues in sport coaching and address the application of social theories. The theory-to-practice gap, development versus winning, early specialization, ethics, dealing with parents, and coachburn-outareexamined.


SCP 720 - Applied Sport Performance Credit(s): 3

This course examines and applies the concepts that enhance exercise/sport performance. Candidates will gain an understanding of how the body functions during exercise/sport performance and apply principles to allow the athlete to train better, perform better, and recover quicker.


SCP 725 - Strength and Conditioning for Performance Credit(s): 3

Candidates will design a sport-specific strength and conditioning program based upon the principles of training. Factors affecting the aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular systems are examined. Periodization for yearly planning and field testing and evaluation are included.


SCP 730 - Nutritional Strategies for Peak Performance & Recovery Credit(s): 3

Development of a nutritional strategy to improve athlete performance and recovery through optimizing fueling, hydration and sound supplementation. Nutritional periodization, ergogenic aids and examining the myths of sport nutrition are covered.


SCP 735 - Professional Development Credit(s): 3

Program introduction and review of candidate learning outcomes. Investigation into the craft and profession of sport coaching through examination of the Core Responsibilities that make up the National Standards for Sport Coaching. Exploration of sport coaching exemplars and best coaching practices are examined. Introduction into self-reflection, reflective practice and experiential learning.


SCP 740 - Psychology of Training and Competition Credit(s): 3

A course covering the impact of psychological factors that affect performance in training and competition. Topics include motivation, arousal regulation, confidence development, and implementation of psychological skills training.


SCP 755 - Practical Coaching Assessment & Capstone Project Credit(s): 3

Candidates will be required to submit a practical coaching assessment via video documentation. The video will provide insight on current coaching practices and provide a base for evaluation by the instructor


Cohort Course Sequence

View Cohort Course Sequence

Admission Requirements for the Department of Health and Human Performance

Applicants may be admitted as degree seeking (Early, Unconditional or Conditional) or non-degree seeking and must meet the university requirements listed under types of admissions.

Unconditional Admission

  1. Proof of undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or University, and
  2. Cumulative GPA of at least 2.7 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Minimum of one year coaching experience, and
  4. Must have coaching access to a team or group of individuals by which to demonstrate course objectives, and
  5. Complete application packet, and
  6. Applicant must have a positive review from the Master of Sport Coaching and Performance Graduate Admission Committee.

Conditional Admission

  1. Proof of undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or University, and
  2. Cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Extensive playing experience, and
  4. Must have proof of sport coaching experience within the first two semesters, and
  5. Complete application packet
  6. Applicant must have a positive review from the Master of Sport Coaching and Performance Graduate Admission Committee.

Unclassified or Non-Degree Admission

Applicants who do not meet requirements for either unconditional or conditional admission may be eligible for unclassified or non-degree admission and must submit all required admission materials. See university requirements listed in Types of Admission.

Early Admission for UT Martin Undergraduate Seniors

Early admission is available to a degree-seeking Health and Human Performance (HHP) major who has completed all HHP core coursework and has at least a B (3.00) cumulative GPA in addition to the university requirement for admission. Students meeting this criteria will be allowed to take two courses prior to completing their baccalaureate degree. Students taking graduate and undergraduate course work together cannot exceed 15 total credit hours per semester. Must have coaching access to a team or group of individuals by which to demonstrate course objectives.

Submit for Application:

  1. Official transcripts from each regionally accredited post-secondary institution attended.
  2. Three letters of recommendation;
    1. one (two for conditional admission) of which must come from an individual who can speak to your ability to handle graduate-level course work
    2. one of which must come from an individual who can speak to your qualifications for coaching, and
    3. one of which must come from an individual who can speak to your character.
  3. A two-to-four-page personal statement essay discussing your career goals, how the master’s degree will help you achieve those goals, and areas or competencies that you expect the program will help you to strengthen or develop.
  4. Current resume

Transfer Credit

The program will follow the graduate policy for transfer credit and accept up to 9 semester hours completed in other appropriate graduate programs at the University of Tennessee at Martin or regionally accredited universities. All candidate requests to apply transfer credit toward the degree requirements must be requested through the candidate’s advisor and approved by the advisor, the program director, and the graduate dean. Acceptance of transfer credit is at the discretion of the departmental curriculum committee.

Retention, Dismissal and Reinstatement Policies

The Department of Health and Human Performance will follow the guidelines set forth by the College of Education, Health and Behavioral Sciences; as stated in the graduate catalog.


An Intent to Graduate form must be submitted online no later than the beginning of the semester before the anticipated semester of graduation. Submission is an online process.


All Sport Coaching and Performance candidates must pass a final comprehensive evaluation consisting of an oral presentation based on evidence assembled in his or her professional portfolio for SCP 755 Practical Coaching Assessment & Capstone Project.  The portfolio will consist of benchmark assignments from at least six designated Sport Coaching and Performance program courses. This evaluation will take place during the semester in which the candidate expects to receive the degree, and at least three weeks before the end of that semester. The candidate should consult his/her adviser at the beginning of the semester in which he/she expects to graduate to review the presentation criteria. During the semester that a candidate presents (repeats) his/her comprehensive presentation, he/she must be enrolled in a graduate class at UT Martin or pay a fee equal to one credit hour (in-state rate). The final candidate presentation will be evaluated by a committee chaired by the program director. University faculty and graduate candidates may attend the oral final presentation.


If a candidate fails his/her comprehensive evaluation, these guidelines apply:

  1. The evaluation may be repeated within a period not to exceed one full semester from the date of the original evaluation and only when it is the evaluation committee's consensus that the candidate has a reasonable chance of mastering the necessary material.
  2. The original evaluation committee members shall constitute the committee for the second evaluation (except for unusual circumstances and approved by the program director, the department chair, the dean of the college, and the dean of graduate studies).
  3. The second evaluation cannot be given within one month of the first evaluation and will be scheduled by the committee's
  4. The committee shall require the candidate to do such additional work as it deems
  5. If a candidate fails the second evaluation, the committee chair will notify the candidate if he/she will be required to take additional courses and complete additional examinations recommended by the committee before being permitted to have a third and final

A copy of the required work in preparation for a third evaluation is sent to the  program coordinator, the department chair, dean of the college, and the dean of graduate studies. In no case shall a third evaluation be given until a complete semester has passed since the second evaluation failed. Failure to achieve a minimum grade of B in each course required by the evaluation committee will disqualify a candidate   from a third evaluation. Failure to pass the third evaluation will disqualify a candidate from receiving a master's degree for the coursework taken. This does not exclude a candidate from beginning a new degree program at this institution, but any coursework toward the first unsuccessful degree program may not be applied toward a new one.