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Online Master of Education (MEd) in Athletics / Activities Administration

Prepare to lead an athletics program

Leading a high-profile school athletics or activities program requires skills in facilities management, recruiting and retaining high quality staff, budgeting, promoting programs, staff, students online and in the community, relevant laws and policies, public relations, and more. 

The William Woods program is one of a handful of graduate degrees in the nation that trains you in these skills at all levels. Coursework helps prepare you to formulate effective practice, philosophy, and planning to lead a comprehensive athletics and activities program. 

Coursework will prepare you to formulate best practices in program management, including:

  • recruiting athletes, coaches, and officials
  • time management
  • maintaining amateurism
  • sports law
  • facilities management and scheduling
  • fiscal management
  • public relations and marketing of the athletics/activities program

The path to NIAAA certification

The program leads to the initial certification of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and is one of the few to be recognized by the NIAAA as meeting the educational requirements toward becoming a Registered Athletic Administrator (RAA) or a Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA). It does not meet Missouri requirements for building-level administrative certification.

At William Woods, you’ll be participating in an athletic administration master's program known for its excellence and for providing a significant number of the leaders in Missouri’s state school system. As one of these students, you will have the opportunity to learn from active practitioners in the athletic field and make the connections you need for leadership and career growth.

This online degree is designed to fit the schedules of working teachers and administrators and can be completed in two years or less from anywhere. You can expect rigorous coursework with real-world relevance, designed and taught by professionals who have proven their expertise. We structure the curriculum so you can develop lasting relationships with peers focused on similar career goals. And, to make this an investment you can count on, your tuition will not go up as long as you stay continuously enrolled.

Your Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree at work

This online athletic administration degree prepares you to take your place in the management of an athletics/activities program in a middle school, high school or university. You’ll have the skills and official requirements to manage the recruiting of athletes and staff, manage facilities, direct public relations and marketing of the program, and perform other duties.

William Woods is the largest certifier of school leaders in Missouri

606 # of our graduates who are now principals and assistant principals
157 # of our graduates who are now school district administrators
90 # of our graduates who are now school superintendents



Courses you may take

EDU 503 - Sports Law - 3.00

This course will focus on laws, rules and regulations for sports and sporting competitions and related activities. Middle school to intercollegiate athletics and activities programs will be examined in relation to their embedded risk management, human resources, safety standards, compliance to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX, student dress codes, conduct codes; plus embedded issues related to sexual harassment, hazing, drug testing and scholarship of athletic/activities program participants.

EDU 508 - Practical Aspects of Athletic/Activities Administration - 3.00

Meeting participant eligibility standards, maintaining amateurism status, institutional contracts and planning for athletics contests, and the development of student athlete and coaching manuals will be covered through practical application activities in this course. Other applications include scheduling, delegation of tasks, conflict resolution and procurement of equipment and personnel. A major, final project will be the development of a comprehensive tournament plan or major activity event/conference plan (e.g. sport competition at the district or regional/state level, conference breakouts and workshops).

EDU 509 - Athletic Admin Field Experiences - 3.00

This capstone course for the program will require completion of 90 hours of clinical field experiences in the form of a student internship, a program professional portfolio in electronic format and a comprehensive Athletics/Activities Administrator Coaches Manual. All three culminating projects will be required to be submitted for evaluation as a graduation requirement. Prerequisite: All other program courses (EDU509 is a final capstone course)

EDU 521 - Introduction to Interscholastic/Intercollegiate Athletics/Activities Administration - 3.00

This course will examine the philosophical and organizational approaches to various athletic and activity programs; ranging from those starting at the middle school level to intercollegiate programs. Topics will include organizational structures, program budgeting, communications and leadership techniques. This course will also focus on organizational rules, services and membership of athletics associations such as the NCAA, the NAIA and the National Federation of State High School Activities Associations.

EDU 523 - Supervision of the Athletics/Activities Program - 3.00

This course will explore all facets of the athletics/activities supervision process as it pertains to managing and maintaining facilities; evaluating coaches and support staff; supervising and managing athletic contests, including techniques of spectator management.

EDU 524 - Current Issues/Common Challenges in Athletics/Activities Administration - 3.00

This course will provide athletics/activities directors with a broad understanding and better perception of current issues and common challenges they will face in the local and state educational community, as well as those evolving issues on the national and global levels. These include gender equity, emergency/crisis planning as well as issues regarding co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

EDU 525 - Foundations of Educational Administration - 3.00

This course is designed to offer prospective school leaders a balanced approach to the study of educational administration. The course examines the theoretical foundations of school organization and explores the multidimensional roles of the school administrator as educator, leader, manager, and reflective practitioner. Course content focuses on fundamental organizational principles; leadership and decision-making; local school district culture and communication; policy and governance, human resource management; and the values and ethics of school leadership. In learning content, heavy emphasis is placed on collaboration and problem-solving using cases or vignettes. The cases and vignettes were developed to enhance the ability of students preparing for school leadership positions to encounter new situations in educational administration, assess relevant factors, and decide on effective courses of action.

EDU 526 - Athletics/Activities Administration: Developing Character & Citizenship - 3.00

This course will aid the athletics/activities administrator in building positive character and citizenship traits for participants in athletics and activities programs. Course content will focus on developing the traits of respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, integrity, sportsmanship, collaboration and fairness. In addition, issues on student motivation, cheating and characteristics of adolescent behavior will be examined.

EDU 527 - Athletics/Activities Program Promotion - 3.00

This course will focus on how to share the vision and mission of the program with future participants and community stakeholders. The course will emphasize developing positive relations with the public, speaking in public, communicating with various public media and raising money using fund development methods. Learners will also examine how to encourage community and student involvement with the program.

EDU 528 - Financing the Athletics/Activities Program - 3.00

This course will involve the study of department/school finance, program budgeting, profit/loss formulas, bookkeeping, bidding processing for equipment and services procurement, plus the basics of contractual agreements and compensation for officials.

EDU 544 - Digital Tools in the Athletic/Activities Environment - 3.00

This course will focus on the practical application of digital tools and mobile apps within the athletic/activities environment. Students will investigate available digital tools and mobile apps to support program administration and provide efficiency within various programs, consider available productivity tools to support program administration, gain experience using software applications to enhance functionality and skill development within athletic/activities programs, independently investigate how mobile apps can be leveraged to provide support for such programs, and develop the skills to utilize video to enhance/support the athletic/activities environment. Access to a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone, video editing software, and an applications package such as Office 365 or Google Apps will be essential for the course.



  • Completed application
  • Official transcripts (2.5 GPA or higher) mailed from the college/university of which you graduated

Your digital classroom. Available anywhere.

William Woods online graduate education programs are available to students across the country. In Missouri, our students come from Fulton, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Kansas City, Moberly, Springfield, Ozark, Cape Girardeau, Rolla and many more locations. Beyond Missouri, our online graduates hail from California, Illinois, Kansas, Washington, Arkansas and other states.

Our graduate education programs are available online and are ranked among the best online programs in Missouri by US News and World Report.

William Woods in the real world

Many of our graduates hold leadership positions in Missouri’s schools, including leadership in athletics.

Admissions Information

Learn more about online admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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