2022-23 Graduate Catalog 
    May 21, 2024  
2022-23 Graduate Catalog

Athletic Leadership (MS)

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The Master of Science in Athletic Leadership (MS.ATL) prepares students for success in administrative and/or head coaching positions in educational-based athletic organizations through professional and applied studies. Professional positions in high school, university or private youth athletic departments or organizations require specialized and applied training.

This 30-credit, fully online, and professional program contains six required athletic leadership Core Courses (18 credits) and allows students to select an additional two courses (6 credits) in electives.  All students must complete a 6-credit culminating experience that consists of an internship or a special project.

Students may complete the degree in one year or in multiple years. Castleton students with an undergraduate major in Sport Management or other majors who meet certain program prerequisites, and who meet selection criteria, may pursue a four plus one (4+1) program that will lead to the MS.ATL.

Program Objectives

Within education-based athletic programs, the student will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to apply advanced critical thinking skills.
  • Develop the ability to think and plan strategically to properly guide athletic programs.
  • Understand basic financial and accounting principles utilized. Students will be able to financially plan for both short-term and the long-term needs within athletic organizations and teams.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of revenue-generation techniques and principles.
  • Have a clear understanding of legal concepts and issues in athletic organizations and develop risk management strategies.
  • Understand the applicability of various national compliance regulations and how to apply such regulations in athletic and coaching leadership positions.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze and discuss current trends facing the industry.

Admissions Requirements

1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants who apply for admissions prior to completion of their undergraduate degrees may be accepted into the program but will not be allowed to register for classes until completion of such degree and a final, official transcript is received by the Admissions Office.

2. A completed admissions application, and an application fee ($40.00), submitted online or mailed to the Admissions Office, Castleton University, Castleton, Vermont, 05735.

3. An essay that addresses the following:

a) Education-based athletic programs are defined to be interscholastic athletic programs found within both public and private K-12 school systems, as well as intercollegiate athletic programs found at both public and private colleges and universities.  With this in mind, please identify a current weakness or shortcoming within the industry of education-based athletics. 

b) Then, please outline any preconceived notions you may have now about how an athletic leader might work to overcome this weakness or shortcoming.

c) Finally, please outline how you think your involvement in the MS.ATL will assist you, as an athletic leader, in finding a way to overcome this weakness or shortcoming in the near future.

4. A current résumé.

5. Two letters of reference that speak to the applicant's scholarship and potential to be an exemplary professional in education-based athletics and its study.

6. Official transcripts of all college work, both graduate and undergraduate, sent directly or transferred electronically from the issuing institution to the Castleton University Admissions Office. Admission to the program may be granted if the applicant has an undergraduate G.P.A. of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale and shows an aptitude for graduate studies as reflected in references, writing ability, and personal objectives. On occasion, students with a G.P.A that falls below a 3.0 may be admitted on a provisional basis. (See below)

7. Prerequisites: a) A management theory course.  b) An introductory sports management course or five years as a professional in the industry of sport.

Provisional Admission:

Provisional admission may be granted if the applicant shows potential for graduate studies but fails to meet one of the stated criteria for admission. In some instances, provisional admission may be due to a routine logistical issue such as official transcripts replacing unofficial ones. In these cases, the University reserves the right to revoke a provisional admission should the final submissions differ from what was expected. In some cases, the Graduate Admissions Committee may have concerns about a student's ability to complete their program successfully. In these instances, students will be required to take two courses from the programs core requirements.  Courses must be completed within two semesters of the date of provisional admission and passed with a grade of "B" or better. If these conditions are met, the applicant will be reconsidered for full admission to the program. If these conditions are not met, the student may be dismissed from the program. The Graduate Admissions Committee may admit students provisionally and require completion of other tasks such as submission of exam scores or completion of other courses as determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee.

Course Requirements

and complete 2 of these courses (6 cr):

(note that other courses may be added or substituted with permission of the program coordinator)

and successfully complete the Culminating Experience (6 cr):

(Total credits required for the degree: 30 cr)

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