School of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Management - George Mason University
Prepare for a career in coaching at all age and ability levels.

This certificate prepares students for a career in coaching. Effective development of athletes requires the coach to blend state-of-the-art knowledge about training, skill development, and management in order to optimize each athlete’s progress. The blend is essential and unique to coaching. This certificate provides the requisite blend.

Faculty bring substantial coaching experience at all levels – from beginners through Olympic and professional athletes. They are also engaged with creating and implementing new knowledge that enables coaching to remain innovative, competitive, and successful. Their unique experience and expertise are integrated into the certificate coursework.

Theoretically-grounded content forms the basis to develop advanced skills that can be applied across a variety of coaching situations and settings. This certificate is often paired with a teaching degree or sport management degree.


This certificate prepares students to be effective coaches. Students develop leadership skills, engage in intercultural activities, and build their network of sport professionals. This certificate prepares students to be effective coaches. Students develop leadership skills, engage in intercultural activities, and build their network of sport professionals. Students develop knowledge and skills in legal issues in the coaching environment, the psychology of coaching, theoretical models of coaching, and methods for athlete development. Elective courses provide expertise in the business of youth sport, data analytics, and practical applications through projects and internships with successful coaches.

Required Courses (9 credits)

Elective Courses (6 credits)

Select two courses from the following:

Total: 15 credits

Program Format

Face to face on Mason’s Fairfax campus; can be completely on its own or in combination with a master’s program.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester
(classes starting in August)
Spring Semester
(classes starting in January)
Summer Semester
(classes starting in May, June, or July)

Priority*: April 1

Space Available: August 1

Priority*: November 1

Space Available: January 4

Priority*: February 1

Space Available: May 1

For more information and to apply, visit the admissions website.

* Priority deadline ensures consideration for the intended semester as well as financial aid options for students. Programs will continue to review applications until at capacity. Some programs do not review applications past the priority deadline.

Application Requirements

All application materials must be submitted through Mason’s online graduate application. In addition to meeting general university admissions requirements, applicants will need to provide the requirements below. Please review the FAQ page for more information.

To be considered for graduate studies, the following items are evaluated during the admission review process:

  • Graduate application and fee
  • 750- to 1,000-word written statement of your goals and interest in the program
  • Current resume
  • Two letters of recommendation: Applicants should follow the instructions included in the online application to submit the recommendation forms directly to their recommenders. Mason does not accept paper recommendations. Recommendations should be professional or academic in nature.
  • Transcripts from all previous institutions attended in the United States. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions information page for specific requirements regarding uploading unofficial transcripts.
  • Applicants with transcripts from institutions outside of the United States could have additional requirements. Please refer to the How To Apply page for specific requirements about submitting international transcripts, evaluations, and English language proficiency.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to graduate programs at George Mason University is competitive. Applicants are evaluated on the strength of their academic backgrounds, results of standardized exams (if required by the program), work experience, and any additional evidence of potential success in the program. Faculty admissions review is a holistic review of requirements as well as the applicant’s potential academic and professional success upon completion of the program.

At a minimum all admitted students must have:

  • An earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or international equivalent, verified from official transcripts. Expectation of an earned baccalaureate prior to the first day of classes for the term for which the student is applying will also meet this requirement. See the graduate admissions policy for more information.
  • A minimum 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale in baccalaureate study. The GPA requirement may be higher for some graduate programs. The university, at its discretion, may additionally consider the difficulty of the baccalaureate degree, relevant work experience, and/or other evidence of ability to succeed in graduate study when evaluating the GPA requirement.
  • International students should reference Admission of International Students for additional requirements.

Tuition (2021-22)

Virginia Resident $543.00
$693.25 with MSF*
Non-Virginia Resident $743.00
(discounted from $1,431.00)
$893.25 with MSF*
VA Resident and PreK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program** $439.01
$589.26 with MSF*
*Mandatory Student Fee (MSF) $150.25
CEHD Course Fee $25.00 - $84.00
Total Cost for Virginia Residents per Credit $718.25 - $777.25
Total Cost for Non-Virginia Residents per Credit $918.25 - $977.25
Total cost for VA Resident and PreK-12 VA Educator enrolled in a CEHD graduate program* $614.26 - $673.26
Graduate New Student Fee
(non-refundable, one-time fee)

Please Note: Refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees. Internship courses will incur a higher course fee to fund on-site assistance involving intensive clinical training/supervision.

**VA state residents who are eligible must apply for the 15% PreK-16 VA Educators Discount in order to take advantage of the lower tuition. Eligible students receive 15% off the total tuition and mandatory student fee.

Financial Aid

For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers, and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department. Also, many school districts offer tuition reimbursement options. Speak to your employer for more information.


Academic Advisor

Stormi Woltz
Phone: 703-993-5261
Fairfax Campus: Krug Hall, Suite 213



Current students should visit MyMason for important forms and documents.

Sport and Recreation Studies

If you're interested in more than two programs or aren't sure which program to select, just choose the most relevant and we can discuss your options with you.