Coker to Offer Master’s Program in Athletic Administration

For more information
, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Dec. 6, 2011 – Beginning in May 2012, Coker College students can pursue a Master of Science degree in college athletic administration, per a decision announced this week by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The new program represents Coker’s first graduate-studies program and changes the College’s institutional classification from Level II, a baccalaureate college, to Level III, an institution that offers a master’s degree as its highest degree.

The new master’s program also represents Coker’s first degree to be offered primarily via online instruction.

“It is always exciting to bring a new program forward, but we are especially pleased to advance this particular degree, not simply because of the institutional growth it represents, but because it meets an important unmet need in this region and, we would argue, in the nation,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt, who was recently elected to serve a four-year term on the NCAA Division II Presidents Council.

“College athletics is extraordinarily complex and has become a high-profile aspect of most institutions of higher education.  Coker’s program is designed to equip tomorrow’s administrators with a rigorous academic foundation—a forward-thinking curriculum that balances theory with real-world experiences and creativity with bottom-line analytical thinking,” he said.

Nationally, increases in the number of bachelor’s degrees in sports management have quadrupled the overall growth rate of baccalaureate degrees in recent years and master’s degrees in sports management have outpaced all master's degrees by a margin of seven to one.  And with that explosion has come rapidly evolving specializations ranging from programs in motorsports operations to sport event security management.

“While a master’s degree is often a preferred qualification for D-I athletic personnel, many professionals working in the D-II and D-III programs lack this credential and may be limited in their ability to progress in their professions,” said Coker College Athletic Director Lynn Griffin.

“Our program is designed especially to serve students who would like to get a start in college athletics by serving as a graduate assistant and those who serve as assistant coaches, athletic trainers, sport information directors, or similar positions at smaller colleges and universities,” she added.

Admission to Coker’s program will require a bachelor’s degree and a general Graduate Records Exam, the most widely accepted standardized graduate admissions test.

According to Katie Flaherty, Coker’s accreditation liaison officer with SACSCOC and the College’s assistant athletic director in charge of NCAA compliance, the curriculum for Coker’s master’s program has been designed to provide students with knowledge of current issues in college athletics, NCAA compliance regulations, sport communication, sport law, recruiting of coaches and athletes, fundraising, sport business management and sport marketing.

The sequence in which the courses will be offered will make it possible for students to complete the requirements in eight terms over 18 and one-half months.

For information about the Master of Science degree in college athletic administration at Coker College, contact Graduate Program Coordinator John Jewell at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


PHOTO:  Coker College President Robert L. Wyatt.


Established in 1908, Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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