MEd in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology with Emphasis in Positive Coaching and Athletic Leadership

The online Positive Coaching program is intended for all athletic coaches and sports coordinators who have completed a bachelor's degree program, and now wish to pursue their master's degree. The program is well-suited for athletic coaches at all levels of sport participation, as well as any individuals in educational or other settings, who provide instructional, leadership or counseling services to students or to others.

The required core courses focus on identifying and applying the most pertinent and impactful aspects of sport, coaching and positive psychology. The core courses also focus on leading individuals, teams and groups to experience the fulfillment and happiness associated with striving for and achieving excellence. Emphasis is on the understanding, skills and strategies of highly effective teaching, learning and leading. 

The electives emphasize the development of professional knowledge and awareness of key topical issues and areas pertinent to preparing to serve as competent, caring and committed coaches for others. Course topics include:

  • Administration of athletics programs
  • Ethical and legal aspects of athletics
  • Athlete training and conditioning
  • Gender and multicultural issues in sports
  • Positive coaching
  • Positive interventions contributing to coordinated school health programs
  • Healthier total school or organizational environments

Degree Requirements

This is a 30 credit hour program.  Students take 21 hours of required core course work and 9 hours of electives.

Required Core Courses (21 hours, 7 courses)
ESC_PS 7195Sport and Applied Coaching Psychology3
ESC_PS 7200Positive Psychology3
ESC_PS 8195Applied Positive Coaching3
ESC_PS 8232Foundations of Sport Performance *3
Seminar in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology (Psychology of the Injured Athlete) *
ESC_PS 8265Administration of Athletic Programs3
ESC_PS 8280Coaching for Inclusive Excellence3
ESC_PS 8300Positive Leadership in Sport3

If one course is taken as required, the other can be taken as an elective.

Elective Courses (9 hours, 3 courses)
ESC_PS 8270Student-Athlete Wellbeing3
ESC_PS 8087Seminar in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology (Character and Ethics in Sport)3
ESC_PS 8087Seminar in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology (Resiliency, Grit and Mental Toughness)3
ESC_PS 7087Seminar in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology (Motivation and Positive Psychology)3
ESC_PS 8200Applied Positive Psychology3
ESC_PS 8700Life/Career Coaching and Development3
ESC_PS 8710Meaning In Work3
ESC_PS 8720Community and Stewardship3

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Thesis/Non-Thesis Requirements

Students complete a project in the capstone course ESC_PS 8300 Positive Leadership in Sport.


Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the MEd in Educational and Counseling Psychology program (below) and the minimum requirements of the Graduate School. Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program's graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process. Your application materials will be reviewed by both the Graduate School and the degree program to which you’ve applied before official admission to the University of Missouri.

Admission Criteria (M Ed)

  1. Successful completion of the baccalaureate degree at an accredited college/university.
  2. 3.0 or better grade point average in the last 60 hours of baccalaureate coursework.
  3. TOEFL score: Minimum 580 (paper) or 92 (ibt).  Applies to non-native English speaking applicants only. If the non-native English-speaking applicant has successfully completed one year of full-time post-secondary (college-level) study in a country where English is the native language within the past two years, then the TOEFL is waived. 
  4. GRE scores are NOT required.

Application Process

  1. Complete the online Application to the Graduate School.
  2. As part of the submission process, applicants are required to upload UNOFFICIAL copies of all transcripts to the online application. NOTE: If you are accepted by our academic program, you will then be asked to provide official copies of all transcripts to: Graduate School, University of Missouri, 210 Jesse Hall, Columbia, Missouri 65211.
  3. One letter of recommendation will need to be submitted via the online application. The recommender will receive directions on how to submit the recommendation once you have entered their contact information in the application system.
  4. If your native language is other than English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required. Please send this to the Office of Graduate Studies using school code 6875.

Note:  f your undergraduate GPA (last 60 hours) is below 3.0 additional information will be required.

           Please be sure to upload all supplemental materials BEFORE you submit the application.

For applicants currently enrolled as graduate students at MU:

  1. Complete the Change of Degree form.
  2. Provide unofficial copies of your University of Missouri transcripts.
  3. Provide one letter of recommendation.

 Send application materials to David Lineberry ( or mail to the ESCP Dept., 16 Hill Hall, Columbia, MO  65211

Application deadline: None - rolling admission.

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