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Lexington, KY 40506

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The Masters in Sport Leadership specialization and Sport, Fitness, and Recreation Graduate Certificate in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky focuses on preparing leaders in all sport related fields. Our aim is to help students develop the knowledge and skills to be more effective practitioners and researchers in the field of leadership. Our program  is unique  in the sense that we desire to focus on the importance of understanding  leadership   principles  and how the translate  within athletics, fitness, and recreation. 
Master's with Specialization in Sport Leadership - Campus

The specialization in  Sport Leadership  is designed to enhance leadership and administrative skills for those who work in a variety of leadership settings. The specialization will benefit professionals who work in areas such as  sport administration (scholastic, collegiate, or professional), event management, coaching, community and youth sports, and recreation (commercial and municipal). 


While the emphasis allows for opportunities to take coursework in business, its primary focus is on training leaders, supervisors, and administrators who recognize the need for a wide variety of skills as applied to leadership.

The sport leadership specialization offers students the choice between the Thesis Option (24 hours of approved course work, 6 hours thesis plus oral thesis defense) and a Course Work Option (30 hours of approved course work, written exams, and an oral exam). There are 6 hours of research and statistics classes and 12 hours of core classes that are required.

Sport, Fitness, and Recreation Management Graduate Certificate - Online

The Sport, Fitness, and Recreation Leadership graduate certificate is part of a wildly powerful tradition.

This program is 12 credit hours, so most of our students take only 1 or 2 classes per semester and can complete the program in just 6 months to one year. The schedule is designed for busy professionals – athletics directors, physical educators, fitness professionals, community recreation directors and staff, and more.

You can develop a better understanding of leadership principles from experienced faculty at the University of Kentucky, widely recognized for success in the field of athletics.

Gain the transferable skills you need to understand the demands of an ever-changing business. Advance your knowledge base in legal issues, policy and governance, and historical foundations of athletics.

These credits can also transfer to a master's degree!

Dr. Justin Nichols
Assistant Professor, Director of Graduate Certificate
(859) 257-4746


Dr. Justin Nichols
Director of Graduate Certificate


Dr. Steve Parker
Associate Dean, Lecturer


For detailed info visit our website

Rasheed Flowers (Graduate Assistant, University of Kentucky)

The desire to learn more about athletics led me to pursue an M.S. in Sport Leadership at the University of Kentucky. Throughout my studies, I have gained a deep level of knowledge in specific theories and methodologies associated with sport leadership. I have developed my understanding of leadership and sport by engaging in critical thinking both in class and research. The faculty and staff within the department have vast knowledge and expertise, as well as many connections. Their network allowed me to work as an event management intern and later begin a coaching position while completing my Master's degree.

Rakayla Iwais (Athletic/Special Events Coordinator, Westlake, Ohio)

As a graduate from the UK Sports Leadership Masters program, I would highly recommend to anyone interested in a rewarding and exciting career in sports. The faculty and staff were incredibly supportive and gave me the tools to prepare for my first job out of the program as a Recreation Coordinator. I am very grateful for my experience and can continue to grow as a professional from the groundwork instilled through the program.