University of Kentucky
100 Seaton Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0219
859 (UKY) 257-5826
Fax: 859 (UKY) 323-1090

Master's Degree with Specialization in Sport Leadership

Spotlight on Josh Harbolt, Sport Leadership Alumnus

Welcome to the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion's (KHP) Sport Leadership Emphasis Graduate Program homepage. The Sport Leadership Emphasis 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 sport leadership master’s students develop the knowledge and skills to be more effective practitioners and researchers in the field of leadership.

The emphasis in Sport Leadership in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion is designed to enhance leadership and administrative skills for those who work in a variety of leadership settings. The emphasis will benefit professionals who work in areas such as sport administration (scholastic and collegiate), sport 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 emphasis 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. Beyond that, the student will choose electives in consultation with the advisor. Even though possible electives are listed for each separate emphasis, it may be permissible to take electives from any of the three areas of emphasis listed under Teaching, Coaching, and Sport Leadership. Design of the program MUST be done in conjunction with the advisor. Students choosing the thesis option are required to discuss specific thesis topics and related course recommendations with their advisor. Choosing the proper courses will ensure that students have the skills needed to complete the thesis in a timely manner.

Requirements for Admission

  1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with adequate preparation in sport, physical education, wellness/health promotion, exercise science, recreation, or related fields.
  2. A minimum of 2.75 undergraduate grade point average (4.0=A) on all work attempted.
  3. A combined Verbal and Quantitative GRE score of 286 (minimum Verbal score of 146 and Quantitative score of 140) on the revised GRE test taken on August 1, 2011 or after or a score of at least 400 on Verbal and 400 on Quantitative on the GRE test taken before August 1, 2011.

Applicant Checklist

  1. Official Transcript
  2. Vita or resume
  3. Letters of recommendation (3)
  4. Cover Letter: The letter should include a description of your career goals; reasons for applying to the program; a description of any research experience you may have had; and a description of any work, school or life experiences that relate to your area of study (e.g., health promotion, exercise science, sport leadership, or teaching physical education and coaching).

Application Deadlines, Procedures, and Forms
Application Deadlines
Application Procedures
Application Forms

The faculty and staff of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion appreciate your interest in the master’s degree Sport Leadership emphasis. For additional help, please contact Dr. Steve R. Parker, Dr. Justin Nichols or visit the KHP Graduate Office in Room 203 Seaton Center.


Dr. Steve R. Parker
215 Seaton Center
Phone: 859-257-1624


Dr. Justin Nichols
104 Seaton Center
Phone: 859-257-4746


"Earning a master's degree from the University of Kentucky's Sport Leadership program has been an incredible asset to my career which spans 20-plus years. Most of the individuals I went to graduate school with are still working in the sports industry and are in influential positions. The program provided me with resources, challenging projects and one-on-one guidance."