The online Leadership in Physical Education and Sport graduate option prepares physical education teachers, sport coaches, and sport leaders who wish to extend their content, pedagogical, and leadership knowledge for improved professional practice in physical education, coaching, and sport settings. Course work is designed to prepare physical educators and coaches to be leaders of, and advocates for quality physical education and sport or recreation programs.  The program emphasizes academic excellence, the pursuit of knowledge, the development of critical and analytical abilities, and the application of theory into practice so students will assume positions of leadership within the profession.

The degree prepares students to be master teachers, head coaches, department heads, and activities directors at the interscholastic level; assistant coaches, lecturers, and assistant or lead directors at the intercollegiate level; and to become actively engaged in leadership roles within professional organizations.  In essence, this degree is designed for those individuals who wish to improve and expand their professional teaching and coaching skills, acquire self-assessment skills, and develop supervision and leadership competencies. 

The entire curriculum for this program is presented online via distance learning. The online approach features course content presented in Blackboard as well as readings from selected textbooks and journals.  Additionally, BB Collaborate, chat room sessions, and e-mail discussions of current topics and issues will be used throughout the program. 

This mode of delivery provides students with the flexibility to complete course assignments and activities within their individual settings at a time when their job duties and responsibilities allow them to focus on the course work. 

The courses in this program have been specifically designed to inform teachers and coaches about best practices in contemporary teaching, coaching, and leadership. The underpinning philosophy requires that course assignments be mainly case study, project based, and relevant to practicing professionals in order that they can apply knowledge gained to their individual settings or other appropriate contexts.  This does not mean that some courses will not have exams.  Most courses will use a project-based format where students read and discuss content online and then apply what they have learned in authentic action projects that are shared online with others.  Some courses may require projects or field experiences related to observing, assessing, or teaching/coaching in K-12 or university settings. There is no required course sequence.  Each individual student’s program is developed in consultation with an assigned graduate advisor.  

Program Requirements

Admission requirements are as follows:

1. Cumulative baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale

  • A 3.0 is needed to be considered for full acceptance into the LPES program.  Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 will be considered for conditional acceptance and will have to complete 6 graduate credit hours with grades of at least B to be considered for full standing. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee automatic acceptance.

2. Undergraduate degree in physical education, coaching, sport management, education, or related field. Applicants with relevant experience that hold other degrees will also be considered.

Plan of Study 

HNES 700 Research in Physical Education and Sport (3 credits)
HNES 701 Leadership and Supervision (3 credits)
HNES 712  Principles of Management  (3 credits)

HNES 704 Psychological FOundation of Sport & Physical Activity (3 credits)
HNES 705 Analysis of Sport Skill Instruction and Acquisition  (3 credits)
HNES 707 Sport in American Society (3 credits)
HNES 708 Positive Youth Development Through Sport (3 credits)
HNES 709 Laws of Leadership( 3 credits)
HNES 711 Physical Education Curriculum (3 credits)
HNES 714 Legal Liability in HPER (3 credits)
HNES 715 Teaching Concepts-Based Fitness (3 credits)
HNES 716  Financial Management in Sport (3 credits)
HNES 731 Governance in Sport (3 credits)
HNES 736 Ethical Leadership (3 credits)
HNES 737 School-wide Physical Activity Promotion (3 credits)
HNES 738 Adapted Physical Education (3 credits)
HNES 739 Sport Revenue Generation (3 credits)
HNES 790 Gradute Seminar (1-3 credits)
HNES 792 Graduate Teaching Experience (1-6 credits)
HNES 793 Individual Study (1-3 credits)
HNES 795 Field Experience (1-3 credits)

Course Rotation

Fall - Odd Year        
*HNES 700 Research in Physical Education and Sport 
HNES 709 Leadership Influence in Physical Education and Sport          
HNES 736 Ethical Leadership

Spring - Even Year 
HNES 738 Adapted  Physical Education and Sport           
**HNES 712  Principles of Management
HNES 708 Positive Youth Development Through Sport

Summer - Even Year                      
**HNES 701 Leadership and Supervision              
HNES 731 Governance in Sport
HNES 737 School-wide Physical Activity Promotion

Fall - Even Year      
*HNES 700 Research in Physical Education and Sport
HNES 704 Psychological Foundation of Sport and Physical Activity         
HNES 790 Special Topics
HNES 707 Sport in American Society

Spring - Odd Year (2023/2025) 
**HNES 712  Principles of Management                  
HNES 715 Teaching Concepts-Based Fitness                      
HNES 718  Strategic Sport Marketing

Summer - Odd Year (2021/2023)          
**HNES 701 Leadership and Supervision
HNES 711 Physical Education Curriculum
HNES 714 Legal Liability in HPER
HNES 645 Organization and Administration of Coordinated School Health Programs

*It is required that you enroll in HNES 700 during the first fall semester of your enrollment.

** Required Course

To Apply:  Please visit  and follow the domestic and international application procedures.   Applicants are reviewed three times/year: early March for summer enrollment; early June for fall enrollment; and early November for spring enrollment. Students should indicate on their application if they desire to begin their course work during fall, spring or summer semester.


Graduate Bulletin
Course Descriptions
Meet the Faculty
Tuition and Fees
What Students Are Saying About the Program
LPES Video

Contact Information:
Dr. Jenny Linker, Program Coordinator HE/PE and LPES
NDSU Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences
Phone: 701-231-8676

Master’s Degree program at North Dakota State University recognized by President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition as NYSS Champion SM to Promote Participation in Youth Sports

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognizes the Leadership in Physical Education and Sport (LPES) Master’s degree program at North Dakota State University (NDSU) as one of the first organizations to join the National Youth Sports Strategy (NYSS) Champion program. The NYSS is the first Federal roadmap with actionable strategies to increase participation in youth sports, increase awareness of the benefits of youth sports participation, monitor and evaluate youth sports participation, and recruit and engage volunteers in youth sports programming. As an NYSS Champion, NDSU’s LPES program faculty have demonstrated their support of youth sports and a commitment to the NYSS vision.

“We are excited to be one of the first graduate programs in the US to be included as part of the NYSS Champion platform,” said Brad Strand, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences at NDSU. “Our LPES program is focused on championing appropriate coaching education and exemplary leadership practices. In our efforts to work with the NYSS we have identified three focus areas: 1) implement the principles of the American Development Model within youth sports programs, 2) promote physical literacy (the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active for life) as a foundation for sports programs, and 3) encourage sport sampling (playing more than one sport throughout the year).”

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