The Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership Programs are organized around three broad areas: (1) Leadership Development, (2) Impact of Sport on Society, and (3) Athletic Administration Skills Leadership Development. Cutting across these areas are six themes directly tied to issues and challenges facing intercollegiate athletics:

  • Role of Athletics within Higher Education
  • Enhancement of the Student-Athlete Experience
  • Creation and Maintenance of Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Management of Organizational Change
  • Development of Intercollegiate Athletics Leaders
  • Use of Inquiry and Information in Leadership Decision-making

The curriculum is guided by the principle that each course will develop one or more of the themes through core competencies identified by our national advisory board members, and that all courses will strive for a balanced and representative presentation of issues pertaining to different sports, different types of colleges/universities, different regions of the country, and students and leaders from diverse backgrounds. The IAL Program builds on the intellectual and programmatic strengths of the Graduate Program in Higher Education’s (GPHE) current M.Ed. program, while incorporating other leadership and curricular strands from several of the University of Washington’s nationally prominent faculty from other schools and colleges.

Course Listings

Learn more about our specific courses below:  


Exploration of how to develop skills and strategies as emerging leaders for decision-making that enhances student-athlete opportunities and enriches the role of athletics within the educational experience.
Exploration of the moral implications of athletics within the context of colleges' and universities' educational missions and the purposes of higher education.
An introduction to issues pertaining to student athlete wellness and welfare through a lens of equity and access, with a specific focus is given to elements of identity, including race, gender, class, sexuality, and community.
Discussion of the legal implications of university operations and the legal and constitutional rights of students, faculty, and staff within the university, with a special focus on athletics-specific legal issues.
The role of accounting and budgeting within athletic departments, with a focus on budget and financial management skills central to fiscal responsibility within public and private institutions.
An introduction to the role and use of information in the context of sport, including discussions of what is generic or unique to athletics in terms of use of information resources, services, processes, and systems.
Examining methods of assessment and evaluation with a focus on strategic planning and decision-making, accountability systems and assessment-driven decision-making within athletics and higher education.
Examination of the moral challenges facing leaders in intercollegiate athletics, exploring the values and virtues important to sustained ethical leadership.
Exploring current trends and issues in education and youth sports that impact the pipeline to collegiate athletics.


Exploration the core practices of Ambitious Coaching, focus on basic coaching strategies to promote athlete wellness and elicit peak athletic performance.
Development of a student-centered training program that maximizes athletic performance and enhances student wellness and mental health.
Exploration of the responsibility of athletics coaches to develop a team culture oriented towards the welfare of student-athlete, discussing the psychological and physiological factors that affect athlete performance.
A continuation of EDLPS 507, focused on advanced coaching techniques and strategies central to effective coaching.


Examination of organizational structures that surround and impact athletics, with a focus on our own professional development and leadership within these dynamic settings.
An overview of the external functional areas of the athletic department including marketing and communications, fundraising and development, ticketing, and events and facilities management.
Overview of internal operation functional areas of the athletic department including academic advising, student development, compliance, and team operations.
Focus on understanding student development theory and how it relates to providing a holistic and healthy experience for student-athletes.

Curriculum Case Study: Fierce Conversations

Please click below to read more about a unique element of our curriculum: Fierce Conversations.


Contact Us about IAL

Contact us about the IAL Program

University of Washington - IAL
Gilman Building: 4725 30th Avenue NE,
Seattle, WA, 98105


Receive News on the IAL M.Ed.

Interested in applying to the IAL M.Ed. program? Sign up for our prospective student newsletter to receive updates, tips, and deadline reminders! 

Join Our Email List!email icon