IAL Curriculum

The Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership Program is 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

Guided by our national advisory board, the curriculum is a balanced representation of issues pertaining to different sports, different types of colleges/universities, different regions of the country, and students and leaders from diverse backgrounds.

Students must have at least 48 credits to graduate. Students take 18 credits during the in-person summer session and complete the remaining 30 credits during the traditional academic year. For more information on how coursework is distributed, please refer to the IAL program's structure page.

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.


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.