What you can earn


1 year

Credits earned




Time commitment

Full-time in summer; Part-time rest of year

Upcoming deadline

January 3, 2025

Become a leader for student athletes

The Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership (IAL) program is designed for those aspiring to thrive in the dynamic world of athletics. In just one year, students graduate with the skills and experience needed for a successful career in sports administration.

This hybrid program combines hands-on experience in athletics with focused courses on leadership development, the societal impact of sports, and essential skills for athletic administration. The IAL program provides an accelerated path to earning a master's degree and offers a unique, tight-knit alumni network.

With tailored internship experiences, it's an ideal choice for individuals passionate about making a difference in the lives of student-athletes. Key benefits of IAL include:

Earn your master's degree in one year

The program offers an expedited path to earning a Master's degree, equipping you with the knowledge and skills needed for sports administration.

Strong alumni network

Join a supportive IAL alumni community, providing valuable networking opportunities and connections in the world of athletics.

Customized internships

Tailor your internship experience to align with your career goals and interests, gaining practical experience in your chosen field of athletics.

Learn more on the IAL website

After graduation

After graduating from the Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership program, you can expect a wide range of opportunities in the sports industry. Graduates often pursue careers in sports administration, management, and leadership roles within colleges, universities, and athletic organizations.

Curious where our graduates are working? Check out our IAL Alumni Database

Let's connect

More information about IAL can be found on the Center for Leadership in Athletics website.


    IAL's curriculum is organized around three main areas:

    1. Leadership Development: Gain essential leadership skills and strategies to enhance student-athlete opportunities and the role of athletics within the educational experience.
    2. Impact of Sport on Society: Explore the societal implications of athletics within the context of educational missions, promoting ethical practices and inclusivity.
    3. Athletic Administration Skills: Develop the practical skills needed for effective athletic administration, including budgeting, legal issues, and management.

    Students accumulate a minimum of 48 credits to graduate, with 18 credits completed during the in-person summer session and the remaining 30 credits during the traditional academic year. This unique program structure combines in-person and distance learning with hands-on internships, offering flexibility for those entering the field and professionals looking to advance their careers.

    Required Courses:

    • Foundations of Leadership
    • Education as a Moral Endeavor
    • Legal Issues in Higher Education
    • Intro to Sociology of Education
    • Budget & Financial Reporting for ICA Managers
    • Navigating the P-20 Pipeline
    • Info Management and Technology in Sports
    • Ethical Leadership in Collegiate Athletics
    • Athletic Department Services & Operations

    Elective Courses:

    • Coaching Philosophy and Pedagogy
    • Marketing and Communications
    • Sports Performance: Physical Training & Preparation
    • Informing Policy & Decision-Making with Data
    • Advanced Coaching Pedagogy and Practice
    • Athlete and Team Wellness
    • Student Populations

    Your internships can take you to a range of sports organizations, from collegiate and professional to interscholastic, not-for-profit, community, and sports business sectors. Finding your internship is a personalized journey, taking into account where you want to be, your future career interests and the type of campus and functional area you want to explore. Our extensive IAL network, featuring professionals from our Advisory Board, IAL alumni network, former internship site supervisors, and guest speaker contacts, ensures you find an internship that aligns with your goals.

    Admission requirements and process

      Applicants should meet the following minimum requirements:

      • Earned a bachelor’s degree before the program begins
      • At least one year of experience within an athletics setting
      • Demonstrated understanding of the intercollegiate athletics setting along with the issues and challenges present in the industry

      You will need the following materials in your application:

      • Transcript
      • Resume
      • Three letters of recommendation
      • Statement of purpose
      • Writing Sample

      The program begins summer quarter. While applications are accepted on a space-available basis through spring, interested candidates should submit their application by the beginning of January in order to receive priority consideration.

      Learn more about IAL admissions

      Costs and funding

        IAL is a self-sustaining fee-based program. Costs will differ from standard UW tuition rates. The following estimates are based on the 2023-24 academic year and are subject to change.

        • Tuition: $790/credit
        • Total cost: $37,920 (48 credits)
        • Additional fees: 
          • Registration fee: $55.00
          • U-Pass fee: $92.00
          • Technology fee: $8.00 – $38.00 per quarter
          • Services & activities Fee: $51.00 – $253.00

        Students in all fee-based programs, including IAL, are ineligible for the tuition exemption program, institutional tuition waivers or the university grant programs, including the Husky Promise program. There are scholarship and assistantship opportunities for IAL students. Learn more on the IAL website.