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Master’s in Sports Management in the United States

A Master’s in Sports Management is a graduate programme focused on health, business, community recreation and international relations. Graduates of accredited programmes typically enter management roles in community departments, K-12 education, universities, or with one of the many national and international sports organizations and federations. Plus, studying in the US gives international students a huge advantage when it comes to networking. The country is heavily connected and a degree from the US is internationally recognized.

What Is a Master’s in Sports Management?

A Master’s in Sports Management is designed for students who want to grow into leadership positions within community, collegiate, corporate or professional recreation. Nearly all US schools welcome both domestic and international applicants, and they accept working professionals, former athletes and recent graduates. Coursework depends on the school and specific programme, but common classes include the following:

  • Managerial accounting
  • Sports marketing
  • Media relations
  • Broadcasting
  • Sports policy and law
  • Physiology and human kinetics
  • Athletic training
  • Hospitality
  • Organizational change
  • Events planning
  • Facilities management
  • Community recreation
  • NCAA regulation
  • Coaching theory

Master’s programmes in the US generally require at least 30 credit hours of graduate-level coursework. Some schools also require six credit hours of thesis work.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Sports Management in the United States?

Pursuing a graduate degree in sports management in the United States is an excellent route to intentional exposure. The US is highly respected in the industry and also heavily involved in national and global organizations. Here are the major benefits for domestic and international applicants:

  • Access to industry professionals, including professional athletes, directors and health experts
  • The freedom to specialize in business, coaching, training, motorsports, kinesiology and more
  • Excellent opportunities for research and advanced degrees (PhD)
  • Tailored programmes for retired athletes
  • Remote learning options

Many schools also help students secure internships between their first and second year. This is a great way to get valuable real-world experience, particularly for intentional candidates. For example, the University of Texas at Austin encourages all students to begin working in the industry while in the programme. Furthermore, the school’s athletic department is one of the most well respected collegiate business entities in the country. The sports management program is a great jump off point for practical application or advanced research. Other notable schools include Arizona State, Michigan State, University of San Francisco and California State.

The US hosts hundreds of international sporting events each year. It is home to motocross, the NFL and the NBA. It remains a key player in both summer and winter Olympic games, and US universities are highly ranked on the international level. Most sports management programmes welcome students from all academic backgrounds, including business, liberal arts, broadcasting, medicine and political science.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect with a Master’s in Sports Management?

Graduating in sports management opens a lot of door all over the world. It allows athletes and enthusiasts to move up the ranks in the industry they love. Jobs involve a variety of functions, including marketing, accounting, facilities management, administration, human resources, coaching, IT, PR and more. Here’s a quick list of common employer categories in the industry:

  • Professional sport leagues, such as the NFL or MLB
  • College athletic departments
  • Stadiums, training facilities and other athletic venues
  • Local school districts
  • Community sport leagues
  • Municipal government (parks and recreation)
  • Youth summer camps
  • Corporate wellness departments
  • FIFA and other international federations

Many graduates may choose to work strictly in fitness or hospitality. Training gyms commonly hire masters graduates for management and administrative functions, while large hotels and resorts typically staff entire recreation departments. Because graduate sports programmes tend to incorporate more business concepts than do undergraduate programmes, students are well equipped to begin their own heath clubs should they choose to do so. This generally requires specific licenses, which vary by state and country.

Finally, a Master’s in Sports Management is ideal for professionals seeking a career that is more focused on intimate interaction with clients. Whether you are interested in mentoring, conditioning, coaching or corporate wellness, a master’s degree is a good way to stand above the competition. Aspiring hopefuls in this category should hone in on elective courses in kinesiology, coaching methods and sports psychology.

Contact an admissions representative today, and turn your passion into a long-term, viable career.

Illinois State University

Normal, United States

  • 192SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 33,465Average Tuition
  • 74%Acceptance Rate

Illinois State University is the first publicly-funded higher education institution in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. It offers undergraduate majors and graduate degree programs in a wide variety of concentrations including applied science and technology, arts and sciences, business, education, fine arts, and nursing. Illinois State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission....

DePaul University

Chicago, United States

  • 201SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 52,402Average Tuition
  • 70%Acceptance Rate

DePaul University is a private Catholic University located in Chicago, Illinois, US. DePaul University offers master's degre programmes in fields including Business, Engineering, Computer Science, Social Sciences and more. DePaul University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to grant master's degree programmes. ...

Washington State University

Pullman, United States

  • 250SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 25,000Average Tuition
  • 72%Acceptance Rate

Washington State University (WSU) is a public research institution with its main campus in Pullman, Washington, USA. WSU is comprised of several other campuses in the country and offers a wide variety of master's degree programs. ...

University of South Florida

Tampa, United States

  • 256SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 15,900Average Tuition
  • 0Acceptance Rate

The University of South Florida (USF) is a public research institution located in the city of Tampa, Florida, United States. The university has three campuses through which it delivers master’s degree courses in the fields of health professions and related programs, business, management, marketing, and related support services, biological and biomedical sciences, social sciences, psychology, architecture, liberal arts, education and visual and performing arts....

American University

Washington, United States

  • 262SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 31,500Average Tuition
  • 29%Acceptance Rate

American University (AU) is a student-centered research University located in Washington DC, USA. The institution offers 87 postgraduate master’s degree programs through its eight schools of Arts & Sciences, Business, Communication, Education, International Service, Professional & Extended Studies, Public Affairs and Law....

Adelphi University

Garden City, United States

  • 268SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 34,034Average Tuition
  • 72.4%Acceptance Rate

Adelphi University is a private, coeducational institution of higher learning located in Garden City, New York, United States and has a dedicated faculty through which it offers a wide range of master's degree programs. ...

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, United States

  • 278SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 30,665Average Tuition
  • 85%Acceptance Rate

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) is a public institution located in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.A. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi offers a wide range of master's degree programs through its five academic colleges namely: Business; Education and Human Development; Liberal Arts; Nursing and Health Sciences; and Science and Engineering....

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, United States

  • 285SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 24,000Average Tuition
  • 73%Acceptance Rate

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is a learning and research institute in Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA. Students can choose from over 150 master’s degree programs at EMU. ...

University of South Carolina

Columbia, United States

  • 333SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 67,212Average Tuition
  • 65.2%Acceptance Rate

University of South Carolina (USC) is an American Public University founded in 1801. The university’s primary campus is located in Columbia, South Carolina, and it has dedicated faculties through which it offers master’s degree courses....

West Virginia University

Morgantown, United States

  • 402SchoolApply Rank
  • USD 32,482Average Tuition
  • 86%Acceptance Rate

West Virginia University (WVU) is a public institution with its main campus located in Morgantown, and other campuses in Beckley and Keyser, West Virginia, U.S.A. WVU offers a wide range of master's degree programs through its 14 academic colleges and schools including: Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, WVU College of Law, and Reed College of Media....