Sport Management (SM)

A career in the sports industry is not just for professional athletes. West Virginia University’s Sport Management program prepares students to work behind-the-scenes of the sport industry, one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.

This program equips students with skills like management and leadership, sport marketing and finance, critical thinking, and problem solving to create appropriate solutions and implementing positive outcomes in their sport organizations. By melding innovative courses with professional development, the WVU Sport Management program trains students for a variety of professional management positions.

Students graduating from the WVU sport management program can connect with an extensive alumni base. WVU Sport Management graduates find jobs in in the areas of sales, marketing, fan relations, sponsorship, intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics, community recreation and sport centers, city parks and recreation departments, and sport goods and marketing companies. Some of our graduates choose to further their knowledge and build scholarly credentials by attending graduate programs in sport management, business administration, and law. 

What our alumni have to say:

  • Jamie H.

    "The WVU Sport Management program is a perfect blend of business and sports. The inspiring professors are passionate about student success. Because of practical experience and the worldwide network of WVU connections, I have fulfilled my dream of working in college athletics."

    Jamie H.

    B.S. SM, 2009
  • Tony B

    "During my time as a SM major at WVU I was presented with endless opportunities to explore all avenues of sport through course work and field work. My experience from CPASS has allowed me a successful start to my career."

    Tony B.

    B.S. SM, 2013
  •  Alex Brucki

    "The WVU Sport Management program is responsible for my continued growth as a sports professional by providing me with tremendous faculty support and numerous opportunities in the local and wider sports industry."

    Alex B.

    B.S. SM, 2012
Coursework

What you'll study

Students learn how to juggle the complexities of the sport industry through academic preparation and hands-on experiences.

Foundational Courses

The undergraduate Sport Management program requires students to take courses in foundation areas to prepare them for major coursework. Students must take required courses in the principles of business management, marketing, communication, and electives in similar areas. 

Students accepted into the major take sport management specific classes to learn how to apply principles and fundamental knowledge of sport management to various sport contexts such as intercollegiate, professional, or grassroots sport. In addition, students can choose a minor pertaining to their special interest.

Professional Courses

Students will gain hands-on experience through a practicum in partnership with the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Additionally, a required internship course will provide real-world experience to students as they choose an area of interest to complete this internship with a minimum of three, and a maximum of 12 credits. An internship coordinator will guide students through this process to help create the most beneficial learning experience. 

Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program

The newly developed Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s program in Sport Management gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work toward both a B.S. and M.S. degree simultaneously. This accelerated approach makes graduate study more cost-effective. With the addition of two summer sessions, students can earn both degrees within four years. Advantages include tuition savings, improved marketability, enhanced networking opportunities and the potential for a higher starting salary.

Learn more about the ABM program
Program faculty

Who you'll learn from

  • lee

    Cindy Lee

    Professional Highlights

    • Worked as a sport marketer during 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup
    • Participated in organizing the 2001 World Taekwondo Championship
  • Floyd Jones

    Floyd Jones

    Professional Highlights

    • Provided leadership to design and develop Blended Sport Management Master's Program into one of the most impressive, high quality, high placement rate, graduate programs in the University.
    • Built Collaborations with multiple international partners, including, Venezuela, Cayman Island, Canada, Africa, Europe. 
    • Designed an active International Sport Management Consortium comprised of multiple US partners, and collaborators. 
    • Created a Partnership with Rural WV and Urban Regional Community Based Partners to bring over 300 at risk students to the campus every fall for a career exploration and Big 12 football game.
    • Created a Community Based Summer time learning model that has won National awards and has been implemented in many communities throughout WV. "Project YES
  • Gary Lhotsky portrait

    Gary J. Lhotsky

    Professional Highlights

    • Eleven years of professional experience in collegiate athletic facility and event management at Florida State University, Florida International University, and the University of Miami.
    • Extensive experience planning and hosting NCAA, ACC, Big East, TAAC, and FHSA championships.
  • bravo

    Gonzalo Bravo

    Professional Highlights

    • In 2016, Bravo completed a sabbatical semester in Brazil and from 2014 to 2017 he was a visiting scholar at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center of Latin American Studies.

    • Visiting professor at the Research Center for Sport, Leisure and Society at Universidade Federal Do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil
    • Co-editor of three books: International Sport Management (Human Kinetics, 2012), Sport in Latin America. Policy, Organization, Management (Routledge, 2016), and Sport Mega-Events in Emerging Economies (Palgrave, 2018).
Beyond The Classroom

Field Experiences and Research

Hands-on Experience

The sport management program at WVU provides students the opportunity to develop their resume through experiential education. Sport Management courses value real-life projects as part of class requirements, allowing students the opportunity to address the issues of the real world. Sport Management majors are encouraged to participate in student organizations where they have the opportunity to practice skills learned in classes such as marketing, budgeting, public speaking, etc. In addition, every student will complete a minimum of three credit hours in an internship of their interest. Opportunities within the athletic department, community businesses, or professional sport organizations are common within the student body.

Technology

An important and growing part of the sport industry is technology related. Students are charged with completing a semester-long project addressing a technology issue of their choice. Students are also engaged in creating promotional materials such as still images and video utilizing Adobe Premier.

Careers

Since the inception of the sport management program in 1981, WVU has developed a large and successful workforce in all areas of sport including recreational, professional, amateur, and college sport in the areas of administration, facilities, communications, sales, marketing, and governance, among others.

Internship Sites

WVU Sport Management interns have ample choices for internship opportunities. Students have the opportunity to learn the workings of the multiple departments of a Division I athletic program including marketing, fundraising, operations, and communications among others. Working at professional sport organizations also exists within the nearby cities including Pittsburgh, Pa., Baltimore, Md., and Washington, D.C. Morgantown boasts a healthy recreational and fitness market providing local opportunities in these areas, as well. Students are also encouraged to do internships outside the state.

Career Preparation

After Graduation

Commonly sought research focuses among alumni

  • Sport management
  • Law school
  • Business administration
  • Mass communication/journalism
  • Higher education administration
  • Sport marketing
  • Facility management
  • Sport fan behavior/development

Example employers and job titles of graduates

  • Jamie H. - West Virginia University, Mountaineer Athletic Club
  • Pete P. - Houston Astros, Baseball operations coordinator
  • Keith R. - Boston Bruins, Fan Relations representative
  • Adam J. - University of Nevada, Assistant Equipment manager
  • Jacob W. - Villanova University Athletics, Marketing and Events Coordinator
  • Rob P. - Red Bulls, Suite Sales Manager
  • Amanda S. - The Walt Disney Company, Guest Services Assistant
  • John T. - University of Washington, assistant director of events
  • Stephen W. - Philadelphia Eagles, Stadium Operations Support coordinator
  • Tony B. - Sacramento Kings, Ticket Sales & Services account executive
  • Drew J. - Philadelphia Eagles, Premium Tickets coordinator
  • Matt M. - Philadelphia Soul, Account Manager
How To Apply

The Admission Process

How to apply

  • Apply to WVU: WVU Admissions Application
  • On your WVU Admissions materials indicate Sport Management as your major of interest.
  • While direct admission is available, many students are admitted into the pre-sport management major: and after one year of coursework can apply for admission into the sport management major.

Direct Admission Option

Sport Management offers a direct admission option to students who earned scores of 1125 or higher on SAT or 26 ACT. Students who qualify will be directly admitted into the program as freshmen.

Prerequisites and requirements

  • Overall GPA 2.5 or higher
  • A maximum of sixty (60) students will be admitted during each admission cycle from the pool of applicants. The sixty (60) applicants with the HIGHEST GPA and who MINIMALLY meet or exceed the following admission criteria will be accepted each admission cycle into this cohort. 
    • Applications made during the spring semester (March 1 deadline) for freshmen and beyond. 
  • View admission requirements

Additional program admission information

Admission application form deadline: March 1

View full list of admission requirements View listing of GEC Foundation Courses

Once accepted into the Sport Management Program, students must continue to meet University and program requirements, as well as maintain satisfactory progress towards completion of the degree.

If a student fails to meet requirements once admitted to the program:

  • The student will be placed on probation for one semester.
  • The student’s grades will be reviewed at the conclusion of the probation semester to determine their future status. Upon this review, the student will either be reinstated to or suspended from the program.
  • A student suspended from the program must seek another major immediately, as they will not be permitted to register for additional required Sport Management classes.

Learn more

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Reach out

Lindsay Augstine Portrait
Lindsay Augustine
Student Services Specialist
bravo
Gonzalo Bravo
Associate Professor