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

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

  • professional portrait of Brent Oja in suit and tie

    Brent Oja

    Professional Highlights

    • Research emphasis on sport employee human resource management and development via positive organizational behavior
    • Published in Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Review and European Sport Management Quarterly
    • Presented research at international and national conferences
  • lee

    Cindy Lee

    Professional Highlights

    • Worked as a sports marketer at Octagon Korea during 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup
    • Member of the organizing team for the 2001 World Taekwondo Championship
    • Research emphasis on fan behavior and various factors on their decision-making
  • Portrait of Gary Lhotsky outside

    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).
  •  Portrait of Justin Wartella at a football game

    Justin Wartella

    Professional Highlights

    • Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association (PSADA)
    • Former Sport Management Liaison and Executive Council Member
    • Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Summer Study Program
    • Coordinator and Instructor of the Sports Marketing Workshop and Internship
    • Super Bowl XLIX - Event Staff Supervisor
    • 2017 College Football National Championship Game - Event Staff Supervisor
  • Portrait of Hairston

    Patrick O. Hairston

    Professional Highlights

    • East Jefferson YMCA, Metairie, LA: Board of Governors Member – Board Chair
    • NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program (AASP) Selection Committee Member
    • Williamson (W.Va.) High School Athletic Hall of Fame Member
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.


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.


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

  • If you are an incoming freshman or transfer student, apply to WVU: WVU Admissions Application
  • On your WVU Admissions materials indicate Sport Management as your major of interest.
  • While direct admission is available, some students are admitted into the Pre-Sport Management major. After completing at least 30 credit hours and earning at least a 2.6 GPA, Pre-Sport Management students are eligible to be admitted to the Sport Management major. 

Direct Admission Option

  • Incoming freshman student criteria:
      • High school GPA of 3.0 
      • An ACT score of 21 or an SAT score of 1080 (combined Evidence Based Reading/Writing and Math)
  • Transfer students must meet the following requirements:
        • Transfer GPA of 2.6
        • 30 or more credit hours

Prerequisites and requirements

Regardless of a student's admission status in Sport Management, students will not be able to take upper-level courses in the Sport Management program until they have earned the necessary minimum grades in their foundation-level coursework. Foundation-level coursework includes SM 167, ACCT 200 or ECON 200, JRL 101, ENGL 101, COMM 100/102 or COMM 104, and a GEF 3. Additionally, some upper-level courses may be restricted to junior or senior-level standing. 

Pre-Sport Management students will be moved into the Sport Management major after meeting the following criteria:
  • Earning at least 30 credit hours
  • Earning at least a 2.6 GPA

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

Portrait of Lindsay Augustine
Lindsay Augustine
Assistant Dean for Student and Enrollment Services
Portrait of Gary Lhotsky outside
Gary J. Lhotsky
Teaching Associate Professor

(304) 293-0861
PAS-E 242
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