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Sport Management (SM)

The on-campus M.S. program in Sport Management prepares graduate students to compete in the global job market as industry leaders. This unique curriculum features courses that provide real-world training in athletics compliance and sport finance. The program’s extensive alumni network represents a signature feature. Its alumni have made significant contributions in a variety of areas including intercollegiate athletics, professional sports, facilities and arenas, event marketing and promotions, business law, as well as other sport businesses. 

Students complete 36 credit hours, including a 6-hour internship in this plan of study. Past internship experiences have included marketing research and data-mining consultant experiences for the Charlotte Bobcats, Memphis Grizzlies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Capitals. A dual degree option between the on-campus M.S. in Sport Management and M.B.A. program is also available, allowing students to earn both degrees in two years. Students may complete the degree in one calendar year, but two years is the most popular time-frame for those who receive a graduate assistantship. A range of teaching, research, and service oriented graduate assistantships are available covering tuition waiver and stipend.

What our alumni have to say:

  • Geoff Lofstead

    "Without question my degree in the WVU Graduate Sport Management program allowed me the opportunity to get started in the golf business. Without this degree I would not have been able to secure the internship that provided a spring board into the business. This degree commands respect in the sport industry and I would not be where I am today without it. "

    Geoff L.

    M.S. SM, 1996
  • Rob Mullins

    "The network and relevant work experience gained while in WVU Graduate Sport Management Program were the perfect foundation to propel me toward my career goals in intercollegiate athletics. Years later, I continue to draw on my valuable time at WVU."

    Rob M.

    M.S. SM, 1993
  • Kirk Madsen

    "I would not be where I am today without the WVU Sport Management Graduate Program. I was able to gain valuable education and work experience and make contacts within the industry which directly led to me landing my first full-time position in professional sports."

    Kirk M.

    M.S. SM, 2008
Coursework

What you'll study

The on-campus sport management master’s program requires 36 credit hours. This includes required sport management classes and a six-hour internship. The program provides students with invaluable professional experiences working on real-world problems.

Professional Courses

The internship is designed for the student to gain valuable, practical experience in the sport industry. This hands-on work experience provides personal growth, development and knowledge unattainable in the classroom while enhancing the student’s job marketability. Host organizations will evaluate the intern as he/she gains invaluable professional experience. 

MBA-MS in Sport Management Dual Degree

By coordinating the programs of study in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and the Master of Science in Sport Management (MS) via the dual MBA/MS degree, students can obtain both an MBA and an MS in Sport Management degree in 63 credit hours. Taken independently, these two graduate degrees would normally consist of 84 credit hours. However, by coordinating the programs of study, students can receive both degrees in 21 fewer credit hours.

Read more information
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

    • Visiting professor at the Research Center for Sport, Leisure and Society at Universidade Federal Do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil
    • Visiting scholar at the University Center for International Studies, University Of Pittsburgh
    • Co-editor of two books in International sport management
Beyond The Classroom

Field Experiences and Research

Internship Opportunities

The internship is designed for the student to gain valuable, practical experience under the supervision of a practitioner in the sport industry. This hands-on work experience provides personal growth, development and knowledge unattainable in the classroom. Many students also apply for and receive graduate assistantships to help fund their graduate education.

The internship enhances the student’s job marketability, as host organizations evaluate a potential future employee as the intern gains invaluable professional experience. Compensation and duration of the internship are negotiable, depending upon the particular needs of the host organization.

Internship FAQ

Example Internship Experiences

The following organizations are among many who have made internship positions available to WVU Graduate Sport Management Program students:

  • College Athletics

    • Arizona State
    • Boston College
    • Campbell 
    • George Mason
    • Georgia Tech Athletic Association
  • Sports Businesses

    • Burns Sports @ Celebrities
    • Comcast -Spectacor
    • Disney Sports
    • Edelman PR Worldwide
    • ESPN
  • Professional Sports

    • Akron Aeros
    • Buffalo Bisons
    • Cincinnati Bengals
    • Cleveland Indians
    • Colorado Rockies
    • WV Black Bears

    See more examples 

Graduate Assistantships

The WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and many WVU campus departments offer various graduate assistantship opportunities to Graduate Sport Management students. In any given year, many students in the master’s degree program are awarded a graduate assistantship. These assistantships vary, from WVU Athletics, the WVU Student Recreation Center, University Advising Center, to Teaching Assistantships in the College’s Basic Instruction Program (BIP). 

In addition to Graduate Assistantships, the Graduate Program is awarded Meritorious Tuition Waiver hours to be distributed to those students not receiving a GA. These tuition waiver hours are provided based on need and availability.

Several Graduate Assistantships are offered throughout the administrative areas of the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, including facility management and operations, sports marketing, sports communications, sports information, athletic compliance, athletic business and finance, and senior women’s administration.

See full list of assistantships

For additional information regarding graduate assistantships

WVU Financial Aid Services
(304) 293-5242
http://financialaid.wvu.edu/

Career Preparation

After Graduation

Graduates from this program have been extremely successful in gaining entry into the sport industry. Our alumni maintain a strong connection to the program and often serve as mentors to current students.

Example employers and job titles of graduates

  • Morgan B. ('13)—Group Sales Manager, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball, Chattanooga, TN 
  • Micah C. ('11)—Sports Information Director, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, NY 
  • Keli C. ('11)—Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Governance, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 
  • Jesse H. ('13)—Sales Development, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland, OH 
  • Abby N. ('13)—Assistant Director for Donor Stewardship and Administration, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX
How To Apply

The Admission Process

How to apply

Prospective students should apply online to the Office of Graduate Admissions. All application material must be submitted electronically to the Office of Graduate Admissions by December 15.

A complete application consists of:

  • Current resume
  • Professional goal statement: 2 written pages on the applicant’s background and experience, involvement in sport-related associations, and career interests
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • On-campus or online interview for those invited

Prerequisites and requirements

Minimum admission requirements to the On-Campus Sport Management Master’s Degree Program:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75
  • No GRE scores required

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements .

The previously listed materials are submitted online as part of the WVU Graduate Admission Application. Applicants must submit their official copies of transcripts and test scores directly to the WVU Office of Admissions, PO Box 6009, Morgantown, WV 26506.

All graduate students must achieve and maintain a 3.0 GPA or better (4-point scale) prior to graduation.


 

Additional program admission information

Admission application form deadline: December 15

The selection process

As a final phase in the selection process, select applicants will be invited for personal or telephone interviews. The final selection of students will be based on the applicant’s overall qualifications and relevant experiences. The interviewing committee selects candidates who will make a significant contribution to the field of sport management.