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 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
  • Floyd Jones

    Floyd Jones

    Professional Highlights

    • Provided leadership to design and develop CPASS blended sport management master's program
    • 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 community-based summertime learning model that has won national awards and has been implemented in communities throughout WV called Project YES
  • 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
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

Apply online at the WVU Graduate Admissions website. Incomplete applications (those without all required materials and documentation) will not be accepted.

Prerequisites and requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants to the Master of Science in Sport Management program must upload the following documentation within the graduate application: 

  • Resume: including any professional experiences in the sport industry
  • Personal Statement: 1-2 written pages on professional goals and reasons for seeking admission
  • Letters of recommendation (2)

You will not be able to submit your application until the above documents are uploaded. Once the application is submitted and (unofficial/official) transcripts are received, your application will be reviewed for an admission decision. International applicants will not be reviewed with unofficial transcripts. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 (4-point scale) for regular admission.

Please contact the Office of Student Success at (304) 293-4800 for more information about the application process.


Additional program admission information

Admission application form deadline: December 15. Admission is limited to fall start only.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their application with unofficial transcripts from all previously attended institutions. Submitting unofficial transcripts speeds up the application review process as most graduate programs make admission decisions using unofficial transcripts. 

If you are offered acceptance, you are required to  submit official transcripts from all previously attended institutions to be fully admitted into your intended graduate program. You will not be able to register for classes until the official transcripts are received. The preferred method to submit your official transcripts is through a secure, online service such as eScript, The National Clearing House, or Parchment, to graduateadmissions@mail.wvu.edu

Alternatively, if you are unable to submit an electronic version of your official transcript, the physical, sealed, un-tampered with documents can be mailed to:

WVU Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 6510, Morgantown, WV 26501

OR

WVU Graduate Admissions,  1 Waterfront Pl, 2nd Fl Morgantown, WV 26505

Directions for submitting International, official transcripts

International applicants must submit proof of English language proficiency.  

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. 

Learn more

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Reach out

Lindsay Augstine Portrait
Lindsay Augustine
Student Services Specialist
Portrait of Gary Lhotsky outside
Gary J. Lhotsky
Teaching Associate Professor

(304) 293-0861
PAS-E 242
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