The Best Sports Management Graduate Programs

by Jared Lewis


The popularity of sports in the United States has led to an increased demand for sports management degrees. While a bachelor's degree qualifies you for an entry-level position, a master's degree in sports management or a master's in business administration with an emphasis in sports management can lead to a lucrative career in the field as a highly paid executive. Getting into a top-rated graduate program can make all the difference in what type of position you land. Top-rated programs are generally recognized by well-known publications in the industry for a number of reasons, such as placement rate, networking opportunities and proximity to different sports franchises or venues. Another more important consideration is the opportunity for students to specialize in certain areas of the sports management business. There is no exact formula for determining which programs are best, but you should consider as many of these factors as possible before deciding where you will attend graduate school.

University of Central Florida

The DeVos Sport Business Management program at the University of Central Florida (UCF) was recognized by Sports Business Journal in 2007 as one of the top programs in the nation. The UCF program started in 2002, with a donation of $2.5 million by the owners of the Orlando Magic, Rich and Helen DeVos. The program offers a number of opportunities for students, such as working closely alongside world-class business professionals already working in the industry. UCF sports management students work in teams on collaborative projects and develop the skills necessary to serve in executive capacities within the sports industry. Students also work closely with the MBA program and have the option of obtaining an MBA degree by taking just two additional courses beyond the sports management program. DeVos Sport Business Management College of Business Administration University of Central Florida P.O. Box 161400 Orlando, FL 32816-1400 (407) 823-4887

Arizona State University

The W. P. Carey Sports Business MBA program at Arizona State University (ASU) is well-known for its results-driven approach to graduate degrees in sports management. It was recognized by the Sports Business Journal as one of the top programs in the nation in 2007. Likewise, the Wall Street Journal also rated the ASU program as one of the top five programs in the nation in the September 16, 2006, edition. Like UCF, ASU offers students a hands-on approach to learning the industry in a team-based format. Arizona State prides itself on its academic rigor and requires its students to spend two trimesters taking core MBA classes before they can take a course in the sports management field. ASU graduates have gone on to work with the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Seattle Seahawks. W. P. Carey School of Business 300 E. Lemon P.O. Box 874906 Tempe, AZ 85287-4906 (480) 965-3332

California State University--Long Beach

Also recognized by the Sports Business Journal in 2007 as a top program, California State University at Long Beach (CSULB) has emerged as a leader in the graduate level sports management degree game. Located in the center of southern California and its successful sports industry, CSULB offers students a substantial opportunity to get hands-on training and make networking contacts within the sports industry. One of the strengths of the program is its accelerated nature, which allows students to obtain a master's degree in just 18 months. It also offers working professionals the opportunity to obtain a master's degree by attending class one night per week. This flexibility makes the program attractive to many talented students. California State University, Long Beach--KIN 1250 Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840 (562) 985-4051

About the Author

Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.

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