Sport Management

Students have two options for completing a master's degree in sport management: 1) On-Campus and 2) Distance-Learning with Areas of Emphasis in either Comprehensive Sport Industry Management or Interscholastic Athletic Administration. 

On-Campus

The graduate on-campus sport management program requires thirty-six credit hours including a six-hour internship. This program can be completed in one or two years. This broad-based program prepares students to enter any segment of the sport management industry, and boasts alumni who have been successful in all areas of the industry.  The unique curriculum provides students with assignments that mirror "real-world" issues impacting professionals in the domain.

Dual Degree

A dual degree track option also exists between the on-campus sport management master's degree program and the M.B.A. program in the College of Business and Economics. This dual degree program requires two years to complete, as credits are used from each program to support the other. Students interested in the dual degree program must complete the online applications for admission to both the Sport Management Program (fall admission only) and the M.B.A. program (summer admission) and be admitted separately to both programs. For more information, go to http://business.wvu.edu/graduate-degrees/mba. Students complete the MBA coursework during the first year, and complete the sport management coursework in the second year.

Distance-Learning Program

This degree program offers flexibility to complete course competences at times which are convenient for students. The 30 credit hour distance education master's degree is expected to be completed in less than two years. Students entering this distance-education program can choose from one of two specific areas of emphasis to direct their studies.

The Limited Residency Area of Emphasis in Comprehensive Sport Industry Management has been in existence for almost two decades with many successful alumni currently working in all segments of the sport industry. This program is designed for students who are interested in a focus upon the general sport management industry. Students in this Area of Emphasis complete the vast majority of their courses online, with some material from four different courses completed onsite at the WVU campus in Morgantown during a 4-5 day period over the first summer in the program. Students in this track complete their coursework over 4 semesters, including a capstone project designed to give the student a hands-on experience researching a project in the field that will help them develop skills necessary for career advancement in a focus area of their choice.

The fully on-line Area of Emphasis in Interscholastic Athletic Administration is designed for students who are interested in working as interscholastic (middle school and high school) athletic directors.  All courses in this program are designed to be completed on-line and at a distance, with no residency required on campus.  Completion of this program will allow students to meet the requirements necessary to obtain the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Registered Athletic Administrator (RAA) certification as well as the educational requirements necessary for the NIAAA Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) certification.  While set up to be completed over the course of 5 semesters, this program is able to be completed in 3 or 4 semesters. As part of this program, students will complete NIAAA leadership coursework in two of the classes (SM 671 and SM 678). Students will be required to purchase course materials for these five educational components, each costing $70 (Total $350), and purchased directly from the NIAAA.

Admission Criteria

On-Campus Program

  • Undergraduate degree grade point average (2.75 minimum for regular status) from an approved institution
  • Two letters of recommendation submitted to the WVU Office of Admissions (https://graduateadmissions.wvu.edu/) website
  • Official transcript (submitted directly to the WVU Office of Admissions)
  • Resume submitted to the WVU Office of Admissions website
  • Two-page career (goal) statement submitted to the WVU Office of Admissions website

Submit your online admission application thru the WVU Office of Admissions website (https://graduateadmissions.wvu.edu/) along with your application fee. Official transcripts should be sent directly to the WVU Office of Admissions. Your goal statement and resume are submitted online through the WVU Office of Admissions web site. The WVU Office of Admissions website will also need two recommendation names and email addresses for reference letters. The system will send an email to your recommenders to complete a letter to be uploaded to the WVU Office of Admissions web site. Please DO NOT submit any paper copies of the screening materials above directly to faculty or CPASS, everything must be submitted online through the WVU Office of Admissions web site.. The deadline to have a completed file eligible for review for the on-campus program is December 15. 

Distance Learning

Admissions criteria and processes are identical for both the limited residency Area of Emphasis in Comprehensive Sport Industry Management and the fully on-line Area of Emphasis in Interscholastic Athletic Administration. These criteria include:

  • Undergraduate degree grade point average (2.75 minimum for regular status) from an approved institution
  • Transcript (submitted directly to the WVU Office of Admissions). (Note: Unofficial transcripts will be accepted for review of file, however, official transcripts will be required prior to admission)
  • Resume submitted to the WVU Office of Admissions website
  • Two-page career (goal) statement submitted to the WVU Office of Admissions website (Identify which Area of Emphasis you are interested in).

Please DO NOT submit paper copies of these screening materials to our office, they are to uploaded to the WVU Office of Admissions website along with your admission application. 

The Comprehensive Sport Industry Management Area of Emphasis only has a summer start date.  The deadline to apply is May 1st (for summer start).

The Interscholastic Athletic Administration Area of Emphasis can be started any semester (Spring, Summer, Fall).  The application deadlines for this program are: May 1 (for summer start, middle of May), August 1 (for Fall Star, middle of August), and December 1 (Spring Start, early to mid January)

accelerated b.s./m.s. sport management

Students must complete an internal application for admission to the accelerated B.S./M.S. (ABM) program. Students may apply for regular admission to the ABM in SM program in the fall semester following the completion of 75 credits, but not later than the semester after which they have completed 95 credits. Only enrolled WVU SM majors may be considered for regular admission to the program. Transfer students must complete at least 24 credit hours as degree seeking students at WVU before applying. The minimum GPA requirement for regular admission is GPA of 3.25 with no provisional admissions allowed. Regular admission will not be offered to students with less than two semesters to complete the bachelor's degree. The ABM in SM program is not available to students seeking a second (or subsequent) bachelor's degree. Internal application is due by October 1 or March 1 with program admissions decisions communicated by December 15 or May 15. Applications will be reviewed by a faculty work group and presented to the program faculty for a final admissions decision.

Degree Requirements: Campus Program

Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or higher required.
A grade of C or higher must be earned in all major courses
SM 516Sport Marketing Research Methods3
SM 527Legal Issues in Sport Administration3
SM 575Fund-Raising and Development3
SM 535Sport Management Processes3
SM 546Sport Marketing3
SM 570Sport Finance3
SM 580Sociocultural and Ethical Dimensions of Sport3
SM 621Sport Publicity/Public Relations3
SM 630Sport Sponsorship and Sales Management3
SM 660NCAA Compliance and Current Issues3
SM 685Internship in Sport Management6
Total Hours36

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
SM 6213SM 6303SM 6856
SM 5803SM 6603 
SM 5273SM 5163 
SM 5463SM 5353 
SM 5753SM 5703 
 15 15 6
Total credit hours: 36

Degree Requirements: Distance Education Program

Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 required.
SM 527Legal Issues in Sport Administration (Online)3
SM 535Sport Management Processes3
SM 540International Sport Governance (Online)3
SM 546Sport Marketing3
SM 570Sport Finance3
SM 575Fund-Raising and Development (Online)3
SM 580Sociocultural and Ethical Dimensions of Sport (Online)3
SM 586Facility Planning and Management3
Area of Emphasis6
Comprehensive Sport Industry Management
Interscholastic Athletic Administrator
Total Hours30

Comprehensive Sport Management Area of Emphasis

Students will be required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
All courses will need to be completed with a grade of C- or better.
SM 516Sport Marketing Research Methods3
SM 590Teaching Practicum3
Total Hours6

Suggested Plan of study

First SemesterHours
SM 5163
SM 5353
SM 5863
SM 5901
 10
Second SemesterHours
SM 5463
SM 5753
SM 5901
 7
Third SemesterHours
SM 5273
SM 5403
SM 5901
 7
Fourth SemesterHours
SM 5703
SM 5803
 6
Total credit hours: 30

Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Area of Emphasis

Students will be required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
All courses will need to be completed with a grade of C- or better.
SM 571Interscholastic Sport Organization and Administration3
SM 578Leadership in Interscholastic Athletic Administration3
Total Hours6

suggested plan of study

First SemesterHours
SM 5463
SM 5753
 6
Second SemesterHours
SM 5273
SM 5403
 6
Third SemesterHours
SM 5703
SM 5803
 6
Fourth SemesterHours
SM 5353
SM 5713
 6
Fifth SemesterHours
SM 5783
SM 5863
 6
Total credit hours: 30

Accelerated B.S./M.S. Degree Requirements

Bachelor of science degree requirements

Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required.
PASS 191First-Year Seminar1
GEF 1, 2, 5 & 6 (may vary depending on overlap)12
Pre-Major Coursework
ENGL 101Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric (GEF 1)3
COMM 100
COMM 102
Principles of Human Communication
and Human Communication in the Interpersonal Context (GEF 8)
3
or COMM 104 Public Communication
Select one of the following:3
Survey of Economics (GEF 4)
Principles of Microeconomics
Survey of Accounting
JRL 101Media and Society (GEF 8)3
Select one of the following (GEF 3):3
Intro Concepts Of Mathematics
Algebra with Applications
SM 167Introduction to Sport Management3
Applied Area Requirements
SEP 271Sport in American Society3
SEP 272Psychological Perspectives of Sport (GEF 8)3
SM 340Sport Governance3
SM 345Technology in Sport Management2
SM 350Leadership in Sport Management2
SM 355Orientation in Sport Management1
SM 375Sport in the Global Market (GEF 7)3
SM 387Issues in Sport Studies3
SM 425Sport Facility and Event Management3
SM 486Sport Marketing & Sales3
SM 491Professional Field Experience3
Select one of the following:3
Survey of Economics (GEF 4)
Principles of Microeconomics
Survey of Accounting
CS 101Intro to Computer Applications (GEF 2)4
COMM 306Organizational Communication3
BUSA 320Survey of Management3
BUSA 330Survey of Marketing3
PR 215Introduction to Public Relations3
Industry Approved Electives6
Minor Courses or Free Electives23
Total Hours108

master of science degree requirements

Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or higher required.
SM 516Sport Marketing Research Methods3
SM 527Legal Issues in Sport Administration3
SM 535Sport Management Processes3
SM 540International Sport Governance3
SM 546Sport Marketing3
SM 570Sport Finance3
SM 575Fund-Raising and Development3
SM 580Sociocultural and Ethical Dimensions of Sport3
SM 586Facility Planning and Management3
SM 590Teaching Practicum3
Total Hours30

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3Select one of the following (GEF 3):3 
SM 1673  
JRL 101 (GEF 8)3  
COMM 100
COMM 102 (GEF 8)
3SEP 2713 
PASS 1911CS 101 (GEF 2)4 
Elective or Minor Course3GEF 53 
 ECON 201 or BUSA 2023 
 16 16
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours 
ENGL 1023ECON 201 or BUSA 202 (GEF 4)3 
SEP 2723GEF 63 
Elective or Minor Course3COMM 3063 
PR 2153SM 3502 
GEF 23Industry approved elective3 
 15 14
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
SM 3403BUSA 3303SM 5163
SM 4253SM 375 (GEF 7)3SM 5863
BUSA 3203SM 4863SM 5901
SM 3452Elective or Minor Courses6Elective or Minor Course3
SM 3551  
Industry approved elective3  
 15 15 10
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
SM 3873SM 5273SM 5353
SM 4913SM 5403SM 5703
SM 5463SM 5901SM 5803
SM 5753Elective or Minor Courses8 
SM 5901  
 13 15 9
Total credit hours: 138

Major Learning Outcomes

Sport Management

The goal of the program is for students to graduate with the essential skills and knowledge necessary to prepare them for immediately entry into a career in the field of sport management.

  • Content Knowledge - Students will demonstrate knowledge and disciplinary concepts related to the field of sport management.
  • Reflection and Critical Thinking - Students will demonstrate reflection and critical thinking in order to refine professional knowledge and practice.
  • Programming and Assessment - Students will demonstrate evidence-based knowledge and skills (and best practices) for assessing needs and for designing, implementing and evaluating sport related settings/organizations.
  • Professionalism and Ethics - Students will demonstrate professional behaviors, including commitment to excellence, valuing diversity and collaboration, service to others, techniques for lifelong learning.
  • Technology - Students will be able to demonstrate the use of different forms of technology to allow them to function effectively within a sport management setting.

Courses

SM 516. Sport Marketing Research Methods. 3 Hours.

PR: Graduate standing or consent. Application of the scientific method to sport marketing; emphasis on evaluating and conducting survey research in sport marketing; marketing project includes consumer behavior research in sport settings.

SM 527. Legal Issues in Sport Administration. 3 Hours.

The NCAA, its rules, and its regulations: In-depth study of professional sport leagues, their constitution, by-laws, regulations, collective bargaining agreements, standard player contracts; legal issues involving sport agents.

SM 535. Sport Management Processes. 3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Analysis of management processes utilized in sport businesses. A focus is on the planning, organization, leading, and evaluation processes that are unique to the sport industry. Discussion, debate, and position papers on these four management processes.

SM 540. International Sport Governance. 3 Hours.

This course is focused on ways in which sport is organized and managed internationally; it aims to foster critical thinking, research, exchange of ideas, and writing about governance.

SM 546. Sport Marketing. 3 Hours.

Advanced analysis of marketing sport enterprises, the marketing planning process, and marketing information systems.

SM 570. Sport Finance. 3 Hours.

PR: Graduate standing or consent. Financial operations and economic impact of scholastic, intercollegiate, and professional sport administration; concepts of budgeting, auditing, reporting, and computer use; current developments in the field.

SM 571. Interscholastic Sport Organization and Administration. 3 Hours.

This class is designed to provide current or future interscholastic athletic administrators with fundamental theoretical and practical knowledge to be successful in interscholastic athletics. Topics of administrative principles, managerial responsibilities, and current and potential issues in interscholastic athletics will be covered.

SM 575. Fund-Raising and Development. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview for fundraising, development, and donor relations with the understanding of different needs in various sport organizations. Students will learn basic principles and techniques to raise money through sales and other financial means.

SM 578. Leadership in Interscholastic Athletic Administration. 3 Hours.

This course examines contemporary and productive leadership and management principles and concepts used throughout the sport industry, but specifically focused on their use within Interscholastic Athletic Administration. This course also fulfills a requirement to enable students to gain certification as an Interscholastic Athletic Administrator and covers LTCs 504 and 506, which are required for the certification.

SM 580. Sociocultural and Ethical Dimensions of Sport. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to foster critical thinking, writing and discussion about the historical, cultural and ethical dimensions of sport and their impact upon modern society.

SM 586. Facility Planning and Management. 3 Hours.

Acquaint students with the basic concepts in the areas of sport facilities: planning, design and construction, management, marketing, advertising and public relations and event operations.

SM 590. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Supervised practice in college teaching of sport management. Note: This course in intended to insure that graduate assistants are adequately prepared and supervised when they are given college teaching responsibility. It will also present a mechanism for students not on aassistantships to gain teaching experience.

SM 593A-E. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

SM 621. Sport Publicity/Public Relations. 3 Hours.

The course provides an in-depth understanding of effective public relations and publicity in the sport organizational context. In particular, the course focuses on the communication modalities for sport information through public mediums.

SM 630. Sport Sponsorship and Sales Management. 3 Hours.

The project-based course develops an in-depth understanding of sport sponsorship and sales management processes including strategic communication, direct and indirect selling protocols, and brand development.

SM 660. NCAA Compliance and Current Issues. 3 Hours.

PR: Graduate standing. An in-depth analysis of compliance issues impacting collegiate administrators and the NCAA.

SM 685. Internship in Sport Management. 1-6 Hours.

Sport management on-site working relationship with a sport organization to gain practical hands-on experience in a collegiate athletic organization, professional sport franchise, or variety of sport-related businesses.

SM 690. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Supervised practice in college teaching of sport studies. Note: This course is intended to insure that graduate assistants are adequately prepared and supervised when they are given college teaching responsibility. It also provides a mechanism for students not on assistantships to gain teaching experience. (Grading will be P/F.).

SM 691A-P. . 1-6 Hours.

SM 692. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

SM 693. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

SM 694. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

Special seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

SM 695. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

SM 696. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

SM 697. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).

SM 698. Thesis or Dissertation. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. This is an optional course for programs that wish to provide formal supervision during the writing of student reports (698), or dissertations (798). Grading is normal.

SM 699. Graduate Colloquium. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. For graduate students not seeking coursework credit but who wish to meet residency requirements, use the University's facilities, and participate in its academic and cultural programs. Note: Graduate students who are not actively involved in coursework or research are entitled through enrollment in their department's 699/799 Graduate Colloquium to consult with graduate faculty, participate in both formal and informal academic activities sponsored by their program, and retain all of the rights and privileges of duly enrolled students. Grading is P/F; colloquium credit may not be counted against credit requirements for masters programs. Registration for one credit of 699/799 graduate colloquium satisfies the University requirement of registration in the semester in which graduation occurs.

SM 790. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Supervised practice in college teaching of sport studies. Note: This course is intended to insure that graduate assistants are adequately prepared and supervised when they are given college teaching responsibility. It will also present a mechanism for students not on assistantships to gain teaching experience. (Grading will be P/F.).

SM 791. Advanced Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of advanced topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

SM 792. Directed Study. 1-6 Hours.

Directed study, reading, and/or research.

SM 793. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

A study of contemporary topics selected from recent developments in the field.

SM 794. Seminar. 1-6 Hours.

Special seminars arranged for advanced graduate students.

SM 795. Independent Study. 1-9 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

SM 796. Graduate Seminar. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Each graduate student will present at least one seminar to the assembled faculty and graduate student body of his or her program.

SM 797. Research. 1-15 Hours.

PR: Consent. Research activities leading to thesis, problem report, research paper or equivalent scholarly project, or a dissertation. (Grading may be S/U.).

SM 798. Thesis or Dissertation. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. This is an optional course for programs that wish to provide formal supervision during the writing of student reports (698), or dissertations (798). Grading is normal.

SM 799. Graduate Colloquium. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. For graduate students not seeking coursework credit but who wish to meet residency requirements, use the University's facilities, and participate in its academic and cultural programs. Note: Graduate students who are not actively involved in coursework or research are entitled, through enrollment in their department's 699/799 Graduate Colloquium to consult with graduate faculty, participate in both formal and informal academic activities sponsored by their program, and retain all the rights and privileges of duly enrolled students. Grading is P/F; colloquium credit may not be counted against credit requirements for masters programs. Registration for one credit of 699/799 graduate colloquium satisfies the University requirement of registration in the semester in which graduation occurs.


Faculty

Associate Professors

  • Gonzalo Bravo - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)
  • Dennis Floyd Jones - Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Cindy Lee - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)

Teaching Associate Professors

  • Gary Lhotsky - Ed.D. (Florida State University)

Adjunct Instructors

  • William Alsop - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)
  • Andro Barnett - Ph.D. (Temple University)
  • Phil Caskey - M.A. (West Virginia University)
  • Brad Cox - M.S. (West Virginia University)
  • Rosa D'Amico-Lopez - Ph.D. (University of Australia)
  • Anna Devito - Ph.D. (Syracuse University)
  • Charles Fisher - M.S. (West Virginia University)
  • Todd Knisley - M.S. (West Virginia University)
  • Christopher Miller - J.D. - (West Virginia University)