How do I get a Master's Degree in Sports Management?

D. Jeffress

Getting a master's degree in sports management can provide an individual with a wide variety of employment opportunities. Degree-holders can become agents, accounting managers, marketing professionals, public relations (PR) officials, or any of a number of other important members of a successful sports franchise. Most people who want to get started in sports management first attend four-year universities and major in business-related fields. Near graduation, future professionals can look into accredited two-year master's degree programs dedicated to sports management. Intensive classroom work and practical internships ensure that a person is ready to pursue a challenging career after earning a master's degree in sports management.

A master's degree in sports management can prepare someone for a career as a sports agent or attorney.
A master's degree in sports management can prepare someone for a career as a sports agent or attorney.

There are relatively few accredited schools that offer bachelor's degrees in sports management, but such a program is a good option if it can be found. Otherwise, a student can choose to major in business administration, finance, human resources, or another subject related to general management principles. College, amateur, and professional sports institutions are run much in the same way as any other large business, so it is important to take courses in marketing, PR, and economics. In addition, a student can benefit greatly from classes in psychology, communications, and computer science.

A college junior or senior can begin researching schools that offer a master's degree in sports management. It is very important to look into a school's accreditation standing to ensure a quality, respected education. Many different institutions contribute to developing worthwhile curricula and setting educational standards for sports management programs. By speaking with advisers or browsing university websites, a student can find out if a program is supported by organizations such as the North American Society for Sport Management and the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation.

Graduate school sports management programs offer a variety of specialized courses. A student can expect to learn about sport ethics, event management, entertainment marketing, and recreation law, among other topics. In addition, many schools help their students find internships in high school, collegiate, or professional athletic departments. Practical work experience is extremely helpful in landing a job after earning a master's degree in sports management.

Once a person is awarded a master's degree in sports management, he or she can start searching for entry-level opportunities in many different areas. Some graduates are able to stay within their schools' athletic departments or the organizations that hosted their internships. A new professional may begin his or her career as an assistant to a manager or agent in order to gain exposure and hone practical skills. With ongoing experience, there are usually ample opportunities for advancement.

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