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Masters in Sports Administration Information Guide

A Master of Sports Administration degree is perfect for someone who already works for an athletics organization and is looking for a position with more authority and possibly a better paycheck. Administrators in sporting organizations have a wide range of responsibilities, from staffing, payroll, and human resources work to scouting and recruiting new players.

Top Online Master of Sports & Athletic Admin Degrees

Sports administrators include athletic directors, sports managers, sports information department personnel, and much more. Earning a masters degree in sports administration from a top-notch university will open doors to several new career opportunities. Each of the following schools offers at least one master's degree program in sports administration or a closely related subject.

Northcentral University
M.Ed. in Athletic Admin

Northcentral University -- If you are interested in becoming a professional educator for athletic administrations at the kindergarten through 12th grade level, the M.Ed. in athletic administration from Nortcentral University will provide you the skills and education necessary for this field. Graduates are found through both secondary and college programs.

Ashford University
BA in Sports and Recreation Management

Ashford University -- Interested in making sports a daily part of your life? Ashford University offers a BA in Sports and Recreation Management program that prepare students for positions of management and leadership within the sport industry. The curriculum includes real-life scenarios that prepares graduates for actual work challenges.

Southern New Hampshire University
MS in Sports Mgmt

Southern New Hampshire University -- Students in the Southern New Hampshire University Sports Management MS program rave about their courses that explore both the core of an MS program plus the insight of sports marketing, leveraging sponsorship opportunities, and crafting a brand. Southern New Hampshire University reports that no GMAT or GRE is required.

Liberty University
MS in Sports Management

Liberty University -- The MS in sports management from Liberty University prepares its students for careers as sports administrators and managers at a variety of levels, including elementary school, high school, collegiate, and professional athletics. Integrated in the school's faith and ministry, this program is also well rounded in legal issues, economics, and marketing, as they pertain to sports management.

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Definition of Master of Sports Administration:

The field of sports is one of the largest economic enterprises in the world. It employs many professionals with a variety of different business skills and specializations who have a common interest in the business and industry of sports. A Master of Sports Administration will allow you the opportunity to combine your passion for sports and your love of business. You can study the business of athletics, the operations of professional teams, financing youth leagues, and more.

Sports administration degrees are offered both as Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees. There are very few differences between the two degrees, although every school has their own unique programs with specific specializations and focuses. Working in sports requires understanding sports ethics, sports information, facility management, sport marketing, sport law, and sport finance. Coursework varies depending on the program, but you’ll most likely have classes in economics, accounting, management, and marketing. Upon graduating from a sports administration program you can seek positions as an agent, coach, broadcaster, recreation director of sports organizations, front office system in professional sports, college sports managers, recreational sports managers, sports marketing, event management, facility management, and more.

What master degrees apply to Sport Administration?

While students can major in Sports Administration specifically, other subjects, like Sports Psychology and Athletic Administration, also provide the necessary background to start a career in this field. Here are some common majors, but general management and business degrees can also play a role in being able to pursue Sports Administration positions:

What are Admission Standards for Master of Sports Administration?

Applicants to sports administration programs must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. Although there are variations within different sports administration programs, typically the applicant’s undergraduate record needs to academically strong. Previous work, internship, or research experience within the sports industry is also highly desirable and will improve your chances of admission. Other requirements may include:

  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)—Strong scores will likely boost your chances for admission to a program.
  • Transcripts—Typically schools require sealed copies (or electronic transcripts via secure electronic transcript providers) of official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities.
  • Letters of Recommendation—Generally schools require two or three professional letters of recommendation from professionals who you’ve worked with. These letters should focus on your academic and professional achievement, and your competence and ability in the sports administration field.
  • Statement of Purpose—Programs are looking for you to tell them who you are, what your goals are, and how their Master of Sports Administration program will help you reach your goals, which reflects well on the school. They’re not looking to hear about how you love sports or how good of an athlete you may be. They’re looking for an academic and professional fit with their program, and therefore the statement should be your best argument about why you fit within that program. If you didn’t get your undergrad degree in a sports or business field then your statement should also explain how your other academic and non-academic experiences have prepared you to undertake graduate studies in this field.
  • Current Résumé or Curriculum Vitae—Programs require this so they can see your achievements throughout your career. Individual programs will have more specific requirements in what they’re looking for.
  • Writing Sample—Schools often require writing samples of papers or essays. These samples should demonstrate your ability to present ideas and arguments on a graduate school level. They should include a thesis statement, an argument that is persuasive and supports your thesis, an argument that shows you’re aware of contrary arguments, documentation and correctly sourced information, and a grammatically correct and overall academic demonstration of your writing ability.

What is the Curriculum for a Master of Sports Administration?

Although programs vary, you’ll generally be learning the intellectual and theoretical concepts of sports business and management within your sports administration degree program. You’ll learn how to be valuable to almost any kind of sports organization in the field. Through your sports administration program you’ll also be introduced to great resources, such as faculty and staff, who will give you a deeper understanding of what distinguishes a top candidate in the field of sports administration.

You will hone the skills required to thrive in the sports administration field. Typically programs have core courses that will provide you a foundation in strategic, analytic and creative thinking. Examples of core courses include:

  • Foundations of Leadership
  • Core Issues in Sports Administration
  • Sports Research Methods and Quantitative Analysis
  • Fundamentals of Sports Marketing
  • Management and Organization of Sports
  • Principles of Sports Finance and Accounting
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Sports Management
  • Sports Risk and Crisis Management

Programs often offer specializations (such as sports management, marketing, or public relations), in which you can choose elective courses to supplement your degree with. Examples of elective courses include:

  • Sports Labor Relations and Negotiation
  • Sports Operations Management
  • Advanced financial Issues for the Sports Industry
  • Advanced Research Methods for Marketing
  • Sports Media and Broadcast Relations
  • Sponsorship: Value, Brands, Fans and Communities
  • Advertising and Sports-Brand Management
  • Front Office Operations
  • Personal Selling and Sales Management
  • Comprehensive Perspectives of Leading a Sports Entity
  • Intercollegiate Sports Management
  • Maximizing Operations Management
  • Nontraditional Revenue Strategies
  • Sports Facilities Financing and Development
  • The Olympic Movement

Programs usually culminate with a thesis project incorporating the knowledge and experience you’ve amassed throughout school.

Job Prospects for Graduates of Master of Sports Administration Programs

The positions open to graduates of Master of Sports Administration programs are vast. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, sports-related jobs are expected to increase 23% between 2008 and 2018.
Although this is a competitive field, there are many different areas of sports administration that you can go into, such as college sports, recreational sports, sports marketing, event management, professional sports, facility management, sports economics, and sports finance. Below is a list of potential job opportunities:

  • Agent
  • Athletic Directors
  • Coach
  • Broadcaster
  • Recreation Director
  • Front Office Manager
  • College Sports Manager
  • Professional Sports Manager
  • Recreational Sports Manager
  • Sports Marketer
  • Event Management
  • Facility Management
  • Sport Economics
  • Sports Financing
  • Sports Information Department Personnel

Sports administrators handle the business and finance side of sports, so the entertainment and money making machine of professional athletics can keep on churning. Some make sure that games go off without a hitch, while others work with athletes to sign contracts. You could get involved in developing marketing strategies for sports organizations, or you could work on branding. Coaching or training may be an option for you, or creating sports policies. Whatever your’e passionate about and interested in, there’s a spot for you in the sports administration field.

To be a good candidate for a career in sports administration you must generally be passionate about and love the game. Understanding the rules of the game and caring about how the players perform are necessities in this industry. You also must be business oriented and thorough, as well as concerned with ethics.

Salary Expectations with a Master of Sports Administration:

Because sports administration is such a wide field of opportunity, salaries really depend on the job title that you hold. You could make anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 annually. If you work in a high-profile position, you could earn even higher with $200,000 or more annually. These positions are typically with major league teams, although sometimes these salaries can be seen in the minor leagues and in college sports. As an agent manager you would make a percentage of whatever you client makes—typically agents make a lot. Sports broadcasting, sports marketing, sports advertising, and event planning average salaries are around $50,000 a year, although variations exist. Sports information directors make around $62,000 annually. A master’s degree will definitely increase your salary, but it’s not guaranteed to make you rich. Entry-level positions will start on the lower end of the salary, but with experience you can move up to more lucrative job positions.

Location also plays a big role in how much you’ll make in the sports administration field. If you work for a larger corporation in an urban environment then you’ll typically make more money than if you work for little league sports in a rural area. Different cities, such as L.A. or Chicago, will have higher salaries than other cities that don’t have as many competitive sports teams. You also must keep perks and benefits in mind when searching for a job.

Further Information on Master of Sports Administration:

  • National Association of Sports Officials: NASO protects, educates and advocates for sports officials through offering insurance benefits, information, and sponsorships. Their website also has resources on the sports industry.
  • North American Society for Sport Management: NASSM focuses on sport marketing, future directions in management, employment perspectives, management competencies, leadership, sport and the law, personnel management, facility management, organizational structures, fund raising, and conflict resolution within sports careers.
  • Sports Management Resources: SMR is an organization that helps sports organizations solve integrity, growth, and development challenges within the industry.

Find your Sports Administration degree program today...

Fill out this brief form to find your degree today!