The University of Florida’s online Master of Science in Sport Management can help you bring administrative proficiency, leadership ability, and specialized skills to the support of sport organizations worldwide.
Upon completion, students will be able to competently:
To complete the online master’s in sport management, students must fulfill the following requirements, along with a graduate final exam.
Total Credits Required: 36
We understand that every student has a unique path, which is why we offer an array of electives that serve as building blocks for students to craft their own academic experiences. Students select five courses (15 credits) from our array of elective offerings. Students also have the opportunity to develop expertise in specialized areas of the industry through four optional specializations in Athlete Development, High Performance Coaching, Sport Law, or Director of Racquet Sports. Additionally, students may also earn an optional graduate certificate in either Sport Event Management or Social Media by completing a one-year sequence of electives.
Students even have the chance to practice their knowledge in a graduate internship or advanced practicum elective.
This course consists of two parts — theoretical and practical. From the theory perspective, this is an introductory course in descriptive and inferential statistics. The course approaches the abstract concepts in a systematic and logical progression, so that they are easily attainable. The topics include levels of measurement, frequency distributions, measures of central tendency and dispersion, probabilities and normal distribution, sampling distribution of the mean, and confidence intervals, among others. Students will learn the logic of hypothesis testing and have a general understanding of how the statistical procedures — t-test, one-way ANOVA, chi-square, correlations, and regression — work. They will learn how to select an appropriate statistical test for a given research question.
From the practical angle, the course teaches basic data analysis skills through hands-on lab assignments involving real data, mostly from social sciences and tourism. The lab part of the course has a steep, but manageable, learning curve when students get to know SPSS software, its interface, and main commands. For the first 2-3 weeks of the course, students should allocate the appropriate amount of time for SPSS assignments. At the end of the course students are expected to have basic working knowledge of SPSS and be able to:
The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students in the Department of Sport Management and related fields with an introductory survey of research methods. Lectures and field-based participation prepare the student to understand key components of academic/business research, such as:
Ultimately, the basic understanding of the research methods will enhance decision-making ability in solving various research/business-related problems.
This course will be taught in a seminar-style manner, with student-led presentations and discussions. Through the reading of journal articles and book chapters, we will utilize sociological concepts, theories, and research to critically examine social issues in sport. These issues include, but are not limited to:
After completing this course, students should be able to:
Through case studies, in-class discussion, and a practical exercise creating a marketing plan for a large, global sport organization (using scenarios provided by the instructor), students perform an in-depth examination of modern marketing techniques for sport professionals.
After completing this course, students should be able to:
SPM 5506 Sport Finance will equip aspiring sport managers with the skills to enhance their financial decision-making in a management role, applying concepts to the continually evolving landscape of the sports industry. By the end of this course, the student will:
The course will specifically focus on decision-making with respect to financial considerations, with real-world and hypothetical problems based within the sports industry. While this class is geared toward some unique aspects of the field, the skills acquired will help with making decisions in any business platform.
In this course, we explore the critical function of leadership in the management of organizations. Building from the academic foundations of industrial psychology, organizational behavior, and organizational theory, we consider the degree to which leadership is of strategic import to organizational operations. We approach the topic from a variety of directions (including classical leadership theory, biographical studies, analyses of contemporary issues of leadership, philosophical debate, and personal experiences) and disciplines (both inside sport and out). In addition to gaining an advanced understanding of leadership theory and practice, students will consider their own approaches to leading organizations.
This course will not produce new leaders. Instead, it will provide students with an environment to engage in critical thought, scholarly discourse, and philosophical debate about what it means to lead.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
This course is designed to introduce students to the legal structures, statutes, case law, and standards that establish legal responsibilities, rights, privileges, and controls related to the field of sport management.
Topics covered include:
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an in-depth examination of various topics in sport psychology that emanate from both the parent discipline of psychology and facets specific to athletics. Of particular importance will be exploration of the theoretical bases of each of the constructs of interest while also critically examining the empirical literature that supports and refutes traditional and contemporary frameworks. Given its science to practice orientation, practical examples of how the sport psychology literature informs applied work with athletes and other performers will also be explored. Students will develop a greater appreciation of the scientific foundations of sport psychology, will be prepared to generate meaningful empirical questions and hypotheses in the area, will become familiar with the typical protocols used in sport psychology research, and will gain a firm understand the conceptual bases that underlie the practice of sport psychology.
In this course students learn how event management methods enable successful planning for sport events. They apply the following skills to realistic scenarios:
This course will provide an overview and study of the main skills utilized by athlete development specialists, including how to manage the intersection of elite athletes and sport media, athlete career development, and the fundamentals of athlete personal finance.
This course is designed to encourage sport managers to think about the moral and ethical dilemmas typically encountered by managers in the sport industry. The course will better acquaint and refine sport managers’ understandings of sport relative to issues such as sportsmanship, violence, performance enhancing drugs, race, gender, and media. This will better prepare students in this class to be agents of change within the sport industry to help it strengthen and prosper. This will be accomplished through student discussions, case studies analyses, formal debates, and the development of position papers on particular topics, which will be supplemented with lectures and readings.
After successfully completing this course, students should be able to:
SPM 5936 introduces students to key concepts of sexual health within athletics as it relates to the holistic wellness of athletes across all ages and levels of sport. Athlete Sexual Health and Wellness addresses critical topics such as sexual agency, sexual misconduct, healthcare services, and education for athletes, coaches, sporting organizations, and athlete development specialists. Students will explore the ways in which these topics directly impact holistic athlete wellness and their role in ensuring sexual health and wellness is made a priority alongside physical, psychological, and financial health. Assignments are designed to allow for open discussion with peers and students are expected to critically apply knowledge to practical situations which are presented to them. SPM 5936 is an introductory course to sexual wellness as a new sub-field of athlete development and successful completion will see students who are engaged with the material throughout the duration of the course.
Intercollegiate athletics and the college athlete experience are undergoing seismic shifts as athletes gain control of their name, image, and likeness and begin monetizing their personal brands for the first time. This class will serve as an introduction to name, image, and likeness rules and laws, the ways both athletic departments and college athletes are adjusting to the changes and how college athletes can develop their personal brands and pursue both short-term and long-term opportunities.
This course will be built around answering the question: “Can you take character development into the paid-to-win world of athletics and/or high performance?” Focusing on the development of the person first can help mitigate the pressures of high performance. This course will focus on the fundamentals of character development on the individual level and repurposing the sport experience to create a Person>Player environment.
This course is designed around the question, “How do I build an environment where people can do their best work?” The course will be built around discovering and creating systems to help define your team standards, catch above-the-line behavior, convert below-the-line behavior, and model your expectations within a team environment.
This course will be built around the question: “How do you foster intrinsic motivation and self-awareness with the people that you lead?” Great leaders do not need another teller in their lives, but they do need/want a thinking partner. This class will show you how to use tools to build a platform where people can coach themselves. Content will be centered around actual conversations with high-performers demonstrating the use of a multitude of tools to build these skills.
This course will be built around the question, “What are the top 3 things that get in the way of a team maximizing its abilities?” The goal of this course is to delve into the human-related issues that can get in the way and create structure, systems, and organize content to provide teams the platforms for dealing with those issues. Using a sport example, the course will follow two teams, Oregon women’s basketball and Gonzaga men’s basketball, over the course of a season and provide real-world examples of how human-related issues were addressed.
With the youth sport coach and youth practitioner in mind, this course is designed to provide evidence-based best practices and various frameworks to working professionals in the space of sports-based-youth-development (SBYD), youth sport coaching, out-of-school-time (OST), and the nonprofit sector. The varying intersectionality and historical evolution of SBYD is explored as well as the diverse opportunities for careers in the SBYD sector nationally and internationally. Lastly, through a course project, students will have the opportunity to research and design their own SBYD organization in the areas of mission, curriculum, pedagogy, culture, monitoring and evaluation, funding model, and organizational structure.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
This course will be built around the question, “Is there a way to pursue greatness without collateral damage?” This course presents conversations with high achievers showing the paradox of achievement and strategies to navigate the undermining forces of society. The goal of the course will be to help you find perspective, create priority alignment, and answer the very personal question: “What’s really important?”
This course overviews diversity and inclusion in sport organizations; provides foundational information about key terms, relevant theories, and researching diversity and inclusion; summarizes the intersection of different diversity forms and sport; and provides strategies for sport managers to create and sustain diverse and inclusive sport organizations.
Objectives: After completing this course, students should be able to:
The purpose of this course is to provide you with a solid conceptual base for understanding the behavior of sport consumers. This course will allow you to gain exposure to a breadth of sport consumer behavior topics and relevant theories. You will learn how sport consumer behavior concepts and principles can be applied to sport management, to our roles as consumers and sport business managers, and to our everyday life. Topics include sport consumer learning, normative & behavioral decision making, sport consumer culture, well-being, social media behavior, and emerging technologies & sport consumption dynamics.
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
This course explores the background and organizational structure of the Olympics from a managerial perspective. Students examine how sport event management concepts can help to meet the operational demands of the Olympic Games. By the end of the course, students can:
This class concentrates on how sport events can draw support from and make a difference in communities. Key topics include the value of building a strong network and applying management strategies to reach planned development outcomes. At the conclusion of the course, students can:
Pre-requisite: SPM6726 Issues in Sport Law or equivalent experience. This course is designed to further student understanding of foundational legal principles in the field of sport management, especially those principles governing contractual relationships, agency representations, and liability for wrongful conduct. Course objectives:
Coaching sports in usually viewed from a perspective of the pursuit of performance excellence. However, studies have shown that performance excellence is, actually, dependent upon personal wellbeing. A thriving, happy individual will achieve the best performances. The athlete-centered sport model provides for the creation of best performances by placing equal emphasis on the personal development of the performer.
This course is designed to explore the athlete-centered coaching model, what it is and how to apply its elements in daily coaching and team-building. The model applies to developing a team, a school program, a recreational program, or an individual athlete. Leadership in sports is emphasized but correlation is made to business leadership and other high-performing cultures. Assignments are, largely, personally based, allowing the student to create a personal coaching plan that outlines the student’s own values and goals as a coach and a useful, step-by-step model for impacting those they lead.
Law governs many aspects of business. An understanding of legal rules provides a framework for making sound business decisions and facilitates commercial transactions. The course will cover: Starting a business (entity choice); Real estate finance, zoning; Insurance; Structuring compensation; Tax planning/wealth management; and Post sports career investment (M&A due diligence, franchising, etc.). Course objectives:
This course is designed to provide future sport management professionals (SMP’s) and coaches with a proven playbook on character literacy development CLD in youth and amateur athletics. This course provides one of the most comprehensive and progressive sports-based character curricula in the country. Course objectives:
This subject is an intensive introduction to the law of antitrust, intellectual property, and consumer protection and data privacy. Antitrust focuses typically on monopolization and other “restraints of trade”. We will focus on: joint ventures, sports leagues, and the NCAA. The course also focuses on copyrights, provides a brief look at trademarks, presents comparisons of what can and cannot be protected, and what rights the owner does and does not obtain. We also will address how these IP issues play out in the context of licensing. The course will examine the legal implications of technological options to collect and commercialize personal data and the potential privacy implications therein.
This course is designed to explore the critical function of leadership in the management of sport organizations. Building from the academic foundations of industrial psychology, organizational behavior, and organizational theory, we consider the degree to which leadership is of strategic importance to organizational operations. In addition to gaining an advanced understanding of leadership theory and practice, students will consider their own approaches to leading organizations. This course will provide students with an environment to engage in critical thought, scholarly discourse, and philosophical debate about what it means to lead.
Sponsorship spending accounts for over $23 billion annually in North America alone. Sports sponsorship accounts for roughly 70 percent, or $16.37 billion annually. In this class we will aim to understand how sports sponsorship differs from advertising and why it is seen as an effective marketing tool. Through the exploration of various types of sponsorship, students will also be able to formulate their own creative solutions to achieve partner brand objectives. Further, students will gain a firm understanding in how sports sponsorships are sought out, formulated, evaluated, and activated to produce positive ROI and ROO for partner brands.
Sustainability and Sport is the first online course of its kind to be offered within a land grant university’s sports management program. The education is focused on integrating major concepts in environmental sustainability such as renewable energy, water conservation, recycling, and social responsibility, and learning how it applied within the sports industry. The course modules focus on making a case for sustainability in sports, strategic planning and marketing through sports, professional and collegiate sports sustainability programs. The course features industry interviews include: the National Hockey League Green, Amalie Arena and the Tampa Lightning, the US Open Tennis, NASCAR Green, Green Sports Alliance, Mercedes Benz Stadium Atlanta, and Protect Our Winters. Through case studies, in-class discussions and practical exercises, students gain an understanding of the components of a successful sustainability program and learn how they can collaborate to solve important environmental issues impacting the sports industry today.
Prerequisite: completion of at least full 2 semesters (18 credit hours) of course work applicable to sport management.
Full-time, practical experience in sport management taken during the last 18 credit hours of the curriculum. Students can complete this requirement with a relevant organization of their choice (pending advisor and site approval). The student’s advisor will assist with student placement and serve as the university supervisor.
Every 48 hours of time spent working in a practical, real-world setting translates to 1 credit hour of coursework. Students can earn a maximum of 9 credits through the internship.
To register for an internship course, students must complete and submit the following proposal form to their advisor for review.
Practical experience in sport management with an active sport organization taken any time during the curriculum. Students can fulfill this requirement at a location of their choosing (pending advisor and site approval). The student’s advisor will assist with student placement and serve as the university supervisor.
Every 48 clock hours of time spent working in a practical, real-world setting translates to 1 credit hour of coursework. Students can earn a maximum of 6 credits through the Practicum.
To register for a practicum course, students must complete and submit the following proposal form to their advisor for review.
To learn more about the University of Florida’s online master’s in sport management and download a free brochure, fill out the fields below. You can also call (877) 665-3860 to speak to one of our academic coordinators about the program.
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Students have the opportunity to develop expertise in specialized areas of the industry through four optional specializations, or they can choose from an array of electives to design their own academic experience. Click on the links below for more information.
The courses required for these four optional specializations can be used to satisfy all or a portion of the sport management program’s elective credits.
As part of the online M.S. in Sport Management program, students have the option to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Sport Event Management. This certificate program requires students to complete a sequence of three classes focusing on the challenges and opportunities involved in organizing Olympic-level competitions as well as regional events. Students will be required to apply for the graduate certificate prior to enrolling in courses. Click on the link below to learn more.
Students can pursue a Graduate Certificate in Social Media as part of the online M.S. in Sport Management program. This certificate program teaches students to maintain, measure, and analyze the performance of social media campaigns and their effectiveness. Students will be required to apply for the graduate certificate prior to enrolling in courses. Click on the link below to learn more.