Master of Science in Sport Management

In a 2010 survey regarding the size of the sports industry, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal (SBJ) stated that the sports industry is "one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States" with a size of $213 billion. According to SBJ, approximately $23 billion was spent on operating expenses alone at all levels of sport. Spectator spending exceeded $26 billion according to the same publication. The publication goes on to state that the sports industry "…is far more than twice the size of the auto industry and seven times the size of the movie industry." These numbers illustrate the overall economic power of the sports industry and, as one might assume, an industry of this size continually needs an infusion of highly educated and qualified personnel in order to thrive. Simply stated, the overall goal of the Master of Science in Sport Management degree program is to provide the industry with graduates that possess the tools and skills necessary to succeed in today's ultra-competitive 21st century sports business environment.

Program Overview

The 33-credit Master of Science in Sport Management degree requires a combination of core classes (21 credits) designed to ensure all graduates have the basic, requisite skills needed to succeed in the industry. There are an additional six credits of required electives with a wide array of offerings designed to ensure maximum flexibility for the student to pursue additional knowledge beneficial to their chosen career.

Finally, students will need to complete either a thesis addressing a major issue in sport management or a combination of two courses with a practical/industry-based focus that will ensure they are ready for success in the industry. Both the thesis and non-thesis options require six credits. 

The program is designed with timing flexibility in mind, which should allow students to complete it on their own terms/timetable. Assuming an average nine- to twelve-credit load, most students will be able to complete the proposed program in one and a half to two years.  However, if a student wishes to be reasonably aggressive with credit load and scheduling (adding winterim and/or summer courses), the degree could be completed in one calendar year. If someone wishes to proceed at a slower pace, the flexible schedule and delivery format along with the frequent course offerings should allow a student to complete the program at whatever pace they wish subject only to the seven-year completion window for graduate programs currently in place on the UW-Parkside campus.

Student Learning Outcomes

The HESM Department has identified three key core competencies and outcomes that students will develop as a result of completing the Master of Science in Sport Management degree program.

Competency A: Demonstrate Effective Communication Skills

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate professional interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop and deliver professional messages in oral, written and visual forms of communication in various types of settings
  • Demonstrate negotiation skills

Competency B: Demonstrate Effective Management Skills

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of and ability to comply with legal, HR and other forms of rules and compliance-related situations
  • Demonstrate the ability to act in an ethical manner including in areas of diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Demonstrate knowledge of sound financial management practices including revenue generation methods such as marketing and sales along with efficient facility/organization planning on the expense side
  • Demonstrate inclusive leadership skills including the ability to lead meetings
  • Demonstrate the ability to collect, manage, analyze and interpret sport management data.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify and solve problems faced by sports organizations

Competency C: Demonstrate Ability to Utilize Skills, Knowledge and Competencies Learned in the Program in a Real-World Setting

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to utilize the skills, knowledge and competencies illustrated above in a real-world setting with a sports organization.
Application Procedure
All applications must be submitted online at  Each application must include the following:
  1. A completed online application at;
  2. A non-refundable application fee;
  3. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and post-graduate institution attended by the applicant;
  4. At least three letters of recommendation (at least one letter must be from an academic reference and at least one letter must be from a professional reference); and
  5. A statement of academic interests including the applicant's professional goals.

No graduate exam scores will be required. However, prospective students can submit relevant graduate exam scores as part of the admission process if they choose to do so. Writing samples may be requested and used toward an admissions decision if warranted.

Students with a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average and an undergraduate degree in sport management/administration or a business-related major will be given preference for admission.

Admissions will occur on a rolling basis with new applicants able to start the program during each of the academic terms: fall, winterim, spring and summer.

International Student Application Procedure

In addition to submitting the above application materials, international applicants must submit the following items:

  1. A completed online Application for Graduate International Student Admission.
  2. If applicant's native language is not English then an Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score must be obtained. A score of 525 on the paper test (197 computer based or 71 internet based) is required. For information regarding the location of the test centers nearest you and for making arrangements to take the TOEFL test visit the website:
  3. A Sponsorship Statement Form documenting support for one year of study.
  4. Original bank statement or bank letter documenting sufficient funds for one year of study. Photocopies and FAX cannot be accepted.
  5. Official transcripts from all secondary schools, colleges and universities attended. Records must be in the original language with certified English translations. Official records should include all exam, test results, certificates, diplomas or degrees received.
  6. To receive transfer credits from a foreign university, a prospective student must have their transcripts evaluated through one of the recommended companies:
  • ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators)
  • WES (World Education Services)
  • One Earth International Credit Evaluators
     7. Finally, potential graduate students must purchase the "Catalog Match Request" to ensure transferability of coursework.
Transfer Policies
Graduate-level work completed at other regionally-accredited institutions may be transferred toward the master's degree in sport management at UW-Parkside but such transfers are subject to the following provisions:
  • A maximum of 12 credits may be transferred;
  • Only the courses with a grade of B or better can be transferred;
  • The student must petition for the transfer upon admission to the program. Transfer credit will be formally granted after the student has successfully completed a minimum of eight (8) semester hours of graduate course work at UW-Parkside;
  • An admitted student who plans to take a course at another institution and transfer it back to UW-Parkside must obtain prior permission from the program director; and
  • Exceptions to the above transfer policy can be considered after written request to the program director.
Timing Policies

As noted in UW-Parkside policy, students who do not complete a course within a period of 12 months will be dropped as a student unless they apply for and are granted a leave of absence from graduate work. Dropped students or students exceeding the term of leave may apply for readmission to the program.

As also noted in UW-Parkside policy, a student may take no more than seven years to complete the master of science degree in sport management. This time period begins with the semester in which they complete their first course as a degree-seeking graduate student.

Requirements for the Master of Science in Sport Management (33 credits)

To graduate with a master of science in sport management degree, students must satisfy each of the following three requirements and achieve an overall grade point average of 3.0 or better:

A.        Required Classes (21 credits)

HESM 700      Sports Research and Analysis Methodology                            3 cr
HESM 701      Amateur Sports Governance and Administration                     3 cr


HESM 702      Professional Sports Governance and Administration                 3 cr
HESM 710      Sports Law                                                                                  3 cr
HESM 711      Ethical Issues and Leadership in Sports                                     3 cr
HESM 712      Social and International Issues in 21st Century Sports               3 cr
HESM 720      Revenue Generation and Sales in Sports Organizations            3 cr
HESM 721      Financial Management for Sports Organizations                       3 cr

B.        Electives (6 credits)

Students must select and complete two of the following courses:

HESM 539      Sustainable Sports Management                                                  3 cr
HESM 560      Sports Communications                                                               3 cr
HESM 656      Athletic Fundraising                                                                     3 cr
HESM 658      Sports Analytics                                                                            3 cr
HESM 722      Sports Facility & Event Management                                           3 cr
HESM 789      Special Topics in Sport Management                                           3 cr
HESM 794      Sports Management Internship                                                     3 cr
HESM 799      Independent Study                                                                         3 cr

C. Complete Non-Thesis or Thesis Option (6 credits)

Non-Thesis Option (6 credits)

HESM 791      Current Issues in Sports Management Seminar                          3 cr
HESM 792      Sports Management Practicum and Portfolio                             3 cr


Thesis Option (6 credits)

HESM 798      Thesis in Sports Management                                                        1-6 cr

Consult the catalog for course description.

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