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Aug. 21, 2024

Next Start Date


Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour


Total Credit Hours

Online Asynchronous

Learning Format

The Different Aspects of Sport Management

Are you seeking employment and career advancement in the exciting, global industry of sport? Did you know that the global sports industry is expected to grow from $354.96 billion in 2021 to $501.43 billion in 2022, and reach $707.84 billion in 2026?

Our program has been consistently ranked nationally as one of the top online master's degrees in Sport Management: Best Master’s in Sports Management Online Programs, 55 Best Online Masters in Sports Administration, Most Affordable Online Master’s in Sports Management, and Universities with an Outstanding Sports Management and Athletic Administration Faculty .

The Executive Sport Management M.S. program focuses on the most contemporary issues in sports management. Topics covered include profitability, diversity, legal issues, facilities, ethics, and changing markets in sports. As a student, you will explore the latest research, industry trends, and recommendations for best practices, while also acquiring applied skills. Online courses are taught by faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in their fields.

The fully online 30-credit program is for professionals who are already working in the sports industry, or those seeking a career change. Courses are generally eight weeks in length, enabling you to focus on one content area at a time.

A female Sports Management M.S. graduate sitting in a box at the WVU football field.

The Executive Sport Management degree from the College of Applied Human Sciences prepares students to become marketable professionals in the dynamic sport industry. All students complete a required eight-course sequence that incorporates foundational content in organizational leadership and management, facilities, marketing, finance, fundraising and development, legal issues, governance, and sociocultural and ethical dimensions of sport. Students also select a two-course area of emphasis allowing for further specialization:

  1. Comprehensive Sport Industry Management
  2. Interscholastic Sport Administration

Students in both areas of emphasis graduate with the same degree, a Master’s of Science in Executive Sport Management.

West Virginia University School of Sport Sciences recognized by Newsweek magazine.

Attend a Virtual Information Session

Thank you for your interest in the Executive Sport Management M.S. program at West Virginia University! Attend a Virtual Information Session and learn more about the Executive Sport Management M.S. program.

August 6, noon August 6, 6:00 p.m.

Kelly Legg, Personal Online Admissions Coach

Kelly is here to help.

Kelly Legg, Your Personal Online Admissions Coach

As a graduate of the WVU with a degree in business administration, Kelly understands your needs and is here to support and simplify the enrollment process for you. You can have open and honest discussions with her about how your passion in life can become your career. Contact Kelly today!

Learn More About Kelly Request Information


Online Executive Sport Management Admission Requirements

A baccalaureate degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. Students may be admitted provisionally with a GPA of 2.75 or lower; however, provisional students must earn a 3.0 in the first 9 hours of coursework to continue in the program.

Admission preference is given to individuals with experience in the sport industry. It is recommended that students have regular access to sport management settings, given the applied nature of many course assignments.

  • Pay the graduate application fee
  • Resume highlighting professional background, experience, and qualifications
  • Professional statement: 1-2 written pages on professional goals and reasons for seeking admission
  • No GRE scores required
  • TOEFL for non-native English speakers (minimum score of 550 or 2/3 computer score)
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU) and
    1. Mail to:
      WVU Office of Graduate Admissions
      One Waterfront Place
      PO Box 6510
      Morgantown, WV 26506-6510
    2. or Email to:

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until August 1 for a fall term start, December 15 for a spring term start, and May 1 for a summer term start.

Apply Now

Dave Benedict profile image.

Dave Benedict

Executive Sport Management M.S.
"If you are looking at a sport management program, WVU offers one of the best you can find online."

Dave Benedict chose WVU Online because it had the best Sport Management master’s program that would fit his busy schedule.

"Because of WVU’s Master of Science in Executive Sport Management program, I was able to graduate with all the administrative certifications that school systems are now looking for when hiring athletic directors," he says.
"I was already in the role of an assistant athletic director when I started the Executive Sport Management program. The classes and material I learned helped to re-enforce what I already knew and was doing."

Dave knew that he didn't want to find himself sitting in a classroom at night and on weekends, so being able to do everything online was great.

"Completing the whole master’s program in 21 months sounds like a long time, but it goes by so quickly that before you know it, you're finished," he says.
"I wish I could have gotten my B.S. degree online!"

Jennifer Mueller profile image.

Jennifer Mueller

Executive Sport Management M.S.
"Have fun, enjoy the ride! Sport is competitive and fun… managing it takes a certain skill set, but if you love sports you are on the right path."

As for what those skills are, Jennifer mentions the need for personal drive – a motivation to get what you want from the field.

"Choose something you love so that learning and growing in the field is the easy part. In sport, it is all about making the plays and connecting the dots’, managing sport is not much different."

Jennifer has always been an athlete and interested in sports; however, she never really knew her calling until she went through some personal adversity and the need to "find" herself.

"I wish I had known my path at a younger age but for those entering the field, the opportunities are endless."

As a single mother it was important for Jennifer to be able to complete class work during her downtime. The structured course schedule of online learning allowed her to complete her degree while still managing a busy lifestyle.

"I’ve made great connections. My professors were great and even though everything was online, and I’ve made some forever connections within my field."

In terms of the future and where she sees the field going, Jennifer had this to say.

"Where I am, at youth sports, it’s still a growing market plus we have minor league sports that are at the top of their game. I only see the field opening and having more opportunities in the future."

As Jennifer looks forward to graduation, and the opportunity to celebrate her personal accomplishment with her family, she reflects on when she started this journey.

"That version of me is no longer; but looking back, I’d tell myself not to be afraid to do something good for yourself. Making the decision to better myself was the best decision I’ve made as an adult."

MaKynna Lesinski profile image.

MaKynna Lesinski

Executive Sport Management M.S.

According to MaKynna, entering the sports industry demands a blend of essential qualities that include:

  • A genuine passion for sports.
  • Resilience in navigating the industry's competitive and often unpredictable nature.
  • Adaptability, given the ever-evolving landscape of sports, requiring individuals to embrace change and stay relevant.
  • Effective communication skills, facilitating interactions with athletes, sponsors, and fans alike.
  • A strong spirit of teamwork to foster collaboration, essential for success, both on and off the field.
  • Leadership abilities are invaluable for guiding teams and initiatives toward common objectives.
  • Understanding the business aspects of sports, including marketing and finance, is fundamental for making informed decisions.
  • A willingness to build a robust network within the industry providing opportunities for growth and support.
  • Finally, the capacity to perform under pressure and a commitment to continuous learning.

As a full-time teacher working 40-hour weeks, MaKynna needed the flexibility of online education. Online learning allowed her to integrate her studies seamlessly into an already busy schedule, advancing both her teaching career and her aspirations in the sports sector. Her passion for the sports industry motivated her to leverage her teaching experience with opportunities within sports management or similar fields.

"Ever since I was a kid, I've knew I wanted to be a teacher, and sports have always been a big part of my life. That's why I became a PE/Health teacher – I wanted to pass on my love for sports to my students. Every day in class, I teach them about staying fit and healthy, and I try to show them how much fun sports can be. Being a PE/Health teacher is more than just a job to me – it's a chance to share my passion and make a positive impact on young lives. I want my students to leave my class feeling excited about being active and understanding the importance of taking care of their bodies."

As for her advice to new students, MaKynna had the following tips to shar:

  • Entering the sports industry requires a strategic approach. Start by gaining practical experience through internships or entry-level roles to familiarize yourself with industry dynamics.
  • Networking is key—attend industry events and connect with professionals to expand your contacts and opportunities.
  • Consider specializing in a specific aspect of the industry to develop expertise and stand out in the job market.
  • Stay informed about industry trends and developments to remain competitive.
  • Cultivate soft skills like communication and adaptability, as they are highly valued in the industry.
  • Persistence is crucial; be prepared to face challenges and setbacks along the way.
  • Showcase your genuine passion for sports in all your interactions, as enthusiasm can be a distinguishing factor.

James Wyant profile image.

James D. Wyant

Executive Sport Management M.S.
"I promise all my students that I will see them successfully through my courses, provided they are determined to put in the work and effort."
"Possessing the "heart of a teacher" requires my students to understand the needs of those they teach in the K-12 setting and to find ways to inspire and reach those they serve in the school setting."

James Wyant decided to pursue a career in teaching because he finds it a very enriching experience to help individuals acquire the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.

"I value the teacher’s role as positive change agents in schools and communities," he says. "Now, as a faculty member, my primary responsibility is to help prepare the next generation of educators."
"In addition, the opportunity to teach and research issues related to teaching allows me to contribute positively to the betterment of the field."

As a faculty member, he says, one of his fundamental responsibilities is to train future teachers.

"I take this responsibility seriously because teachers are critical to society. Therefore, in my classes, I always tout the importance of possessing ‘the heart of a teacher.’"
"In working with future teachers, I help them see the value of being supportive, empathetic, and patient with K-12 students. To this end, possessing a heart of a teacher requires my students to understand the needs of those they teach in the K-12 setting and to find ways to inspire and reach those they serve in the school setting."

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827. Please contact the WVU Financial Aid Office at (304) 293-5242 or for additional information.

The tuition rate per credit hour listed above is for the 2024-2025 academic year. Tuition and fees increase beginning in the fall term of each academic year.

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Your future in Executive Sport Management

The Executive Sport Management degree from the College of Applied Human Sciences prepares students to become marketable professionals in the dynamic sport industry.

The Benefits to Choosing Our Program

  • The Master of Science in Executive Sport Management offered by the College of Applied Human Sciences is designed to prepare you to work behind-the-scenes of the sport industry, one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S.
  • As a member of the Big XII Conference, West Virginia University is home to one of the nation’s premier college athletic programs. This back-drop provides you with access to a world-class network of sport management professionals including university faculty and staff, program alumni and organizational partners. Courses also afford frequent opportunities to build connections with your many colleagues in the program. Graduates become their own best resource!
  • The program’s uniqueness is further demonstrated through the diversity of faculty who hail from around the globe, bringing an international perspective to the curriculum. Program faculty frequently travel internationally to areas including Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe. This collective international experience enriches the program by broadening its scope to encompass the global dimensions of sport.

Career Outlook for Executive Sport Management

Students who graduate from WVU Online with a Executive Sport Management M.S. degree will prepare themselves for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities you will open with this degree.

Coaches and Scouts
Projected Growth: 11% or higher *Bright Outlook

General and Operations Manager
Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Compliance Manager
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Marketing Manager
Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational information network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and TrainingAdministration (USDOL/ETA).

Course Title Credit Hours
SM 527 Legal Issues in Sport Administration 3
SM 535 Sport Management Process 3
SM 540 International Sports Governance 3
SM 546 Sport Marketing 3
SM 570 Sport Finance 3
SM 575 Fund-Raising and Development 3
SM 580 Sociocultural and Ethical Dimensions of Sport 3
SM 586 Facility Planning and Management 3
Area of Emphasis 6
Comprehensive Sport Industry Management
Interscholastic Athletic Administrator

Total Hours: 30

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Masters in Executive Sport Management?

Since we require 30 credits to complete the program, it will take as little as 5 semesters to complete. Since it's online, students can take their time with each course based on their availability.

Is an online Masters in Sport Management worth it?

A Master’s Degree in Executive Sports Management is an ideal degree for individuals seeking to pursue careers that deal with the business aspects of sports and physical activity. These degree programs provide in-depth instruction of theory and current practices, and many include practical experiences to enable students to gain real-world skills to increase success. Graduates are equipped with a functional knowledge of various business features of the sports field, including economics, marketing, law, finance, and facilities management.

What is the difference between an MS and an MBA in Executive Sport Management?

While an MBA often covers a wider range of topics that might be pertinent to business and management in a sports setting, Master’s in Executive Sports Management often cover a number of disciplines that all relate to sports roles in some way. These disciplines include behavioral topics like sociology and human performance, as well as leadership, kinesiology, and sports specific business courses. Both of these programs should prepare graduates to manage people, infrastructure, events, business strategy, sales, budgets, marketing, communication, sponsorship, community outreach, and much more.

What kind of jobs can I get with a Executive Sport Management Master’s Degree?

There are so many career paths a student could take with a Executive Sport Management Master’s Degree; some of the following are:

  • Accounts Manager/Corporate Partnerships
  • Athletic Administrator
  • Athletic Director
  • Business Development
  • Sport Marketing Manager
  • Sport Agent
  • Sport Camp Director
  • Sport Content Producer
  • Sport Information Director
  • Sport Mediator/Arbitrator
  • Sport Writer/Blogger

What jobs are the highest paid in Executive Sport Management?

Curious about which careers would yield the highest salary? Here are the following highest-paid jobs in the Sport Management Field:

  1. Athletic Director - $121,936 according to
  2. Sport Marketing Manager - $96,802 according to
  3. Sport Agent - $81,584 according to
  4. Sport Analyst - $82,563 according to
  5. Athletics Compliance - $79,415 according to

Are internships available for Executive Sport Management?

We allow students to substitute 3 credits of internship placement for another course in the program based on their academic and career goals. A graduate level internship can be extremely beneficial for early career professionals or more experienced professionals looking to transition industries. Additional information about our internship program is available. An increasing percentage of students are taking advantage of this option.

WVU Online

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PO Box 6800
Morgantown, WV 26506-6800

Phone: (800) 253-2762

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