Doctorate Programs in Sports Administration and Management

Earning a Ph.D. in sports administration and management could prepare you to conduct research in this field, to teach at the postsecondary level or to work in the upper echelons of sports administration. Read about the prerequisites for admission, the coursework, other program requirements and your career options after earning this degree. Schools offering Education - Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Prerequisites For Admission?

With an earned master's degree from an accredited U.S. institution or a comparable degree from an international school, you can apply to a doctoral program in this field. However, course prerequisites often include management theory, marketing principles and classes that look at sports through the lens of the social sciences. Having experience working in the sports industry, though not required, is generally viewed very favorably.

Prerequisites Master's in sports management or related field; work experience in the sports industry is preferred
Common Courses Sports development, sports marketing, risk management, sports financing, consumer behavior
Other Requirements Teaching practicum and research project may be required
Possible Career Teacher, sports team manager, researcher
Median Salary (2018) $62,620 (for all recreation and fitness studies teachers, postsecondary)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% growth (for all recreation and fitness studies teachers, postsecondary)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study in a Sports Administration and Management Ph.D. Program?

As a sports management doctoral candidate, you'll generally choose a research concentration such as interscholastic and intercollegiate athletic administration, sports marketing, sports leadership, risk management in sports or psychological and social aspects of sports. Typically, your program also will include a minor such as educational leadership or business administration. Before proposing research and a dissertation topic, you'll likely complete graduate coursework in sports management and research methods. Specific courses could include:

  • Consumer Behavior in Sports
  • Sports Marketing and Promotion
  • Sociology of Sports
  • Financing Sports
  • Organizational Behavior in Sports
  • Strategic Management for sports
  • Sports Development
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Statistics

What Program Requirements Will I Need to Satisfy?

Requirements to advance to Ph.D. candidacy typically include completion of coursework (some programs require two years of study past the master's) and passage of comprehensive written and oral examinations. A teaching practicum also might be a requirement for your program, as well as completion of a significant research project. Once you advance to candidacy, you'll complete a dissertation proposal for review by your dissertation committee. Additionally, you'll likely have to offer an oral defense of your dissertation.

What Can I Do With This Ph.D.?

Administrative positions in the sports industry are very competitive, but earning a Ph.D. in sports management might give you the background you need to advance more quickly. As a sports management professional, you can work in all types of sports and levels of competition. You might find a job with a professional sports team, a collegiate athletic department, a sports organization such as the NCAA, a community recreation center or a high school athletics department. Your job duties could include managing budgets, creating marketing campaigns, developing community relations, acting as a media liaison, planning events or coordinating team activities. You also might opt for a career in academia.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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