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Our MS in Kinesiology with a concentration in sport management and policy prepares both scholars and professionals for the world of sport management through either a thesis or non-thesis program.

Both specializations give you a full understanding of multiple areas of sport management through interdisciplinary classes. Our curriculum blends business practices with the needs of the sport industry, studying the place sport has in society, examining the sociological and philosophical dimensions of sport, and governmental and industry policies that apply to it. Students will learn through hands-on, real-world experiential learning and case studies led by our esteemed faculty.

Upon graduation, many of our non-thesis students begin careers at the professional, collegiate, or secondary level, while others explore corporate businesse and sponsorship opportunities. Our thesis students are well prepared to enter research institutions to pursue doctoral degrees.

Our graduates work in a variety of industries that include the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and MLS; with professional sports teams like the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta United, Atlanta Falcons, Gwinnett Stripers, Dallas Cowboys; within agencies like IMG, Creative Artists Agency, Octagon, and Melt; and with industry-leading organizations like ESPN, the NCAA, Nike, and many more.

Program Highlights

  1. Learn business skills as they relate to the sport industry for graduate or industry work in law, business, and kinesiology
  2. Faculty are experts in marketing and consumer behavior, economics, finance, research and analytics, legal and ethical issues, organizational behavior, sales and strategy, diversity and social justice, and risk management related to sport
  3. Experiential learning opportunities at the top sport business organizations across the world
  4. Located close to every major professional sport league as well as UGA's Athletic Association, Augusta National, East Lake Country Club, and other top sport venues
  5. Ability to combine academic coursework through the Terry College of Business and Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Study Sport Management at UGA

Understand the law, policies, marketing, and social justice issues that drive the sport industry in the University of Georgia's Department of Kinesiology.

Curriculum

Our program will help you develop a foundation in finance, economics, budgeting, marketing, law, governance and policy, facility design, event operations and human resources management. Our courses will assist you in applying this knowledge to a variety of contexts in the sport industry.

Courses

Sample course offerings:

  • Sport economics and policy
  • Sport marketing
  • Sport event management and facilities
  • Managing the legal aspects of sport
  • Social aspects of sport
  • Sport finance
  • Sport policy and governance
  • Philosophy and ethics in sport
  • Sport organizational behavior
  • Sport sales, fundraising, and revenue generation

Non-Thesis Track

This is the recommended track for future practioners in the field. This track includes 36 hours of coursework, which includes:

  • 24 hours of required coursework in sport management classes
  • 3 hours in research-related courses
  • 3 hours of internship/practicum
  • 6 hours of electives

On the surface, our non-thesis track teaches the knowledge and skills to manage sport and exercise programs. But the breadth and depth of the program prepares you for diverse career opportunities in organizations such as:

  • Professional sport teams
  • College athletic departments
  • Sport marketing and public relations firms
  • Sports agencies
  • Health and fitness facilities

Thesis Track

If you choose a thesis track, you will become experienced in research inquiry as you identify weaknesses in theories and practices in the sport management world. Through a systemic inquiry process, you will use documentation and reasoning to seek a better understanding about current phenomena; revise, improve, or change theories; or develop new theories.

This track includes 30 hours of coursework, which includes:

  • 9 hours of required coursework
  • 9 hours of thesis-related courses
  • 6 hours of research courses
  • 6 hours of electives

Our MS/JD joint degree program prepares you to work in a sports leadership role. If you'd like to pursue this joint degree, you will need to apply and receive admission to each program.

Learn more about the MS in Sport Management and Policy/JD Joint Degree

Admissions

Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia

The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at the University of Georgia, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.

Start a Graduate School Application

Part 2: Apply to the MS in Kinesiology (Sport Management and Policy)

In the Graduate School application, students should upload the following items:

  1. Statement of purpose: Outline your teaching philosophy, experience, and career goals (not to exceed two single-spaced typed pages)
  2. Resume/vita

Deadline to Apply

  • January 10 (thesis)
  • June 1 (non-thesis)

Login to Existing Application

Experiential Learning

The Sport Management program at the University of Georgia provides intership opportunities that provide valuable educational experiences for students. Students are required to fulfill experiential learning credits as a graduation requirement.

Download the Sport Management Internship Guide

Partner Logos

Need to recruit sport management interns?

The Sport Management program will work with partners to meet their talent needs. Have your brand connect with the future of the industry by posting opportunities with the program. To discuss your organization's specific needs and hire talented students for positions when the fit is mutually beneficial, please contact Michael Slonaker.

UGA Alumni Sports Industry Council

The UGA Alumni Sports Industry Council is an external advisory board made up of sport industry veterans who foster important links between the program and the sports business community. The group also provides student support in the areas of professional mentoring, program services, such as guest lecturers and scholarship support, as well as internship and employment placement.

Alumni Spotlight

Portrait of Brian Berger (thesis track)

Brian Berger (thesis track)

I am the manager for consumer insights at Delta Airlines. Before that, I lead analytics and insights for B/R Live, a direct-to-consumer sports offering from Turner Sports. I analyzed fan behavior and consumption patterns in addition to helping the business unit profile potential leagues for acquisition. I communicated these insights to internal and external stakeholders, including PR, marketing, operations, and league executives.

The UGA Sport Management program helped me to think more critically about issues, especially Baker’s Sport Law class. His Socratic approach to teaching made me uncomfortable and helped me grow as a learner. The program also connected me to peers and like-minded professionals with whom I built rapport while in the program.

My advice for current UGA master’s students is simple: conduct informational interviews. Students cannot do enough of these. Pick any organization you might be interested in, search for that organization on LinkedIn, and view the employees who work there. Find an employee in an area you may be interested in, reach out and leverage the UGA brand, saying you’re a student. Kindly ask if that individual would be open to a 30-minute informational interview to learn more. If the employee agrees, follow-up occasionally and stay in touch. Do this for any organization you’re interested in. The worst that can happen is that someone doesn’t respond or says no. The best that can happen is an employer selects you for an open role or even creates a role if you impress them.

Portrait of Brooke Brumbelow (non-thesis track)

Brooke Brumbelow (non-thesis track)

My name is Brooke Brumbelow (McCoy), and I am the communications manager for the Orlando Magic. Some of my primary responsibilities include generating publicity for the Magic’s on and off the court initiatives, serving as a staff writer and copy editor, managing the credentialing process, facilitating media arrangements for home games, producing the game program, assisting in the publication of the media guide, helping to facilitate media interviews and player appearances, and supporting all areas of the communications department.

In addition, I work all games and conduct one-on-one interviews with all players and coaching staff in media preparation, and I get the opportunity to cover events like the NBA All-Star Game and the NBA draft on behalf of the Magic. I am very blessed to be in this position, and I always thank the University of Georgia and the Sport Management program for helping me get to where I am today. Not only did the program help me to see what I wanted to do with my career, but it allowed me to gain the insight and experience needed to succeed.

I would tell current UGA Sport Management students to never give up and volunteer whenever you can. The sport industry is an amazing industry to be in and, because of that, everyone wants to be a part of it. It is very competitive and a hard field to land in. However, do not give up. Take every “no” as a positive and a piece of encouragement and work harder towards your goal. Volunteer whenever you can. You can never have enough experience in this field, and it allows you to grow as a person and an employee. Lastly, enjoy every minute of it. Sports are fun and it is an amazing and rewarding opportunity that we get to call a job.

Additional Resources

Please use our online form if you have any questions for the department. Please be as specific as possible so that we may quickly assist you.

Meet Your Advisor

Meet Your Advisor

A close working relationship with your advisor is key as you progress through your program of study. Please note that most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance.

Find Your Advisor

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and Financial Aid

Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.

Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.

Tuition Rates Browse Financial Aid

Faculty and Staff

Thomas Alexander Baker III

  • Associate Professor

Steven Salaga

  • Assistant Professor

David Schmidt

  • Instructor

Michael Slonaker

  • Instructor

Yiran Su

  • Assistant Professor