Students who may not wish to participate in a full degree program in sports management may pursue a graduate certificate in sports management, which is usually available in on-campus or online formats. These programs can usually be completed in 1 year or less and may require students to maintain a minimum GPA of a 2.75 or higher during the program. Explore more of the common requirements for these programs.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
Information for Graduate Certificate Programs in Sports Management
Graduate certificate programs in sports management generally range from 12 to 18 (usually 4 to 6 classes) credits and train students in various areas of the sports industry. Coursework and course titles vary by program, but below we discuss some of the common course themes for these programs.
Many graduate certificate programs in sports management include a course that provides an overview of sport-related legal issues. Students in these courses may explore legal problems related to sport management, sporting events, sporting facilities, contracts and negotiations. Specific law topics may include antitrust, intellectual property, labor, tort and trademark law, discrimination, constitutional law and more. These classes typically include research, reading assignments and/or guest speakers.
The next three topics (sport marketing, sport finance and sport public relations) may be offered as individual courses or mixed together in different combinations, such as a course in sport marketing and finance or a course in sports marketing and public relations. Courses that discuss sport marketing are typically designed to apply marketing principles and foundational concepts specifically to the sport industry. Students may also explore the challenges of marketing for the sport and recreation industries. These courses often discuss the role of social media in marketing and may cover specific topics in branding, fan attendance, return on investment (ROI) and the role of players.
Similar to courses in sport marketing, sport finance courses typically provide an overview of foundational concepts in finance and how they are applied specifically to the sport industry. A primary goal of this course is to provide students with the financial skills needed to manage a sport-related organization well. Students in these courses may discuss the different methods and/or challenges involved in concepts like budgets, performance measures, cost analysis, supply and demand, budgeting systems and financial statements.
Sport Public Relations
These courses may have different titles, but certificate programs usually include a course that explores topics in public relations for the sport industry and how the industry communicates with fans. Through the discussion on communication, majority of these courses include topics in social media and how the sport industry utilizes various social media strategies. Students also explore other public relations strategies that are specific to the sport industry, such as dealing with a sports media landscape that never sleeps. These courses may include class discussions, case studies, papers and/or presentations to further develop students' communication skills.
Courses in sport and event management are designed to help students understand the various aspects of sporting events and facilities and develop the necessary skills to manage these events and facilities. Students learn how to design and plan for these events, as well as oversee the events. Students may explore specific topics, such as environmental impacts of events, venue-based income sources, corporate sponsorship, scheduling and more. These courses may encourage students to volunteer at or at least attend sporting events.
Common Entrance Requirements
The most common admission requirements for graduate certificate programs in sports management include a bachelor's degree and the submission of transcripts. Some of these programs may have a simple application process for current graduate students in the department pursuing the certificate that consists of an online application. Other students may need to submit letters of recommendation and/or any professional work experience. Other certificate programs may also require students to include a resume and/or letter of intent with their application.
Graduate certificate programs in sports management are generally shorter (around 1 year) programs that provide students an overview of the sports industry. These programs are usually available online and may require 4 to 6 courses.