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Sports Management Graduate Programs in California

Sports management graduate programs may be offered as a graduate major or a concentration within kinesiology or business administration in the state of California. Here we compare some of the programs and their graduation and admission requirements.

California's universities offer a variety of graduate programs in sports management that are typically available at the master's level. Students in these programs are prepared to work in various areas of the industry and usually participate in practical field-work experiences with sporting organizations. Find out more about a handful of the available programs in the state.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Physical Education and Health
  • Sport and Fitness Management
  • Sports Medicine

Schools in California with Graduate Programs in Sports Management

California State University-Long Beach

California State University-Long Beach offers an accelerated Master of Arts (MA) in Kinesiology with an option in Sport Management. The program is available to recent graduates and working professionals and can be completed in as little as 18 months. Students in the program benefit from small class sizes and gain hands-on learning experience through participation in various sporting events and internship opportunities. With its location in Southern California, the school connects students with a range of professional athletic organizations and teams.

University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco in San Francisco has a top 10, world-ranked MA in Sport Management program, according to the school's website. The program can be completed in 23 months and includes more than 1,000 hours of hands-on learning experience through internships. Students must take 36 units of coursework and finish a master's project prior to graduation. Courses only meet one night a week and cover topics such as sport law, research methods, marketing and economics.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University in San Diego provides a unique, full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Sports Management. According to the school's website, the program has been ranked globally and can be completed in 18 months. The accelerated program places an emphasis on international business and includes an international trip, a 6-month internship and a final thesis report. The internship experience has students working closely with a sports organization as a graduate consultant and still allows students to pursue full-time employment during the final semester of the program.

Fresno State University

Fresno State University in Fresno offers a unique master's program in sport administration through their Department of Kinesiology. The program requires 30 credit units and can be completed in 2 years. Students in the program are encouraged to volunteer and participate in 2 internship opportunities for hands-on experience in the field. These internships may be in a variety of areas within sport organizations, such as stadium operations, social media, sport medicine, compliance, game and event management and public relations.

San Jose State University

San Jose State University in San Jose has an MA in Kinesiology with a concentration in sport management that totals 30 units. The program follows a cohort model with about 15 students in a cohort and includes a curriculum with training in applied research and hands-on learning experiences. Students must complete a master's project or thesis and can participate in an array of internship opportunities with professional and college sport organizations. The program prepares students for a range of careers in the sports industry, including those in international sport, sport media, sport tourism and event and facility management.

Common Entrance Requirements

Students wishing to apply to sport management graduate programs in California need to have a bachelor's degree and may be required to meet a minimum GPA around a 3.0 for some programs. Most of these programs require GRE scores and although it is not required, many programs also like to see any and all sport industry-related experience an applicant may have. Applicants will typically need to include their official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and resume with their application. Some programs, particularly an MBA program, may require an interview process.

Typically offered as MA or MBA programs, students in California can complete sport management programs in 18 to 24 months. These programs prepare students for their future career with hands-on learning through internships and/or final projects.


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