Master of Science in Sports Administration

Program Description

The mission of the Master of Science in Sports Administration program at the Lewis College of Business (LCOB) is to educate students to become reflective, principled, knowledgeable, and creative learners who will succeed in the global sports management community in the 21st century. Sports are a significant provider of high-dollar entertainment, making the industry business-oriented. Due to the economic magnitude of the sports industry, the demand for higher educated sports managers is at an all-time high. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment in entertainment and sports occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. This master’s degree program will provide the diverse knowledge and skill set needed in all areas that will optimize your chance for future employment in the sports business field. Please have a look at the program’s brochure.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should follow the admissions process described in this catalog or at the Graduate Admissions website:

Full Admission

(Submit all materials directly to the Graduate Admissions office):

  1. An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with an undergraduate Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all previously completed undergraduate coursework.


  1. An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 2.5-2.99 on a 4.0 scale for all previously completed undergraduate university work and, in addition to the resume, two letters of recommendation. Applicants may also submit additional documents such as the statement of purpose, test scores, etc.

A limited number of students may be admitted provisionally or conditionally (see definition of Provisional Enrollment and Conditional Enrollment in this catalog):

Note: Applicants may be asked to submit additional material if needed before an admission decision is made. Acceptance into the M.S. Sports Administration program is competitive and not guaranteed.

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete 30 credit hours and successfully pass a comprehensive assessment or thesis defense. The student and his/her advisor shall prepare a Plan of Study, which must be approved during the semester in which the student initially enrolls. A plan should be appropriate to meet the student’s needs in his/her chosen field. It shall include the specific courses the student is expected to complete; and list all other requirements of the program or school. Courses listed on the Plan of Study shall be those judged appropriate by the faculty. Subsequent requests for changes in the plan must be formally approved by the Academic Advisor. Any deviation from the final Plan of Study and/or discrepancy between it and the student’s official transcript will delay graduation. Any approved Plan of Study may become void if a student is inactive for one year (unless on an official leave of absence).

Grade Point Average Requirement

A student must have a 3.0 overall G.P.A. in all program coursework, with no more than two Cs in his or her program; in addition, the student must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA in all courses completed after admission to the degree program, along with any previous Marshall University coursework to be counted toward the current degree. This standard must be met for the student to graduate. If the student falls below these standards, that student shall be placed on academic probation and be subject to the program’s dismissal.

Thesis or Comprehensive Assessment

The thesis project is an academic collaboration between the student and the Thesis Committee. The graduate program director or the student’s graduate advisor selects the chair and other members of the Thesis Committee. All thesis committees must have at least a chair and two qualified faculty members. The committee chair must have at least “Graduate” level membership in the Marshall University graduate faculty. Other than the chair, all other thesis committee voting members must have at least “Associate” level membership in the Marshall University graduate faculty. A majority of the student’s Thesis Committee voting members must have appointments within the college of the student’s major.

The student can receive up to 6 credit hours on the thesis project toward his or her 30-credit hour degree requirement. The thesis project and oral defense of the student’s thesis project must occur prior to the completion of the student’s final semester in the program. The thesis project needs to reflect an effort that is at least equivalent to the 6 credit hours and is to be completed over 2 or more semesters.

As an alternative to a thesis project, a student can choose to complete a comprehensive assessment prior to receipt of the master’s degree. The comprehensive assessment is usually a written term paper required within the capstone course, STHM 696 Seminar in STHM.

Plan of Study

Download Plan of Study

Core Course Credit Hours
STHM 552        Sports Analytics 3
STHM 615        Legal Concerns in STHM 3
STHM 624        Current Issues in STHM 3
STHM 671        Research in Sports Studies 3
STHM 674        Sport Finance/Economics 3
STHM 675        MKT MGT of Sport Industry 3
Core Courses Total Credit Hours 18
Non-Thesis Option Credit Hours
STHM 696        Seminar in STHM (Capstone) 3
STHM Electives or selected courses with approval 9
Total Credit Hours 30
Thesis Option Credit Hours
STHM 681        Thesis 6
STHM Electives or selected courses with approval 6
Total Credit Hours 30

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