Gus Machado School of Business

BA in Sports Management

Master of Science in Sports Administration - Online

Become an all-star: Earn your Sports Administration master’s degree fully online in just one year!

The love of sports unites people around the world. Passion for a game, a team, or a player can bring out the best in a community; and professional sports teams are now multibillion-dollar franchises. Participating in sports and recreational activities boosts health, fitness, and well-being; and the recreational-athletics industry is likewise a significant part of the global economy.

The explosive growth of professional sports, college and interscholastic athletics, sports media and marketing, and many other related services and industries has created a need for professionals with the experience and knowledge to deliver winning results. The sophistication and value of modern sports entertainment means teams, leagues, and other organizations now insist on well-educated employees who understand bottom-line business operations and high-profile personnel management.

The fully online Master of Science in Sports Administration from St. Thomas University is an ideal program for candidates who want to establish or advance their careers in this exciting, constantly changing field. Our accelerated one-year curriculum is designed specifically for working professionals: Apply what you learn in class to your current job and improve your skills before you graduate!

St. Thomas University’s Sports Administration program is a well-known franchise with a winning record: We established the nation’s first undergraduate sports administration program in 1973, and launched the master’s program only four years later. With over 1,000 alumni working across the nation and throughout the world, including top executives at several professional sports teams, our students benefit from a well-connected professional network of fellow St. Thomas graduates.

Our Sports Administration academic offerings lead the field in terms of relevant, in-depth, and industry-leading skills and knowledge. The curriculum design brings together management and sports business courses, and tackles the challenges of the industry’s increasingly complex nature.

Get off the sideline and get into the game with the 100% online Sports Administration M.S. degree from St. Thomas University.


The M.S. in Sports Administration online program from St. Thomas University’s Gus Machado School of Business produces highly qualified professionals with the specialized management skills necessary for modern sports administrators. Upon completion of this M.S. degree, successful candidates will be able to:

  • Apply critical thinking skills acquired from exposure to specific functional theories and practices to strategic organizational and managerial issues in a sports setting.
  • Acquire a keen perspective of the importance of employing ethical practices in all aspects of the sports setting.
  • Express their ideas and recommendations in a concise and professional fashion by utilizing their enhanced verbal, analytical and writing skills.


The 30-credit M.S. in Sports Administration online program from St. Thomas University consists of 10 fully online courses taken over six eight-week periods. Expected time to completion is 12 months.

Students will conclude their graduate degree with a single course, SPO 755. Most remaining courses are offered concurrently as indicated: MAN 503 and MAN 510; SPO 548 and SPO 544; SPO 552 and SPO 540; SPO 719 and SPO 543. SPO 546 will be taken as a single course.

M.S. in Sports Administration Course Sequence (30 credit hours)

Applied Research Methods (3)
This is an introductory course on research design emphasizing computer skills, analysis and presentation of information. It is intended to make the student an informed consumer of research.

Sports Marketing and Promotion (3)
This course introduces students to the principles of sports marketing and the application of these principles to sports and sports related organizations. The primary focus of the course is on planning, with additional emphasis on promotions management. This course includes presentations by guest lecturers, instructor's lectures, and student's presentations and is conducted in discussion format.

Sports Psychology (3)
This course is designed to introduce students to the factors influencing sport socialization and psychology. Students will be provided with an extensive foundational experience in understanding the relationship between sport and the psychological contexts in which they exist. Topics for research will include, but are not limited to, the effects of personality, anxiety, motivation, and concentration as they relate to athletic peak performance.

Management Ethics (3)
The study of ethics and ethical behavior in public and private organizations is the fundamental purpose of this core course, which also explores broad areas of social responsibility to others in the enterprise, customers, the community and the preservation of the environment.

Facility and Event Management (3)
Included within this course are the elements which shape the planning and construction of sports facilities and the issues and problems involved in facility and event management, including marketing, production, personnel, and budget.

Governance of Intercollegiate Athletics (3)
This course is designed to introduce students to the history, structure, rules and responsibilities of organizations that govern intercollegiate athletics. Current governance issues and trends are examined through a study of the literature, the insight of guest speakers, and actual case studies. Students are exposed to the complexities of the growing field of compliance.

Sports Media and Public Relations (3)
This course covers a comprehensive study of the sports information profession on the collegiate, professional, and recreational levels. Included within the course are 1) the field of public relations, its history and evolution, 2) the skills and methods involved in the duties of the SID, public relations specialist, or media relations specialist and current attitudes and concerns in media relations between athletes, coaches, administrators, and owners.

Legal Aspects of Sports Administration (3)
This required course provides the student with a background and understanding of the court and legal system in America and how law is used by, and applied to, athletes and athletics in America. Some of the major legal problems and issues confronting the sports administrator covered are: contracts, due process, defamation, actions against professional, college, secondary school and community programs; actions involving safety procedures; antitrust; collective bargaining and arbitration; and risk management.

Sports Financial Management (3)
This course provides students with the facts, knowledge, and opportunity to better understand the true nature of financially operating a sports program/organization. The student develops additional knowledge and insight by exposure to actual situations. It will guide future administrators to become more effective financial managers when they plan and execute budgeting and accounting systems.

Special Topics: Leadership & Practice in Sports Administration (3)
This required course provides overview of leadership trends and practices in the sports industry. Students are exposed to various leadership theories and learn how to choose and apply them appropriately to different situations in the sports field.


Graduates of the online Master of Science in Sports Administration program from St. Thomas University will be fully prepared for a number of career possibilities in a variety of organizations, including professional sports teams, college athletics departments, sports media and marketing, merchandising, leisure and recreational services, and more. Specific positions include but aren’t limited to:

  • Athletic Director
  • Sports Information Director
  • General Manager
  • Events Manager/Coordinator
  • Fundraising/Major Gifts Director
  • Business Operations Manager
  • Advertising Director
  • Marketing Director
  • Facilities Director
  • Sports and Wellness Director
  • Financial Management Director
  • Parks and Recreation Director
  • Youth Sports Director
  • Sports Advertising Sales Manager
  • Athletics Communications Director
  • Athletics Director for Compliance
  • Compensation Consultant
  • Customer Relations Director
  • Media Relations Director
  • Programs and Assessment Director
  • Community Services Director
  • Event Marketing Specialist
  • Guest Services Manager
  • Operations Coordinator
  • Program Manager
  • Sports Camp Director
  • Sports Marketing Manager
  • Ticket/Sales Manager

Featured Alumni


Al Avila ’86, general manager of the Detroit Tigers, has been with the  Tigers for 15 years. Under his leadership, the Tigers have won the American League Pennant in 2006 and 2012, and won four straight AL Central titles from 2011-2014

Andy Elisburg ’89, general manager and senior vice president of operations for the Miami Heat, joined the franchise in its inaugural 1988 season. For the past 21 years, he has been working in basketball operations, and has played an integral role in salary cap planning and basketball operations management, while overseeing the day-to-day operations at American Airlines Arena.

Dave Gettleman ’86, general manager of the New York Giants, has been a part of six Super Bowl teams, including three winners. He was with Buffalo in 1990 and 1991, Denver in 1997 and the Giants in 2000, 2007 and 2011. The Broncos and the 2007 and 2011 Giants, which both won the championship.

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