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Sport Administration (M.S.)

If you’re looking to advance your career in the sport industry or start a new path focused on sport leadership and athletic management, Xavier University is the place for you.

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Xavier University’s 100% online Master of Science in Sport Administration will prepare you for a variety of careers and develop your leadership skills for success in one of today’s fastest growing industries.

Xavier University’s 30 credit hour Master of Science in Sport Administration online degree allows students to focus on a specific area of study within the sports industry through independent research projects, internship opportunities, field experiences and elective credits. Areas of focus include sport management, sport marketing, sport finance, personnel, legal issues and NCAA rules and regulations. As part of their online master’s degree training, students in the Master of Science in Sport Administration degree program develop leadership skills within the Jesuit model of education, which emphasizes ethics and holistic care. This program combines the academic strength of a Xavier education with industry leading expertise and was designed utilizing the guidelines recommended by the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM).

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Why Xavier Online?

You’ll get more from your online education, from the personal attention of faculty to rigorous courses taught in the Jesuit Catholic tradition.

Personalized Experience

You’ll get the personal attention and flexibility needed to reach your goals at your pace. Our invested professors and small class sizes will set you up for success.

Jesuit Values

Our Jesuit Catholic values are based on a vision of a world changed for the better, emphasizing service and community engagement in addition to academics.


We offer exceptional online programs at an affordable cost. Numerous financial aid resources are available for our online students, making education more affordable.


Master of Science in Sport Administration Online Course Requirements

30 credits

Xavier University’s online Master of Science in Sport Administration consists of 30 credit hours, which can be completed in as little as 1 year (attending full time).

The online Master of Science in Sport Administration degree will be granted to those who have completed 30 credit hours, including research or internship requirements. In order to graduate, students must also maintain an overall grade point average of 2.800. A three semester hour internship, six semester hour internship, or a research project is required, depending on each student’s individual background and career goals. The internship may be taken after a student has successfully completed 15 semester hours. Internships are planned and supervised learning activities which take place in a sport administration related environment. The student will be supervised by a sport management practitioner. No comprehensive written exam on the field is required.

The classes required for a Master of Science in Sport Administration are:

Master of Science in Sport Administration Online Core Courses 15 credits

This course covers the past, current and future trends in the field of sport management, including administrative theory, function and applications within the field of sport management.

This course is designed to introduce students to research methods and basic statistics associated with the field of sport and physical activity.

This course covers the evolution of the sports marketing field and its place in our economy. Students develop a marketing plan, explore current trends and examine case histories.

This course introduces students to sport and athletic/not-for-profit budgets: program based, project based and line-item based. Students learn to formulate budgets, examine budgeting cycles and understand political ramifications imposed and utilized in the federal cycle, fiscal year, and reserves. The course also covers financial markets, cash management, and municipal underwriting of recreation and parks facilities, scale sheets, bond issues, sources of funding and endowment foundations.

Legal and ethical issues with regard to youth, school, college, amateur and professional sports.

Master of Science in Sport Administration Research and Field Experience, select one: 3-6 credits

Research project under the guidance of a faculty member.

The internship may be taken after successfully completing 15 semester hours. Students will select either a three credit (200 clock hours) or six credit (400 clock hours) internship experience. Internships are planned and supervised learning activities that take place in a sport industry.

Elective Courses: 6-9 credits

Current issues in the sports industry, with topics presented by guest practitioners. Topics include the diversity of the sport industry, careers, position demands and trends.

An introduction of the sociological and psychological aspects of sport in society and how it relates to individuals, groups, and organizations.

This course is designed to provide an examination of ethics, morality and philosophy as it relates to modern sport. Discussions will revolve around the myths and paradoxes of sport, identifying and resolving ethical dilemmas and what it means to be a morally responsible sportsperson. Specific focus will address the application of the Integrated Coaching and Sport Education Model (I-CASE) developed by Quinn (2007) to school and community based sport.

This course covers personnel functions, job descriptions, recruitment, employee selection and retention, EEOC and affirmative action, staff morale and development, leadership and organizational culture, job performance/evaluation and mentoring.

This course highlights current issues facing today’s high school athletic directors such as: student-athletes, faculty, staff development, administration, budget and community relations in the operation and management of a high school athletic department.

This course covers how to operate special events with an emphasis on sports events. Topics include administrative procedures, operational techniques, hospitality, public relations and marketing, and technical services.

The course is designed to expose students to fundraising and philanthropy as they relate to sport. The focus is on fundraising principles, programs and activities as well as providing an understanding of contemporary issues as they relate to sport fundraising management.

This course outlines the development of collegiate sport and the NCAA from 1906-present. Topics include critical issues facing collegiate sport today, the NCAA constitution, by-laws, and administrative structure.

This course covers the cultural, social-psychological, and physiological issues related to gender that influence the nature and extent of involvement.

This course covers the relationship between public relations practitioners and the media. Topics include writing a press release, coordinating a press conference, advertising/marketing campaigns, organization of special events, management of a public relations crisis and career opportunities.

This course focuses on the planning and managing of athletic, physical education, recreation, and other sport facilities.

This course covers the planning, organizing and effectively managing the administration of health related fitness programs. Topics include leadership characteristics, organizational strategies and proven business techniques.

This course highlights the development and administration of current fitness and wellness principles.


Our Admission Process is Easy, on Your Phone or Computer!

Our online Sport Administration program offers a flexible student experience, giving learners the option to start the program at multiple times throughout the year. To apply for official acceptance as a degree-seeking student, submit the following:

To apply for official acceptance as a degree-seeking student of the Sports Administration program, submit the following:

Get Started on Xavier University’s free online application. You can begin the process in just a few clicks.


One official transcript directly from all colleges or universities that you have attended for any undergraduate and graduate course work. Applicants must have a degree from a regionally accredited university. Send transcripts to:

Xavier University
ATTN: Admission Processing Center
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207-5131

For electronic transcripts, send to:

2 letters of recommendation from professional references who are able to assess your potential for success in this program.
Current resume of work and volunteer experience as well as a one-page typewritten statement of your career goals and how the Xavier sport administration program fits with your goals.

Official test scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The MAT is offered here at Xavier. For information about registering for the MAT, please call 513-745-3531.

  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam): The minimum score requirements is 143 on the verbal section and 3.0 of the analytical section.
  • MAT (Miller Analogies Test): The minimum scoring requirement for the MAT is 390.
  • Call 513-745-3360 or email to request a MAT or GRE test booklet.
    If you have previously taken the GRE and want to have your scores sent to Xavier, please contact GRE at 1-888-GRE-SCORE.


Non-degree Seeking Quickstart

Students may complete an application form and register for up to 6 graduate credit hours as a “non-degree seeking graduate student” before they are formally admitted in the program.

  • Students must turn in all required admissions materials before they are permitted to go beyond the first 6 hours.
  • Students do NOT qualify for financial aid until formally admitted into the program.

State Authorization

Xavier University is authorized to offer this fully online degree program in all states.

View the complete list of approved states on the State Authorization page.


Get More from Your Education with a Graduate Degree from Xavier

At Xavier, we understand that no two degree programs and no two students are alike. Therefore, we structure every online degree program to address the unique needs of individual students and have created unique fee structures for each degree program, as well.

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Students enrolled in Xavier’s online programs take classes with the same world-class faculty as our traditional students.

Dr. Quinn has authored, co-authored or provided chapters to seven soccer coaching books. He has published over 25 articles on various aspects of youth coaching and has conducted numerous coaching education programs. He teaches graduate courses in sport research and statistics, sport ethics and psycho-social aspects of sport.

Dr. Olberding received his doctoral degree in sport management from the University of Kentucky in 1999, and a Master’s Degree in political science in 1990 from Ohio University. His most recent published works include an examination of the effect of import substitution on the economic impact estimates of sport events, the differences in web-based versus traditional data gathering methods, and analysis brand equity in sport events. Also, he has studied the relationship between strategic management and athletic performance in U.S. Olympic sport organizations.

Dr. Schoenstedt has been involved in several areas of the sport industry as a coach, athletic director, facility manager, and volunteer for several events and organizations within the sport industry countrywide. She has been a Professor in Sport Management, Marketing & Administration at Xavier University since 2010. Dr. Schoenstedt has been named Big Ten Volleyball Coach of the Year, worked with the USA National and Olympic Volleyball Teams, posted from the Beijing Olympics using Social Media and she volunteers in the community at various events and non-profit organizations.

Dr. Thorn was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology where he was a student-athlete on the Men’s Swimming & Diving Team. After completing his bachelor’s degree he began working in the Marketing Department for the Georgia Tech Athletic Association sparking a passion for athletics and business. Dr. Thorn went on to receive both his Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Louisville. While pursuing his education, he maintained a steady connection to the sport industry working in multiple areas including being a Graduate Assistant for the University of Louisville Compliance Department, Assistant to the Commissioner of the Mid-South Conference, volunteer coaching with the University of Louisville Swimming & Diving Team and Faculty Advisor of Guest Services for the 2008 Ryder Cup. Dr. Thorn’s research focuses are on Organizational Behavior, Marketing, Consumer Behavior, and Competitive Balance. When he is not at work he enjoys reading, playing golf, working out (on occasion), hanging out with his wife and two kids.

What Can I do with a Master’s in Sport Administration?

People who’ve earned their Master of Science in Sport Administration work with sports organizations at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. They also work in sports facilities, country clubs, fitness clubs and community athletic organizations. Some individuals specialize in areas like finance/budgeting, fundraising, management, marketing or law, while others collaborate with coaches and scouts to develop rosters or serve as overall managers.

There are many different types of jobs you can get with a Master of Science in Sport Administration degree. Here are a few of the more common job possibilities and industries for people with degrees in sport administration:

Athletic directors oversee and manage all aspects of sport programs, including budgets, fundraising, athletic staff, scheduling, marketing, ticket sales, facility equipment and facility operations.

Sports executives are part of the top management of sports teams. Their roles can include the management of ticket sales, marketing and communications, public relations and finances.

Media relations directors build relationships with members of the media, manage communications plans, approve talking points and write and distribute press releases on behalf of their respective teams.

Guest services managers provide guests with a safe and comfortable experience and are in charge of managing all direct services to guests while they’re in a venue.

Facilities and event managers ensure facilities and venues’ equipment, property and grounds have been maintained and repaired. They also manage booking for events and communicate with clients to determine facility needs.

Marketing & Advertising directors manage the digital and print advertising initiatives for their respective teams. They also typically manage in-game marketing efforts and sponsorship execution. They foster relationships with advertising outlets, manage advertising budgets and are typically responsible for social media accounts for their respective teams and communicate appropriate information via those outlets.

Ticketing & sales directors manage the online and printed ticket sales for their respective teams and/or events. They manage the ticketing and sales staff, foster relationships with season ticket holders, manage ticketing transactions and reservations, and reports ticket sales data.

Accounting and finance managers oversee bookkeeping, payroll and tracking and auditing other financial information for their respective teams.

Ready to Get Started?

Sport administration and sport management are often used to refer to similar degrees. However, every program is unique, it’s important to take a careful look at the curriculum to see if it’s a good fit for your career goals. Some programs may have a heavier focus on the administrative side of running an athletic department or sports program. Others may focus more heavily on coaching and the development of athletes. Xavier’s Master of Science in Sport Administration allows students to tailor the curriculum to their individual career goals with opportunities for electives, research and for-credit internships. Here are just a few career paths you can pursue with a Master’s in Sport Administration: Athletic Director Sports Executive Media Relations Director Guest Services Manager General Manager Marketing & Advertising Director Ticketing & Sales Director Facilities Director Accounting or Finance Manager Operations Director.
No, the sport administration degree is from Xavier University and is awarded on meeting coursework standards independent of course delivery regardless of being an online program. You will receive a Master of Science in Sport Administration degree.

The tuition rate for the online sport administration program is $670 per credit hour. The total cost of the online master’s in sport administration program will vary, depending upon transfer credits awarded, additional fees and the cost of textbooks/materials. See the Tuition page for more information.

No, online sport administration courses charge the same rate as all other courses.
Some students believe that online programs will be easier than face-to-face courses. However, that is not true for every student in the master’s in sport administration program. Each online course at Xavier University will have the same academic standards and content as a face-to-face course. You may find online learning to be easier because it suits your learning style, but the course content, the expectations for how much you will learn, and the assessment of what you have learned in our sport administration program will be just as rigorous as a face-to-face class.
Sport administration master’s students may find that they can get to know their professor/instructor and other students better in an online course than in a traditional face-to-face course. There are many options for interacting with your instructors and classmates in your online program, including discussion boards, video or audio files from your instructor, email and video conferencing. There may be additional opportunities for interaction available based on the sport administration course and instructor.

You will need to review the syllabus for each of your sport administration courses to determine how to obtain materials (print and digital) you will need for your online sport administration course. The Xavier Bookstore and/or Library will be happy to assist you in finding course materials. Some readings or media lessons may be posted digitally within the online course itself or in Xavier’s E-Reserves system.

If you are new to online learning at Xavier University, we encourage you to go through the student orientation for online courses.

The Technology Services website offers great resources to support online students.

We encourage you to take advantage of the library’s online resources.

Xavier University prides itself on upholding the value of “cura personalis,” or “care of the whole person,” in its classes. University faculty maintain those values in our online courses by constructing activities that build a sense of community among participants and by making themselves available for questions and instructional support.

There are many career possibilities for individuals with a degree in sport administration, so salaries will vary accordingly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for agents and managers of artists, athletes and other entertainers is $78,920. Visit their website for a more detailed breakdown of careers and their average salaries.