As the sport industry continues to expand, so do new career opportunities. As more and more interest builds and investment pours into the sport sector, sport teams and facilities seek educated specialists. The Florida State Sport Management has developed a reputation as producing talented, prepared sport industry professionals.
Our sport management program teaches business skills, facility and event management, marketing and promotion, field research and more. Supported by renowned faculty members, you will gain hands-on experience and mentorship. What separates us from other sport management programs is the close relationships with many successful alumni and sport organizations. These connections provide professional experience for our students in various forms (graduate assistantships, internship/volunteer partnerships, class/conference speakers, etc.). Our master's and doctoral degree programs are consistently ranked among the top programs in the U.S., with our Ph.D. program ranked #1 in the country by College Choice.
Read about the research and teaching interests of the Sport Management program faculty members by clicking on their names below:
Dr. Mark DiDonato - Assistant Instructor, Undergraduate Advisor
Dr. Katie Flanagan – Service Learning Coordinator
Dr. Michael Giardina – Sport Media & Culture Studies
Dr. Jeffrey James, Chair – Sport Marketing
Dr. Amy Kim – Management in Sport
Dr. Joshua Newman – Sport Media & Culture Studies
Dr. Jason Pappas – Practicum Coordinator
Dr. N. David Pifer – Sports Analytics
Dr. Ryan Rodenberg – Legal & Policy Issues, Sport Analytics
Dr. James Du – Sport Marketing & Sport Analytics
Dr. Kylee Studer O’Daniel – Assistant Instructor
Dr. Kristopher White - Assistant Instructor
Dr. Hanhan Xue – Management in Sport
View our department’s newsletter here!
The master’s degree in Sport Management is designed to prepare you for leadership roles in the sport industry. You can choose between a thesis track and a non-thesis track. In the thesis track, students learn more about the research process and focus in-depth on a particular topic about the sport industry. Those seeking to develop a particular expertise in a certain topic area and/or those with the future goal of pursuing doctoral studies are encouraged to apply for the thesis track. Individuals must complete the approval process noted in the department’s Graduate Handbook to be eligible for the thesis track.
In the non-thesis track, you will have the opportunity to complete additional course work focusing on your specific interests, and you will also complete a practical experience. Practical experiences, or internships, provide you with the opportunity to apply knowledge you have learned in “real-life” settings, and to experience working in the sport industry.
In addition to the thesis and non-thesis tracks, we have a joint program leading to a Sport Management and Law degree. More information can be found here.
For more information or if you have questions, please contact Jeffrey Hoh.
Our #1-ranked doctoral program is based on four thematic pillar areas, which also provide the broad context from which our research and course offerings are derived:
- Legal & Policy Issues in Sport
- Management in Sport
- Sport Marketing
- Sport Media & Culture Studies
The doctoral program includes our seminar series through which students work in-depth with content pertaining to the four pillar areas. Through each seminar, you are immersed in both seminal and current research pertaining to the content areas. The seminars are designed to ground students in critical knowledge and to foster the development of critical thinking skills.
A second component of the doctoral program is the Research Tools. A distinguishing characteristic of the program at FSU is the breadth of training completed to become an active researcher. You will learn about the philosophy of inquiry and will be engaged in such a manner that you are prepared to explain your personal philosophy of inquiry and converse with others holding a different philosophy. The emphasis on the philosophy of inquiry will lead you to develop skills pertaining to the use of quantitative and/or qualitative tools.
A third component is an instructional experience. You will have the opportunity to shadow mentor with faculty members to prepare you to teach undergraduate lecture courses.
For more information or if you have questions, please contact Dr. Ryan Rodenberg.
In order to meet minimum University admission requirements, an applicant must have:
- For application to the master’s degree program: A bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA – An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution, with a minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA) in all coursework attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student working towards a bachelor’s degree.
- For application to the doctoral degree program: A master’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA – An earned master’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution, with a minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA) in all coursework attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student working towards a bachelor’s degree.
- English Proficiency – Required for all students whose first language is not English. Please visit https://admissions.fsu.edu/international/english-proficiency/ for a complete list of accepted tests and minimum scores.
- Transcripts – Applicants must submit an official transcript from each college and/or university attended. Transcripts should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail in a sealed envelope:
Florida State University
Office of Graduate Admissions
314 Westcott Building
P.O. Box 3061410
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410
In order to meet the Department of Sport Management admission requirements, an applicant must have:
Valid Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores*. Successful applicants to the master’s program should score at or above the 42nd percentile on the Verbal portion of the exam, at or above the 36th percentile on the Quantitative portion, and 4 or higher on the Analytical Writing portion. Successful applicants to the doctoral program should score at or above the 50th percentile on the Verbal portion of the exam, at or above the 50th percentile on the Quantitative portion, and 4 or higher on the Analytical Writing portion.
*NOTE: The GRE requirements for master’s programs have been waived through Fall 2026.
A statement of purpose explaining an individual’s reasoning for pursuing a graduate degree in general, and interest in the FSU Sport Management program specifically. Applicants to the doctoral program are also expected to include information about their prospective research interests, and prospective fit within the program.
A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to speak to an applicant’s ability to complete graduate work. Applicants are encouraged to have at least two letters from professors.
A current resume or vitae documenting an applicant’s educational, employment, volunteer, and other notable activities.
- Master's program: June 1st (Fall admission only)
- Doctoral program: March 1st (Fall admission only)
The sport industry has many opportunities for bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates interested in professional sports, college or high school sports, elite amateur athletics, community sport programming, sport in the corporate sector and sport for development – just to name a few. As the sport industry continues to grow, new career opportunities are becoming available in areas such as business, recreation, facility, and event management. Sport professionals find themselves in a unique and rewarding industry that crosses paths with many other industries.
The Doctoral degree in Sport Management has been designed to prepare individuals for employment in universities, in the sport industry, or various leadership positions in a variety of settings. Leadership positions may include private businesses, professional and college athletics, or administration in higher education. Sport as a topic of study is involves much more than understanding the games people play. Sport Management as a field of study includes the delivery of sport, the place of sport in society, and the connection people form with sports and athletes. Students are provided the training and resources to conduct both theoretical and applied studies, and have the opportunity to take courses in several content areas. View our active alumni base here!