Program Overview

Master's in Sports Administration

Sports is one of the largest economic enterprises in the world, employing professionals with a variety of business skills and specializations who have one common interest: the business of sports. For professionals who aspire to either begin or enhance a career in sports, Northwestern University School of Professional Studies offers a part-time Master of Arts in Sports Administration (MSA) program that focuses on the business of athletics. The MSA program is taught by first-rate faculty with access to team executives, corporate sports consultants, sports agents and a broad range of other professionals in collegiate, professional and amateur athletics administration. Drawing on the prestigious credentials and rigorous standards of Northwestern University — and access to the rich and fast-paced sports community of Chicago — the program provides students with invaluable and one-of-a-kind, hands-on experiences. Online students can build their professional networks through optional visits to the Chicago area or completing a practicum in the field of sports. Whether a student wants to become a front office manager, college athletics administrator or sports marketer, he or she will find instruction and guidance based on first-hand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges one can expect in the business of sports.


SPS online courses marry the best aspects of online technology with the interactivity of the classroom. Students can take any combination of online and on-campus courses, or all online or all on-campus, to complete their degree. Find out more about online learning at SPS.

Faculty and Alumni Insights

Program Goals

  • Lead enterprising sports organizations within an evolving environment
  • Synthesize data to support evidence based decision making
  • Evaluate revenue streams and risk mitigation
  • Create effective business plans to set strategic direction of a sports entity

Area of Specialization

Curriculum Requirements

The Master's in Sports Administration requires successful completion of eleven courses. Students must complete six core courses, three elective courses, a leadership course (481), and a capstone class (498) or thesis project (590).

Current students should refer to curriculum requirements in place at time of entry into the program. 

Core Courses:

  • LEADERS 481-0 Leadership
  • LEADERS 481-DL Leadership
  • MSA 401-0 OR 401-DL Sports Research Methods
  • MSA 402-0 Sports Marketing
  • MSA 403-0 OR 403-DL Organization of Sports
  • MSA 404-0 OR 404-DL Sports Business
  • MSA 405-0 OR 405-DL Legal and Ethical Issues
  • MSA 406-0 OR 406-DL Sports Public Relations
  • MSA 498-0 Capstone Class
  • MSA 590-0 Thesis Research

Elective Courses:

  • MSA 400-0 OR 400-DL Sport in the Social Context
  • MSA 407-0 Labor Relations
  • MSA 411-0 Sports Media Relations
  • MSA 412-0 Sponsorship 2.0
  • MSA 413-0 Advertising Project Class
  • MSA 441-0 The Olympic Movement
  • MSA 445-DL Entrepreneurship in Sports
  • MSA 451-0 OR 451-DL The Technology of Sport
  • MSA 452-0 Nontraditional Revenue
  • MSA 453-0 Intercollegiate Sports Mgmt
  • MSA 455-0 Topics: NCAA Compliance
  • MSA 457-0 Front Office Operations
  • MSA 458-DL Digital Media in Sports
  • MSA 460-0 Deviance and Violence in Sport
  • MSA 461-0 Sports Sales Strategies
  • MSA 463-0 Globalization of Sports
  • MSA 579-0 OR 579-DL Practicum in Sports Admin
  • PREDICT 456-DL Sports Performance Analytics
  • PREDICT 457-DL Sports Management Analytics