Program Overview:

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 Continuing 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 althletics administration. Drawing on the prestigious credentials and rigorous standards of NU - and access to the rich and fast-paced sports community of Chicago - the program provides students with an invaluable and one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience. Read more. 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 opportunties and challenges one can expect in the business of sports.

Inside MSA

Elizabeth Grabowski, MBA
Faculty Director, MA in Sports Administration program
Manager of Research and Activation, Chicago White Sox

  • Provides in-house analysis of sponsorship ROI and assists with dynamic ticket pricing strategies
  • Other experience includes marketing plan development and quantitative forecasting for ticket sales and game attendance for collegiate athletic teams

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

Areas of Specialization

Students have the option to choose elective courses from two areas of specialization:


  • Sports Management
  • Sports Marketing and Public Relations

View more information about the areas of specialization and the courses offered in each.

Curriculum Requirements

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

Students must complete 7 core courses, 2 elective courses (these are drawn from an area of specialization), a leadership course which equips students with fundamental skills in effective leadership, communication, innovation and change management, and a capstone project.

Final Project

Students may pursue their capstone experience independently or as part of a team. As their final course, students take either the individual research project in an independent study format or the classroom final project class in which students integrate the knowledge they have gained in the core curriculum in a project presented by the instructor. In both cases, students are guided by faculty in exploring the body of knowledge on sports administration while contributing research of practical value to the field. The capstone independent project and capstone class project count as one unit of credit.

  • MSA 498 Capstone Project or
  • MSA 590 Thesis Research

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 OR 498-DL Capstone Class
  • MSA 590-0 Thesis Research

Elective Courses:

  • MSA 400-0 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 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