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 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. 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.


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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) which equips students with fundamental skills in effective leadership, communication, innovation and change management, and a capstone project (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
  • MSA 401-0 Sports Research Methods
  • MSA 402-0 Sports Marketing
  • MSA 403-0 Organization of Sports
  • MSA 404-0 Sports Business
  • MSA 405-0 Legal and Ethical Issues
  • MSA 406-0 Sports Public Relations
  • MSA 498-0 Capstone Class
  • MSA 590-0 Thesis Research

Elective Courses:

  • MSA 400-0 Sport in the Social Context
  • MSA 407-0 Labor Relations
  • MSA 408-0 Operations Management
  • MSA 409-0 Financial Issues
  • MSA 410-0 Advanced Marketing Research
  • MSA 411-0 Sports Media Relations
  • MSA 412-0 Sponsorship 2.0
  • MSA 413-0 Advertising Project Class
  • MSA 451-0 IT in Sports
  • MSA 452-0 Nontraditional Revenue
  • MSA 453-0 Spec Topics: Management
  • MSA 455-0 Topics: NCAA Compliance
  • MSA 457-0 Front Office Operations
  • MSA 459-0 Social Media Strategies
  • MSA 460-0 Deviance and Violence in Sport
  • MSA 461-0 Sports Sales Strategies
  • MSA 490-0 The Olympic Movement
  • MSA 490-0 Oper Mgmt in a Down Economy
  • MSA 490-0 Leading a Sports Entity
  • MSA 490-0 Sports Facilities Development
  • MSA 490-0 Topics: Olympic Movement
  • MSA 490-0 Personal Selling & Sales Mgmt
  • MSA 490-0 Applied Sports Economics