Graduate Certificate in College Sports Management

The College Sports Management specialization focuses on the unique management issues related to collegiate athletics in the United States. College sports, an ~$8 billion industry, plays a vital role in the US sports market, higher education, media, and the social justice landscape. Students learn how to manage the internal and external workings of an athletics department, including the unique human resource, legal, compliance, public relations, marketing, sponsorship, and financial issues facing college athletic departments.



stack icon

Complete this four-course certificate and apply your credit to Northwestern’s MA in Sports Administration program.


About the Graduate Certificate in College Sports Management

Graduate Certificate in College Sports Management Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of the  certificate, students will be able to:

  • Understand and create revenue-generating concepts to apply to the college campus
  • Manage fan engagement with not only students, but alumni and the general public
  • Engage with stakeholders to address the revenue demands and financial stability of college sports.
  • Understand the role of athletics communications in shaping the perception of the university.
  • Manage emerging student and coach-based issues in the field of college sports
  • Understand the university and national governance structure in college sports
  • Examine college sports unique budgeting challenges and issues
  • Understand accounting and finance vocabulary, using financial information to analyze the performance of sports organizations
  • Develop budgets for an organization or department understanding tax implications and stadium financing options.
  • Obtain a working knowledge of NCAA compliance issues by examining and applying the bylaws of the NCAA Division I.
  • Understand the enforcement procedures, waivers processes, and eligibility constraints for athletes.

College Sports Management Curriculum

Students are required to complete the following four courses to earn the certificate: 

  • MSA 404-DL Sports Business: Finance, Accounting and Economics
  • MSA 453-DL College Sports Management - Internal Affairs
  • MSA 454-DL College Sports Management - External Affairs
  • MSA 455-DL NCAA Compliance

Review curriculum details while you consider applying to this program. Current students should refer to the curriculum requirements in place at time of entry into the program.

College Sports Management Courses

Explore College Sports Management Courses. You can narrow your course search by day, location or instructor.

College Sports Management Admission

A variety of factors are considered when your application is reviewed. Background and experience vary from student to student. For a complete list of requirements, see the Graduate Certificate Admission page.

College Sports Management Tuition

Tuition for this program at Northwestern is comparable to similar US programs. Complete details can be found on the College Sports Management Certificate Tuition page.

Registration Information for College Sports Management

Already accepted into the Graduate Certificate in College Sports Management? Get ahead and register for your classes as soon as possible.



College Sports Management Faculty

Instructors in the Graduate Certificate in College Sports Management program at Northwestern are leading scholars and practitioners in their field. They bring real-world experiences to the classroom and engage with students on a personal level. Get to know the instructors on our Sports Administration Faculty page.

Applying Credit to the MA in Sports Administration Program

Students that are interested in the option of applying their credit to the SPS MA in Sports Administration program must submit an online application and submit all required application materials.

Students that elect to apply to a master's program before completing a graduate certificate will be able to count completed courses toward the applicable master's degree, but there will be no certificate conferred.

If you are interested in exploring this option, please contact the SPS graduate advising team for information on how to pursue a master's degree at SPS.

Find out more about Northwestern's Graduate Certificate in College Sports Management

^ Back to top ^