M.S. in Sport Administration

The Sport Administration master's program is ranked 41st in the world and 10th in the U.S. by Eduniversal.

Joe Caito

The University of Louisville SPAD program is truly about the people. From the Professors, to the fellow masters candidates, to the University community itself, this is a place that feels like a family.

Joe Caito, Sport Administration Student

The University of Louisville offers a Master of Science Degree in Sport Administration. The SPAD program has a diverse student population representing a variety of geographical, cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds. UofL SPAD graduates find jobs in professional sports, business and marketing, exercise science, physical education, collegiate and high school coaching, collegiate and high school athletic administration, recreation, health and fitness, and other areas of the sport industry.

The graduate program is approved (accredited) by COSMA (Commission on Sport Management Accreditation) and is designed to prepare graduate students to pursue or expand careers in the sport industry. For more information about the 2016-2017 Student Learning Outcomes, click here. For information on program accreditation, click here.


Charles Eisner

SPAD is a great program because the faculty utilizes the curriculum in a way that not only allows for the students to excel in the classroom, but also out in the real world. We discover, dissect, and discuss topics that are applicable to any setting within our desired professions, whether it be in a sales office or in an administrative role.

Charles Eisner, Sport Administration Graduate

Our curriculum is COSMA approved. Students take six required sport administration courses, two research methods courses, and complete an internship. In addition, students are required to take three elective courses. These can be any of the variety of sport administration electives or approved courses from other academic departments.

For details about this program, visit the Graduate Catalog.

Course Descriptions

SPAD 525 - Sport Event Planning and Management

Prerequisites: Admission to the CEHD or CPBA or officially accepted as a sport administration minor, and SPAD 381. This course is designed to introduce students to principles and practices of planning, funding, operating, and evaluating events within the sport industry. This course includes actual hands-on involvement with event planning and management.

SPAD 529 - The American Woman in Sport

An effort to understand the role of the American woman in sport. This course studies concepts about women, sport, and society in contemporary and historical perspectives.

SPAD 530 - Sport Publicity and Promotion

Covers the application of various promotional strategies such as advertising, direct sales, sales promotion, and publicity and examines how those strategies are integral to a sport organization's marketing plan.

SPAD 561 - Special Topics in Sport Administration

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Selected projects of interest to sport administration faculty.

SPAD 604 - Financial Principles in Sport

Examines basic financial and managerial accounting concepts necessary to be financially literate in the business of sport. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding annual reports, using financial analysis ratios, and examining methods for increasing revenue and controlling costs in the sport industry.

SPAD 605 - Sport Facility Management

The course will examine several different types of sporting facilities. The course will also delineate the factors involved in the planning, design, and management of each facility. At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of several facilities and will be able to design a hypothetical facility.

SPAD 661 - Special Topics in Sport Administration

This course examines one or more topics in sport administration. Although new special topics are always possible, popular special topics in the past have included Sport Governance, The Sport Industry, Stress Management, Research in Sport Administration, Professional Team Sports, and Sport Publicity and Promotion.

SPAD 680 - Athletics and Higher Education

Examination of the historical development of athletics within American institutions of higher learning with an emphasis on concepts and ideas that underlie the developments and major problems affecting contemporary intercollegiate athletics.

SPAD 683 - Sport Marketing

This course will introduce students to the unique nature of sport marketing as it relates to various business industries. This course is also designed to introduce students to all aspects of planning, organizing, marketing, evaluating, and conducting special and sport events. The class format will include lectures, group discussions, videotapes, and guest speakers.

SPAD 684 - Current Trends and Issues in Sport Administration

Trends and issues of importance to the practitioner in sport administration.

SPAD 689 - Legal Aspects of Sport

Examines legal issues including negligence, constitutional law, product liability, administrative law, and contract law as it applies to the sport industry.

SPAD 692 - Internship

Supervised practical work experience in an organization or business related to student's academic field, area of specialization, or career interest.

ELFH 600 - Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics

Critical examination of research in education. Emphasis given to historical, empirical, and experimental methods of research; to techniques of research design and statistical analysis; and to skills in writing reviews and critiques of research literature.

HSS 604 - Research Methods in HSS

Techniques used in developing the research project. Development of outline for action research project.

Note: Meeting GRE score and GPA minimums does not guarantee a student will be accepted to the program.

Brooke Gilbert

I chose UofL's Sport Administration program because it comes highly regarded throughout the country and because it offers a wide variety of courses to educate students about a variety of career paths. I have had many volunteer, internship, and hands-on experiences while a graduate student in the SPAD program that have helped further my knowledge in my desired career field of sport event management that I feel I could not receive from many other Sport Administration programs; it truly has been a one-of-a-kind experience!

Brooke Gilbert, Sport Administration Alumnus

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the University of Louisville School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

  • The minimum requirement for admission is the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. Applicants are required to submit all official transcripts as verification of coursework and degree(s).

    Applicants who have attended a college or university outside of the United States are also required to submit an evaluation of their transcript through either WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators). Please note that transcript evaluations can sometimes take several weeks.

    Please have transcripts sent to:
    School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
    University of Louisville
    Louisville, KY 40292

    If transcripts are sent electronically,
    please have them sent to the following e-mail: gradadm @ louisville.edu

  • Each applicant is required to submit a current resume or curriculum vita.
  • Applicants are required to submit a formal Statement of Goals which should explain in 500 words or less why they want to be admitted into the program and what they plan to do with a Sport Administration degree.
  • Each applicant is required to submit at least two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to the applicant's academic and/or professional capabilities and potential. Applicants may submit up to three recommendations. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have at least one recommendation from a University faculty member who is familiar with the applicant's work as a student.
  • For GRE scores prior to August 1, 2011, a minimum combined (verbal and quantitative) score of 1000 is required for unconditional admission. For GRE scores taken August 1, 2011 or after, a minimum combined (verbal and quantitative) score of 293 is required for unconditional admission. Other professional school entrance exams such as the MCAT and the GMAT may be considered upon permission from the program director. Please note that applicants who exceed the combined verbal and quantitative score of 1000 (previous scale) or 293 (new scale) are not guaranteed admission into the program.
    Please note: when submitting GRE scores through ETS, have scores sent to the general University of Louisville code, 1838.
    Need help preparing for the GRE? Sign up for a GRE Information Session.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all foreign students from countries in which English is not the native language. Students holding a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States are exempt from this requirement.
  • For unconditional admission, students are required to have a 2.75 cumulative grade point average, or 2.75 grade point average for their senior college years.

In addition to these requirements, admission to the degree program may require completion of specific prerequisite undergraduate courses.

Faculty may require interviews in addition to written credentials as part of the admission process.

Applicants will be considered for admission during a given review cycle only if all of the above materials have been received by the due date. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The due dates for each review cycle are as follows: February 1 (for Summer or Fall Admission), April 1 (for Summer or Fall Admission), June 1 (for Fall Admission), and November 1 (for Spring Admission). After the initial review of admission materials, the committee members can either choose to reject the candidate without an interview or decide to proceed with an interview. Following the interview phase, the Admissions Committee makes its final recommendation to accept the candidate for admission or to deny admission.

If you have questions about applying to the program, please contact Delsie Essig, Admission Counselor, at 502-852-0953.


Learn more about our SPAD program faculty.

Megan Shreffler
Department of Health & Sport Sciences
College of Education & Human Development
Room 104M - SAC E
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Sport Administration Faculty

Opportunities for Graduates

In general, the sport industry is divided in commonly recognized segments, including, but not limited to, professional sport, intercollegiate athletics, voluntary athletic associations such as the NCAA and high school athletic associations, recreational sport, facility management, event management, promotions & marketing, health & fitness, and sporting goods retail operations, just to name a few. Within each of these segments, job opportunities exist ranging from sales, marketing, box office management, ticketing, player development, golf course management, accounting and finance, facility operations, athletic training, operation of intramural sports, restaurant management, pool management, academic services for athletics, fitness club operations, outdoor recreation programs, compliance in college athletics, internet web design, sponsor development, special event coordinator, sports reporters, sports editors, sports information director, sport talk show hosts, and other diverse and unique opportunities.

Financial Aid

In addition to the financial aid opportunities offered by the University, the College of Education & Human Development also has information about financial aid.

Other financial aid opportunities available include graduate assistantships and other employment opportunities.

I have some credit hours from another program/university. Can the credit be transferred?

Once you are admitted to the program, you may request to transfer up to 6 credit hours if your UofL advisor approves the request. Transfer requests are then submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

How long is the program?

Most students can complete the program in 1 1/2 to 2 years. The length of the program typically depends on three factors:

  • academic pace - most students take 9-12 hours per semester
  • work schedule - many students either volunteer or work in the industry during their program
  • internship choice - some students complete their internships while taking classes, some choose to complete their internships during the summer, while others prefer to complete their class work before starting their internship.

When are the classes?

Most classes are offered in the evenings (4:30 pm or 5:30 pm). All required courses are offered during fall and spring semesters. Additional courses are often offered during summer sessions.

How does the internship program work?

More information on sport administration internships is available online.

How many students are admitted to the program each year?

Admissions are competitive. We receive between 100 and 125 applications each year. Over the last two years, we have enrolled 30-35 new students each year.