M.S. in Sport Administration


Sport Administration Program          MS Sport Admin Online

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, Class of 2015, Sport Administration Student

The University of Louisville offers a Master of Science in Sport Administration. The graduate program is designed to prepare students for leadership roles within a diverse and evolving sport industry. The SPAD program has a diverse student population representing a variety of geographical, cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds.

The SPAD master’s program includes 36 credit hours of required courses (including three hours of internship) and nine hours of electives (students choose from many available courses), allowing students to customize their study to meet their interests and career aspirations.

Required courses include topics such as Sport Management and Leadership, Strategic Sport Marketing, Sport Analytics, Sport Communication, Sport Policy, and Sport Finance and Economics. Some examples of elective courses include International Sport, Athletics in Higher Education, NIL in College Athletics, and Managing Diverse and Inclusive Sport Organizations.

Student Opportunities

Our students gain valuable experience working, interning, and volunteering with a variety of sport industry partners. In recent years, some partners have included: UofL Athletics, adidas, SP+ GameDay Management & the Kentucky Derby, Louisville City FC, Louisville Bats Baseball Club, the Louisville Sports Commission, NCAA Final Four, the NFL, and the PGA Championships.

Additionally, students are given the opportunity to join the SPAD Association. The SPAD Association welcomes various industry professionals to campus through their monthly speaker series to speak with our students about how to excel as a business professional in the sport industry.

Lastly, the Department of Health & Sport Sciences offers International Study Abroad and International Service-Learning programs for students. This program has taken students to volunteer at events and communities in locations such as Toronto, Amsterdam, Denmark, Poland, London Gibraltar, and Ghana.

Opportunities in Louisville

If you are considering the University of Louisville as a college option, then consider the exciting possibilities that Louisville itself has to offer you.

The Louisville community provides numerous opportunities for students to gain practical experience while completing their academic programs. Our students have worked with local organizations such as Bellarmine University, Churchill Downs, YMCA, UofL Athletics, Louisville Bats, Louisville Slugger, Louisville Sports Commission, Mid-South Conference, the KFC Yum! Center, Louisville City Football Club, Racing Louisville Football Club, and USTA of Southern Kentucky.

In addition, Louisville hosts dozens of major indoor and outdoor recreational and professional sporting events, including the Kentucky Derby, Ironman Triathlon, Kentucky Derby Festival, NCAA Championship Events, and Breeders Cup.


Jenna Slotten

The SPAD program transformed many skills for me including teamwork, time management, and dedication. The real life examples that we studied and presented on have well prepared me for my current position in college athletics. The professors challenged me and always made me feel supported as a woman in sport. I feel extremely grateful for our SPAD program here at UofL.

-Jenna Slotten, Class of 2022

For details about this program, visit the Graduate Catalog.

SPAD 604 Sport Finance and Economics

Examine advanced financial and economic concepts necessary for financial literacy in the sport business industry. Special emphasis placed on reading and analyzing financial statements, incorporating the time value of money into the financial decision-making process, and critically assessing economic impact analyses.

SPAD 625 Management and Leadership

Provides an overview of the nature and scope of the sport industry. This course will expand the students’ understanding of management theories and their application to sport administration.

SPAD 635 Research in Sport Admin

Enables students to understand and develop a comprehensive overview of the practical and theoretical skills needed to plan and conduct health and sport sciences research.

SPAD 637 Sport Analytics

Emphasizes the use of data driven decision-making in sports through the use of data and quantitative methods to measure performance and make decisions to gain advantage in the competitive sports arena.

SPAD 645 Sport Communication Theory and Practice

The purpose of this course is three-fold: 1) to explore sport communication theories and how they relate to current issues and topics within the sport communication realm, particularly as they address mass media communication and the larger sport environment; 2) to gain a firm understanding of how the media theory is applied to peer-reviewed research in the realm of sport communication; and 3) to examine more practical concepts, activities, and behaviors related to sport communication and apply them to professional and collegiate sports.

SPAD 683 Strategic Sport Marketing

This course focuses on marketing and sponsorship concepts across a range of sport contexts. A special emphasis is placed on developing effective marketing strategies in the modern sport industry.

SPAD 684 Sport Policy

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

SPAD 689 Legal Aspects of Sport

Examines legal issues including negligence, constitutional law, employment law, intellectual property law and contract law as it applies to the sport industry.

SPAD 692 Internship in Sport Administration

Supervised practical work experience in an organization or business related to student's academic field, area of specialization, or career interest. Students enrolled in class must work a minimum of 300 hours at their internship site.

In addition to the core curriculum, we offer numerous electives allowing you to customize your program to meet your interests and career aspirations. Here are some examples of how you can package your electives for specific career paths.

Intercollegiate Athletics - SPAD 680: Athletics in Higher Education, SPAD 561: NCAA Compliance, SPAD 561, NIL in College Athletics

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - LEAD 660: Diversity and Inclusion, SPAD 529: Gender and Sport, SPAD 561: Managing Diverse & Inclusive Organizations, SPAD 561: History of the Black Athlete, SPAD 661: Race and Sport in the U.S.

Sport Analytics - LEAD 702: Multiple Regression, HSS 597: Athlete Monitoring & Data Management, CSE 536: : Data Management and Analytics

Sport Operations - SPAD 530: Sport Promotion and Sales, SPAD 510 : Sport Entrepreneurship, SPAD 525: Sport Event Planning and Management, SPAD 605: Sport Facility Management

Sport Leadership - SPAD 561: Managing Diverse & Inclusive Organizations, LEAD 611: Strategic Human Resources, LEAD 631: Performance Management, LEAD 660: Diversity and Inclusion, LEAD 662: Organizational Analysis, LEAD 614 : Program and Organizational Evaluation

Strategic Sport Communication - SPAD 561: Crisis Communication in Sport, COMM 510: Public Relations and Crisis Communication, COMM 605: Communication Theory & Practice

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, Class of 2015, Sport Administration Alumnus

Admission Requirements

This program is open to all eligible students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.

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.

    All applicants must submit official transcripts showing all degrees awarded and all undergraduate and graduate work (all courses) completed from each accredited college/university previously attended. Transcripts must be original documents bearing the institutional seal and official signature of the Registrar or copies verified by a school administrative officer. The minimum requirement for admission is the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution1. Students applying with a baccalaureate or an advanced degree from a nationally accredited institution will be considered at the discretion of the admitting unit with approval via a variance request to the Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs.

    International applicants with transcripts that are not in English, in addition to submitting official copies of native language records, must also submit a notarized, verbatim translation in English prepared by an appropriate university or government official. The records must show both the degree granted and all coursework taken during the course of study. Applicants who are submitting transcripts from outside the United States must verify their records by submitting them to one of the following organizations: World Education Services (WES), Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), and other NACES approved evaluators found here https://www.naces.org/members.” Do note that transcript evaluations can sometimes take several weeks to months, so please plan accordingly.

    Please have transcripts sent to:
    University of Louisville
    Graduate School
    2211 S Brook St, Houchens Bldg, Rm 105
    Louisville, Kentucky 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.
  • Students for whom English is not their primary language must show English language proficiency by successfully completing one of the following: Note: International students who have earned a degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. are not required to complete the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo.
  • For unconditional admission, students are required to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA or 3.0 or higher. Applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 may obtain conditional admission.

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 Lynne Ernst, Admission Counselor, at 502-852-7697.

Nick Kanine

I chose the University of Louisville sport administration master’s program because of the people. When I visited Louisville, before attending, each individual professor took time out of their day to have a conversation with me. Current SPAD students were able to answer questions I had about the program, as well. After meeting the people I would be interacting with on an everyday basis, I knew Louisville was the right choice.

-Nick Kanine, Class of 2021


Learn more about our SPAD program faculty.

Meg Hancock
Department of Health & Sport Sciences
College of Education & Human Development
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Connect with us on social media!

Instagram: UofL Sport Administration (@uofl_spad) • Instagram photos and videos

Facebook:University of Louisville Sport Administration | Facebook

Twitter:UofL Sport Admin. (@SPADUofL) / Twitter

Samantha Delph

The real-world experience I gained and the support I received from staff, faculty, and my peers in the SPAD program was vital to my professional growth and played a huge role in finding my first full-time position post-graduation. Not only did I have the chance to learn from my professors in the classroom but was also given the opportunity to travel and learn from individuals at Adidas, the NCAA, and other local sports organizations. Forever thankful for the experiences I had and the relationships I gained through the UofL SPAD program!

-Samantha Delph, Class of 2021

What will I learn as a M.S. in Sport Administration student?

The expertise you’ll develop as a student in the Sport Administration master’s program will enable you to become a capable leader and decision maker in sports business. You’ll develop a deeper understanding of management, finance, leadership, ethics, communication, and marketing, as well as policy and law practiced within the field.

Specific expertise gained from the program will include:

  • A comprehensive understanding of financial and managerial accounting concepts that emphasize understanding annual reports, financial analysis ratios, as well as methods for increasing for revenue and cost control.
  • Close examination of legal issues relevant to the field such as negligence, constitutional law, employment law, as well as intellectual property law and contract law.
  • An overview of the skills needed to plan and conduct health and sport sciences research.

What can I do with a M.S. in Sport Administration?

Career opportunities are available to M.S. in Sport Administration graduates in fields such as:

  • Ticket, marketing, sales, and service operations
  • College athletics administration
  • DEI leadership
  • Sport facility management
  • Sport event management
  • Sport analytics
  • Sports reporting
  • Many other diverse and unique opportunities in the sport industry!

The 2019-2029 occupational outlook for administrative services and facilities managers is expected to grow 6% nationwide, which is faster than the average national occupation growth rate and have a median annual salary of $98,890 (bls.gov).

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 in-person core curriculum 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 30-40 new students each year.

Is the program accredited?

The MS program is fully accredited through the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA). Our program was the first in the country accredited at all three levels (undergraduate, master’s and doctoral).

Do I need any specific undergraduate major to be admitted? Are there any prerequisites?

We admit applicants from all undergraduate majors, with a few having undergraduate degrees in sport administration or sport management. You are not required to take any prerequisite courses before beginning the program.

How are applications evaluated?

The minimum guidelines for unconditional admission are an undergraduate GPA of 3.0. However, we review the entire application holistically and strongly consider the applicant's goals, recommendations, and related work experiences in addition to academic credentials.

Is there an exit requirement for the program?

To complete the program, students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. No credit shall be accepted for carrying a grade lower than C (no C-minus).