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Sport Management Major Guide for 2009-2010

What is Sport Management

The sport management major is designed for students interested in working in the sports industry. The program combines sport management with a minor in business administration. A formally recognized program at the University of Tennessee since 1983, sport management is a field of study and application based upon the integration of sports and recreation with management theory and principles. Sport management applies skills related to planning, organizing, leading, and evaluating to organizations or departments whose primary product or service is sports and/or recreation. This program includes study in management, economics, finance, and marketing, as well as communications and law. The program also includes a semester-long internship experience. The internship, a full-time work experience at an approved site with expert supervision, is the culmination of study. Through the internship experience, students gain managerial skills as well as valuable contacts for possible future employment.

Career Opportunities in Sport Management

Growth of sport industries in this country and the world has created a demand for sport and fitness professionals trained in management. In the United States, sport-related businesses are a multi-billion dollar enterprise, ranking in the top fifteen industries in the nation. Opportunities for sport management graduates range from working for a local non-profit organization to working for a professional sports team. Career possibilities include marketing, media relations, facility management, and athletic administration. Sport management majors may work in a variety of settings: sports teams of various types and levels; sport and fitness facilities; college/university intramurals and sport clubs; sport information; public and private sport clubs; and the sporting goods industry.

Salary Trends in Sport Management

Entry-level salaries in the sport industry fall in the mid $20,000 range.

High School Preparation

High school preparation should include involvement in sport-related activities or working in a support role in athletics.  This major includes a minor in business administration; it is important to take a variety of college preparatory mathematics courses to develop the mathematical skills necessary to be successful in this major.  Pre-calculus and calculus are particularly helpful preparatory courses.

How to Major in Sport Management

During your first two years, you should contact the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Office of Student Services (865-974-8194) for advising. Students must apply to be admitted to the sport management major. Application for admission consideration may be completed after the successful completion of 30 semester hours with a grade of “C” or better in Sport Management 100 and Sport Management 250. Applicants must also have successfully completed English 101, 102, and Math 125. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required to apply for admission to the program. A minimum GPA of 2.5 must be maintained to remain in the major. The Sport Management Admissions Board meets three times a year to consider applications.

Requirements for Sport Management

Students are required to take 37 credit hours in general education, 43 in the sport management curriculum, 23 in the business minor, and 17 hours of general electives. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA to complete the program.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

Each sport management major is required to complete a semester-long full-time internship. The internship can be done during either, the fall, spring, or summer semester. Students have held internships at Disney Sports, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Collegiate Licensing Company, Boston Celtics, North Carolina State University, the University of Tennessee, and Texas Tech University.

Highlights of Sport Management

Partners in Sports encourages the development of leaders in the growing sports industry throughout the world and attempts to elevate the status of the sport management program at UT. Partners in Sports promotes practical experiences and the professional development of students.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

As the world is becoming more inter-connected through technology, it is important that students learn about other cultures and interact with people with diverse backgrounds.  At UT, students have a variety of opportunities to engage in these activities. For example, sport management majors have the option to "study abroad" and take some of their required courses in other countries. Sport management majors also have the option to complete practica and internships abroad. The globalization of sports means that our majors have the opportunity to interact with scholars from around the world and have the knowledge and skills to compete on an international level for jobs.

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English 101, 102 6
Cultures and Civilizations 6
Social Science Elective 3
Sport Management 100 1
Arts and Humanities Elective 3
Math 125 or 141 3-4
General Electives 7
TOTAL 29-30
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Accounting 200 3
Economics 201 4
Business Administration 201 4
National Science Electives 7-8
Communication Studies 210 or 240 3
Sport Management 250 3
Sport Management 290 3
Statistics 201 3
TOTAL 30-31
Junior Year Credit Hours
Management 300 3
Finance 300 3
Marketing 300 3
Sport Management 350 3
Sport Management 390 3
Arts and Humanities Elective 3
Sport Studies 335 3
General Electives 6
Communicating Through Writing Elective 3
Senior Year Credit Hours
General Electives 4
Sport Management 490** 12
Choose five (5) from the following:
Sport Management 330*, 340*, 360*, 370*, 380*, 420*, 440*, 450*, 460*, Sports
Studies 336 or RLS 415*, 440* (Three courses must be Sport Management courses)

   Courses listed in bold make up the business minor.
* Courses require admission to the major.
**Must have a min 2.5 GPA for internship.

For More Information

Margy Wirtz-Henry
Department of Exercise, Sport and Leisure Studies
HPER 321B, 1914 Andy Holt Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996-2700
(865) 974-7154



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.