Recreation and Sport Management, Sport Management concentration Major Guide for 2013-2014

What is Recreation and Sport Management, Sport Management concentration

The sport management concentration 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 Recreation and Sport Management, Sport Management concentration

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 Recreation and Sport Management, Sport Management concentration

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 Recreation and Sport Management, Sport Management concentration

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 Recreation and Sport Management 100 and Recreation 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 Recreation and Sport Management, Sport Management concentration

Students are required to take 37 credit hours in general education, 43 in the sport management curriculum, 22 hours in the business minor, and 18 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, Texas Tech University, YMCA, Boys’ & Girls’ Club, city Parks and Recreation Departments, and Health and Fitness Centers.

Highlights of Recreation and Sport Management, Sport Management concentration

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

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers study abroad programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. Program lengths vary from mini-term trips to the entire academic year, and students may choose to fulfill general education requirements, study a foreign language, or take courses within their majors.

Study abroad options certainly exist for RSM majors! UTK RSM majors have most frequently found compatible major coursework at institutions in other English-speaking countries. Possibilities include (but are not limited to) studying sport and event marketing in Australia, sponsorship and fundraising in England, sport governance and administration in New Zealand, or sport services management in Ireland.  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.  In addition to taking major-related courses abroad, many students elect to fulfill their language requirement and/or general education courses overseas.

Consult an academic advisor early in your academic career about the best time for you to study abroad as well as what courses you may need to take. For more information about program options, the application process, and how to finance study abroad, please visit the Programs Abroad Office website.  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.

Academic Plan and Milestones

Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. Beginning with first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering in the Fall 2013 semester, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.

To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, go to

For More Information

Margy Wirtz-Henry
Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport 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.