Gain the skills, perspective, and experience you’ll need to shape the future of sport

Master of Sport Management (MSM)

Program Overview

Move industries of sport forward with a Master of Sport Management (MSM) from Colorado State University. The MSM prepares you for leadership in intercollegiate and professional athletics as well as recreational sport. Through a targeted interdisciplinary curriculum and direct professional experience, you can prepare for a career in the sport industry focusing on business development, sales, sport marketing, sport media and communications, facility and event management, community engagement, or sport law.

The MSM program welcomes students from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, from recent graduates to current professionals working as sport practitioners. Together, students explore the industries of sport and their own leadership abilities, focusing on values of selfless leadership, inclusive excellence, character and integrity, and globalization. In as little as 18 months, students develop the skills needed for success in sports leadership – strategic thinking, research interpretation, problem-solving, teamwork, and creativity.

Why CSU?

As a professional degree program within the College of Liberal Arts, Colorado State University’s Master of Sport Management offers a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that pushes beyond the basics of management. Through explorations of historical and modern perspectives, social responsibility, teamwork and collaboration, and cultural understanding, students prepare to lead in diverse professional settings and communities. Graduates of the MSM will be poised to lead within the sport industry, bringing diverse voices best suited to more fully advance the trajectory of sport industry worldwide.

The Master of Sport Management is part of the Colorado Rockies Sport Management Institute at Colorado State University. The partnership offers unique academic opportunities for students.

The Colorado Rockies Sport Management Institute Logo

Connect with the MSM

Program at a Glance


18+ months

Start Terms
Fall, Spring, and Summer (beginning Fall 2020)

32-36 (depending on specialization)

GRE Required?

Priority Application Deadlines
Fall: August 1
Spring: December 15
Summer: May 1

Degree Awarded
Master of Sport Management (MSM)

Program Details

The MSM is a professional degree that prepares students for leadership in sport industries. The program consists of

  • 14 credit hours of core classes,
  • 9-12 credit hours of specialization credits,
  • 4 credit hours of electives,
  • Internship (2-4 credit hours),
  • and Capstone project (2 credit hours).

Through carefully curated coursework and hands-on professional experiences, students prepare to move industries of sport forward.

Ram emblem outside a sports office


Students completing the sport management degree can select specializations and electives to focus their learning and develop skills in a specific field of the sports industry.

Business Foundations Specialization

The Business Foundations specialization provides students with a broad base of business knowledge, including marketing, finance, and business analysis. This track prepares students for a wide range of careers in sports business.

Sport Marketing Specialization

The Sport Marketing specialization develops students’ skills in marketing management, research, and strategy. This track prepares students for careers in marketing and promotions for sports organizations.

Sport Media and Communications Specialization

The Sport Media and Communications specialization builds students’ skills in content development, video production, advertising and promotions, and marketing communications. This track prepares students for careers in sports reporting, digital media, strategic communication and public relations.


Andrew Goldsmith, PhD

Andrew Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Dr. Goldsmith is the interim director of the Sport Management Program and an assistant professor. His primary line of inquiry in the field of sport management has been focused in the area of organizational behavior and ethical decision-making. He has spent a majority of his effort investigating the role of antecedent conditions and cost-benefit analysis towards whistleblowing intention in sport. He has published in journals such as Sport Management Review, Leisure Sciences, and International Journal of Sport Management.

Read more about Dr. Goldsmith

Justin Garner

Justin R. Garner, PhD

Dr. Garner is an Instructor of Sport Management at Colorado State University. He has experience as a college student-athlete mentor, professor, and researcher. His research is focused on the areas of sport analytics, athlete activism, anti-colonialism, and the experiences of BIPOC in sport and entertainment. He has served as a consultant for basketball operations at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. Dr. Garner seeks to continue making an impact through his service as an educator, advisor, and activist.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the MSM at Colorado State University program will be prepared for leadership in recreational, intercollegiate, and professional sport. The multi-billion dollar sports industry is a growing sector of the global economy with opportunities for employment worldwide.

Student working for basketball team

Potential Career Pathways

  • Business Operations
  • Community Relations
  • Corporate Partnerships
  • Data and Analytics
  • Event Management
  • Facilities Management
  • Marketing
  • Media Relations
  • Sales

Possible Job Titles

  • Athletic Director
  • Communications Manager
  • Director of Business Development
  • Director of Community Engagement
  • Director of Facilities
  • Director of Marketing
  • Director of Operations
  • Director of Public Relations
  • Financial Analyst

Potential Employers

  • Major League Baseball (MLB)
  • Major League Soccer (MLS)
  • National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA)
  • National Football League (NFL)
  • National Hockey League (NHL)
  • Other professional sports leagues
  • S. Olympics
  • National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and member institutions
  • High school athletics
  • Community and recreational sport organizations

Degree Comparison Guide: MSM | MSB | MBASB | MSSM

With many opportunities available in the world of sport management masters programs, it can be a challenge to decide which graduate degree to pursue: a Master of Sport Management (MSM), a Master of Sport Business (MSB), Master of Business Administration in Sport Business (MBASB) or a Master of Science in Sport Management (MSSM).

While each of these professional programs strengthen students’ skill sets in sport administration, management, operations and promotion, there are key differences in the focus and outcomes of the degrees.

MSM – Master of Sport Management

For students seeking leadership roles in sports organizations, who are equipped with historical, cultural, theoretical knowledge and tools for effective responsiveness to shifts in the industry of sport.

Typical courses

  • Sport and Ethics
  • Sport Organizational Communication
  • Contemporary Sport, Society and Globalization
  • Sport and the Environment

Career Pathways

  • Sport Communications
  • Community Relations
  • Data and Analytics
  • Facilities Management
  • Business Development

MSB – Master of Sport Business

For students seeking business-centered leadership roles in global sport industry through management skill-building and an industry-driven curriculum.

Typical courses

  • Athletic Administration
  • Recreation and Event Management
  • Sport Analytics
  • Sport Marketing & Promotions

Career Pathways

  • Sales and Promotions
  • Professional Sport Operations
  • Sports Marketing Manager
  • Account Manager/Account Executive
  • Fitness Director

MBASB - Master of Business Administration in Sport Business

For students seeking leadership roles in the sport business, specifically examining sales, marketing, finance and revenue generation through the lens of the sports industry.

Typical courses

  • Sports Business Analytics
  • Sports Business Revenue Generation
  • Strategic Management
  • Applied Business Probability and Statistics

Career Pathways

  • Facilities Manager
  • Social and Community Service Manager
  • Entertainment and Recreation Manager
  • Project Management Specialist
  • Management Analyst

MSSM - Master of Science in Sport Management

For students seeking leadership roles in the sport management marketplace through the study of social science theory, quantitative theory, and analytics practice.

Typical courses

  • Sport Law
  • Sport Economics & Finance
  • Quantitative Analysis in Sport
  • Analytical Sport Business Development & Sales

Career Pathways

  • Sports Analyst
  • Health and Fitness Organizations
  • Sport Communications Firms
  • TV Host
  • Front Office Executives

How to Apply

Priority Application Deadlines

Fall: August 1
Spring: December 15
Summer: May 1

Admission Requirements

The Master of Sport Management program requires the following materials when applying:

  1. Official transcripts from all previous universities attended
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. Statement of purpose (please explain how an MSM will help you reach your career goals)
  4. Current resume

Although not required, a candidate may use GRE scores to enhance the application. Send official electronic test scores using code 4075.

Application Process

CSu Volleyball group huddle

Need help with your application?

Contact the Graduate School at or (970) 491-6909.