Why Sport Management at Western Illinois University?

The Sport Management program at Western is one of the most established programs in the country. With over 750 graduates in leadership roles such as athletic director, general manager of a professional sport franchise and public relations coordinator, the program is rich in tradition. The program has a strong reputation in the sport industry and has earned this reputation because of its focus on excellence in education. As a student at Western you will be prepared for a future career in the sport industry with a graduate education that provides you with cutting edge knowledge, tools and skills to enable you to be successful.


The Master of Science degree in Sport Management was established in 1972 and is one of the oldest Sport Management programs in the United States. The mission of the degree program is to develop students’ conceptual skills, theoretical comprehension, and practical knowledge in order that they are prepared to become the next generation of leaders in the sport industry. Students finish the program ready to embark on careers as practitioners, managers, administrators and researchers/scholars. In addition, with such a long history of sport management graduates, the program at WIU provides current students with an active and comprehensive network of alumni working in all aspects of the sport industry.


While rich in theory, the curriculum provides students with practical and hands-on experiences that will prepare graduates for a wide variety of career choices. You will find WIU sport management graduates working in athletic departments, amateur and professional sport organizations as well as sport governing bodies around the country. The program is well known in the sport industry for producing quality graduate students. Furthermore, the program is approved by the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).


Central to the program is the application of what is learned in the classroom to practical problems and issues that are unique in the world of sport today. As a result, you will find that the WIU sport management faculty emphasize projects and presentations that focus on current sport management issues in the industry. This concentration on experiential learning prepares students to make an impact in the sport industry. In addition, WIU has a very active student-run Sport Management Club that provides opportunities for leadership roles, networking, and professional development activities. Students are involved in fundraising activities, traveling to various cities to meet with professionals in the sport industry, and hosting sport management professionals for on-campus lectures.

Typically, a full-time student will complete the requirements for the degree in two years, the last semester of which is spent completing a full-time internship in an approved sport organization.


We encourage all prospective students to come to campus and meet with us. Individuals can set up a time to visit by writing, emailing, or calling us at one of the contacts below.

For program information, contact:

Dr. Algerian Hart, Graduate Program Coordinator
Phone: (309) 298-1820

To arrange a campus tour, contact:

Julie Schoonover
School of Graduate Studies
Phone: (309) 298-1806

WIU Hanson Field

A Comprehensive Education

Students may complete either a thesis or non-thesis set of degree requirements in order to earn the Master of Science degree in sport management.  The coursework emphasizes strategies for managing and marketing sport enterprises as well as economic and financial applications of sport.  In addition, students are exposed to the cultural, ethical, legal, political, and social underpinnings of sport in the United States and around the world.  All students complete a capstone experience through the required 4-6 credit internship.