Sport Management Program (Online)

This program is designed for students who are interested in working in sport and are either currently employed or are unavailable to take courses on campus and are looking to complete the program in an online setting.

If you are currently employed or are unable to take courses on campus, you can enroll in our online M.S. in Sport Management program. This 30-credit-hour online degree has all the benefits of the on campus degree – same instructors, same courses – and can be completed full-time or part-time. Most students select the program part-time while working and, on average, take two calendar years to complete it. You will complete 24 credit hours of class work online, followed by a 6-credit Internship or Masters project. Internships provide actual sport management industry experience in specialties such as collegiate sport, professional sport (major and minor league), national sport committees, North American sport governing bodies, full-service sport marketing agencies and event management firms.

Sample Course Progression

Below is an example of the courses you would take if you were to begin the online program in the fall semester. However, the online Sport Management Program can be started in either the fall or spring semesters or during the summer. For more information on all courses offered in the program, see the College Catalog.

1st Fall Semester

SPM 610 Sport Enterprise (3 cr. hr.)
SPM Elective Course

1st Spring Semester

SPM 666 Business and Finance of Sport (3 cr. hr.)
SPM 660 Sport Marketing (3 cr. hr.)

Summer Session

SPM 680 Policy and Strategic
Management in Sport Organizations (3 cr. hr.)
SPM Elective Course

2nd Fall Semester

SPM 650 Research Methods in Sport Management (3 cr. hr.)
SPM 670 Sport Law (3cr. hr.) 

2nd Spring Semester

SPM 685         Internship/Master’s Project (6 cr. hr.) 
SPM 686         Thesis in Sport Management (6 cr. hr.)
Prerequisite - SPM 650 – Research Methods in Sport Management (3 cr. hr.)

Students in our Sport Management online program have previously interned with the following sport organizations: Madison Square Garden, the Carolinas Golf Foundation, the New York Islanders, and dozens of colleges and universities, among many others.

Graduates of the Sport Management online program work in a variety of sport organizations, particularly at universities, colleges and high schools, including: Kenyon College, Cazenovia College, the University of Maine, the College of William and Mary, and Stafford County Public Schools (VA), among many others. Other graduates have gone on to work in professional sport organizations, such as the Carolinas Golf Association and the Utica Comets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions and Housing

What are the GPA requirements?

A minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.8 or its equivalent is preferred. If you have an undergraduate grade point average below 2.8 your application will be reviewed for admission on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration standardized test scores, your personal statement, letters of recommendation and any previous industry experience.

Do I have to take the GRE or GMAT?

A waiver for the test requirement may be given to students that have a 3.3 or better overall GPA or can document 5 years of industry experience in a related field. If you meet neither of these waiver criteria, then you must take either the GRE or the GMAT. The Sport Management Graduate Program does not have a pre-set minimum test score, but does take the score into consideration in its evaluation of the application in its totality.

What other materials are required?

  1. Completed Online Graduate Application
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended to be forwarded directly to the SUNY Cortland Graduate Admissions Office.
  3. Either the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores to be sent to SUNY Cortland by Educational Testing Service (ETS). A waiver for the test requirement may be given to students that have a 3.3 or better overall GPA or can document 5 years of industry experience in a related field.
  4. A 250-500 word letter of intent explaining what your professional goals are and how our graduate program will assist you in achieving them, as well as what you bring to the program from your relevant background and experience.
  5. A minimum of two letters of recommendation, including at least one academic and one professional letter.
  6. A resume, submitted online with application
  7. Additional supplemental materials may be requested as determined by the department such as an interview

I am an International Student. What other admission criteria do I need to meet?

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam report with a minimum score of 550 (paper version) or 213 (computerized version), and 79 Internet equivalent on the U.S. scale. If you are at or slightly above these minimum scores, you may be asked to provide additional evidence of English proficiency. If you are interested in pursuing a dual degree program, you will be expected to meet the English proficiency standards of both institutions.
  2. Official college transcripts with professional translation of all documents into English along with the original documents.
  3. Either the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores to be sent to SUNY Cortland by Educational Testing Service (ETS). A waiver for the test requirement may be given to students that have a 3.3 or better overall GPA or can document 5 years of industry experience in a related field.
  4. Financial support statement.
  5. Applications will be reviewed for admission based on academic accomplishments and the level of proficiency in the English language. Immigration form I–20, which is used to secure an F-1 visa, will be issued once all required information has been received and you have been accepted to SUNY Cortland.


Information on International Graduate Student Applications.

How do I apply?

Applications are submitted electronically. You can click on the Apply Now tab on the main Sport Management graduate program page or go to the Graduate Admissions website.

What are the application deadlines?

The preferred application deadlines are: Fall semester:
  • April 1 (international students)
  • July 1 (domestic students)
Spring semester:
  • November 1 (international students)
  • December 1 (domestic students)
  • March 1 (international students)
  • April 1 (domestic students)

Due to the need for visas and additional paperwork, international students have an earlier application deadline. Applications may be considered after the deadline depending on program space.

Tuition and Costs

What is tuition at SUNY Cortland?

Tuition at SUNY Cortland is adjusted annually.

Are there any scholarships available?

Can I get financial aid?

Yes. If you are eligible for federal financial aid, it is available for graduate school at SUNY Cortland. You must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits a semester to qualify for federal financial aid.

Program Information

How many students are in the program?

There are between 75 and 100 graduate students across all the programs at any one time. Approximately 25-35 are in the SPMG online program specifically.

How long does it take to earn my degree and is there a time limit to finish?

The SPMG online program is designed to be completed in two calendar years (5 semesters), but can be completed over a longer period of time if it suits the student’s schedule.

All students have a 5 year time limit beginning with their first semester of enrollment to complete their degree.

In which semesters may I start the Sport Management online program?

You may start in either the Fall or Spring semester, or during the Summer.

Are courses offered in the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters?

Online courses for the Sport Management program are offered in the Fall and Spring semesters and Summer session. Internships may be done in either semester or the summer.

What is the average class size?

Class size varies, but on campus courses are capped at 25 and online courses at 20. This allows for a low student to instructor ratio.

Can I take all of the classes online or will I have to come to campus?

Yes, you can complete the entire program online without ever having to come to campus.

I have courses from another Master’s program. Can I transfer those to SUNY Cortland?

Yes. You can transfer in courses from a graduate program from another accredited college or university. You must have received a B or better in any course transferred in and you may transfer a maximum of 6 credits (2 courses).

Do I select my advisor or is one assigned?

Upon admission to the graduate program, all students are assigned an advisor from among the graduate faculty in the Sport Management Department. You will received notification of your advisor on your acceptance letter.

How will I know what courses to take?

All students must take the core courses for their selected program. Once you are admitted to the program you will discuss the specific courses you will take and in which semester with your advisor.

Are there minors and/or concentrations available?

No, there are no minors or concentrations in the graduate program. Electives allow students to focus coursework on areas of specific interest to them.

Do the same instructors teach in the online program as the on campus program?

Yes. We do not outsource our online program courses. Professors who teach online courses are the same ones who teach courses on campus.

Who should I contact with additional questions I may have?

You may contact the Sport Management Department’s Graduate Coordinator, Genevieve Birren. Her telephone number is 607-753-4780 and email is


Does SUNY Cortland place graduate students in internships?

No, we do not place students in internships.  However, we will assist you by providing guidance and suggestions about organizations with which to intern, as well as with editing your resume and cover letters.

If I am offered a job immediately after my course work is complete, do I still have to do the internship?

Yes and no. You still need to complete the internship credits, but you may use a NEW job as your internship. You CANNOT use an existing job for your internship.

In the event you already have a job, you can do a Masters Project in lieu of an internship. The content of the Masters Project will be determined by you and your advisor.

Where can I do my internship?

You can do your internship anywhere in the world that you would like, as long as it is related to sport. Internships must be approved by your advisor.

Are You Ready?

Contact Us

Graduate Coordinator: Genevieve Birren

Main Office: Professional Studies Building, Room 1114
Phone: 607-753-4251
Fax: 607-753-5795