Sport Management Program (On Campus)

This program is designed for students interested in working in sports in the United States, particularly those interested in collegiate and professional sports, and those who are interested in taking classes on campus in a traditional classroom setting.

Challenge your competitive spirit and love of sport to succeed in the fast-paced and complex world of business by choosing to study for the M.S. in Sport Management at SUNY Cortland. This 30-credit-hour degree can be completed full-time in one calendar year, or part-time and generally completed in two calendar years. You will complete 24 credit hours of class work, 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 program in the fall semester. However, the on campus Sport Management Program can be started in either the fall or spring semesters. For more information on all courses offered, view the Loading....

Fall Semester

  • SPM 610 Sport Enterprise (3 cr. hr.)
  • SPM 660 Sport Marketing (3 cr. hr.)
  • SPM 666 Business and Finance of Sport (3 cr. hr.)
  • SPM Elective course

Spring Semester

  • SPM 650 Research Methods in Sport Management (3 cr. hr.)
  • SPM 670 Sport Law (3cr. hr.)  OR
    SPM 675 International Sport Law (3cr. hr.)
  • SPM 680 Policy and Strategic Management in Sport Organizations (3 cr. hr.)
  • SPM Elective Course

Summer Session or following Fall Semester

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

Students in our on campus Sport Management program have previously interned with the following sport organizations: the New York Islanders, ESPN Wide World of Sports, the Virginia Beach Field House, and dozens of colleges and universities, among many others.

Graduates of the on campus Sport Management program work in a wide variety of professional sport organizations, including: the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Indianapolis Colts, the United States Golf Association, Nike, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the New York Red Bulls. Additionally, many graduates work in athletic departments or as coaches at a wide array of universities, community colleges and high schools, including Princeton University, Colgate University, Binghamton University, Syracuse University, Cornell University, and Onondaga Community College, among many others.

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.

What are my residential/housing options?

Cortland has a wide variety of off-campus, rental housing for students, generally rented on a semester basis.  Additionally, there is on campus student housing also available for graduate students

Tuition and Costs

What is tuition at SUNY Cortland?

Are there any scholarships available?

Are there graduate assistantships available?

Yes. There are a limited number of graduate assistantships. The Sport Management Department has two graduate assistantships offered on an annual basis and beginning in the fall. Other departments throughout the campus also have graduate assistantship opportunities that Sport Management graduate students have held, including athletic teams and facilities, the Athletic Department, and Recreational Sports.

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 on campus program specifically.

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

The SPMG on campus program is designed to be completed in one calendar year (3 semesters), but can be completed over two years if the student prefers taking courses part time.

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 International Sport Management program?

You may start in either the Fall or Spring semester.

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

On campus courses for the Sport Management program are only offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. However, internships may be done and online courses taken in either semester or 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.

Do I take all of the classes on campus at SUNY Cortland?

Yes, for the most part. All core courses are offered in person. However, at this time some electives are offered only online.

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.

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