MSSA Sample Curriculum, Cincinnati Online

A group of Cincinnati sport administration students concentrate during class.

Core Curriculum

The Cincinnati Online Sport Administration graduate program Core Curriculum centers on the foundations for best practices in administrative components of sport organizations, with a focus of blending theory with practice, as well as scientific methods to administrative practices. Courses include the following:

  • Research Methods and Applied Statistics in Sport Administration
  • Sport and the Social Context
  • Risk Management in Sport
  • Contemporary Sport Leadership
  • Master’s Thesis - Sport Administration or Master’s Project in Sport Administration
  • Health Science Statistics or Applied Stats I* (*for students who plan to complete a Master’s Thesis as their capstone)

Athletic Administration

Athletic Administration is designed for individuals interested in working in the various levels of intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics. The specialized curriculum prepares students with the knowledge and skills needed to become leaders with athletic departments who act in a professional and ethical manner. Courses include the following:

  • Sport Governance and Policy
  • Sport Finance and Budgeting
  • Revenue Generation in Athletics
  • Managerial Strategies in Athletics
  • Strategic Sport Facility & Event Marketing
  • Sport Facility Operations and Systems Management
  • Financial Issues in Facility and Events
  • Sport Event Management


Students will complete a capstone project during their final term in the Master of Science in Sport Administration. 

Master’s Project - Sport Administration

Students have two options to complete the Master’s Project and should work closely with their faculty advisor to determine which option best suits his/her educational and career goals. The first option for students will be to complete an applied project reflecting application and integration of their knowledge and skills. The second option includes an academic portfolio in conjunction with a field experience.

Sport Administration Sample Curriculum

Managerial Strategies in Athletics 
The focus of this course is on the application of leadership and management theory to issues in interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics, including organizational behavior, strategic planning, and effective human resources management. Emphasis will be placed on the issues, forces, and problems impacting decision-making. The course will utilize case studies and draw from current events and trends to connect theories with practice.

Strategic Athletic Marketing and Communications
This course focuses on development of marketing and communication strategies associated with interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics, specifically, market and customer analysis, market segmentation, and marketing mix tactics. Topics will cover the strategies used to market the teams and maintain a relationship between the athletic department and media.

Revenue Generation in Athletics
This course will examine the application and effectiveness of the predominant forms of revenue generation being utilized at both the intercollegiate and interscholastic levels. Students will gain an appreciation for the intricacies of these strategies and acquisition techniques used for various types of private fund-raising campaigns, corporate sponsorships programs, ticket sales efforts, and in other areas such as trademarks, licensing, and special promotions.

Facility Operations and Systems Management
The course will examine facility and event management within interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics. The course will examine the process of planning or renovating a new facility through a feasibility study. Management systems will include capacity management, booking and scheduling, bidding on events, maintenance and security, and ADA compliance. Issues of volunteer recruitment and management, event evaluation, and sustainability will be addressed.

Sport and the Social Context
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the major sociological issues in interscholastic and intercollegiate athletic administration. All primary issues impacting athletics are covered, including but not limited to gender and sex, race and ethnicity, disability, religion, media involvement, and globalization.

Sport Finance and Budgeting
This course will explore conceptual and theoretical aspects of financial accounting management practices associated with the organization and operation of intercollegiate and interscholastic programs. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding budgeting methods, using financial analysis ratios, non-profit sector financing, and public financing.

Athletic Governance and Compliance
This course focuses on the structure and operations of interscholastic and intercollegiate athletic governing bodies. The class will discuss the role compliance serves in the management of athletic administration, and how rules and regulations impact practices and procedures of athletic administration. Emphasis will be placed on discerning regulations, eligibility, practice, procedures, and bylaws by proactive oversight.

Risk Management and Policy Development in Sport
This course is designed to focus on applying knowledge and skills needed to mitigate risks in athletics. Emphasis will be placed on administering civil law concepts to common scenarios within interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics.  Additionally, students will learn how to develop, implement, and evaluate policies and procedures addressing areas of liability within sport organizations.  Students will be able to identify proper safety guidelines and standards within a diverse set of sport contexts based on relevant case law, statutes, federal law, and industry standards.