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Northeastern University

This program appears in our ranking of Top 13 Best Sports Management Master’s Degree Programs.

Northeastern University

Experiential learning is a Northeastern University signature, and the Masters of Sports Leadership program reflects this. The curriculum’s culminating requirement is an experiential learning experience: An internship for students not currently employed in the sports industry, a capstone project for those who are. In both cases, students document their experience via an online student forum, while creating a web portfolio of work samples. For students wanting even more real-world practice, the program offers another integrative learning experience opportunity as a 3-credit, for which students choose a research topic and develop solutions for an issue within their current workplace.

Though the Master of Sports Leadership degree is offered online (minus, of course, the internship or capstone), all candidates do complete a one-week campus intensive, either in the summer or in the winter. Students who choose to do their intensive in the summer have the beautiful bustle of Boston and Northeastern’s urban campus to look forward to, while those who opt for the winter intensive have the opportunity to escape the winter blues with a trip south to Charlotte, North Carolina. At either location, course topics cover sports media relations and sports in society.

As for the remainder of the sports leadership curriculum’s online classes, they cover the expected topics such as sports law, sports marketing, ticket sales, and event management, with some variance between the two concentrations. The topics and learning outcomes that set Northeastern’s program apart, however, are those that go beyond the mere business of sports. Northeastern’s curriculum aims to help each student uncover their own leadership style and individual strengths, and then to learn to use those strengths plus the power of sports for the greater good of society.

It really goes without saying that Boston is an incredible sports town. Beantown is home to iconic franchises and dedicated fandoms in just about every sport, from the Red Sox to the Celtics, from the Bruins to the New England Patriots. If you’re more a fan of collegiate athletics, no problem – you’ll find plenty of Division I teams to root for here. The men’s hockey team at Boston University regularly turns out some of the NHL’s top new talent. Students who would rather stick with their own alma mater’s athletics have the Northeastern Huskies to support, with recently successful teams in men’s track and field and women’s ice hockey.

All this makes Northeastern’s Master of Sports Leadership a perfectly situated program for producing sports industry leaders with plenty of real world experience. Whether you choose the professional sports concentration or the collegiate athletics concentration, you’ll have no shortage of internship and co-op learning opportunities, some of them quite prestigious.

About Northeastern University

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is among the higher tiers of elite research universities in the nation, with a top 40 ranking by the U.S. News and World Report, hefty science endowments from the government, and a competitive, not-for-the-faint-of-heart acceptance rate. This private university has its own stop on the Boston Subway System, and 73-acre urban campus in the heart of what is arguably America’s number one college town. Northeastern is known for its emphasis on experiential learning, with a reported ninety percent of students completing a co-operative work/learning experience before graduation.

That signature experiential emphasis is a key feature of Northeastern’s practice-oriented Master of Sport Leadership program, offered by the University’s College of Professional Studies in partnership with its Center for the Study of Sport in Society. Though completed primarily online, the program ensures that its graduates have earned real-world experience via internship or capstone before they receive that coveted Northeastern diploma, and includes a required one-week campus intensive in the summer or winter. The result is master’s level graduates prepared for practical, ethical leadership at all levels of sport.

Northeastern University Accreditation Details

Northeastern University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Not only that, but the university’s Master of Sports Leadership program has also received accreditation from the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), an independent accrediting body – and is currently one of fewer than 20 programs in the United States to have earned this accreditation.

Northeastern University Application Requirements

Northeastern’s Master of Sports Leadership curriculum is open to students currently in mid-level sports industry careers as well as to students without prior experience in the field. Admission into the Master of Sport Leadership program is offered on a rolling basis. This program features two start dates per term, with four terms per academic year: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. As of 2017, Northeastern University recommends that students interested in the Sports Leadership program submit their completed applications by the following dates:

  • For Fall Term A: August 7
  • For Fall Term B: September 18
  • For Winter Term A: November 28
  • For Winter Term B: January 9
  • For Spring Term A: February 27
  • For Spring Term B: April 10
  • For Summer Term A: May 29
  • For Summer Term B: June 26

Future sports leaders ready to get started at Northeastern should be prepared to furnish the following with their applications:

  • A 500-1000 word statement of purpose, describing the applicant’s academic goals and program expectations.
  • A professional resume, detailing the applicant’s current job responsibilities and other program-relevant experience.
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably including one from the applicant’s current employer.
  • Official transcripts from the applicant’s undergraduate college or university.
  • Proof of English language proficiency (for applicants for whom English is not the primary language).

Northeastern Tuition and Financial Aid

As of 2017, the tuition rate for the Master of Sports Leadership program was $646 per credit hour. At 45 credit hours total, this degree will cost an estimated $29,070 in tuition (not including other fees and educational expenses.) Funding may be available to qualified students in the form of federal loans and grants, as well as scholarships offered by Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies. Employer reimbursement may be another option to consider.

Learn more about Northeastern University at the Sports Leadership program website.