The most difficult classes in sports management degrees tend to be outside the major. Almost every university requires students to take a variety of general education, or gen ed, courses before earning a bachelor’s degree. For career-focused sports management students, these gen ed classes can seem like a waste of time. Here are some of the most challenging classes and how to cope with them.
Most bachelor’s degree in sports management will require one or two semesters of hard, or natural, sciences. Students should be prepared to study biology, chemistry or geology, and may need to complete laboratory credits as well as lecture-based classes. Some universities offer natural science classes for non-majors; these courses are easier and may cover less material than a standard class. Students with a keen interest in the natural sciences can take the more challenging classes intended for science majors. Most sports management degree students prefer the easier versions.
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Just like with the hard sciences, mathematics courses are often required for an undergraduate degree, including sports management. This means students can end up taking several semesters of algebra, geometry or statistics. Some students save money by taking these required courses at a community college and transferring the credits over to their university. Other students save time by taking required math classes online. For students who struggle with math-based classes, most schools offer tutoring services. Professors are often willing to meet with students for additional instruction. Large lecture-based courses may have multiple graduate students working as teaching assistants, or TAs, who are able to offer extra help outside of classroom hours.
Sports managers need strong business and accounting skills. That’s why most majors in sports management require students to complete several classes in accounting. Often, these are upper-level courses that dive into the fundamentals of managing the business of a sports team or facility. At many schools, students are encouraged to take several preparatory courses in the basics of accounting before enrolling in the upper-division major-specific classes.
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Public speaking is the hardest class in a sports management degree for some students. Standing in front of an audience and delivering a speech can create heart-pounding, nail-biting anxiety. According to the Washington Post, public speaking is the most predominant fear of Americans. However, many sports managers find themselves giving speeches to donors, athletes and fans, so it’s important to overcome performance anxiety. A public speaking class gives students a low-stakes opportunity to practice. Some universities offer speech or debate clubs for students who really want to advance their speaking skills. Students with extreme anxiety should speak to the registrar to find a class with a small number of enrolled students.
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Sociologists confront poverty, race, sex , and religion. This can make sociology classes extremely challenging for students who are uncomfortable with frank discussions. Sports management students can seek out sport-specific classes like “The Sociology of Sport” or “Sports and Society” to minimize discomfort.
The key to succeeding at challenging classes is planning the right strategies to use before the course even starts. Students should take note of professors’ office hours, on-campus resources and advice from upperclassmen. With a well-laid plan, even the most difficult courses in a sports management degree can be completed.