Sport Management Top 10 in World
USF’s Master in Sport Management program is one of the top in the world thanks to courses developed at students' requests, industry-connected faculty, and longstanding internship opportunities with some of the biggest names in sports.
The program is ranked 10th in the world and eighth in the nation in the latest reviews by SportBusiness International, a UK-based sport industry publication and analysis firm. Contributing to USF's rank is a 37 points out of a possible 40 in student satisfaction score, alumni support, quality of teaching, high employment rates among recent graduates, the sixth-highest average annual salary compared to similar programs in the country, and the ability of students to gain hands-on experience through a 100-percent internship placement rate.
A primary aspect that sets USF apart is the program's ability to tailor the curriculum to student needs. “We are the only program that has each new cohort of students tell us what types of electives they want to take, and we go out and create those courses and find professionals in the field to teach them,” says Professor Daniel Rascher, academic director of the program, “Each cohort votes on the courses that they want, but students can also create directed study courses on particular topics that aren’t offered.”
Something else that distinguishes USF's program is students’ ability to take classes in both northern and southern California at the San Francisco and Orange campuses, paving the way to internships at organizations like the San Francisco Giants, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Rams. Students also intern with the Special Olympics, university athletics teams at schools like Stanford University and University of Southern California, and nonprofits such as the American Heart Association and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Recent graduates have landed jobs with ESPN, Nike, the NFL, and CBS Sports.
“They’re able to intern full-time during the day, while attending classes in the evening," says Rascher, noting the program's purposeful flexibility of holding four-hour classes once a week. "A typical student does about three to four different internships for about 1,300 hours during their 23 months with us. This really allows them to explore the breadth of the industry, compared to many other programs that allow only a summer internship for 300-400 hours.”
Why 1,300 hours? Because the sports industry is tight-knit and networking helps open doors, Rascher says. "We have over 2,000 alumni with most of whom we are closely connected, and we regularly put students in touch with alumni working in areas that the students are interested in,” he says.