University of San Francisco Sport Management Graduate Program

West Coast Option with SF and LA Campuses

A sign for the University of San Francisco
Marcin Wichary / Flickr / Creative Commons

In sports, timing is everything. Timing also can be important when preparing for a sports management career, a fact the University of San Francisco recognizes.

The sport management graduate program at the University of San Francisco meets just once a week, an ideal schedule for people currently working in a sports career who are looking to advance or for people looking to move into a sports management career.

Once a working professional begins the program, either in January or July, they will work to complete a 36-unit graduate curriculum designed to be completed in 23 months.

Golden State Opportunities

The University of San Francisco program is offered in both the San Francisco area as well as the Los Angeles area. Both sites, of course, are attractive for working professionals looking to break into the many sports management opportunities in California.

According to the University of San Francisco, the program “is designed to facilitate management and marketing skills that lead to long-term professional growth in an interlinked and expanding sports marketplace that includes professional, intercollegiate, and recreational sports and the wide variety of private and public organizations that promote and organize fitness and health programs.”

The program prides itself on being versatile enough to meet the needs of its students, whether they wish to target a specific area like professional or intercollegiate sports; or if they come to explore various opportunities.

The university certainly takes advantage of the many sports career opportunities in California, drawing on experienced speakers throughout the state. Just some of the speakers who have participated include Jennifer Lee, Director of US Marketing for Visa, San Francisco 49ers broadcaster Ted Robinson, announcer and Baseball Hall of Fame member Joe Morgan, and sports agent Jeffrey Moorad.

Also, the program's alumni are often used as guest speakers to bridge the gap from theoretical to applied


Core courses include leadership and critical thinking in sport management, sport marketing, accounting and budgeting in sport, sport economics and finance, strategic management in sport, business development and sales in sport, sport law, special topics in sport management, and sport business research.

In the second year, students participate in internships with professional sports teams, intercollegiate programs, health and fitness clubs, non-profits and many other sport organizations. Students also take a series of electives courses. Each cohort votes to select from a pool of twenty or more options to provide the classes covering the topics that most interest that group for a customized experience.


The school offers plenty of information for prospective students, current students, and graduates. The university conducts information meetings throughout the state to inform potential students about the program and how it works.

Current students can stay up to date on the program through a newsletter that is produced about three times a year. The newsletter provides features on students and graduates, updates on student internships and jobs, career updates of graduates, and stories about the program and students.

For students looking for a graduate program in California's two major markets with a strong curriculum, access to internships at top organizations and a robust alumni network, the University of San Francisco may be the perfect fit.

Updated by Rich Campbell

(Full Disclosure: Dr. Campbell is a 1996 graduate of the USF Sport Management Program and teaches there as an adjunct professor.)