WVU sport management graduate program recognized for global impact

Dallas Branch and Jackie Riggleman The sport management graduate program at West Virginia University’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences is listed as the 44th best sport management program worldwide (Top 50), and 10th in the United States, according to a global ranking and rating agency evaluating masters and MBA programs.

The CPASS sport management program has appeared in the rankings for the past four years. Eduniversal Best Masters has released results for 2017 in its list of 50 best masters in sports management. 

The WVU on-campus sport management master’s degree program has prepared qualified graduate and undergraduate students since 1981. Graduates have made significant contributions in a variety of sport settings including intercollegiate athletics, professional sports, facilities and arenas, event marketing and promotions, and sport law and communications, to name a few.  

“In Eduniversal’s 2017 national and international rankings of some 4000 business and related master’s programs, our graduate on-campus sport management program was recognized yet again within the US and worldwide. Everyone associated with the program should be very proud of this recognition, especially our graduates who continue to lead in the sport industry,” said Jack Watson, chair and professor, CPASS Sport Sciences department.    

The graduate program places 100 percent of its students in internship assignments in the sport industry. “We have consistently placed our graduates in the most significant positions within the sport industry, including the NCAA, NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL, NBC Sports, Nike, ESPN and major sports organizations at the professional and collegiate levels,” explained Cindy Lee, associate professor, sport management program.

“We have more than 20 graduates employed in the WVU Athletic Department, including the current Athletic Director Shane Lyons, a 1988 graduate,” Lee added.

The unique curriculum features courses that provide “real-world” training in athletics compliance and sport finance. The program has provided students with marketing research and data-mining experiences with the Charlotte Bobcats, Memphis Grizzlies, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Capitals.

What the continuing recognition is saying about WVU’s program comes as no surprise to those familiar with it, said CPASS Dean Dana Brooks.

“The sport management graduate program is just one of the many well-kept treasures in our college,” Brooks said. “Sport management faculty members have done a fine job making the program one that stands out among its peers, while making an impact in the industry.”

“This ranking confirms what we have always known.  The unique experiences offered within this program certainly help us attract some of the best and brightest students in the country,” Watson said.     

Every year, Eduniversal publishes its final standings for the 4000 Best Masters and MBA Programs in 30 fields of studies worldwide. According to its Web site, the organization uses three main measurement criteria in establishing the rankings, including: The notoriety of the programs as recognized by recruiting companies and have an active approach toward them; the salary of first employment after graduation and placement of graduates in significant job positions on the market; and student satisfaction based on feedback. Results are now available and published on www.best-masters.com.

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