Jul 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master in Sport Business Leadership

Maylon Hanold, EdD, Program Director

Web: https://www.seattleu.edu/business/master-sport-business-leadership/

The Master in Sport Business Leadership (MSBL) program is designed to prepare graduates for leadership responsibilities in the field of sport.. The program focus is designed to cultivate critical, creative and integrative thinking through our focus on sport business analytics and leadership development. In addition, we are interested in students who are attracted to demonstrating a worldview informed by multicultural and global perspectives; who seek to address ethical challenges in the profession, and who want to promote social justice both personally and professionally. Our coursework is focused on providing students with a solid theoretical foundation in many content areas and in assisting students to become critical thinkers who can apply theory to practical assignments. Most courses include real-world experience and projects that require the student to explore sport organizational challenges by asking questions in order to think deeply about solutions. The degree program is constructed with the following six goals. Through successful completion of either of these programs, students will be able to:

  • Apply sport management specific content knowledge to find solutions to complex organizational issues.
  • Demonstrate socially responsible leadership grounded in the principles of diversity and inclusion, ethical decision making, and sustainable business practices.
  • Exhibit the ability to gather relevant information and critically examine the information through multiple analytical approaches.
  • Display an ability to synthesize information and devise viable solutions in complex organizational contexts.
  • Develop self-awareness and adaptability, flexibility, and curiosity in pursuit of personal and professional growth.
  • Demonstrate exemplary communication both individually and in groups across written, oral and presentation platforms.

Sport business is concerned with the successful leadership and management of sport organizations. Graduates with the master’s degree will find a myriad of positions in sales (tickets, suites, ads, sponsorship), communications, business and event operations, public and community relations, promotions and marketing, sponsorship and corporate partnerships, event management, and media relations (television, radio, print, web).

Master in Sport Business Leadership

The Seattle University MSBL program familiarizes students with all aspects of the field and prepares students to be sport industry leaders in the following categories:

   1.   Professional sports (league offices, player union offices, team offices);

   2.   Olympic sports (national governing bodies);

   3.   Intercollegiate sports (NCAA & NAIA offices, university athletic departments);

   4.   Interscholastic sports (state associations, high schools);

   5.   Youth sports (civic and private agencies);

   6.   Sport support services (sponsorship, merchandising, representation);

   7.   Sport venues (facility management, event management);

   8.   Sport media services (broadcasting, film, halls of fame, and museums).

Admission Criteria

The MSBL program admits students in the summer intersession of each year. Applications begin to be reviewed on February 15th and continue until the cohort of 30 is filled. Admission to the MSBL program is competitive and the file review is holistic. Applicants’ academic history, graduate exam performance, motivation, aptitude for graduate education, personal goals, recommendations, and professional experiences will be considered. Applicants must submit the following for review:

  • Completed Application for Graduate Admission and a non-refundable $55 application fee (waived for Seattle University alumni).
  • Official transcripts reflecting a four-year equivalent bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution as well as any post-baccalaureate course work.
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.00 GPA calculated from official transcripts of all post-secondary educational institutions attended in the last 90 quarter/60 semester credits of the bachelor’s degree, including any transfer credits earned during this time and any post-baccalaureate course work. Average GPA of those admitted has been 3.4 on a 4-point scale
  • GRE or GMAT exam scores. Average GRE and GMAT scores of those admitted are around the 50th percentile on all three aspects on the three main parts of each exam.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who have evaluated applicant’s academic work or supervised practical experience and are able to assess potential for graduate academic success. These letters should address the applicant’s potential for academic success at the graduate level, specifically noting the fit of the applicant to the mission and goals of Seattle University and the MSBL program.
  • A 400-word essay describing how the MSBL program (specifically mission, goals, learning outcomes, and classes) will help the applicant achieve personal and professional goals.
  • Professional résumé.
  • If English is not the applicant’s native language, official English proficiency scores meeting the university’s entrance requirements must be submitted. See policy 2008-01 in Admissions Policies for details.


Degree Requirements:

The MSBL curriculum consists of a set of 5 core courses, at least 1 credit of internship, and a capstone project that are required (19 credits). The remaining 29 credits may be taken from the list of electives and/or courses from other programs. At least 20 elective credits must be MSBL courses. The 48-credit program may be completed in two years. At least 1 credit of internship is required, but students may choose the total number of internship credits they wish to apply (up to 6) towards the degree. Three credits of capstone (SBLR 5890, SBLR 5990 or SBLR 5895) are required. Registration in SBLR 5890, SBLR 5990 or SBLR 5895 is required during the quarter specified in the timeline for each particular colloquium option (see MSBL Student Resources Canvas site). With permission, students may transfer up to 9 credits from another educational institution. The pedagogy for the 48-credit degree is learner-centered, with an emphasis on collaborative learning in small groups.

II. Internship

1 credit of internship is required.

III. Program Electives:

Choose 29 credits of electives, including: 

  • SBLR courses: 20 credits


  1. A maximum of 5 additional credits of internship beyond the 1 credit required may be taken
  2. A maximum of 9 credits from other graduate programs may apply with advisor approval. A maximum of 9 credits from another educational institution may apply with department and University approval.

Minimum credits required for the degree: (48)