Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at Isenberg



Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks for your interest in the Graduate Program in the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management. Before you contact us, please check below for a list of frequently asked questions.

Q. What is the process used to gain admission to the program?
A. Download an application from the graduate admissions web site at Take the GMATs or GREs no later than the January prior to the September you wish to matriculate. Application procedures are fully explained in the Graduate School Bulletin. Application forms for the program should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office by December 15 for earliest consideration, and no later than February 1 for September enrollment. (the only enrollment semester possible). Due to the fact that applications are reviewed (upon full completion) on a "rolling" basis, (meaning "as received") we strongly encourage applications to be submitted well in advance of the University deadline.
Selected candidates are invited for one of several interview dates between mid-January and April.


Q. How competitive is the admissions process?
A. Very. The department receives between 150 to 200 applications a year. Approximately 50 applicants are invited for interviews.

Q. What are the standards for admissions?


  • The Graduate School at the University requires a minimum of a 2.75 GPA. However, the average GPA of applicants who are accepted to our program is approximately a 3.4.  Although there is no specific minimum for a GMAT or GRE score, the average GMAT is 590 for the MS class and the average GMAT is 650 for the MBA/MS class. (A conversion table is used to convert a GRE score to a comparable GMAT score.)  If you have not yet taken either exam, the GMAT is preferred. 


  • The personal statement by the candidate should be very clearly constructed and presented. This is a very significant part of the application process. It should reflect a strong sense of career direction. It should also include a highlight of traits, skills, and past athletic and work experiences that are relevant to their applications.


  • The department requires a minimum of two letters of recommendation.  Up to four letters are accepted. For applicants with professional work experience, letters of recommendation from both professional and educational sources are preferred.  College athletic background, employment in the management field and/or sport management experience would make a positive impression on the Admission Committee.  Your undergraduate major is NOT a factor for gaining admission. 


  • UMass undergraduate sport management majors are required to wait a minimum of three (3) years before applying to the M.S. program and two (2) years if applying to the MBA/MS program.

Q. What exam(s) should I take?

A. You may take the GMAT or the GRE's.  However, we strongly prefer the GMAT  because it is a better predictor for a business program.


Q. Do I need to take the GMAT's or GRE's if I have my JD?

A. No


Q. What are the employment opportunities upon completion of the program?
A. Employment in the sport industry is very competitive. The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at Isenberg cannot guarantee a full-time position upon completion of the program. However, approximately 85% of our graduates from the previous 10 years still work in the sport industry.


Q. What types of positions are held by Alumni?
A. Visit the Careers in Sport Management page to see a list of representative positions of graduates in the sports industry.

Q. Must I complete an internship in order to earn my degree?
A. No.  While internships are strongly preferred, there are alternatives to the internship option.  You can either complete a thesis or take two additional 3-credit courses.

Q. Could you tell me about the internship program?
A. The internship program is the most popular method of earning a Master's Degree in the Department. An internship earns the individual six credits and is a minimum of 13 weeks in length for a minimum of 40 hours per week in a meaningful position within the sports industry. The Department's database, alumni network and personal contacts of the faculty are available to assist students in securing internships. The Director of Internships works with students to help them attain an internship. Generally, the internships begin either in the late Spring/early Summer or Fall after completing the academic requirements.

Q. What is the nature of the Sport Management Master's degree curriculum?

A. Please see information under the Courses and Curriculum pages.

Q. Are graduate assistantships available?

A. Please view the Graduate Assistantships page.

Q. What is the placement rate of graduates in the Masters Degree Program?
A.  Full-time employment rate-of-placement in the sport industry is approximately 85% for the previous five years.

Q. How long does it take to complete the program?
A. The program must be completed within three years or less. Most students complete the academic portion of the requirements within one academic year. There are instances, however, in which the student chooses to complete the academic courses in two or three years. This is usually the result of graduate assistant coaching commitments that occur during the academic year.

Q. May I begin by taking a course or two as a non-degree student?
A. No.  It is not possible to audit a course without having first applied and then been accepted to the graduate program.

Q. Are there January admissions?
A. No. Our foundational courses are only offered in the Fall.

Q. What is the size of a typical graduate class?
A. Required courses have approximately 20 students. Elective courses are on the average smaller and can range from 10 to 25 students.
Q. Are there specializations in the curriculum?
A. No. Specialization occurs through course selection and the internship.

Q. Who can answer my specific questions about the Masters Program?
A. Contact Graduate Program Director Stephen McKelvey