Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at Isenberg

The Student Experience


"Advising UMass Sport Management Ph.D. students provides me with the opportunity to work with some of the brightest and most motivated students in the world. I get the opportunity to know these students well both in and out of the classroom, and continue to serve as a mentor as they pursue a
career in academia."

Dr. Janet Fink
and PhD Program Coordinator

Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management
Isenberg School of Management



"As a student, I had a professional, collaborative relationship with some of the top scholars in the field, not only in sport management, but also in core business disciplines such as marketing, finance and organizational studies. Our ideas were not only respected, but cultivated through a supportive faculty who strive to foster our success in the academic community."

David Tyler
PhD in Sport Management '10

The PhD curriculum consists of a minimum of 63 credit hours. This is comprised of at least 45 credit hours of coursework - including at least 18 credit hours in research foundations - plus 18 hours of dissertation credit.

A. Core Courses (9 credit hours)

The three Core courses are required for all Sport Management PhD students, regardless of the student's specific area of interest/specialization within the field. These courses are intended to provide the student with an exposure to the breadth of research across the various Sport Management sub-disciplines, including:

• Sport Organizational Behavior
• Sport Strategic Management
• Sport Marketing
• Sport Consumer Behavior
• Sport Law
• Sports Economics and Sport Finance

The Core courses are team taught, with each segment being taught by someone who is not only a specialist in the field, but someone who is also actively publishing scholarly work in that area.

The goal of each of these three Core courses is to familiarize the student with both the key research questions in each sub-field, and with the types of methodological approaches used in these sub-fields.

B. Research Foundations (18 Credit Hours)

These courses provide the student with the foundations in statistics and research methods that are necessary to conduct research and publish scholarly work in their chosen sub-field.

C. Content Area (18 Credit Hours)

These courses provide the content foundation in the student's area of focus within Sport Management. They will be taken largely through the relevant Isenberg departments (Marketing, Management, etc) and/or through other related Schools/Departments (Economics, Sociology, Psychology, etc).

D. Teaching Practicum

All students are required to complete a (non-credit) Teaching Practicum course prior to the end of their second year.

E. Dissertation (18 credits)

Other Requirements

Examinations: Students must pass both the Qualifying Exam at the end of their first year in the program, and the Comprehensive Exam following the successful completion of all coursework.

Dissertation: Upon passing the Comprehensive Exam, the student must propose, conduct, and defend a piece of original research, under the guidance of a dissertation committee. The committee is comprised of four professors with a record of scholarly publication in an area relevant to the student's dissertation. A student first submits a dissertation proposal to the committee. Once this proposal is successfully defended, the student then conducts the research. Upon completion of the research, the student must pass a final defense before an open meeting of the faculty.