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Sport Administration

The Sport Administration program area prepares masters and doctoral students in sport management, following the guidelines set by the National Association for Sport and PHysical Education and the North American Society for Sport Management.  

Degree Programs

The School of Sport and Exercise Science currently offers Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Sport and Exercise Science with an emphasis in Sport Administration.

Learn more about the MS and PhD programs in Sport Administration

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Partnership Opportunities

A delegation from the National Taiwan Sport University (NTSU) visited UNC last week to explore international partnership opportunities with UNC’s Sport and Exercise Science program.  Read more about this opportunity here.

Alumni Testimonials

Dr. Richard L. Irwin

Vice Provost, Academic Innovation & Support Services

University of Memphis

First-ever UNC Doctoral Graduate in Sport Administration

Class of 1990

“Returning to UNC for my terminal degree turned out to be a life-altering experience.  The curricular blend of theory and practice coupled with the appreciation for meaningful scholarship and sound teaching enabled me to enter the field as a very competitive candidate.  The merits of the UNC Sport Administration program are best exemplified by the volume of graduates serving in leadership roles throughout the discipline.  I can’t think of another degree program at the University that competes on an international level the way UNC Sport Administration has over the past 25 years.”

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Dr. Colleen M. Colles

Professor and Program Chair, Metropolitan State University of Denver

COSMA Board of Commissioners, Member & Past-Chair

Past-President, Sport & Recreation Law Association

Class of 1997

“The University of Northern Colorado doctoral program in Sport Administration was instrumental in shaping my career. The courses and faculty provided a well-rounded education, which enabled me to gain both critical knowledge related to the sport industry as well as valuable applied experience. I graduated with a solid understanding and appreciation of the important roles research, teaching, and service would play in my career as a sport management faculty member. “



Dr. Mark Nagel

Professor, University of South Carolina

Associate Director, College Sport Research Institute

Class of 1999

“My doctoral studies at the University of Northern Colorado provided a solid foundation to launch a successful career as a sport management professor. The faculty shared their experiences and helped me “learn how to learn” which has enabled me to continually build upon the skills and knowledge that I had acquired when I finished my degree. Although the faculty are a valuable program asset, the greatest strength of the program is the exceptional alumni network. Since Dr. Dave Stotlar advised the first sport management doctoral student more than 20 years ago, all of the faculty have consistently preached the importance of helping each new “generation” as they finish their degrees. Nearly every week I interact with fellow alums around the world about industry opportunities and research projects. The UNC alumni network is like a family with members who look out for one another. I am fortunate to have attended UNC and look forward to meeting the future students who will enter the program.”

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Dr. Chad McEvoy

Professor and Department Chair, Northern Illinois University

President, Sport Marketing Association

Editor, Case Studies in Sport Management

Class of 2002

“The doctoral program in Sport Administration at Northern Colorado was a tremendous platform for launching my career in sport management academia. The program helped me hone skills as a scholar and teacher that have been crucial as a faculty member. On a regular basis I refer back to those core principles I was taught at UNC.”


Chien-Hsin (Jason) Wang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

National Taiwan College of Physical Education

Class of 2007

“The professors in the program are internationally-known for their professional knowledge, quality instruction, and friendly advising. The program features its well-developed curriculum and small class setting. Thus, professors are always approachable and the interaction among students is active. My best memory was research experience on the SMRI team. Through that participation, I was able to apply my research knowledge, learn new skills, and work with professors and fellows. I strongly recommend the program to those who wish to pursue graduate education in sport management. “


Dr. Joris Drayer

Associate Professor, Temple University

President-Elect, Sport Marketing Association

Class of 2007

"My three years at UNC were a critical launch point for my career.  The lessons learned from the esteemed faculty, the connections built through the engaged network of alumni, and the valuable experience gained through the program's connections to local sport organizations have all proved to be immensely valuable throughout my career.  Now a professor, these lessons continue to inform my ongoing research projects as well as my daily interactions with the next generation of students."


Dr. Stephen Shapiro

Associate Professor, Old Dominion University

Editor, Sport Marketing Quarterly

Class of 2008

"The doctoral program in Sport Administration at the University of Northern Colorado was a tremendous experience and provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on a career in academia.  The faculty at UNC was knowledgeable and experienced, offering a great balance of teaching and research training.  I developed personal and professional relationships with fellow students that have been invaluable in my career.  Additionally, the network of UNC graduates is vast and provides a competitive advantage in the marketplace.  I am thankful for the opportunity to attend UNC and fortunate to be a part of the UNC Bear family!"


Dr. Lamar Reams

Assistant Professor

Old Dominion University

Class of 2012

“The education I received at UNC was excellent.  The faculty was engaging in classes and provided outstanding research mentorship in sport marketing and statistics.  I unequivocally owe my professional accomplishments to the rewarding experience I had there.”


Current Ph.D. Student Testimonials

"I applied to the Sport Administration program at UNC because its reputation and recognition as a top 5 ranked program in the world. I could not be happier with my choice. As I look back on this program I am amazed at how much I have grown and matured in my learning and my outlook. Even more amazing is how much the faculty and staff are invested in the students' success and their willingness to help in any way that they can."

 Lei Ouyang

Current Ph.D. Student

Expected Class of 2017

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“The doctoral program in sport administration at UNC has been a good match for me in several ways.  First, the program is large enough to offer diversity among both students and faculty.  Students and faculty come from a variety of academic and cultural backgrounds and this greatly expands the scope of discussion.  The faculty has great depth of knowledge and experience and, equally important, become involved with the progress and development of graduate students in their care.  The open-door policy and availability of faculty are important factors in the personal approach in the department.  The curriculum provides a very good academic foundation and there is special emphasis on developing sound research methods and critical evaluation skills.  I feel that the sport administration program at UNC is well-rounded and provides a very good foundation for a promising career in teaching, research, or the sport industry.”

 Alex Rondon-Azcarate

Current Ph.D. Student

Expected Class of 2017

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“The University of Northern Colorado Sport Management program has provided me the opportunity to pursue both of my passions, teaching and research.  As a student here you are challenged to strive for new successes and to share your knowledge with the community at large – be it through education or practical application of your research. This program allows the student to be part of SMRI (the Sport Marketing Research Institute) where practical research is undertaken on a daily basis. Beyond the academics, the professors at UNC genuinely care about the success of their students and foster and incredible learning community.”

 Brittany Jacobs

Current Doctoral Student

Expected Class of 2018

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“After working in Olympic sports for over 25 years, I decided to fulfill a personal goal and pursue a Ph.D. in Sport Administration.  I’ve always enjoyed learning about real-world sport issues; I knew the University of Northern Colorado had a reputation as one of the top programs in the country.  I found the professors at UNC to be very impressive and approachable, and I appreciated their expertise on issues that were relevant to my areas of interest.  The curriculum included a balance of current issues, administrative theory, and research methodology, and the program offered the flexibility to tailor my schedule toward my personal needs.  The time I spent at UNC provided me with a much deeper understanding of the business and sociological aspects of sport, and I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to attend.”

Dean Ekeren

Current Ph.D. Student

Expected Class of 2017


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Sport Marketing Research Institute

The Sport Marketing Research Institute (SMRI) aims to enrich the learning experience of sport administration graduate students by conducting field research for sport enterprises.  SMRI provides high quality research opportunities for both graduate students preparing for careers in sport management and organizations in need of management assistance.  Explore the SMRI website for more information.