Sports Management, BA

Sports management is about more than what happens on game day. It’s about the teams that support the fan experience: scouts and agents, marketing and box office managers, community relations directors and sponsorship coordinators. At Columbia, you’ll master the business and management concepts essential to succeed in this fast-paced and competitive industry, including law, economics, marketing and accounting. You’ll learn from faculty who work in the industry and gain firsthand experience in the field.

With eight professional major-league teams and a bevy of minor-league and collegiate teams, Chicago is one of the greatest sports cities in the world. You’ll live within walking distance of some of the most storied venues in sports history. Through our partnerships and alumni network, you’ll get the opportunity to intern and work on teams that make sports magic happen in a city famous for its die-hard fans.

What to Expect Your First Year

In your first year, you’ll gain foundational knowledge that will be vital to your success in the sports industry. You’ll take core business courses in topics such as marketing, management and economics. But these aren’t your average business courses. We tailor them to the entertainment and media industries, so each example and scenario will make sense for the unique landscape of the sports and entertainment industries. 

You’ll also take a jam-packed survey course called Business of Professional Sports. This course will give you a lay of the land: current trends, opportunities, threats and themes emerging in the field. You’ll explore how different industries are structured and will meet with guest speakers and Columbia alumni to get a sense of what the work looks like day to day. You’ll also visit some of Chicago’s top sports organizations to get a sense of the depth of the country’s largest sports and entertainment industry.

What to Expect Your Last Year

By your last year at Columbia, you’ll be honing your skill set and building a resume. You’ll put your knowledge to work in courses like Talent Management and Box Office Management.

You’ll also have the opportunity to take an internship throughout your time at Columbia with professional sports organizations in the city. We encourage you to attend sports events as often as possible and to take opportunities to work at different levels in the industry, from the box office to security to sports conferences. You’ll explore different aspects of the industry to help solidify your interest in the many avenues in the sports world.

You’ll meet with Columbia faculty, alumni and other professionals for informative interviews in which you learn about the day-to-day work of different jobs in the industry. By the time you graduate, you’ll have a rich understanding of the industry and a game plan for your own success.

Detailed Program Information

Download a Four-Year Plan

For More Degree Requirements and Transfer Plans, Visit the Catalog

Real-world Opportunities

What experience will I get outside the classroom?

At Columbia, Chicago is our campus. You’ll be close to many of the world’s best sports venues including Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears; Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs; and the United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls. We encourage you to attend events regularly.

What are my internship options?

Our students have interned with the Chicago Cubs, Bears, White Sox, WNBA Chicago Sky and Bulls. Other opportunities include working at news organizations like ESPN Chicago and Fox Sports News, and exploring the world of the executive suite with Priority Sports Management and Madison Sports Partnerships. Columbia students have also interned for community organizations like the Chicago Park District and large international events like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.


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