In August, Sports Management Degree Guide ranked The University of Southern Mississippi 15th on its listing of the “50 Most Affordable Urban Schools for Sports Management in 2015.”
Sports Management Degree Guide used the NCES College Navigator database to examine 158 institutions in the U.S. and Puerto Rico offering four-year bachelor’s degrees in sport and/or fitness administration/ management and located in an urban or city setting. The top 50 were selected based on net price of the institution.
USM is the only college in Mississippi selected for this list. The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Sport Management in the College of Business offers an undergraduate degree in sport management. Completion of the degree program grants a student a bachelor of science in sport management. The bachelor’s degree is accredited by the Commission of Sport Management Accreditation.
Although USM is ranked among the top 50 most affordable, it does not affect the program’s impact.
Ryan McKeough, sport management major, said that the program is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling regardless of its lesser cost. McKeough said the program allows its students opportunities to make connections with potential employers and hands- on experience with various aspects in the field.
Several guest speakers from financial, academic, marketing and broadcasting are offered to McKeough and other students for insight into the different fields in sport management. In addition to certain guest speakers, the department has many former students of associates who have connections to various professional and collegiate teams across the nation, according to McKeough.
“Once I decided that I wanted to become an athletic director at a university, I knew that not only was sport management the major for me, but Southern Miss was as well,” McKeough said. “I could not only gain a degree from one of the best sport management programs in the nation, but I could also open countless doors for myself by the connections and opportunities that the sport management program could provide for me.”
Not only does the program’s affordability help a student financially, it also allows him or her to spend saved money elsewhere.
Jonathan Swalley, a junior sport management major, feels that the inexpensiveness of the program allows for more advantageous opportunities alongside his education. These opportunities range from tours of other schools’ athletic facilities, professional meetings and attending conferences due to expendable income.
“The program has given me the tools and knowledge on how to meet and greet with big- time sports owners, players and coaches,” Swalley said.
He also adds that along with the tools and knowledge the program has given him, it has also taught him how to present himself in an interview with future potential employers.
“I have a love and a passion for sports, to which I want to watch it grow even bigger than what it already is,” Swalley said.
For further information on a program pathway for sport management, contact the College of Business. For the complete list of the “50 Most Affordable Urban Schools for Sports Management in 2015,” visit the Sports Management Degree Guide website.