Online Programs

MS in Sports Analytics and Management: Course Descriptions

A One-of-a-Kind Focus on Next-generation Sports Management Skills

American University’s MS in Sports Analytics and Management program consists of 12 fully online courses (36 credits), each eight weeks long. A council of leading professionals from top organizations such as the National Basketball Association, ESPN, the National Football League Players Association, Nike and Under Armour was consulted when developing the curriculum to ensure that it is relevant and applicable to the workplace. They identified field-specific knowledge and skillsets that graduates of current sports management programs are lacking to help American University create this unique program that leverages technology and data to provide graduates with next-generation sports management skills.

With a degree in from American University in Sports Analytics and Management you will be equipped to pursue professional opportunities that are rapidly growing in new and emerging areas such as social media, interactive spectatorship, mobile technology, fantasy sports, e-sports gaming, performance data analytics and virtual reality. Typical employers may include sports leagues and teams, governance agencies, sports agencies and firms, athlete representation, non-governmental sports organizations, sporting goods companies and other similar organizations.


Specialized Courses in Sports Analytics & Management
(15 Credits)

Learn the principles of managing a sports organization and gain a broad overview of the sports business marketplace, including the financial and accounting acumen necessary for success. Students will be introduced to various types of sports organizations and to topics such as fiscal and budgetary control, ownership, and day-to-day operations, as well as learning the techniques, tools, theories and attributes required in sports leadership and management.

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This course addresses sports analytics, messaging and social engagement across all levels of sports (amateur, collegiate, professional) and the role of sports in American society. It also explores issues of social responsibility and globalization in modern sports.

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This course introduces students to new media enterprises and their use by sports organizations to create and provide content to consumers and economically influence the business of sports. It explores a variety of integrated and converging platforms, focuses on current digital technologies and channels of distribution, and provides students with hands-on experience with a wide range of tools.

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The course explores career pathways in the sports industry for entrepreneurs, investors and employees. It provides an understanding of how to think and act entrepreneurially, emphasizing the four key pillars: technology development, global sustainability and social impact, promotional strategies, and risk and product innovation.

This culminating project utilizes a set of skills that demonstrate maturity and professionalism in strategic thinking in sports management. Informed by an understanding of data, technology, and emerging trends in sports media, the course focuses on high-level independent document delivery and writing, applied research and analysis, and the creation of a polished, professionally written sports business plan.

Professional Courses (21 Credits)

This course explores the current and potential impacts of new, emerging, and rapidly evolving technologies on organizations and their operations, across a range of industries and sectors. Topics include project design, data collection, and data storage as well as legal and privacy issues. Students will gain hands-on experience with techniques for gathering and analyzing information including audio, video, and text capture; media analytics; mapping and data visualization; mobile data collection systems; and more. In addition to tools and best practices, participants will examine challenges and opportunities for designing projects that implement current and emerging technologies to ensure success.

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The main objective of this course is to improve the intercultural competencies and communication skills of students, with a particular focus on aspects of intercultural communication highly relevant for technical experts and managers. Students will increase their understanding of, and ability to work with, the processes involved when cultures come into contact. This course will enhance the student’s ability to think critically and creatively about today’s cultural challenges, to practice intercultural relations, and to provide a perspective on one’s personal and social responsibility as current and future leaders. No prerequisites.

This course explores professional ethics and leadership to maximize organizational and personal success across a wide range of disciplines and fields. Participants will learn about ethical issues involved in working with clients and donors, professional correspondence, and managing monitoring and evaluation functions. These topics will be approached within a framework of organizational leadership theories and current trends. No prerequisites.

This course provides students with the skills needed to collaborate with global partners and widespread teams and to effectively communicate with clients, including large and small corporations, internal and external customers, and members of the project team. Drawing on real-world case studies, students will learn how to prepare and document project correspondence, how to master the art of persuasion, and how to satisfy clients despite budgetary and methodological restrictions. No prerequisites.

The primary goal of this course is to explore quantitative and qualitative tools and methods used to evaluate, present, and communicate data (big and small). Students will also learn how to summarize and communicate findings to stakeholders so that they may make informed decisions that will improve the overall quality and efficiency of an organization. Topics include asking the right questions of data, constructing Statements of Work for performance and impact evaluation, conducting t-tests, ANOVA, ANCOVA, matching, differences in differences, regression discontinuity in program evaluation, and disseminating quantitative findings. No prerequisites.

This course is designed specifically with the non-economist in mind, including adult professionals who may have little or no academic preparation in economics. It includes recent developments in the theoretical and empirical cost-benefit analysis (CBA) literature, beginning with a detailed discussion of welfare economics and the microeconomic foundations of CBA. It gives comprehensive treatment to CBA methodology and concludes with the current state of CBA as it is practiced by a variety of public, private, and international agencies with applications in areas such as healthcare, environmental management, energy, law enforcement, internet strategy, and others. No prerequisites.

This is an intensive writing course that introduces mid-career professionals to the theory, research, and practice of analytical business writing. In this course students will be exposed to a variety of research techniques and writing forms including, but not limited to, entrepreneurial writing, grant writing, and clear writing principles for professionals in any field. Students will learn how to interview experts, work with clients and write for the web. No prerequisites.