Master of Business Administration in Sport Business

Hardin-Simmons University offers a specialized, 30- to 45-hour, fully online MBA for graduate students interested in the business of sports. This program provides students with an emphasis in the business aspects of managing professional athletes and major/minor league facilities. We follow the same curriculum for the MBA foundational and core courses; however, the 12 hours of electives consist of the sport business core and three hours of sport business electives.

Our MBA in Sport Business was named a Top 20 Online Sports Management program for 2020 by MBA Central!

Sport Business is a varied field that encompasses everything from professional collegiate athletics to facilities management of major athletic franchises. Sport management programs traditionally were rooted in the department of physical education. Those programs were suitable for students who wanted to pursue a career in recreational sports or municipal recreational activities and as high school athletic directors. However, the popularity and growth of professional and collegiate sports has created a need for administrators and leaders who are deeply educated in business. Our MBA in Sport Business program emphasizes the business aspects needed for managing professional athletes and major league facilities.

The program is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.

Why get the MBA in Sport Business at Hardin Simmons University?

  • Fully online program
  • Fast track, 12-month option available
  • 8-week semesters with few exceptions
  • $595 per credit hour
  • EAGL option for HSU undergraduates
  • GMAT requirement waived for business undergraduates with a 3.2 or better GPA
  • No prior industry work required
  • Fall, Spring, and Summer entry points
  • Connect to faculty and peer through coursework
  • Faculty and staff walk along-side you in developing a deeper relationship with God

Contact Us

Jennifer Plantier-Director of Graduate Programs

Dr. Jennifer Hobbs Plantier

Professor of Business and Marketing, Coordinator of Marketing Programs, Director of Graduate Programs for Kelley College of Business

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  • Master of Business Administration in Sport Business (M.B.A)

Why earn an MBA in Sports Business at HSU?

MBA Sport Business program professor speaking to students in a gym

Making Connections

HSU bridges the gap that sometimes exists between business academia and the sports industry. The MBA in Sport Business program fosters strong relationships with industry professionals through professional associations that in the end will benefit the institution, student, and industry.

HSU Public Administration students in lecture hall

Career Prospects

HSU is an active member of the Alliance for Sport Business, which says, “The key for any sport management program housed in a college of business is to build on fundamental business theories, knowledge, and skills obtained in business courses and then apply them to the sport industry.”

Hardin-Simmons football scoreboard with HSU in the lead

Early Graduate Degree Opportunities

Seniors in any HSU bachelor degree program are eligible to enter the Early Admission to Graduate Learning (EAGL) program, allowing 6 hours of graduate work to count toward both the undergraduate and graduate business degrees. This allows students to complete the MBA in Sport Business in one year post undergraduate work. Contact the Program Director for further information.

Program Details

All courses and course descriptions for the Master of Business Administration in Sport Business can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

This MBA in Sport Business program combines courses in business and kinesiology to provide a specialized degree geared toward individuals who want to work in the sport industry. Sports management professionals are concerned with the planning, organizing, managing, and budgeting aspects of a department or organization whose main purpose is related to sports or physical activities. Sports management professionals handle the behind-the-scenes features, such as finance, marketing, leadership, facility management, and event management. You will gain knowledge in:

  • Organizational Behavior
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Financial Management
  • Facilities Management
  • Sport Law

Do I need leveling courses?

For a student with an undergraduate degree in business, nine hours of coursework from the 45- hour program may be waived: ECON 6330, BSAD 6330, and BSAD 6310. Some students without an undergraduate degree in business may have completed some business course work or have extensive experience in various areas of business. The program director may waive one or more foundational courses or substitute electives as deemed appropriate.

Can I transfer graduate courses from another institution?

A maximum of 18 semester-hours of approved graduate work may be transferred into the MBA Sport Business program provided the student did not complete the previous degree. A maximum of six semester hours may be transferred from a previously completed degree. These courses must have been taken within 10 years prior to the first enrolled semester at HSU.

How do I get started?

To be eligible for the MBA in Sport Business program, a candidate must hold a bachelor degree from an accredited institution, with a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work. Seniors currently pursuing a bachelor degree from Hardin Simmons are allowed to enter the EAGL program allowing 6 hours of graduate work to count toward both degrees.

To receive full admission to the program, students must provide:

  1. An official score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) which, combined with a student’s undergraduate record, indicates the likelihood of success in the program. To be admitted to the program, the GMAT score plus 200 times the overall undergraduate GPA must equal or exceed 1,000. Note: All MBA applicants must submit an official GMAT score to the Office of Graduate Studies as part of the admission process. The GMAT must have been taken within the last five years prior to application. Students with undergraduate business degrees from a 4-year institution and have a graduating GPA of 3.2 or better can discuss the possibility of having the GMAT waived.
  2. Official transcripts from all schools attended.
  3. An essay which demonstrates the ability to write at the graduate level or a score of 4 or better on the essay portion of the GMAT.
  4. A detailed resume.
  5. An interview (in person, online, or telephone) with the MBA Director.

International Students

International students who wish to participate in the MBA program can take it fully online from their home country.

A student whose native language is not English must provide an official TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based exam, a 213 on the computer-based exam or a 75 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT). TOEFL scores must be sent directly from the testing agency. HSU school codes: TOEFL- 6268

International students should consult the university’s Graduate Studies Catalog for additional requirements.

Time Limit

The student must complete the MBA in Sport Business within five years from the semester of first admission.

What will I learn from the MBA in Sport Business program?

  • The big picture of understanding the business of sport
  • Functional area skills required to excel as a sports business executive
  • Financial decision making in the sport industry
  • Organization and administration of athletes
  • How to develop smart solutions to business problems.

What opportunities are available to graduates holding an MBA in Sport Business?

Sports management is applied in nearly all types and levels of sports, including municipal recreation, private organizations, social organizations, government athletic activities, amateur sport, college-level athletics, and professional sports. These positions include:

  • Corporate Officer positions
  • Business Development
  • Marketing / Sales Executive
  • Recruiting and Development
  • Facilities Management

Students who have graduated from HSU with an MBA in Sport Business have gained employment with the following companies:

  • Texas Rangers
  • Abilene Youth Sports Authority
  • Abilene Independent School District
  • Carrolton Independent School District
  • College Athletic Departments

Jennifer Plantier-Director of Graduate Programs“Our MBA in Sport Business courses are hands on, so students can apply what they are learning in the classroom to what they will actually do on the job. We coordinate with local businesses and sports venues on projects that are real-world work – marketing plans, research, business plans, nonprofit promotions and grant writing, and internships.”

Dr. Jennifer Hobbs Plantier, Professor of Business & Marketing, is the Hardin Simmons University MBA Sport Business program director. Dr. Plantier received a BS in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Hawaii Pacific University. Her work carried her beyond retail into commercial trafficking and sales while working for two radio stations in Connecticut and Texas.

Dr. Plantier furthered her education while working as the marketing director and station programmer in student affairs at Texas Tech University. She completed her MS in marketing at Tech, then shifted her focus to consumer behavior and continued her education at Texas Tech earning a PhD in consumer economics. During the completion of this degree, Dr. Plantier served as a Visiting Professor at Towson University in Towson, Maryland, where she taught marketing and economics courses.