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M.S. in Recreation and Sport Administration with a concentration in Sport Media & Branding

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The online Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration with a concentration in Sport Media & Branding allows graduate students to explore the context and complexities of sport media relations, sport branding, digital media production and distribution, and sport sponsorships. 

Turn your passion for sports, innovative technology and business into a fantastic career. Sport media plays a pivotal role in the production and distribution of messages and brands that touch many aspects of our social and cultural lives.

From the unexpected surprise of Tim Tebow, to the unfathomable controversy of Penn State, to the underdog genius of Jeremy Lin - there is no denying that sport media play a pivotal role in the production and distribution of messages and brands that touch many aspects of our social and cultural lives. Sport in America today involve more than $200 billion in annual spending with leading sport brands being followed by 85 percent of the U.S. population.

With sport organizations wary of increasing ticket fees in a crowded recreation marketplace, effective media relations and branding strategies are becoming critical to their financial success. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment projects a 12 percent increase in the need for sports marketing managers through 2018, with sports public relations specialists growing 24 percent nationally, and 22 percent in Kentucky for the same time frame. Careers in this field are diverse. Graduates typically work in the areas of marketing, merchandising careers, public relations, market research and analysis, communications, or branding. Additional information can be found through the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment outlook database.

The minimum requirements for acceptance are as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • A bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing with at least a 2.75 overall GPA.
    • Conditional admission may be considered on a case by case basis by the KRS Graduate Committee for those not meeting the above requirement.
      • Candidates who apply for an alternative admission must submit a resume including career objective, professional experience, and relevant coursework completed
      • Students admitted under the alternative admission requirements are conditionally admitted and must achieve a 3.0 GPA and not receive a final grade below a B in the first 12 credits of graduate courses.
  • Application and Fee
  • Official copy of Transcript(s)
  • Statement of Professional Intent
  • The GRE or GMAT IS NOT required for admission into this program.

Application Process

1. Apply for admission

  • Visit the WKU Online Admission Page for more information.
    • There is a $65 application fee.
  • Complete the WKU Domestic and International Graduate Application
    • Under Planned Course of Study Section, Choose:
      • Category of Study >>> Masters
      • Planned Course of Study >>> Recreation and Sport Admin (095)
      • Concentration>>> Sport Media and Branding

2. Submit Required Materials:

    • Request at least one official transcript showing the completed degree from accredited institutions other than WKU.
    • The transcript must be forwarded from the college or university registrar electronically or directly to the Graduate School. 
    • Send your official transcripts from each college attended to Graduate Admissions. 
      • You may request electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse. This speeds up the admissions process considerably. If your school is not listed with the Clearinghouse, please contact them directly to see if they have another process in place for electronic submissions or request that an official copy be sent by mail.
    • Statement should provide a sample of applicant's writing style and ability. 
      • Statement should be 2-3 pages, double-spaced
      • Expected to be well organized, clearly written and error free.
      • Please include an introduction, responses to the three questions below, and a conclusion:
        • Why do you want to pursue this degree?
        • What related qualifications and/or experiences do you bring to the program?
        • What are your career goals after completing the program?
      • Statement must be submitted via emailed to graduate.school@wku.edu
        • Please include your full name and WKU Student ID (if known).
  • For additional information on university admission requirements please visit the Graduate School Admission Page.

Deadlines for Admission Applications & Transcripts

  • Fall Semester: Rolling Admission
  • Spring Semester: Not available at this time (Only accepting Fall term applications)

Please Note: Course schedules are noted in parenthesis.

Required Core Courses (21 hours)

  • RSA 501: Research Methods in Recreation and Sport (Fall 1)
  • RSA 513: Recreation and Sport Administration (Spring 1)
  • RSA 515: Recreation and Sport Facility Development (Summer)
  • RSA 517: Legal Issues in Recreation and Sport (Fall 2)
  • RSA 519: Fiscal Practices in Recreation and Sport (Spring 2)
  • RSA 521: Public Relations in Recreation and Sport (Fall 1)
  • RSA 523: Theoretical Foundations of Recreation and Sport (Summer)

Concentration Courses (12 Hours)

  • AD 536: Sport Branding: A New Game (Fall 2)
  • AD 537: Sport Sponsorships: New Revenue Strategies (Spring 2)
  • PR 543: Strategic Public Relations Writing for Sport (Spring 1)
  • PR 547: Issues in Sport Media Relations (Summer)

Please note the following as you plan your program of study:

  • Students may transfer up to 12 hours from another graduate program to fulfill program requirements (if courses meet transfer requirements).

General Eligibility

Financial Aid includes grants and loans for educational purposes. The government requires the student to file a form online to the government agency for this purpose which is called FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov  to apply. Once that form is completed and filed, the student will receive an email from WKU about the status. All financial aid comes through the WKU Student Financial Aid office and they communicate mostly through email. The email will explain all the grants and/or loans that are available to the student and how to receive the money.

Nearly all students are eligible for some form of financial assistance. In fact, over 90% of the students who applied for financial aid in recent years received an award offer. Every effort is made to assist you and your family in obtaining the resources necessary to meet the difference between the total cost of attending Western Kentucky University and your ability to contribute toward your education.

If you would like to apply for financial assistance (loans, grants, scholarships, veteran's benefits) the first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov. Please refer to the Financial Aid Guide for additional information and complete instructions.

Please keep in mind, student must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue to qualify for financial aid. For additional information on receiving, and keeping your financial aid, please refer to the WKU Financial Aid website to review the complete policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress atwku.edu/financialaid/sap.php.

Eligibility for On Demand

On Demand courses may also be covered by financial aid if the student has met basic eligibility requirements and has a current FAFSA on file. Students must fill out an On Demand Agreement found on the WKU Financial Assistance website. Students receiving financial aid must complete their course(s) in the current semester. For more information please contact the Student Financial Assistance office at (270) 745-2755.

Veterans and Active Military

All college courses offered by On Demand have been approved for veterans and other persons eligible under the provisions of the GI Bill. Each student must assume the responsibility for submitting the proper forms to assure payment of appropriate entitlements. Please contact the Veterans Coordinator in Student Financial Assistance.

Academic Department

Program Coordinator: Ken Payne 
Email: ken.payne@wku.edu 
Phone: (270) 745-4329

WKU Online

Email: learn.online@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-5173
Toll-Free: (888) 4WKUWEB / (888) 495-8932
Website: wku.edu/online 

The Graduate School

Email: graduate.school@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-2446
Website: wku.edu/graduate 



For more information about this program, fill out the form below.

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 Last Modified 2/25/20