Top-Ranked Higher Education Institutions: An Investigation of the Sport Management Academic Discipline

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Kurt C. Mayer Roanoke College, Salem, VA, USA

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Alan L. Morse University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, USA

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Yash Padhye University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, USA

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The current exploratory study determined the prevalence of the sport management academic degree being offered in top-ranked institutions as based on U.S. News & World Report rankings. A focus on the differences of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees being offered, or not offered, was placed on national universities and liberal arts colleges because of the prevalence of these institution types and their educational settings. Additionally, the study aimed to determine if relevant indicators predicted a sport management degree being offered at a top-ranked national university and liberal arts college. Results indicated significant differences, with sport management degrees being offered at a higher frequency in national universities than liberal arts colleges. However, the sport management degree was largely not offered by the majority of top-ranked institutions. Notably, ranking, enrollment, and public/private institutional status did not predict sport management degree offerings at a liberal arts college. However, a national university had an increased likelihood of offering a sport management degree as enrollment increased and ranking increased (i.e., moved closer to 150). Altogether, the project highlighted that while the sport management academic discipline has certainly grown since its inception, growth has not really occurred at top-ranked higher education institutions, especially liberal arts colleges.

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