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Sports Leadership

According to the Sports Business Journal, the sports industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States with nearly $250 billion in revenue annually. The review identifies the top five job opportunities with sports leadership being a common foundation in four of the five. We offer two options through a mixture of on-campus and online coursework to best meet the goals, needs and schedules of working students.

The Graduate Certificate in Sports Leadership is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in coaching and athletics in collegiate, scholastic or professional environments. The four course concentration focuses on applying theoretical knowledge to the practical day-to–day leadership needs of athletic teams and players and is typically completed in one academic year.  

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Organizational Leadership with a Sports Leadership concentration provides a professional level of knowledge in the field, which prepares students for entry into or advancement in the field of sports leadership. Students are prepared for leadership roles in coaching and athletics, specifically in collegiate, scholastic or professional settings. The concentration focuses on applying theoretical knowledge to the practical day-to-day leadership needs of athletic teams and players.

Cost and Career Information

In compliance with the “gainful employment” regulations under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended, Mercyhurst is disclosing certain cost and career information to prospective students. You can view this information by clicking here.

Course Requirements


  • OL 510 Introduction to the Sports Industry 
  • OL 625 Higher Education Law OR OL 532 Law for Leaders 
  • OL 527 Coaching Leadership and Psychology 
  • OL 675 Internship or Approved Elective 


In addition to the four sports leadership courses required for the graduate certificate (listed above), you will take seven core courses as part of the Organizational Leadership curriculum:

  • OL 500 Leadership Theory and Practice
  • OL 502 Leadership and Organizational Behavior
  • OL 504 Research Methods
  • OL 505 Organizational Ethics
  • OL 530 Organizational Communications for Leaders
  • OL 651 Financial Operations and Analysis
  • OL 676/677 Thesis or research-based project

 Download the Graduate Course Catalog for more information on these programs or to view course descriptions for the classes above.



Office of Graduate Studies
Phone: (814) 824-3351

Dr. Anne Zaphiris, associate professor of organizational leadership
Office location: Main 200
Phone: (814) 824-3382

Kristen Pepe, academic coordinator, graduate admissions
Phone: (814) 824-2297