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Ohio University’s Master of Sports Administration program is ranked first in the world

Thursday, June 7 2018 12:00am

OHIO’s MSA program once again takes top honors in SportBusiness International’s postgraduate sports management course ranking for the sixth time in seven years.

ATHENS, Ohio (June 7, 2018) - For the fourth consecutive year, and the sixth time in seven years, Ohio University’s Master of Sports Administration (MSA) program has been named the best postgraduate sports management program in the world, according to SportBusiness International.

“In 1966, Dr. James Mason, with inspiration from Walter O’Malley, the late owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, established the first sports administration program in the world at Ohio University,” said Hugh Sherman, dean of OHIO’s College of Business. “Now, more than 50 years later, that program continues to lead the world in the training of highly educated and skilled business leaders in the sports and entertainment industries.” 

The SportBusiness International Postgraduate Sports Course Ranking, now in its seventh year, is based on student satisfaction, graduates’ full-time employment in the sports industry and the program’s reputation amongst sports management academic professionals.

“Ohio University’s MSA program has consistently proven itself to be the best in the world through its unique, engaging curriculum, accomplished faculty and real-world professional experiences that provide students with a competitive edge necessary for success in today’s sports business industry,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “To be recognized as the number one program in the world in six of the past seven years is truly outstanding.”

To date, more than 1,400 OHIO MSA graduates hold positions within intercollegiate athletics, professional sports, media, facilities management and sponsorship. There are more collegiate Football Bowl Subdivision athletic directors that have graduated with an MSA degree from OHIO than any other graduate-level sports management program.

“This program is the strongest in the world, and grows stronger every day,” said Norm O’Reilly, Fox Professor of Business and chair of the Department of Sports Administration at Ohio University. “Thanks to our world-class faculty, supported by our AECOM Center for Sports Administration, industry partners and alumni network, we’re able to prepare the next generation of industry leaders through curriculum and experiential learning that’s based on the needs of sport business.”

Housed in a nationally-ranked, AACSB-accredited college of business, OHIO’s MSA degree is combined with a one-year MBA program to prepare students for cross functional roles within the sports industry.

“Combining the power of an intensive MBA program with a cutting-edge MSA program allows students to become the kind of professionals that employers are seeking,” O’Reilly said. “If you look at the amazing experiences our students have, from guest speakers and project-based learning, to on-campus events and the international trip (an annual consulting project), it’s no wonder our students leave our campus prepared to hit the ground running. Graduates from our program have not only the ‘know what’ but also the ‘know how.’”

OHIO’s MSA is revered as the oldest and top-ranked sports business program in the world, and it’s clear that there are no plans to slow down.

“Although we’ve been at the top for several years, we’re never complacent,” O’Reilly said. “We’re excited about the future of this program and the opportunity to expand our impact on the sports business environment.”

For more information about the 2018 SportBusiness International Postgraduate Sports Course Ranking, visit


About OHIOs MSA program
Ohio University’s Master of Sports Administration program delivers graduate-level education through classroom and practical experiences taught by sport business professors who are recognized as experts in their fields and who are active in the industry. By combining a broad core curriculum with the freedom of choosing certain elective courses, students receive an education that meets their needs, interests and future goals. The success of the MSA program has led to the development of the Professional Master of Sports Administration program, an executive-level, online program that allows working sport professionals to earn their master's degree. The MSA and PMSA programs are accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation, which promotes and acknowledges excellence in sports management education. To learn more about Ohio University’s MSA program, visit   

About Ohio University
Ohio University strives to be the best student-centered, transformative learning community in America, where approximately 40,000 students realize their promise, faculty advance knowledge, staff achieve excellence, and alumni become global leaders. OHIO is committed to fostering, embracing, and celebrating diversity in all its forms. Our Athens Campus offers students a residential learning experience in one of the nation’s most picturesque academic settings. Additional campuses and centers serve students across the state, and online programs further advance the University’s commitment to providing educational access and opportunity. Visit for more information.