Master of Sports Leadership — Charlotte

The Master of Sports Leadership has a two-pronged curriculum approach that provides the foundational knowledge of the core concepts necessary to run functional areas of a sports organization or team, coupled with leadership coursework that helps students to refine and develop their leadership abilities.

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We’re committed to creating an education as unique as your career path. So, whether your goal is a new career or moving up in your field, our innovative programs will get you going your way.


Customize your plan

We work with you to map your path to your goal.


Learn from experience

From real-world case studies to employer-based projects, we prepare you to manage what comes next.


Choose your focus

Whatever you’re passionate about, you’ll find the classes to sharpen your specialty.


Study anywhere, on your time

Part-time or full-time, we move at your speed, to get you where you’re going.


Full-Time, Part-Time

Entry Terms

Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter

Completion Time

1.5-2 Years


The Master of Sports Leadership prepares you for a variety of sport-related occupations—whether it’s working with a professional or intercollegiate sports team, with a fitness club or wellness organization, or in marketing, communications, or sports management. In this program, developed in collaboration with Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, you’ll refine and develop your leadership abilities as you examine the relevant social and business issues and hone your analytical and organizational skills. You can choose to focus on professional or collegiate athletics, and you’ll get real-world experience through The Winter Institute. This one-week intensive educational experiences enable students to network and cultivate lifelong relationships with industry leaders, peers and alumni.

This program is based in Charlotte, NC.

More Details

Unique Features

  • Practice-oriented degree offering hands-on experience, internship, and capstone project
  • Option to take part in integrated experiential learning
  • Choose from concentrations for a specialized focus on professional or collegiate athletics
  • Boston Location on flagship campus, a hub for business, healthcare, education, finance, biotechnology, and the life sciences
  • Visa-eligible program for the fall term—Professional Sports Administration concentration only

Program Objectives

  • Identify your leadership styles and strengths and take steps to improve your leadership capacity
  • Understand what it takes to build highly effective teams
  • Obtain approaches and techniques for effectively tackling ethical dilemmas
  • Explore the legal issues related to equipment use, facility management, and accommodation for special populations
  • Learn how to leverage sports for greater social and economic good
  • Examine the planning, scheduling, and financial issues associated with running a successful athletics program
  • Discover how to use sports to foster diversity, prevent violence, and improve the health of local and global communities

Accreditation Description

COSMA SealThe following sport management degree program has been accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), located in Fort Collins, CO, USA:
  • Master of Sports Leadership

Northeastern's Master of Sports Leadership was recently inducted into the COSMA Hall of Fame as a Biz Connector for excelling in creating partnerships with professionals in sports.

Summary of Accreditation Status

Program Information Profile


Career Outlook

Already a multi-billion-dollar field, the sports industry is projected to experience faster-than-average growth over the next several years. Located all over the country, sports-related organizations and businesses require a variety of educated and skilled employees to manage day-to-day operations. While knowledge is crucial, success is often contingent upon your willingness to work beyond 9-5—with many sporting events and related activities taking place on nights, weekends, and holidays. The sports industry is exciting—filled with people who are driven by a passion for what they do and who are extremely satisfied with their career choice.


The following sport management degree program has been granted Candidacy Status by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), located in Fort Collins, CO, USA:

  • Master of Sports Leadership

Check out your career prospects

Beginning your journey with us is a big decision. But it's a smart one.  Your field is evolving rapidly. That's why we're constantly innovating our programs to anticipate your industry's needs.  So, no matter where your field goes, you can lead the way. 


corporate partners


alumni across 179 countries

Experiential / Co-op opportunities

Northeastern's signature experience-powered learning model has been at the heart of the university for more than a century. It combines world-class academics with professional practice, allowing you to acquire relevant, real-world skills you can immediately put into action in your current workplace.

This makes a Northeastern education a dynamic, transformative experience, giving you countless opportunities to grow as a professional and person.

Learn About Getting Real World Experience

Get Set with a Custom Course Plan

General Requirements

Note: Sport in Society (LDR 6405) and Sports Media Relations (LDR 6441) are summer institute courses, available on-campus in Boston. Winter institute course available on campus in Charlotte, North Carolina.



Complete one of the following. This course should be the last course taken and requires faculty advisor approval:


Elective Courses

Choose two of the following:



Professional Sports Administration


Collegiate Athletics Administration


Follow our leaders

Our faculty are experts who have worked for the Boston Celtics, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, Major League Soccer, and countless higher-education institutions. They consistently bring their real-world experiences to the classroom to enrich student’s learning.

“Courses within sports leadership examine the business and social issues that are critical to effective sports leadership... you can understand how to develop and lead teams by fostering the appropriate culture and positively effecting change.” - Dr. Robert Prior, faculty lead, Master of Sports Leadership

Robert Prior

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Pamela Wojnar

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Caryl Ann Tolchinsky

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Kimberly Carbo

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The Sports Leadership program provided valuable networking opportunities, in addition to the curriculum and practical experience that were essential to breaking into the sports industry.

Ameena D. Master of Science in Sports Leadership '17

Now Let's Talk Admissions

You know where you are headed and you've seen how our program will lead you there. So let's get going. Here's what you need to know before you enroll.

Application Requirements

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500–1000 words): Identify your educational goals and expectations of the program. Please be aware that Northeastern University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to your statement of purpose.
  • Professional resumé
  • Unofficial undergraduate transcripts; official transcripts required at the time of admission
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who have either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities such as a faculty member, colleague, or mentor, preferably one from your current employer
  • English language proficiency proof. Students for whom English is not their primary language must submit one of the following:
    • Official associate or bachelor's degree transcript from an accredited college or university in the U.S., stating degree conferral and date
    • TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo, or NU Global Exam scores

International Requirements

Are You an International Student? Find out what additional documents are required to apply.

Global Engagement Learn how our teaching and research benefit from a worldwide network of students, faculty, and industry partners.

Financing Requirements

Finance Your Education We offer a variety of resources, including scholarships and assistantships.

How to Apply Learn more about the application process and requirements.

Prior Learning Assessment/Transfer Credits

Some courses in this program offer transfer credit for students’ experience through prior learning assessments and professional certifications.  View the full list of eligible certifications and transfer credits.

Stackable Certificates

You can stack the following Graduate Certificates into this degree: Professional Sports Administration CertificateCollegiate Athletics Administration Certificate

Cost and Tuition

Application Deadlines

Our admissions process operates on a rolling basis, however we do recommend following the application guidelines below to ensure you can begin during your desired start term.

Summer 2020 Deadline
June 26, 2020Domestic application complete (Start date: July 6, 2020)
Fall 2020 Deadline
September 4, 2020Domestic application complete (First half start: September 14, 2020)
October 16, 2020Domestic application complete (Second half start: October 26, 2020)
Winter 2021 Deadline
January 1, 2021Domestic application complete (First half start: January 11, 2021)
February 12, 2021Domestic application complete (Second half start: February 22, 2021)
Spring 2021 Deadline
April 2, 2021Domestic application complete (First half start: April 12, 2021)
May 14, 2021Domestic application complete (Second half start: May 24, 2021)
Summer 2021 Deadline
July 2, 2021Domestic application complete (Start date: July 12, 2021)

Student Body Profile

Summer Institute Overview


Student Perspectives


Below is a look at where our Sports Leadership alumni work, the positions they hold, and the skills they bring to their organization.


  • Where They Work

    • Boston Celtics
    • Boston Red Sox
    • Boston Bruins
    • New England Patriots
    • Colleges and Universities
    • International Olympic Committees
    • High School Athletics
    • Youth Sport Organizations
    • Nonprofit Sport Organizations
  • What They Do

    • Athletic Administration
    • Coaching
    • Scouting
    • Community and Social Services
    • Operations
    • Marketing
    • Sales
  • What They're Skilled At

    • Leadership
    • Communication
    • Event Management
    • Athletic Development
    • Operations Management
    • Use of Technology and Social Media


Learn more about Northeastern Alumni on Linkedin.

Career Opportunities and Services


Did You Know?

Northeastern's Master of Sports Leadership is one of only 18 graduate programs in the U.S. to receive accreditation from the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA). 

Did You Know?

By enrolling in Northeastern, you gain access to our global network of more than 255,000 alumni and 3,350+ employer partners. 


Our Master of Sports Leadership prepares you for success in a variety of athletic businesses—from professional or intercollegiate teams, to community or wellness organizations.

Did You Know?

Advanced degree holders earn a salary 35% higher than those with a bachelor's degree.