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UNC Sport Administration Ranks 9th Globally

Program Ranked No. 1 in the World in “Return on Investment”


For the third consecutive year, the graduate program in Sport Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been ranked among the top 10 in North America, according to the 2022 SportBusiness Postgraduate Course Rankings.

For the first time in its history, the program was also ranked among the top 10 in the world.

The program, which enrolled its 40th class earlier this month, was ranked 8th in North America and 9th globally. Details on the selection criteria for the rankings are available here.

In a new metric debuting this year, the program ranked No. 1 in the world in “Return on Investment (ROI)” and No. 2 in “Skills Applicability,” with scores of 95.56 and 94.44 respectively, and ranked 2nd in North America (3rd globally) in “Skills Frequency.”

The program also ranked among the top five in North America in “Current Employment” (No. 2) and “Quality of Curriculum” (No. 4), as well as ranking 5th in North America and the world in “Quality of Faculty.” The program also ranked 4th in North America and 5th globally in “Industry Network.”

“We’ve always worked to ensure that our postgraduate program led the way in preparing the next generation of sport administrators in college sport and beyond,” said Darin Padua, Joseph Curtis Sloane Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science (EXSS). “We are proud to see the Sport Administration graduate program be consistently recognized as one of the top programs in North America and in the world. The program’s success and impressive rankings are a testament to the dedication of the faculty and students in the Sport Administration master’s degree program at UNC.”

The graduate program in Sport Administration merges a diverse academic curriculum, which includes graduate courses in sport administration, analytics, economics/finance, event management, and law, with experiential work experience within the UNC athletic department, culminating in a year-long internship within the Department of Athletics in the second year of the program. The program also offers dual degree programs in law (MA/JD) and business (MA/MBA), in conjunction with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law and the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

“This is a much-deserved honor that highlights how this outstanding graduate program gives opportunities—both educational and practical—to the next generation of college sport professionals,” said Bubba Cunningham, Director of Athletics at the University of North Carolina. “Carolina Athletics is proud to partner with the Sport Administration graduate program.”

The M.A. in Sport Administration degree ranked 11th in the world in 2021 and in 2020, its first year participating in the annual rankings.

“Born as a partnership between the athletic department and Exercise and Sport Science, our program has been a model of cross-campus collaboration, experiential education, and cutting-edge research since its inception,” noted Erianne Weight, Professor of Sport Administration. “Our industry-leading alumni are tremendously engaged as mentors, research partners, and advocates. Our faculty are world-renowned researchers with extensive experience in the field and passion for teaching, and our students are the best in the world. Because of this beautiful combination of factors, there is no better path toward leadership in intercollegiate athletics than through the University of North Carolina Sport Administration Graduate Program.”

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