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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Large group of MSEM students gather together standing outside.

Degree Programs

Master of Science in Sport and Entertainment Management

The Master of Science in Sport and Entertainment Management (MSEM) is a 36-credit hour degree program designed to train students for management and leadership careers in sport, entertainment and venue industries.

The University of South Carolina's master's degree in sport and entertainment management is one of the best graduate degree programs in the world - ranked No. 7 in the 2020 SportBusiness Postgraduate Course Rankings. The prestigious program is part of South Carolina's renowned Department of Sport and Entertainment Management.  

What Makes Us Unique

  • MSEM's curriculum has the most comprehensive emphasis on venue management (arenas, stadiums, amphitheaters, etc.).
  • Geared toward the development of current and future managers, MSEM expands and elevates students' management and leadership skills.
  • Students experience personal and professional growth while being supported by outstanding faculty with years of industry experience in the sport, entertainment and venue industries — marketers, venue managers, promoters, team presidents, lawyers, and agents.
  • MSEM's learning environment cultivates long-term networking opportunities that lead to expanded career opportunities.
  • Students gain hands-on learning and career experience at outstanding local venues such as the Colonial Life Arena, Williams-Brice Stadium and the Township Auditorium. They also gain access to local sport and entertainment organizations including South Carolina Athletics, the Lexington County Blowfish, the Columbia Fireflies, Learfield IMG College, AEG, and Live Nation.

Thesis and Professional Tracks

Students electing the thesis option must complete 21 credit hours of required courses, six credit hours of thesis, and at least nine credit hours of electives.

Students electing the non-thesis option must complete 21 credit hours of required courses, at least 15 credit hours of elective course work (with a maximum of nine credit hours outside of the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management), and pass a comprehensive examination upon completion of all course work. 

For more detailed information about the specific degree requirements, please visit the academic bulletin.

Admission Requirements

Graduate students are admitted through a cooperative effort between The Graduate School of the University of South Carolina and the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management.  All applicants for the master's program in sport and entertainment management must apply through The Graduate School.

Prior to beginning the online application process, it is helpful to gather the required supporting documents and  contact information for those who will be writing letters of recommendation in support of your application. The following supporting material is required with the application:

  •  A current resume.
  • A one- to two-page statement of career objectives that specifically addresses how the MSEM curriculum will help the applicant achieve these objectives.
  • At least two letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a current or former professor that can comment on the applicant's ability to succeed in graduate studies. The Graduate School requires all letters of recommendation to be submitted through the online portal. Upon submission of your application, the online system will contact your recommenders by email, with instructions for submitting their recommendation.
  • One official transcript from each college or university attended (undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate). Successful applicants generally have a GPA of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale). Such a GPA, however, does not guarantee admission. Official transcripts are sent directly from your institution to The Graduate School, or submitted in an envelope sealed by your institution. Opened copies of  transcript are not official. It is important to submit your online application BEFORE you request your transcripts to be sent to The Graduate School.
  • While all applicants are required to submit official transcripts, we encourage applicants to upload unofficial transcripts to the online application. These unofficial transcripts significantly assist the department in evaluating your application, and may allow for a quicker admission decision.
  • International applicants must provide official documents, but DO NOT submit your original copies. Instead, send certified copies and/or bring your originals to the Graduate School upon arrival. 
  • Official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Successful applicants generally score at least 300 (verbal and quantitative combined) on the GRE Revised General Test or an equivalent score (verbal and quantitative combined) on the GMAT.  These scores, however, do not guarantee admission. GMAT/GRE scores more than five years old will not be accepted under any circumstances. While all students are required to provide official test score reports, we encourage applicants to upload unofficial test score reports to the online application. These unofficial test score reports significantly assist the departments in evaluating your application, and may allow for a quicker admissions decision. Please note that it may take several weeks for your test scores to be processed and sent to the University. Therefore, it is important to take the test early in the application process. Please make sure that you use the correct Institutional Code for the University of South Carolina - Columbia when indicating where you would like your scores delivered. The institutional codes for the following tests are GRE – 5818 and GMAT – JV2.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. International applicants who have received a degree from a college or university in the United States are not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS. Test scores are valid for two years only. The Institutional Code for the TOEFL is 5818. Applications will not be considered until all components of the application have been received by The Graduate School.

Work Experience

The Master of Sport and Entertainment Management (MSEM) program prefers applicants have at least one year or more of full-time work experience before applying. However, applicants who do not have this experience may still apply and be admitted to the program.

Financial Aid

The Sport and Entertainment Management Department offers a limited number of graduate assistantships to MSEM students.  To apply for an assistantship, simply indicate "yes" when asked if you desire to be considered  for an assistantship during  the online application process. Students awarded a graduate assistantship will assist with research, teaching, and/or other departmental tasks for 10 – 20 hours per week in exchange for a stipend. In addition to the stipend, out-of-state students awarded a graduate assistantship will receive in-state student tuition rates. Other financial aid may be available outside the department. Applicants should contact The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Application Deadlines and Entry Terms

MSEM students begin their programs of study in the Fall semester. July 1 is the latest date that online applications may be submitted for admission to the program. To be eligible for departmental graduate assistantships, the application must be submitted by April 1.

Admission to the program is competitive and limited to 30 new students per year. Application deadlines are firm and all materials must be submitted by these deadlines. Applications from international students must be submitted 30 days prior to these deadlines.

For students without undergraduate degrees in sport management, entertainment management, business administration or a related discipline, prerequisite courses in the areas of sport and entertainment finance, sport and entertainment marketing, and sport and entertainment accounting must be taken. These courses are offered during the Summer II term at the University of South Carolina and must be successfully completed prior to a student beginning the program in the Fall. Dates for the Summer II term are listed on the Official Five-Year Academic Calendar.

Deadlines for financial aid other than departmental graduate assistantships may differ from those listed above. For these deadlines, please consult with the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Any questions about the application process should be addressed directly to:

DeAnna A. Risher
Graduate Program Liaison
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

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