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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Large group of MSEM students gather together standing outside with a graphic overlayed stating No. 5 sport management master's program in the world according to SportBusiness.

Degree Programs

Master of Sport and Entertainment Management

The Master of Sport and Entertainment Management is a 36-credit hour master's degree program that prepares students leadership careers in sport, entertainment and venue management.

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. 5 in the 2022 SportBusiness Postgraduate Course Rankings. The prestigious program is part of South Carolina's renowned Department of Sport and Entertainment Management.  

What Makes Us Unique

  • Comprehensive emphasis on venue management (arenas, stadiums, amphitheaters, etc.).
  • Specialized training to elevate and expand students' management and leadership skills.
  • Outstanding faculty with years of industry experience in the sport, entertainment and venue industries — marketers, venue managers, promoters, team presidents, lawyers, and agents.
  • Powerful networking opportunities that lead to career success and growth.
  • Hands-on career experience with organizations, venues and events such as Colonial Life Arena, Williams-Brice Stadium, Gamecock Athletics, the Lexington County Blowfish, the Columbia Fireflies, Learfield IMG College, AEG, and Live Nation.

Alumni Spotlights

  • Kjahna O stands on a practice field with other Atlanta Falcons staff

    Kjahna O

    Scouting Coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons

  • Julian Bowman headshot

    Julian Bowman

    Senior Director of Marketing for Spectra Venue Management 

  • Megan Ryan working from the control booth at the Drone Racing League stadium

    Megan Ryan

    VP of Event Production for The Drone Racing League

Thesis and Professional Tracks

Students electing the thesis option 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, or professional, option  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 a comprehensive final exam. 

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 M.S.E.M. 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. 
  • Due to Covid-19 we are considering GRE/GMAT waivers. An applicant can submit their application without GRE/GMAT scores and admission will be considered based on the other materials in the application file. Applicants who have taken the GRE/GMAT may still include those exam scores for consideration.
  • 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

Work experience can be beneficial in your overall application file. Applicants should consider highlighting any full-time work in sport and entertainment along with any relevant internships and practicums they have completed.

Financial Aid

The Sport and Entertainment Management Department offers a limited number of graduate assistantships to MSEM students.  Graduate assistants will help 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. To apply for an assistantship, simply indicate "yes" when asked if you desire to be considered  for an assistantship during  the online application process. 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

Apply by April 1* to be eligible for graduate assistantships. 

Apply by July 1* for general admission consideration.

*30 days earlier for international students. 

Incoming students begin their course of study in the fall.  

Admission to the program is competitive and limited to 30 new students per year. Application deadlines are firm and all materials must be in before the deadline. 

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. 

For financial aid and scholarship deadlines, please consult with the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Contact Us

For general questions about the Master of Sport and Entertainment Management program, please contact Stephen Shapiro. For questions about the application process, please contact DeAnna Risher. 

Stephen Shapiro headshot

Stephen Shapiro, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, 
University of South Carolina, 

DeAnna Risher headshot

DeAnna A. Risher, Graduate Program Liaison

College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, 
University of South Carolina, 


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