MBA program to add specialization in sport management

The Department of Business at Misericordia University will be adding sport management as a fourth specialization to the Master of Business Administration program beginning with the fall semester in August.

The Misericordia University Sport Management program will offer two tracts for students to complete a degree in the popular field of study. The traditional Bachelor of Science degree in sport management can be completed in four years. The combined Bachelor of Science/MBA degree is a five-year program in which students can earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Current bachelor’s degree holders looking to advance their careers can enter the MBA program as part-time graduate students. The Misericordia University MBA Program is the only one in northeastern Pennsylvania to offer the 12-credit specialization in sport management.

The Misericordia University MBA Program also offers 12-credit specializations in accounting, management and human resource management. The Department of Business decided to expand the MBA program after identifying a need within its own sport management program and nationally as well.

“By monitoring trends both locally and nationally, we identified a clear need for this specialization,’’ said David Gargone, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the Misericordia University Sport Management Program. “The burgeoning sport management industry continues to grow unabated both in terms of generating revenue and interest in careers. We have experienced that growth in popularity firsthand here at Misericordia.’’

The Misericordia University Sport Management Program is located in the College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences. It is one of the largest majors on campus, featuring about 100 students currently enrolled in the four-year undergraduate program. The program’s professors have forecasted more than 150 students in the program in four years because of demand and the additional specialization in the MBA.

“A large percentage of the students currently enrolled in the program have expressed a desire to attend graduate school and pursue a graduate degree in sport management,’’ Dr. Gargone said. “There are also a number of colleges in neighboring states that offer sport management programs, but they do not provide any graduate degree options. Then there’s the market here in northeastern Pennsylvania with the local minor league franchises that are sure to be interested.’’

As interest in the specialty career field has grown, so has the competition among professionals in the industry. Many sport management majors now are earning advanced degrees in order to set themselves apart from other job applicants.

The Misericordia University MBA program with a specialization in sport management provides students with the skills, tools, perspective and principles necessary to step into problem-solving leadership positions in business organizations. The curriculum intertwines the traditional MBA curriculum with ethical issues related expressly to functional areas of business. Overall, it emphasizes the use of scientific management principles in critical thinking, practice-based creation and interpretation of business data, and comprehensive decision making that considers all information available and all aspects of the impact of decisions on the organization, employees, stakeholders and society.

All of the Misericordia University Department of Business’ undergraduate and graduate programs are internationally accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.