Are You Non-Degree Seeking?

The Academy’s Doctor of Education program is a 66 semester hour program and one of only four programs approved by the Sport Management Program Review Council, a joint program of the North American Society of Sport Management and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

The curriculum is designed to enable recent master’s degree graduates, working professionals and sports enthusiasts to achieve their personal, educational and professional objectives. The program is flexible and provides meaningful educational and technical preparation. Recent doctoral degree graduates are college professors of Sports Management, private sport entrepreneurs and high school or college athletic directors.

Academy courses are offered online so that students can conveniently take courses at anytime and from anywhere. Students can also enroll and start their studies any time.

Doctoral Program Details

To start the admissions process, please complete our online application.

If you have further questions, please contact an admissions counselor at: (800) 223-2668 or admissions@ussa.edu.

All Academy students can now take the doctoral program or individual courses on campus. The new three-year residential doctoral program schedule offers courses at 6-8 p.m. on Monday and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. For more information about the program and schedule, please click here.

Major Areas of Study

The Academy’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D) in Sports Management degree is a 66-semester hour program beyond the master’s degree. The doctoral degree is designed to prepare students to perform with a high degree of efficiency and proficiency in the sports industry. There are three areas of specialization with the Ed.D. and students must select one: Leadership, Marketing, or Human Resource Management.

As part of the curriculum, students will take a practical, field-based component called a Mentorship. The Mentorship requires students to engage in hands-on, sports-related activities in the industry.

Current Emphases Available

Students in the Academy’s doctoral program may add to the 66-semester hour program an Emphasis in the areas of: Olympism, Sports Theory, Sports Coaching, Sports Health & Fitness, or, for those already licensed or certified in the area, Sports Medicine. A program of study for the Ed.D. Emphasis Areas may be found here.

Doctoral Degree with an Emphasis in Sports Medicine

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Sports Management with an emphasis in Sports Medicine is a 66-semester-hour program beyond the master’s degree. The degree is designed to prepare students to perform tasks in the Sports Medicine profession with a high degree of proficiency. The area of specialization focuses on management courses as applied to Sports Medicine. Students are selected on the basis of academic and professional accomplishments, past experiences, skills, and goals.

Students ordinarily have had some experience as teachers, athletic trainers, or Sports Medicine administrators and have shown promise of being able to further develop management skills through training and research. As part of its practical experience component, the Academy requires each student to complete a mentorship in which the student engages in doctorate level management of Sports Medicine-related activities.

To obtain the Emphasis in Sports Medicine, a doctoral student will take the following three courses:

SAM 787 Legal Concepts in Sports Medicine (3 sem. hrs.)

This course provides an in-depth examination of areas of the law that are particularly relevant to Sports Medicine professionals including a study of the legal concepts, issues, cases, and decisions that affect the Sports Medicine profession. This class requires a final exam.

SAM 788 Principles of Management in Sports Medicine (3 sem. hrs.)

In this course, the administrative components of Sports Medicine are explored. Topics include advanced concepts of legal liability, financial management, scheduling, supervision, documentation, and general administration. This class reuqires a final exam.

SAM 789 Seminar in Sports Medicine Management Issues (3 sem. hrs.)

This course is an advanced study of historical foundations, contemporary trends and issues, organizational planning, and risk management in the field of Sports Medicine. Topics include an in-depth case analysis of the role of Sports Medicine, traditional and non-traditional settings in Sports Medicine, and the impact of health-care reforms on the profession of Sports Medicine. This class requires a class paper.

Doctoral Degree Program with an Emphasis in Olympism

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Sports Management with an emphasis in Olympism is a 66 semester hour program beyond the master’s degree. This degree is designed to prepare students for administrative roles in the world Olympic Movement. Students are selected on the basis of academic and professional accomplishments, past experiences, skills, and personal goals. Students should have had some experience in Olympic sports on the national or international level.

To obtain the Emphasis in Olympism, a doctoral student will take the following three courses:

SAB 622 Structure and Function of the Olympic Games (3 sem. hrs.)

The structure and function of the Olympic movement, starting with the International Olympic Committee and moving through the national governing bodies to international sports associations, is the focus of this course. It emphasizes the unique characteristics of the Olympic Movement and various political, social, and economic impacts on the Games. This course requires a final exam.

SAB 651 Issues in the Olympic Movement (3 sem. hrs.)

The impact of contemporary issues on the Olympic Movement, whether they are governmental, intellectual, societal, cultural, political, or economic, is the focus of this course. Through selected readings, factors such as race, gender, religion, nationalism, drug use, commercialism, and violence and their influence on the Olympic Movement are taken into consideration. This course requires a class paper.

SAB 667 Olympism (3 sem. hrs.)

This course examines the growth and development of the modern Olympic Games through the eyes of their founder, Pierre de Coubertin. The International Olympic Committee has published selected writings by de Coubertin that include the search for a vision, the events leading up to the Olympic renewal, historical perspectives of the Olympics, the philosophical and educational dimensions of Olympism, and the Olympic Movement. This course requires a class paper.

Doctoral Degree with an Emphasis in Sports Coaching

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Sports Management with an emphasis in Sports Coaching is a 66 semester hour program beyond the master’s degree. This degree is designed to prepare students to complete numerous responsibilities associated with coaching individuals in team and/or individual sport settings. The area of specialization places emphasis on the academic areas of management and psychology as applied to Sports Coaching. Students are selected on the basis of academic and professional accomplishments, past experiences, skills, and goals. Students should have some experience in Sports Coaching.

To obtain the Emphasis in Sports Coaching, a doctoral student will take the following three courses:

SAB 657 Psychology of Elite Performance (3 sem. hrs.)

This course examines the psychological factors that are most critical to elite sport performances. Special emphasis is focused on the physical, mental, and emotional variables related to optimal performance conditions. Theory and practice for athletes and coaches will be discussed. This course requires a final exam.

SAB 670 Selected Readings in Sports Coaching (3 sem. hrs.)

This course will provide students an opportunity to conduct a series of literature reviews about an approved sports coaching topic. The selected topic should include literature reviews pertaining to the concepts and/or issues faced by coaches while performing their coaching responsibilities. The focus of this course is to enhance the student’s research and composition abilities while gaining in-depth knowledge regarding the profession of sports coaching. This course requires a class paper.

SAB 671 Advanced Coaching Theories (3 sem. hrs.)

This course allows students to select sports coaching readings from a preselected reading list in order to complete a series of book reports. These sports coaching readings will consist of topics such as leadership, communication, management, skill acquisition, and risk management. The focus of this course is to enhance the student’s knowledge concerning the profession of sports coaching. This course requires a class paper.

Doctoral Degree with an Emphasis in Sports Health & Fitness

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Sports Management with an emphasis in Sports Health and Fitness is a 66 semester hour program beyond the master’s degree. This degree is designed to prepare students for careers in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, and exercise physiology. Students are selected on the basis of academic and professional accomplishments, past experiences, skills, and personal goals. Students should have a background in strength and conditioning and/or personal training, nutrition and/or sports nutrition, and basic and/or advanced exercise physiology.

To obtain the Emphasis in Sports Health & Fitness, a doctoral student will take the following three courses:

SAR 710 Advanced Exercise Physiology and Scientific Principles in Fitness and Health (3 sem. hrs.)

This course is designed to develop a comprehensive understanding of exercise physiology and the scientific principles used to evaluate physiological components. Through selected readings, past and current research will be evaluated and considered for future research and application in the health and fitness industry. Topics include nutrition, bioenergetics, cardiorespiratory physiology, neuromuscular physiology, and endocrinology. Prerequisite: Masters Level Exercise Physiology This class requires a class paper.

SAR 715 Contemporary Issues in Health and Fitness (3 sem. hrs.)

The health and fitness industry is dynamic. Constantly new research is changing the way we think about health and fitness programs and design. Through selected readings, current “hot topics” in the health and fitness industry will be evaluated. Topics include nutritional, exercise physiology, strength and conditioning, cardiorespiratory fitness, and body composition. Prerequisite: Masters Level Exercise Physiology This class requires a class paper.

SAR 720 Advanced Strength and Conditioning (3 sem. hrs.)

The focus of this course is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the physiological principles, mechanisms, and program design necessary to plan, evaluate, and modify exercise programs. Particular attention will be given to periodization techniques. Through selected readings, past and current research will be evaluated and considered for future research and application in the health and fitness industry. Topics include speed, power, strength, hypertrophy, agility, bioenergetics, program design, and periodization techniques. Prerequisite: Advanced Exercise Physiology and Scientific Principles in Fitness and Health This class requires a class paper.

Doctoral Degree with an Emphasis in Sports Theory

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Sports Management with an emphasis in Sports Theory is a 66 semester hour program beyond the master’s degree. This degree is designed to prepare students for varying roles in sports organizations and the world of sport. Students are selected on the basis of academic and professional accomplishments, past experiences, skills, and personal goals.

To obtain the Emphasis in Sports Theory, a doctoral student will take the following three courses:

SAB 659 Group Dynamics in Sports (3 sem. hrs.)

In depth study of the influence of teams on the individual performance and the influence of individuals on team performance in sport and exercise settings. Particular focus on interpersonal aspects such as cohesion and leadership. This course requires a class paper.

SAB 791 Selected Readings in Sports Theory (3 sem. hrs.)

The goal for this course is to conduct database searches on an approved topic in sports theory. In this course students will present a comprehensive analysis and application of the approved topic within the scope of sports theory. It is advisable to compile readings and research on topics that may relate to one’s dissertation topic. This course requires a class paper.

SAM 735 Strategic Planning for Sports Organizations (3 sem. hrs.)

This course is designed to provide an analysis of strategic planning, including the development of vision and mission statements and the use of environmental scans, gap analysis, action planning, and benchmarking. A variety of strategic issues in sports will be explored. An understanding of the policies and mechanics of strategic planning in sports will be examine and analyzed. This course requires a class paper.