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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • A collection of sports equipment including a baseball bat, baseball, football, football helmet, golf club and golf balls.

Interscholastic Athletic Administration Graduate Certificate

High school athletics have evolved into a complex enterprise within the political, legal and social landscapes. The teachers and coaches who operate in this new environment must possess a diverse skillset in order to thrive. To help confront this challenge, the University of South Carolina's College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management now offers a graduate certificate in interscholastic athletic administration through the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management.

Program Overview

In collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management and its interscholastic athletic administration certificate provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the dynamic world of high school sports. The program equips participants with skills in budget management, fundraising, event management, legal statutes, risk management and human resource issues.

The program features numerous benefits for participants, including:

  • 100% online delivery
  • Flexible course completion for working professionals
  • Condensed eight-week course format
  • In-state tuition for all participants regardless of location
  • 18 credit hours that can be applied toward the Master of Sport and Entertainment Management graduate degree
  • Association with a graduate program ranked top-10 worldwide

Admission Requirements

Applicants must first apply to and be accepted by the USC Graduate School and will then be admitted into the certificate program by the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management. There is a $50 fee to apply. The following supporting materials are required:

  • A current resume.
  • Statement of Career Objectives. This is a one- to two-page statement that specifically addresses how the department's interscholastic athletic administration certificate will help an applicant achieve career objectives.
  • At least two letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a current or former supervisor who can comment on the applicant's ability to succeed in the certificate program.
  • One official transcript from each college or university attended (undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate). Successful applicants generally have at least a GPA of 2.75 or above (on a 4.0 scale). Such a GPA, however, does not guarantee admission. Official transcripts are sent directly from the applicant's institution to the USC Graduate School or submitted in an envelope sealed by the applicant's institution. Opened copies of transcripts are not official. It is important to submit the online application BEFORE requesting that transcripts be sent to the USC Graduate School.1
  • 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 an application and may allow for a quicker admission decision.

1 Note, GPA is a factor taken into account and may operate on a sliding scale. An applicant with no high school athletic administration experience may be held to a higher GPA standard. Conversely, a high school athletic administrator with extensive experience (e.g., 5-10 years) may be admitted with a lower GPA (e.g. 2.75).

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The interscholastic athletic administration certificate consists of 18 credit hours from a combination of core and elective courses. Participants complete four core courses for a total of 12 credit hours with two each coming from school leadership (EDLP) and sport and entertainment management (SPTE). They select two elective courses from a choice of nine with two offered from EDLP and seven from SPTE for a total of six hours.

SPTE 701 — Management in the Sport and Entertainment Industry (3 credits)
SPTE 640 — Venue Management: Principles and Practice (3 credits)
EDLP 700 — Introduction to Educational Administration (3 credits)
EDLP 705 — Legal Basis of Educational Organization and Administration (3 credits) 

EDLP 701 — School Leadership (3 credits)
EDLP 704 — School Finance and Business Management (3 credits)
SPTE 580 — Business Principles in Sport Management (3 credits)
SPTE 590 — Special Topics in Live Entertainment and Sport (3 credits)
SPTE 635 — Sport and Entertainment Event Development (3 credits)
SPTE 655 — Social Media in Live Entertainment and Sport (3 credits)
SPTE 746 — Risk and Security Management in Public Assembly Facilities (3 credits)
SPTE 750 — Strategic Planning and Policy Development in Sport and Entertainment Management (3 credits)
SPTE 798 — Directed Study in Sport and Entertainment Management (3 credits)

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Mastery of Relevant Theories and Best Practices: Since theory and practice support and draw from each other, certificate recipients will demonstrate the ability to respond to a variety of athletic administrative issues and challenges. They understand theories provide the why support for best practices.
  • Administration Skills: Faced with uncertain funding sources and economic challenges, certificate recipients will demonstrate the ability to produce basic budgeting and forecasting reports.
  • Managerial Skills: Recipients will be able to construct a sound marketing plan that incorporates a well-thought-out marketing mix, including: people, product, price, place, promotion, personal selling and sponsorship.
  • Leadership Skills: High school athletics demands self-actualized, strategic thinkers who can develop winning teams on and off the court/field. At the completion of this certificate program, recipients will demonstrate empathetic listening, reliability, creativity, appropriate risk-taking and risk-avoidance skills. They will be change agents, as well as effective teachers and mentors.
  • Communication Skills: Since high school athletic administrators must facilitate the sharing of information among relevant stakeholders, certificate recipients will possess excellent verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills.
  • Cultural Competence: In accordance with the Office of Minority Health, National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care (CLAS Standards), 2001, certificate recipients will have "the capacity to function effectively as an individual [within their] organization within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors and needs presented by [students, parents] and their communities."

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