Learn how to deliver opportunity with a sport and recreation management degree

The Marian University Bachelor of Business Administration in Sport and Recreation Management program aims to expand a student’s knowledge of sport and recreation management in order to emerge ready for a variety of career opportunities or graduate study.

Whether you’re an active participant in athletics or enjoy watching the game, we will help you take your passion and translate it into a successful career.

Graduate prepared to work in a team environment and confident to take your academic knowledge and apply it as you advance through your career.

Train for a career in the sports, recreation, or fitness industry.

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    What Will You Learn with a Degree in Sport and Recreational Management?

    • Gain a thorough understanding of the foundations of sports and recreation through marketing, management, law, and leadership courses.
    • Connect classroom learning with the world of work through exercises, projects, and internships.
    • Get exposure across the spectrum, whether it’s intramural, intercollegiate, or professional sports.
    • Learn new skills such as Adventure Programming, where you will develop and lead initiatives for both youth and adults. Initiatives build communication, problem-solving, and leadership skills in participants.
    • Understand how sport and recreation facilities are managed with an emphasis on parks, golf courses, swimming centers, sport complexes, tennis centers, community centers, and athletic fields.
    • Choose an optional business minor to study a single business discipline more in-depth. Minors include business administration, information technology, management, or marketing.

    Build a Solid Foundation


    Starting as early as your sophomore year, complete internships with organizations such as:

    • Professional sports teams
    • Collegiate athletic departments and conferences
    • Public and private facilities
    • Recreation organizations
    • Sports marketing firms

    Notable Employers

    Program graduates have found career success with:

    • Atlanta Braves
    • Boys and Girls Club
    • Tampa Bay Lightning
    • GMR Marketing
    • University of Illinois Athletic Department
    • Milwaukee Brewers
    • Nike
    • YMCA

    Choose Your Path

    Marian University with prepare you to work for:

    • Community recreation centers
    • Intercollegiate athletic departments
    • High school programs
    • Commercial fitness business sector
    • Minor and major league sport teams
    • High school and college coaching
    • Health clinic administration
    • Golf course marketing and management
    • Event management
    • Personal training

    “Visiting Marian, seeing its commitment on the education side and athletic side really drew me to it, and the program ended up giving me a lot of great insight. It helped me separate myself and made me stand out.”

    Billy Fries - 1998 Marian University Graduate, Milwaukee Brewers Senior Director of Ticket Sales

    Explore a Sport and Recreation Management Degree

    Listen to Dr. Cheryl Seelig, professor, describe the business majors and minors at Marian University.  A business degree from Marian University opens the door for a career with any company, in any industry.  Choose a specialty in sport and recreation management, business administration, marketing, marketing and public relations, accounting, healthcare administration, management information systems, or finance. Professors bring topics to life through their real world experience in running companies and managing staff. Courses teach you about businesses not only from a local/regional perspective but also from an interconnected global perspective. Discuss current events and how to survive and thrive in different economic conditions. Whatever your major, participate in an internship where you spend between 150 and 300 hours at a business either in the U.S. or abroad.

    As a business student, you will take general education courses alongside students from all Marian bachelor programs.  Then you will take a core of business courses and courses specific to your concentration.  If you are not sure what business major is for you, reach out to our Center for Academic Support and Excellence (CASE).  They have tools to help you choose a business degree based on your interests and abilities.

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    The Program

    Students in the Bachelor of Business Administration in Sport and Recreation Management program gain knowledge about the sport and recreation industry and traditional business and legal principles. All engage in a curriculum centered on developing student skills in critical thinking, communication, cultural awareness, creativity, and technology. Students take courses that integrate all aspects of business, including accounting, economics, finance, law, management, and marketing.

    For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

    Sample Course Plan:
    Download Sample Course Plan

    General Education Program:

    46-49 credits of University requirements, including:


    An examination of the private, corporate and social dimensions of business life in the context of a total ethical life. Economic theories and actual business practices and cases are considered and evaluated from the perspective of established normative ethical principles.


    An introduction to the overall functioning of an economic system with a view toward understanding the factors underlying income, employment, and prices on the aggregate level. Topics include such monetary and fiscal policies as suggested by the relevant theories discussed.


    MAT 001 Basic Algebra, MAT 002 Essential College Mathematics, with grade of C or higher or an appropriate math placement test score

    A course designed to acquaint the business student with mathematical techniques used in business and common business applications of those techniques.


    MAT 112 Pre-Calculus Mathematics, Appropriate math placement test score or MAT 112 with a grade of C or higher

    A first course in the calculus treating functions of one variable. Topics include limits, continuity, derivatives, and integrals of polynomial rational functions. A major emphasis of this course is the application of these concepts to problems arising out of industry, economics, business, and the sciences.

    This course is a conceptual study of information technology issues and topics with a focus on how they relate to each of the functional areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, operations management, human resources, and management information systems. This course makes extensive use of cases and up-to-date examples of the increasing role of information technology architectures on meeting the challenge of increase local, regional, and global competition.

    TEC 201 is highly recommended.


    Business programs core, 34 credits as follows:

    31 credits:

    The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to generally accepted accounting principles, basic accounting systems, accounting theory; and financial statements.

    A course in resume writing, interviewing skills, techniques for personal enhancement, and international business etiquette; supplies the student with criteria beyond academics for acceptance into the world of work and future entry-level management positions.


    An interdisciplinary introduction to the basic principles of data analysis with an emphasis on application. Students are expected to apply these principles to data analysis in their respective areas of study. The applied focus is on the computerized application of summary statistics, one/two/multi-sample tests, linear models, association tests, randomness/normality tests, time series comparison, quality control charts and probability distributions as used across a variety of community and organizational settings. Other techniques may be added as appropriate for specific disciplines.


    This course introduces the student to the economic, political, social and cultural issues of operating a business in a global economy. An understanding of exchange rate mechanisms, international trade agreements and international strategies will be developed.

    A study of business law. Topics included in the course include the American legal system, contracts, property, negotiable instruments, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, agency, business organizations, labor and employment relations, government regulations, and torts.


    A capstone business course that integrates the functional areas of a business with the strategic decision-making process. In a team environment, students are expected to employ the skills and knowledge learned from their academic career in a computer-simulated industry. An analysis of case studies and/or current business articles will also be used to link academic concepts and theories to real-world situations. (Senior Standing, all Business core courses must be completed before taking this course.)


    This course is an introduction to microeconomics: the study of how households and firms interact and make decisions to allocate limited resources in the markets for goods and services.


    An introduction to financial management. Topics include the role of financial managers and financial markets, valuation of corporate securities, risk and return, financial statement analysis and capital budgeting.


    A systematic analysis of the management process involving an integration of classical, behavioral, and modern contemporary philosophies. The importance of relating the theoretical principles of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling to practical experience is featured.


    ENG 105 Expository Writing, ENG 230 Professional Comp. & Research Writing, or appropriate English placement test score

    A general overview of the scope and significance of marketing both domestically and internationally. The course emphasizes the marketing of consumer and industrial goods and analysis of the marketing mix variables of product, price, promotion and place. It introduces marketing policies and practices of business firms.

    This course introduces information technology systems that support organizational decision-making and problem solving. The course surveys the technical and organizational issues involved in the use and design of information systems and how the application of IT can enable an organization to improve quality, timeliness, and competitive advantage.

    3 credits from the following:

    An application of contemporary communication theory to practical business situations, and an application of traditional rhetoric and communication theory to oral presentations. Students study communication theory; practice basic forms of business writing; write, deliver and evaluate public speeches; and explore communication systems in modern corporations.

    This course focuses on the exploration of fundamental principles of effective communication. Skilled communication behaviors are developed through the study and practice of interpersonal communication, public speaking, listening, and group dynamics. Practical applications include class discussion, group activities, listening exercises, and individual presentations.

    A course applying traditional rhetoric and communication theory to oral presentations. Students study, write, deliver and evaluate public speeches. Emphasis is placed on the students’ ability to speak from an outline in a variety of situations including informative speaking, persuasive speaking and demonstration speaking. All presentations are made in class and videotaped to aid in evaluation.

    Sport and recreation management courses, 18-21 credits as follows:

    18 credits:

    An introductory course examining the historical developments in sport and recreation in the United States; analyzing the interrelationship between sport and the American culture from a social context; and identifying existing employment opportunities in the sport management industry.

    An overview of the programmatic elements and techniques currently applied in professional, amateur, and recreational sport. Emphasis is placed on participatory sports that will include an examination of informal, intramural, club, fitness, and instructional sport programming; value and benefits of participatory sports; publicity and promotion; facility utilization; and equipment concerns.

    Introduction to the principles and practices of design and operation of sport and recreation facilities with emphasis on parks, golf courses, swimming centers, sport complexes, tennis centers, community
    and commercial enterprises, and athletic fields.


    An overview of the essentials of leadership, also programmatic elements and techniques currently applied in effective leadership. Provide in-depth information in adventure programming. Special focus will be given to technical skills of leadership and will also address the equally important facilitation skills and metaskills essential to highly effective leadership.


    A course to provide a foundation for sport and recreation marketing strategies based on marketing theory and research. Also investigates the sport consumer and segmentation, integration of the marketing mix, marketing principles and practices as they relate to the sport and recreation field.

    0-3 credits:


    A course designed to provide the student with field work experience through a work opportunity related to the student’s career objective. A learning contract is used to focus expectations, duration of the experience, and means for evaluation. The student will benefit applying classroom learning to actual job experience. (“0” credit receives CR/NC grade.)


    A course designed to provide the student with field work experience through a work opportunity related to the student’s career objective. A learning contract is used to focus expectations, duration of the experience, and means for evaluation. The student will benefit applying classroom learning to actual job experience.

    19-22 credits:

    University elective

    Professional Standards in Business

    Outcomes Assessment – The academic business unit has developed and fully implemented an outcomes assessment process consistent with their mission and broad-based goals.

    Strategic Planning – The academic business unit has developed and implemented a strategic planning process that enables continuous improvement and guides it into the future consistent with its mission.

    Curriculum – Programs offered are consistent with current, acceptable business practices and the expectations of professionals in the academic and business communities.

    Faculty – Appropriate program coverage is provided by highly-qualified faculty with adequate time to devote to teaching, service, and scholarly activity.

    Scholarly and Professional Activities – Faculty members are involved in scholarly and professional activities that enhance the depth and scope of their knowledge.

    Resources – Financial resources available are sufficient to support a high-quality learning environment.

    Internal and External Relationships – The academic business unit has effective working relationships with other functional units within the institution, meaningful linkages to business practitioners and organizations, effective relationships with external organizations, and is accountable to the public.

    International Business Education – The academic business unit ensures that students possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to understand and deal effectively with critical issues in a dynamic global business environment.

    Educational Innovation – The academic business unit maintains an environment that encourages and recognizes innovation and creativity in the education of business students.

    Professional Conduct (Standard for Students)

    Faculty and staff in the Business Department in the College of Professions expect the highest standards of honest, ethical professional conduct from each of our students. Primary components of professional behavior expected include:

    • Respect for others
    • Full engagement
    • Responsibility and integrity, and commitment to quality


    The BBA in Sport and Recreation Management program stimulates critical thinking in the application of academic theory to planning and implementation of recreation and sports activities. Students apply social justice, leadership, marketing, legal, and management principles to achieve safe sport and recreation programming, facilities, fundraising, and entertainment.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Students will possess an integrated knowledge of business functions and systems.
    • Students will possess effective, written communications skills.
    • Students will possess effective oral communications skills.
    • Students will be able to effectively apply critical thinking skills to business problems.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the management approaches that relate to sport and recreation programming, along with the ability to depict the social forces that influence and shape it.
    • Be able to explain, research, cite evidence, and advance recommendations for some of the major problems confronting sport and recreation leadership.
    • Describe the basic aspects of sport and recreation law that includes sport governance, athlete health and safety negligence issues, and sport-based labor and employment law by analyzing case studies and advancing alternative responses to problems presented.
    • Evaluate the field of sport and recreation management and identify several career opportunities that students might pursue upon graduation.
    • Assess the management competencies necessary regarding the successful daily operation and control of sport and recreation facilities.

    As a graduate of the BBA in Sport and Recreation Management program, you will find increasing opportunities for leadership and lucrative employment, especially in the ever-changing business world. Sport and Recreation Management program graduates are qualified to work in a wide variety of areas, including corporate fitness, professional and amateur sports organizations, recreation programming, sport facility management, and sports marketing.

    Sport & Recreation Management


    Outcome: Knowledge Acquisition – Business
    Measure: Peregrine CPC Comp Exam


    Marian Baseline Target = 50 %-ile (51.9% correct)
    Comparison (IACBE schools) = 50%-ile (51.9% correct)
    Marian Stretch Goal = 80%-ile (62.5% correct)
    Marian Average achieved = 78%-ile (59.9% correct)
    Marian Highest Achieved = 98%-ile (79% correct)


    On average, Marian students performed higher than the IACBE comparison average.
    Almost half of Marian students performed in the top 20 percent nationally (45%).
    In general, students have good knowledge of business concepts as measured by the CPC-Comp.

    Outcome: Integrated Knowledge of Business
    Measure: CAPSIMBusiness Simulation


    Standard: Balanced Scorecard – Standard = at/above National average (50th %-ile)
    Stretch Goal: Balanced Scorecard – Standard = at/above 80th %-ile
    Marian Achieved = All teams above average except 1. (Range: 16th to 96th %-ile)
    Marian Stretch Goal Achieved: 44% of teams at or above 80%


    94% of Marian teams achieved results at or above the national average compared with others teams.
    44% of Marian teams achieved the stretch goal performing at or above the 80thpercentile.
    In general, students do well in the simulation, demonstrating integrated knowledge of business.


    Recent graduates have held internships in places such as:

    • Baseball Info Solutions
    • Camp Menoninee
    • CERA Park
    • Chicago Cubs @ Wrigley Field
    • Evolution Hockey
    • FDL Boys & Girls Club
    • FDL Youth Sports
    • Madison Mallards
    • Mascoutin Golf Club
    • Milwaukee Admirals
    • North Lake Recreation Club
    • PGA of America

    Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    Through an applied learning approach, you’ll find BBA in Sport and Recreation Management program prepares you to achieve your personal and professional goals in the business field. You’ll be inspired by personal, one-on-one attention from expert faculty, who are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and skills to keep you one step ahead of the competition.

    Criteria for Undergraduate Business Students

    A student who meets Marian University admission standards and who declares a business major must comply with the following standards at each class level:

    Freshman Criteria (for students with at least 30 credits completed)
    Students should have completed the following with a minimum grade of C:

    • ENG 101 or ENG 105

    Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00

    Sophomore Criteria (for students with at least 60 credits completed)
    Students should have completed the following with a minimum grade of C:

    • ENG 151 or ENG 106
    • MAT 111 or MAT 130 or MAT 132
    • BUA 210
    • Science lab(s)

    Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00

    Junior and Senior criterion (for students with at least 80 credits completed)
    Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00

    Failure to Meet Criteria

    Any business student failing to meet these criteria is placed on probation. During the first semester of probation, students may continue taking business courses. If the student has failed to meet the criteria after one semester on probation, that student may only retake deficient classes and general education requirements.

    Graduation Requirements

    A business student is not allowed to graduate with a D+ or lower grade in any business course. If such a grade is recorded, the course must be retaken and a grade of C- or above must be achieved. All business students are required to take a comprehensive exit examination during the semester prior to graduation. Students pursuing more than one major in the business program must complete at least 15 credits of unique courses to count in each major. Students pursuing a minor must complete at least 9 credits of courses unique to the minor.

    Internship Experience

    The internship provides practical work experience related to the student’s career objective. All internships involve planned and supervised on-the-job training with interaction among the student, a faculty advisor, and a supervisor from the site of the internship. The student may complete the internship on a part- or full-time basis. Before the student begins their internship, they must consult with the internship coordinator in their respective discipline to review requirements and expectations.

    Prior to the start of the internship, the site must be approved and a learning contract and supervisor agreement must be completed. Students are eligible to register for a 0-3 credit internship upon achieving junior status. Specific internship requirements such as number of hours, paperwork, and other assignments may differ depending on major. Students must consult with the program director and internship coordinator for these details and cannot register for the internship until authorized by the internship coordinator. Business students are required to complete a minimum of one internship experience regardless of the number of declared majors.

    Alumni Spotlight

    For decades, Billy Friess ’98 has been successfully helping fans enjoy watching the Milwaukee Brewers play at Miller Park. His Marian experience – studying sport and recreation management, completing an internship with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, and playing on the Marian baseball team – prepared him to pursue his passion and an exciting career in the sports industry.
    Watch Billy’s story here.

    James Gray, J.D.
    Associate Professor

    As part of the Bachelor of Business Administration in Sport and Recreation Management program, you will engage in personal, one-on-one relationships with facultyand participatein hands-on internship experiences as early as your sophomore year with public, private, and service organizations. In addition, many students complement this major with another business major or minor to further enhance their opportunities and increase their marketability.

    Apply Now

    For more information, please contact:

    Office of Admission

    James Gray, J.D.