Sport Management


Sport Management Program Plan


Advisors & Supervisory Committee

Prior to registration, it is highly recommended that all incoming doctoral students have identified and received approval of a graduate faculty member in the Department who is willing and available to supervise the student.  The respective faculty is usually the academic advisor and the Chair of the supervisory committee. The members of the supervisory committee should be appointed as soon as possible after the student has begun doctoral work, and in general, no later than the end of the second semester of equivalent full-time study.

The supervisory committee for a candidate for the doctoral degree shall consist of no fewer than four members selected from the Graduate Faculty and must be selected no later than the conclusion of the student’s fourth semester.  At least two persons (including the chairperson) must be from the Department recommending the degree, and at least one member will be drawn from a different academic discipline.  The supervisory committee will include at least one person selected from the Graduate Faculty from outside the discipline of the major (external member).

 Minors:  A representative from each minor sought by the student must be selected for the committee.  The first minor representative committee member may also be the external member; however, any additional minors must have their own represented committee member in addition to the required four.  For example, a student with 2 minors, must have at least 5 members on their committee.

“Special Appointment” committee members do NOT count as the core four committee members, nor to represent minors.

Upon entering the doctoral program, sport management students will be assigned two SPM faculty members by the Department Chair for the student’s temporary committee. The student’s advisor is always part of this committee. Selected in first semester of studies to stay in place for a maximum of two years. After the two year period new members will be assigned by the Department Chair for a maximum two year term. The GC will meet once each semester during years one and two. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange these meetings. If the student forms their supervisory committee before the first two years of studies, then the guidance committee cannot usurp the recommendations of the Supervisory committee

 Supervisory Committee Form


Admission to Candidacy

A graduate student becomes a candidate for the Ph.D. degree when the student is granted formal admission to candidacy. Such admission requires the approval of the student’s supervisory committee, the academic unit chair, the college dean, and the Dean of the Graduate School.  The approval must be based on:

  1. The academic record of the student
  2. The supervisory committee’s opinion on overall fitness for the candidacy
  3. An approved dissertation topic
  4. A qualifying examination as described above

The student should apply for admission to candidacy as soon as the qualifying examination is passed and a dissertation topic is approved by the student’s supervisory committee. A student may not register for HLP 7980 (Research for Doctoral Dissertation) until he/she is admitted to candidacy for a doctoral degree.

When students pass the qualifying written and oral examinations, and once they have successfully proposed their dissertation to their supervisory committee, they are then considered “admitted to candidacy.”


Qualifying Examination

All Ph.D. candidates must take the qualifying/comprehensive (Comps) examination.  It may be taken at the end of coursework, but before beginning dissertation work. The student must be registered in the term the qualifying examination is given. To be eligible to take the qualifying exam, a student must have presented a paper as a lead author at a national or international academic conference to be eligible as well as submitted at least one manuscript as lead author to an academic peer reviewed journal.

The examination, prepared and evaluated by the full supervisory committee or the major and minor academic units, is both written and oral, and covers the major and minor subjects. Except for allowed substitutions, all members of the supervisory committee must be present with the student at the oral part. At this time, the supervisory committee is responsible for deciding whether the student is qualified to continue to work toward a Ph.D. degree. The exam is to take place over a four day period, allowing for four hours of writing each day. The supervisory committee can agree to the student completing certain content areas at home during a specific time frame. The four content areas are to include:

  1. Statistic and Research Methods,
  2. The student’s sport management concentration,
  3. The student’s area of expertise (dissertation topic), and
  4. The student’s outside concentration.

The oral exam must be scheduled within two weeks of successfully completing the written portion of the exam. Except for allowed substitutions, all members of the supervisory committee must be present with the student at the oral part. At this time, the supervisory committee is responsible for deciding whether the student is qualified to continue to work toward a Ph.D. degree. It is important that students allow plenty of time to schedule the oral exam and it is recommended that this be done in conjunction with the scheduling of the written exam. The length and content of the exam is determined entirely by the supervisory committee. The purpose of the oral component is

  1. To allow the student the chance to clarify any weak components of the written exam or to answer any components of the exam that were not previously addressed;
  2. To evaluate the ability of the student to think on his or her feet and carry on an intelligent scientific dialogue with other scientists; and
  3. To evaluate whether the student has sufficient breadth of knowledge in sport management and their chosen specialization in the field.

For those students who are approved by the advisor to do a research project in lieu of the sit down/take home qualifying exam, there will be a 30-45 minute oral examination on unrelated to the research project methodology and core sport management theories.

If a student fails the qualifying examination, the Graduate School must be notified. A re-examination may be requested, but it must be recommended by the supervisory committee and approved by the Graduate School.  At least one term of additional preparation is needed before the re-examination.

Time Lapse: There must be at least two terms between the oral part of the qualifying examination and the date of the degree. The term the qualifying examination is passed is counted, if the examination occurs before the midpoint of the term.