Ph.D. in Sport Management

The Doctoral program leads to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.), the highest degree awarded by the School of Kinesiology and the University. The program seeks to develop scholarly and research competence, and culminates in an original doctoral dissertation that adds to the body of knowledge in Kinesiology. The program is designed for those students who intend to make their careers as scholars, teachers, researchers, and professionals in sport management and allied fields.

  • Ph.D. Sport Management Top Five
Top 5 reasons
Diverse community of outstanding students from across the U.S. and around the world
The University of Michigan is one of the greatest research universities in the world
Opportunity for collaboration with other U-M schools and colleges
Funding available in the form of graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships
Internationally-recognized faculty advisors
Learn More
About Our
Funding Deadline
Ph.D. Program


Program Overview

Ph.D. students choose from a set of core courses in Kinesiology, as well as cognate courses from other units, and complete a minimum of 30 pre-candidacy credits beyond the master's level. Qualifying examinations must be passed before advancing to candidacy, after which the student completes an original doctoral dissertation. A minimum of 50 credits including pre-candidacy and candidacy work must be completed to graduate.

All Ph.D. students work closely with a faculty advisor from the beginning of their degree program. Working with the student and advisor, a Guidance Committee, Qualifying Examination Committee, and a Dissertation Committee provide advice and evaluate progress at successive stages of the program.

A principal goal of doctoral training is the achievement of competence as an independent scholar. This entails not only proficiency in research but in the dissemination of knowledge. An important component of knowledge dissemination is guiding the learning of others. Each student’s program will be tailored to develop skills in knowledge dissemination.

Alumni Spotlight

Steven Salaga (Ph.D. 2012)
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University

I chose the Sport Management program at the University of Michigan for the opportunity to work with leading researchers in the area of sports economics. The resources at Michigan and in the School of Kinesiology are top notch. The faculty and staff are great people and do everything possible to help students succeed. One great feature of the program is the flexibility of the curriculum which allowed me to take challenging courses in departments all over campus. My experience at Michigan was fantastic and exceeded my expectations.

Michael Cantor, (Ph.D. 2014)
Manager, Sterling Project Development/New York Mets

I entered into the Ph.D. in Sport Management program because of a great experience and relationship I had with my adviser while working in the research lab at the Center for Sport & Policy. The amount of hands on, real-world, experience I obtained throughout several research engagements during my tenure in Ann Arbor have proved invaluable in my professional career. The opportunity to attack complex urban development problems utilizing sport to catalyze change sets Ph.D. program at Michigan apart from its peers. Being able to do so in a caring, fostering, yet challenging environment provided me the right platform to grow academically, personally, and professionally

Check out our job placement/funding rate


The courses you take will vary, depending on your educational goals. All courses taken for graduate credit carry the KINESLGY program code.

Browse only KINESLGY courses in the Course Catalog

Browse entire Course Catalog