Sport Studies Major (B.S.)

Sport Studies Major (B.S.)

Sport studies students working at a UNH hockey game

Course codes have changed for many Kinesiology courses. Download the new course codes here.

What is sport studies?

The sport studies program allows you to bring your love of sport together with a deeper understanding of sports history, culture and practice. You’ll study sport history, psychology and sociology, exploring topics that range from marketing and mass media to race and gender. This major prepares you for a wide variety of career paths in school, college and professional sport, including coaching, administration, marketing and sports communications. It also prepares you for graduate study in areas such as sport law or sport psychology. Students interested in pro leagues, sporting goods or media are encouraged to take supporting coursework in related disciplines such as business, journalism or communications.

Why study sport studies at UNH?

As a student in the sport studies program at UNH, you’ll be able to pursue one of four focus areas: sports information/media relations, management/administration, marketing or coaching/psychology. You will gain practical experience and make professional contacts through internships in coaching, communications, marketing, event management and other aspects of the sport industry. Demand in this industry is expected to grow as participation in high school, college, professional and recreational sport rises.

Potential careers 

  • Athletic administrator 
  • Coach 
  • Events coordinator 
  • Front office – professional sport teams 
  • Marketing/PR manager 
  • Sports writer/journalist 
  • Talent scout 


Department of Kinesiology
New Hampshire Hall, 124 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2071

Curriculum & Requirements

Sport Studies is an interdisciplinary major that provides a foundation for careers in the sport industry. Students may prepare for careers in school, college, and professional athletic administration/management, coaching, marketing, and sports media. The program also prepares majors for graduate study in areas such as sport law and sport psychology. Sport Studies students are encouraged to pursue a second major or minor in a complementary discipline, such as business, communications, english/journalism, or psychology.

Majors take a core of foundation courses as well as electives in applied areas such as sport marketing, athletic administration, and sport psychology. Majors must earn a grade of B- or better in SPST 565 Principles of Coaching and SPST 580 Sport Industry, and a grade of C or better in each required University and Sport Studies course. All majors must complete a minor or 20 credits of prior-approved coursework in supporting areas such as business, psychology, or education. In addition, a targeted internship experience or independent study is required. An internship experience is strongly recommended since it is often critical to career development. Interested students should consult with the undergraduate major coordinator, Heather Barber,

Recommended Major Sequencing of Courses

This list only includes major classes. Students should be registered for, and taking an average of 16 credits per semester to be ‘on track’ to graduate in 4 years. In most semesters, this means a student will be taking Discovery or elective courses, to meet this 16 credit ‘load’.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
PSYC 401 Introduction to Psychology 4
SPST 580 Sport Industry 4
SPST 565
or SPST 562
Principles of Coaching
or Sport Media Relations
Second Year
PSYC 402
or SOC 402
or ADMN 420
Statistics in Psychology
or Statistics
or Business Statistics
SPST 562
or SPST 565
Sport Media Relations
or Principles of Coaching
SPST 560 Sport Psychology 4
Sport Studies Elective 1 4
Third Year
SPST 650C Internship in Sport Studies 1-8
2 Sport Studies Electives 1 8
SPST 740
or SPST 741
Athletic Administration
or Social Issues in Contemporary Sport
Sport Studies Elective 1 4
Fourth Year
SPST 650C Internship in Sport Studies 1-8
SPST 761 Senior Seminar in Sport Studies 4
Sport Studies Elective 1 4
SPST 740
or SPST 741
Athletic Administration
or Social Issues in Contemporary Sport
 Total Credits62-76

Major Requirements 

PSYC 401Introduction to Psychology4
PSYC 402Statistics in Psychology4
or SOC 402 Statistics
or ADMN 420 Business Statistics
SPST 560Sport Psychology4
SPST 562Sport Media Relations4
SPST 565Principles of Coaching4
SPST 580Sport Industry4
SPST 740Athletic Administration4
SPST 741Social Issues in Contemporary Sport4
Senior Capstone Experience
SPST 761Senior Seminar in Sport Studies4
Cognate Requirement 120
Adviser approved KIN electives 316
AT 668
Ergogenic Aids in Sports
EXSC 720
Science and Practice of Strength Training
KIN 505
Activity, Injuries and Disease
KIN 798
Special Topics
SPST 521
Theory of Coaching Basketball
SPST 522
Theory of Coaching Football
SPST 523
Theory of Coaching Ice Hockey
SPST 525
Theory of Coaching Soccer
SPST 528
Theory of Coaching Track and Field
SPST 561
History of American Sport and Physical Culture
History of American Sport and Physical Culture
SPST 630
Sport Facility and Event Management
SPST 631
Sport Media Production
SPST 643
Social Media Marketing in Sport
Internship in Sport Studies
SPST 693
Teaching Assistantship
SPST 696
Independent Study
SPST 743
Sport Marketing
SPST 765
Advanced Topics in Coaching
SPST 780
Psychological Factors in Sport
Total Credits72

Internal transfers to sport studies must have a 2.5 GPA as well as a minimum grade of C in PSYC 401 Introduction to Psychology, Statistics (PSYC, SOC, DS) and a minimum grade of B- in both SPST 565 Principles of Coaching and SPST 580 Sport Industry.

Explore Program Details


  • cognate: Communications, English, Marketing


  • school or college athletic director
    cognate : Admin, Education
  • school or college intramurals
    cognate : Admin, Education, RMP
  • events management
    cognate: Admin
  • conference/association administration
    cognate: Admin


  • college sales and marketing
    cognate: Marketing, Admin, Communications


  • coaching at all levels
  • athlete advising
    cognate: Psych

Transferring into Sport Studies

Admission decisions on internal transfer into Sport Studies will be made by the Sport Studies faculty. Space in the option is limited by available faculty and staff resources. Applications may be submitted for admission to either the fall or the winter semester. All decisions will be made between semesters after a review of grades for the latest semester. Admissions will be granted based on space available. The faculty will consider overall G.P.A., grades in prerequisite courses, performance in other Sport Studies courses or activities, and resume. Attitude and commitment will play a major role in consideration. Only completed applications will be considered. Applicants will receive a letter of acceptance, deferral, or denial from the Department Chair. All decisions must be considered final.

Cat Crew Football

Prerequisites and procedures

  • Complete SPST 580 and SPST 565 with a grade of B- or better
  • Complete PSYC 401 and Stats with C or better
  • Overall GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Submit the following to the Department Office, Room 107, New Hampshire Hall:
    • signed Transfer Application Form (or available in Room 107)
    • unofficial (or WebCat) transcript
    • resume, which must include contact information on two sport industry professionals who can speak to the candidate’s work (paid or volunteer) during the candidate’s college years.
    • personal plan that speaks to career interest in school or college athletics or coaching at any level.
  • All materials must be received in Room 107, New Hampshire Hall by December 1 (for winter admission) or May 1 (for fall admission).
  • After submission of completed application, schedule an interview with Heather Barber. Part of this interview will include a careful evaluation of all courses in major and cognate needed to earn degree. Applications will not be processed without this interview.
  • Go to the Registrar’s office and request that a transcript be sent to Heather Barber's attention, after grades are posted for the semester.

Examples of application materials

Applications will be reviewed after final transcripts are received. Students who do not follow the procedures or who miss deadlines will not be admitted to the program.

All majors are required to present updated resumes, personal plans, and portfolios for preregistration each semester. The field is highly competitive; simply "loving sports" means little. All majors are expected to begin volunteering with one or more of the following prior to seeking an internship: UNH Athletic Department, UNH Campus Recreation; Oyster River Youth Association, the Whittemore Center; Seacoast United Soccer Club. Without experience and a portfolio, students cannot expect to land internships. For more information about jobs and careers in sports see materials in the Sport Studies Lab.

take the next step

student posing in doorway on campus


Thompson Hall


student at Career Event