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Sports Studies

The Degree

Associate in Science (A.S.)

The Outlook

From youth sporting leagues to international events such as the Olympic Games, sporting events draw in millions of visitors and billions of dollars each year at the local, regional, and global levels. The United States alone casts a multi-billion dollar sporting industry.

Finger Lakes Community College’s A.S. degree in Sports Studies gives students the preparation needed to tap into this expanding, profitable industry. Graduates will be prepared to transfer to four-year institutions in pursuit of baccalaureate degrees in sports management, sports marketing or sports business-related areas. FLCC is one of the only community colleges in the state that offers this unique program.

Four-year institutions that offer baccalaureate degrees in sports studies and related areas include; SUNY Brockport, SUNY Cortland, Canisius College, Niagara University, St. John Fisher College, Ithaca College, Medaille College, University of Massachusetts, and others.

The Program

The A.S. Sports Studies program provides the preparation needed for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs. Courses in sports studies, sports marketing and event management give students a solid foundation to build on as they pursue a baccalaureate and prepare for one of the many diverse career options in this industry. Conferences and special opportunities to learn from high profile sports professionals play a key role in our commitment to providing a field-based education.

Field Trips: In recent years, students have traveled to attend Management in Sports and Events Conferences held in Chicago and Salt Lake City, attending sessions presented by notable sports professionals such as Bob Costas of NBC, famed sports agent Scott Boras, and Vice President of Marketing for Anheuser-Busch Tony Ponturo.

For many students, these experiences bring the program to life, connecting the case studies and theories learned in the classroom to real-life examples. This experience can often help a student confirm his or her choice of advisement area and develop a broader view of these exciting and diverse career fields.

Online Courses: As part of the SUNY Learning Network (SLN), students pursuing the A.S. in Sports Studies degree may take all of the curriculum requirements online. Students may take a course at a convenient time and place without the need to travel to campus, thus eliminating any time and location restrictions a student may have.

Honors Courses: Students in this program may enroll in our Honors courses, open to all qualified students, which provide enhanced educational experiences for students with outstanding ability. Successful completion of Honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase student transfer options to four-year institutions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • employ a basic knowledge of sports to facilitate successful transfer in those disciplines.
  • employ a knowledge of event management components and their centrality to sports businesses.
  • identify the components that contribute to the unique aspects of sports as a business.
  • interpret statistical data utilizing critical thinking skills and its application in the sports industry.
  • explain the international growth and emerging impact of the sports industry.
  • model professional decorum and behavior.

The Graduates

Careers and Salary: According to sportscareers.com, career opportunities in the industry are diverse. Salary levels range from $25,000 to more than $150,000 per year and vary greatly depending on segments of the industry, geographical location, education levels, management experience, and promotional and public relations skills.

Graduates who earn bachelor's degrees in sports management or marketing will be prepared for positions such as sports marketing account manager, event planning and conference manager, facility manager, ticket operations director, sporting goods marketing and sales manager, and sponsorship sales manager. Annual starting salaries for bachelor's degree holders will range from $28,000 to $35,000.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment opportunities in the field are expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2020. Although the field is competitive, employment will grow as public participation in sports continues to increase as a form of entertainment, recreation, and physical conditioning.

Job growth will also be driven in part by the growing number of "baby boomers" approaching retirement who are expected to become more active participants of leisure time activities in the growing areas of sports and experienced-based tourism.

The Faculty

Faculty members in the Sports Studies degree program hold master's degrees and are responsible for authoring and implementing this degree program. They were also responsible for the establishment of the Walt Disney World College Program at Finger Lakes. This landmark program was the first sports studies associate degree program offered by a community college in New York State. Our faculty members are recognized by the State University of New York as Chancellor Award winners for excellence in teaching. They are active members of the local tourism industry and have extensive experience consulting, visiting, and analyzing model destinations across the United States and Canada.