International trade journal compares Saint Leo's online MBA program with other graduate degree offerings.

By Jo-Ann Johnston,
University Communications

Saint Leo University's Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in Sport Business has again been ranked an international leader by the London-based publication Sport Business International.

The current issue of the trade publication lists Saint Leo's M.B.A. with a Sport Business specialization among the top online programs globally.

SportBusiness International chose this year to segregate online programs in its rankings, rather than combining rankings of online and traditional classroom programs that still dominate the educational preference in Europe, explained Dr. Eric Schwarz, associate professor and chair of the Department of Sport Business, International Tourism, and Hospitality Management. This resulted in a small but elite group of online master's degree programs in the field, including Ohio University, and Johan Cruyff Institute, which is headquartered in Amsterdam and operates internationally.

For the ranking, universities were evaluated on program characteristics and the results of responses to surveys of alumni on questions including satisfaction with course teaching, levels of support, internship requirements, and average salary level three years after graduation.

The publication translated the findings into rankings including an overall ranking of in-classroom programs globally, a European ranking, a North American ranking, the online ranking, and an overall student satisfaction ranking.

Dr. Schwarz noted that had Saint Leo's overall score been applied to the overall global ranking, Saint Leo would be ranked Number 16, one spot ahead of last year. Additionally, had the same score been applied to the North American, student satisfaction, and average salary ranking categories, Saint Leo would have been ranked within the top 10 universities in all three cases.

"As the recipient of the first national accreditation of an M.B.A.-Sport Business program through the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), and as a highly ranked institution by SportBusiness International for two consecutive years, the Saint Leo M.B.A-Sport Business program name should instill a high level of confidence to prospective and current students, employers, and alumni concerning the quality of education our graduate students receive," said Dr. Schwarz.

Dr. Michael Nastanski, dean of the Donald R. Tapia School of Business, added that the program's recognition "validates our leadership model, which is characterized by an emphasis on applied learning, ethical decision making, and the use of innovative delivery methods to develop graduates who will make immediate contributions to their employers."

Dr. Schwarz also commented on how readers might regard Saint Leo's Bachelor of Arts in Sport Business, given this evaluation of the graduate program. "Although there is no ranking system for undergraduate programs, Saint Leo—as a result of being one of the inaugural undergraduate programs to receive COSMA accreditation­—is widely recognized as a leader in sport business education. It is equally important to remember that the same faculty who teach at the M.B.A. level also teach our undergraduates, ensuring the same high level of quality in instruction," he said.

The undergraduate program is offered at University Campus and the Tallahassee Education Center.

SportBusiness International's 2013 Postgraduate Sports Course Rankings

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