For the third consecutive year, Saint Leo University's MBA Sport Business program has been recognized by the prestigious industry publication, SportBusiness International, as one of the top online sports management programs in the world.
The June issue of the London-based publication lists Saint Leo's online MBA with a sport business concentration as an international leader, placing the program at number three worldwide.
The ranking is based on a number of criteria including program characteristics and alumni responses to surveys about satisfaction with course teaching, levels of support, internship requirements, and average salary level three years after graduation.
SportBusiness International's Postgraduate Sports Course Rankings are the only authoritative guide to university-level courses in the business of sport. The publication considers only postgraduate level courses that are 100 percent related to the business and administration of sport, and have been running for three or more consecutive years.
More Programs Worldwide Seek Ranking
According to Dr. Eric Schwarz, professor and chair of the Department of Sport Business, International Tourism, and Hospitality at Saint Leo's Donald R. Tapia School of Business, this is the second year that SportBusiness International segregated online programs in its annual evaluation and ranked Saint Leo's program number three.
"This year, more than 500 schools worldwide applied, and despite four times as many schools seeking ranking, Saint Leo maintained its place as the number three program in the world online," he says.
Schwarz says that 125 schools applied for ranking in the online category last year. Two years ago, all schools were evaluated equally, both online and traditional classroom programs, which still dominate the educational preference in Europe. That year, Saint Leo's online program was ranked 17th best in the world (on-ground or online) and was one of only five from the United States to be ranked.
In addition, according to Schwarz:
- This year, if the online MBA program had been grouped with on-ground programs globally, it would have been tied for 20th in the world.
- If Saint Leo's online MBA program had been grouped with the on-ground programs just in the United States, it would have been tied for 10th in the country.
"Clearly, the SportBusiness International ranking is becoming more prestigious with increasing numbers of universities applying each year," says Schwarz. "This will benefit students who are searching for high-quality programs that will help them reach their career goals."
Program of Distinction Designation Recognizes Long-term Success
In recognition of its exemplary success for more than 10 years, the Sport Business Program, including both undergraduate and graduate offerings, received Saint Leo's first Program of Distinction designation earlier this spring.
In 2003, the Sport Business Program had been named the Flagship Program within the university's School of Business. Flagship Programs are so named because they exhibit academic excellence and lasting appeal to students, bringing Saint Leo's reputation to new heights locally, regionally, nationally, an internationally.
"The Sport Business Program demonstrates the institution's commitment to academic excellence with its ability to attract the most qualified students who desire a career in this field," said Dr. Maribeth Durst, vice president of academic affairs at Saint Leo.
In addition to the online Master of Business Administration degree with a Sport Business concentration, Saint Leo also offers an on-ground Bachelor of Arts in Sport Business.
Since the online MBA in sport business typically attracts professionals already working in the field who want to advance, it provides instruction in higher-level skills than its undergraduate counterpart, enabling students to gain an understanding of sound decision-making processes, a knowledge of functional operations, and the ability to plan and lead within the industry.
"The Saint Leo Sport Business program is respected nationally and internationally because our instructors are committed to excellence in theoretical and experiential education," says Schwarz. "They ensure that students receive the personal and professional development necessary for a successful career in an industry with tremendous business and personal growth opportunities around the world."
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