Sports Management

Education Specialist Degree
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

The Sports Management specialization provides you with an opportunity to increase your leadership expertise in this growing field as you explore a combination of science-based academics, research methods and real life experiences within the collegiate athletic department. You will examine the ever-changing financial, legal, political and marketing concerns of directing an athletic department at the collegiate level. You will also develop your understanding of Title IX, legal aspects and advisement programs for the student athlete as you work one-to-one with experienced faculty members who have had many years of successful athletic administration experience at the collegiate level.

General Degree Requirements

The EdS Program may be completed in 33 credits. An Academic Advisor or Enrollment Specialist evaluates each student individually and works with the student to create an academically sound Learning Plan based on prior academics and their professional goals.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 5 years to complete the EdS degree.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The EdS program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

Education Specialist (EdS) Degree Requirements

Individuals with a previously completed master’s degree will meet the basis of admission to the Education Specialist Program. The programs includes foundations, scholarly writing and specialization courses, as well as a final capstone. Students must pass all courses with a Grade Point Average of 3.00 (B) or higher.

Course Length

All courses are 8 weeks in length.

The EdS in Education requires two Foundations courses, two Research courses, six Specialization courses, and one Capstone course for a total of 33 credit hours.

Course Code


Course Description

Specialization Course 1


Research Methods

This course provides an introductory exploration of statistics for the graduate student. It includes instruction on the calculation, use, and interpretation of descriptive statistics, and introduces inferential statistical analysis. The emphasis of this course is on providing a working knowledge of basic statistical concepts to help the student understand statistical methodology as used in education, and also more generally, developing a working knowledge of statistical usage in everyday life.

Specialization Course 2

Specialization Course 3

Specialization Course 4


Action Research

This course is designed to prepare students who desire to use action research methods and as an opportunity for students to prepare to conduct research on topics/projects of interest to education scholars. The primary goal of action research is to solve a problem that will lead to improvement in individual or organizational practice. In addition to developing an action research proposal, students will gain knowledge about the theoretical, philosophical, epistemological, and political considerations surrounding action research, specifically in educational environments. Students will gain an understanding of the cyclical nature of action research. Student researchers in this course will be prepared to understand the unique role of the researcher in action research, the importance of stakeholders, to define appropriate action research questions, and to evaluate action research studies critically.

Specialization Course 5

Specialization Course 6

Required Foundation Courses - 6 credit hours

Course Code


Course Description


Foundations for Graduate Study in Education (This course will be taken as the first course)

This course is an orientation to Northcentral University and to the essential skills needed to pursue a doctoral degree in Education. Doctoral level skills, such as academic integrity, time management, effective use of the Northcentral Library, comprehending complex scholarly texts and research articles, and APA form and style in professional communication are also introduced. Students will complete the course with a better understanding of personal goals, strengths, and challenges, and a roadmap to navigate their way to completion of their educational aspirations.


Advanced Scholarly Writing

The purpose of this course is to build advanced skills identifying and obtaining high quality sources through online library searches. In addition, the course addresses advanced writing and APA formatting skills, and it prepares students to be critically reflective consumers of research reports.

Specialization Courses - 18 credit hours, Select 6 courses from the following:

Course Code


Course Description


Development of Human Resource Strategies in Intercollegiate Athletics

In this course, students are presented with the latest human resource strategies to successfully address everyday problems that may arise with coaches, staff, and personnel of an intercollegiate athletic department. Students develop a working knowledge of human resource policy and procedure in complex organizations and how this may affect the employees that they supervise. Topics addressed will include recruitment, hiring, retention, planning, Title IX compliance, and related management strategies.


Intercollegiate Sports Governance

This course is designed to provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the power and politics of sport organizations that govern intercollegiate athletics. Students will analyze how people involved in governance set the tone of an organization and how individual sport bodies fit into the greater industry. Emphasis will be placed upon the student's development of a working knowledge of what organizations do and what their purpose is in the administration of an intercollegiate department.


Legal Aspects of Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics

Within this course, doctoral students will study the Title IX’s structure and requirements applied to intramural, recreation, interscholastic, and intercollegiate athletic programs. The philosophical, historical, and conceptual account of this law will be explored and its effects upon these programs. Students will examine the historical account of the social, legislative, and judicial environments in which in which Title IX has grown to maturity in the last three decades. Students will also explore how current trends in campus demographics have affected sports programs throughout the nation. An experiential learning model will be utilized whereby students will be able to use their personal experiences when researching the legal aspects concerning equity in interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics as we know it today.


Sports Compliance

In this course, students will study rules and regulations that surround intercollegiate athletics at the NCAA I, II, and III level, NAIA and NJCAA. Students will examine key components of compliance including recruiting, eligibility, amateurism, and financial aid. Topics include: best practice strategies used by institutions across the country to maintain institutional control, the differences and similarities of the 5 different groups (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA), and the groups which govern NCAA legislation.


Advising the Student Athlete

In this doctoral level course, students explore the role and function of the academic advisors in the lives of student athletes. Students will examine existing student athlete retention programs in colleges and universities to understand their components and effectiveness. Recognizing learning differences in students with learning disabilities or disorders will also be explored in this course. The goal will be to find academic services and counseling programs to help students in need reach their greatest potential.


Student Affairs Leadership

Within this course, doctoral students study the evolution and current practices of student affairs in higher education. The philosophical, historical, conceptual, and research foundations of the profession and the cultural and organizational contexts of student affairs will be explored. students will examine how various functional areas contribute to learning, personal development and other elements of the institutional mission. students will also explore how current trends in campus demographics impact student affairs programming.


Foundations of Higher Education Leadership

Higher education leadership occurs in an environment of ambiguity and constant change. Leaders must be able and willing to embrace uncertainty, continually learning, and develop a deep understanding of their core values. The course is designed to provide foundational grounding in the study of leadership theory and research, in higher education. Emphasis will be given to the practical application of higher education leadership theories and the academic and administrative roles of an institution of higher education. Students will explore best practices to uncover links that can be made to increase the value of higher education practices.

Capstone Course - 3 credit hours

Course Code


Course Description


Education Specialist Capstone Project

ED7053 is the culmination of the EdS program. In this course students will have the opportunity to demonstrate the synthesis of knowledge in the Education Specialist program through the design of a real-world problem solving project. The project should be based on research and/ or fieldwork and must demonstrate an approach to addressing the problem through application of theory. Additionally, within this course students will complete a reflective self-assessment of their learning throughout the program.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the EdS costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $849
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $2,547
  • Program cost: $28,367
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.