Applied Sciences Launches Online Master’s Degree in Sport Analytics

New graduate program will prepare students for range of careers in sports-related fields

The UM Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management is launching a one-year, online Master of Science in Sport Analytics program this fall to prepare students for analytical positions in the fields of sports business or performance. iStock photo

OXFORD, Miss. – The Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management at the University of Mississippi is rolling out its newest graduate program this fall, a Master of Science in Sport Analytics.

The program is a one-year, fully online curriculum with two emphasis areas: sport performance and sport business.

The online master’s program is designed to enhance knowledge, skills and competencies in data acquisition, management, analysis and evaluation in sport. It combines practical and research-based skills to allow students to develop in their selected area.

“Students receiving the M.S. in Sport Analytics will be trained for analytical positions in sport business or sport performance areas,” said Minsoo Kang, professor of health, exercise science and recreation management and the department’s chair. “This includes collegiate and professional sports teams, sports marketing agencies, media companies, sports betting companies, sport science, and strength and conditioning/human performance.”

The coursework will prepare professionals with strong practical skills in analytics, focusing on measurement and statistical modeling, and big data analytics in sport.

“We defined ‘analytics’ using three key words: measurement, evaluation and applied statistics,” Kang said. “Measurement means exploring the data. Evaluation refers to meaningful interpretation of data. And we use applied statistics – predictive analysis and data mining – as a tool for evaluation.

“At Ole Miss, sport analytics is a discipline to applying measurement and statistical modeling, and data mining techniques in the field of sports.”

The market overview for sport analytics indicates high growth for degree completion and projected employment. The growth rate in Mississippi for sport analytics and similar programs is 16%, compared to 11.3% across the Southeast and 15.6% nationally.

Employment growth will be driven by demand for better predictive insights across the sports and entertainment industry, including competitive analysis, scouting decisions, athletic performance and optimization, and sports betting.

The sport analytics market is expected to experience large growth through 2023, as the industry shifts toward a more business- and information technology-driven model. Given that sports are full of uncontrollable variables, sport analysts are increasingly critical for revealing predictive insights to guide strategic sport decision-making.

Baseball and basketball leagues have the highest adoption rate in using sport analytics solutions to recruit players, with the U.S. football market also a key player that uses data to track ticket sales, athlete performance and recruitment.

Chris Miller, a senior sport and recreation administration major from Oxford, became interested in the program when he first heard about it from his adviser, Brad Jenkins.

“With this M.S. degree, I would love to get a job as a sports analyst with any major sports network,” Miller said. “This degree program will help me further understand the art of sports analytics and help me learn and master new skills to one day be a top-tier analyst.”

Lauren Taplin, a junior sport and recreation administration major from Edwardsville, Illinois, also learned of the new program while meeting with Jenkins.

“My career goal is to work in a baseball operations department for a Major League Baseball team,” Taplin said. “I think the new master’s program would help prepare me for this, especially now that baseball is seeing a huge shift towards analytics and technology in player development.”

The Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management is part of the university’s School of Applied Sciences. For more information about the master’s program in sport analytics, contact Kang at or call 662-915-5526.