Professionals with a qualifying law degree who are interested in broadening their understanding of the global sports industry can now pursue an M.S. in Sports Management and a Master in Global Sports Law together.

Columbia University, a world-class Ivy League institution, and Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE), a Madrid-based leader in legal education, offer a companion degree program for individuals with a law background who are interested in a career in international sports.

Intensive study for the two professional degrees — Columbia’s Master of Science (M.S.) in Sports Management and ISDE’s Master in Global Sports Law — is completed on Columbia’s campus in New York City, the sports capital of North America, for 10 months during the fall, spring, and summer terms. Courses provide foundational instruction on the sports industry combined with specific training in sports (accounting, finance, marketing, personnel management, and analytics) and law (intellectual property law and alternative dispute resolution).


ISDE Program Diagram


After successfully completing their coursework, students pursue a 4-to-6-month internship with a global sports law firm, agency, team, league, or regulatory body, based on their academic profile and professional goals.

Some organizations that have provided internships in the past include:

  • United States Olympic CommitteeUSA
  • Major League SoccerUSA
  • Bichara & Motta AdvogadosBrazil
  • Libra LawSwitzerland
  • Mills & ReeveUK
  • Squire Patton BoggsUK
  • CRA TimorPortugal
  • Court of Arbitration for SportSwitzerland
  • World Anti-Doping AgencySwitzerland

Both degree programs are taught by renowned faculty from Columbia and ISDE who are leaders in the fields of sports law, sports analytics, sports media, as well as professional and collegiate athletics.

Sport associations, leagues, and organizations represented by the combined faculty include:

  • NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • NFL – National Football League
  • NBA – National Basketball Association
  • FIFA – Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • CAS – Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • MLS – Major League Soccer
  • IOC – International Olympic Committee

Guest lecturers are among the world sporting community’s most respected lawyers, agents, and managers. Networking events and practical workshops held at leading law firms and sports organizations in New York City complement the coursework.

Students in the program have access to the same academic and administrative benefits as other full-time Columbia students and are provided placement services by ISDE. In addition to the academically rigorous curriculum, the program offers students outstanding networking opportunities with peers at Columbia and ISDE, colleagues from across the Ivy League, and industry leaders.

Graduates will be prepared to effectively engage and excel at the responsibilities necessary for success at the next phases of their careers.



Fall and Spring


* Students without sufficient background in accounting and finance may be asked to enroll in preparatory courses in accounting and/or finance before completing this course.

SPRT K4310. Globalization of Sport.


Claire Zovko


This course will address the intertwined relationship between globalization, sport, and development from a critical global perspective. This course highlights the extent to which contemporary sport cultures are the result of an interplay between local, regional, national, international and global forces. This is achieved by demonstrating how sport governing bodies, spectacles, practices, and products, are both expressive of local conditions, while simultaneously being influenced by the workings of global economic, political, and cultural forces. The specific aim of the course is to encourage students to consider how various international sport mechanisms are experienced as manifestations of the global-local nexus. We will explore the international character of professional and amateur sports including international competitions, league expansions beyond national boundaries, and the movement of athletes. Such a cross-cultural examination will nurture, not only a comparative understanding of various national sport cultures, but also a more nuanced and sensitive understanding of the derivation and experience of cultural difference within the era of globalization. We will cover an overview of international sport and mega-sport events. Course topics include the introduction to international sport organization, international competition, sport governance, international dispute resolution, international sports law, and new media. This course is not intended to focus on individual athletic accomplishments, though it will address individuals when appropriate.

SPRT K4220. Social-Historical Foundations of American Sport.


Ray Katz


The foundation course for the Sports Management program is a chronological and topical examination of the history of American sport, beginning in the colonial era and ending in the present. The major events and trends in sports history are analyzed and placed within the broader context of American history, considering how historical processes influenced the rise of sport, and how sport influenced major social and cultural developments. Particular emphasis is given to the commercialization of sport. Throughout, students read seminal works on the history of sports. Through analysis of the historical, social, commercial, and economic context of American sport, the course teaches students to understand and manage contemporary issues in the business of sport.

SPRT K4580. Digital Sports Media & Marketing.


Tom Richardson


This course provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of the state of digital media and marking in sports today. Topics include a through exploration of the historical background, context and timeline of key industry developments and launches, including the advent of “interactive” media in the 1990s and provide an overview of all aspects of the “3 Cs” — content, community and commerce. In addition, students will be asked to examine growth and influence of social media, the importance of fantasy and video gaming, the dominance of video in a multi-screen world, the growth and influence of B2B and B2C analytics, the transformation of the in-venue experience and the different aspects of ecommerce.

SPRT K4360. Sports Accounting and Finance.


Brian Friedman and Adam Raiken


This course provides an extensive overview of the business of professional sports and the financial and accounting skills necessary for sports managers to succeed in professional sports organizations. This course aims to provide practical, hands-on experience to real-life financial and accounting challenges. The first section of the course examines the sports industry from a macroeconomic perspective, surveying the business models of the major sports leagues, organizations, and various business sectors (such as media, licensing, facilities, etc). The second section of the course examines the professional sports industry on a microeconomic level by teaching the practical financial and accounting skills used in day to day operations of professional sports organizations. By the end of the course, students will have a solid comprehension of the role of finance and accounting in the sports industry and be able to successfully apply that knowledge to financial and accounting issues routinely faced by sports managers.

International and Comparative Sports Law.


The focus of this course is to introduce, synthesize, evaluate theory, introduce scholarly research, and discuss issues and themes regarding international sport law. The differences and similarities between American, European and International sport will be compared. The following topics will be covered throughout the course: The International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Federations, National Federations, National Olympic Committees, the Olympics, FIFA, and FIBA. Other topics for discussion are European professional soccer teams, American professional athletes playing internationally, the international sports agent, and the World Cup.

Sports Analytics.


This course is an introduction to the application of analytic tools and techniques used to aid sports decision-makers. The structure of the course focuses on the use of analytics in four main areas of interest: player performance measurement; in-game decision-making; player selection and team/roster construction; and sports administration such as marketing, pricing, contracts, stadium management, etc. Emphasis will be placed on how the application of analytics has altered the decision processes of sports organizations. The course provides a needed skill set for today's sports managers and leaders. Having a basic understanding of analytical tools and their application to sports issues is essential for the success of anyone pursuing a career in the field of sports management.

SPRT K4410. Leadership and Personnel Management in the Sports Industry.


Vince Gennaro and Neal Pilson


This course examines issues of management and organizational behavior within the broad context of the sports industry, with specific reference to issues of staffing, motivation, and communication. Introduces leadership theory, as well as the tools and techniques for its practical applications, including how to most effectively put leadership theory to work on a daily basis within a sports organization.

Intellectual Property Law.


This course is intended both for students who are interested in a general overview of intellectual property and as a gateway to Boalt’s Law and Sports. The course begins with an analysis of the competing policies underlying intellectual property law. It covers the basics of patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets law, as well as some of the salient controversies in intellectual property law, including right of publicity in sports, sponsorship, commercial promotion and business methods, the challenges to copyright law posed by sport event sharing technology, the role and difficulties of protecting rights on the Internet, and the application of common law doctrines to the Internet.

Alternative Dispute Resolution.


Jeff Mishkin


Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR") refers to any means of settling disputes outside of the courtroom. ADR typically includes early neutral evaluation, negotiation, conciliation, mediation, and arbitration. As burgeoning court queues, rising costs of litigation, and time delays continue to plague litigants, more states have begun experimenting with ADR programs. Some of these programs are voluntary; others are mandatory. While the two most common forms of ADR are arbitration and mediation, negotiation is almost always attempted first to resolve a dispute. It is the preeminent mode of dispute resolution. Negotiation allows the parties to meet in order to settle a dispute. The main advantage of this form of dispute settlement is that it allows the parties themselves to control the process and the solution.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.