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 3-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.



First Fall and Spring


Second Fall

In the second year of the program, students will engage in a 6-point internship within the area of sports law.

* 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 PS5310. Globalization of Sport.


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 interplay between local, regional, national, international and global forces. This context is achieved through demonstrating how sport governing bodies, spectacles, practices, and products, are both expressive of local conditions, while simultaneously 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. Students 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.

SPRT PS5360. Sports Accounting and Finance.


What is the business of professional sports, and what financial skills are needed to thrive in the industry? 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 moves from a macro to the micro look at the industry, by surveying the business models of major sports leagues and organizations with specific reference and emphasis on finance and accounting and the role they play in decision-making.

By the end of the course, students will have a solid comprehension of the role of accounting and finance in the sports industry, and be able to successfully apply that knowledge to accounting and financial issues routinely faced by sports managers.

SPRT PS5580. Digital Sports Media and Marketing.


How does digital media and marketing impact the sports business? Over the last 15-20 years, digital media and marketing has become one of the biggest, most dynamic, and fastest growing parts of the sports industry. From an academic standpoint, this means digital is fully intertwined and complementary with the other key disciplines associated with sports: marketing, sponsorship, events, public relations, finance, and more.

This course is intended for students who are eager to delve into the digital side of sports, learn about the historical context, latest trends, best practices and issues, and become more knowledgeable about, and fluent in, one of the most exciting and appealing parts of the business. Case studies, current events, new developments, and guest speakers along with other approaches are used to familiarize students with topics such as:

  • the importance of fantasy and video gaming
  • the transformation of the in-venue experience
  • relevant uber-issues such as net neutrality, and the increasing globalization of the business

SPRT PS5470. International Comparative Sports Law. 3 pts.


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.

SPRT PS5410. Leadership and Personnel Management in the Sports Industry. 3 pts.


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 apply leadership theory on a daily basis within a sports organization.

BUSI PS5001. Introduction to Finance. 3 pts.


Students will be introduced to the fundamental financial issues of the modern corporation. By the end of this course, students will understand the basic concepts of financial planning, managing growth, debt and equity sources of financing and valuation, capital budgeting methods; risk analysis, cost of capital, and the process of securities issuance.

SPRT PS5475. Intellectual Property Law. 3 pts.


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.

SPRT PS5465. Alternative Dispute Resolution. 3 pts.


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.

SPRT PS5980. Internship in Sports Management. 6 pts.


Advanced standing in the Sports Management program, with at least 12 points (4 courses) completed is required.


The internship in Sports Management provides students not currently working in the industry with hands-on experience in a sports organization of their choice. Students will be required to successfully engage in a set of responsibilities for a sports organization. Students pursuing internships work with an advisor who is available to assist and advise on their internship responsibilities. At the term’s end, students submit a written summary of their internship projects or internship experience to the internship adviser and present to their peers regarding their experience. Although students have broad flexibility in the types of organizations at which they might intern, the internship must be approved, in advance, by the internship advisor. The internship in Sports Management is offered every term, including summer.

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