Niche.com has ranked the Rice University Department of Sport Management as the #1 Sport Management program in the United States. The “2020 Best Colleges for Sports Management” ranking evaluated 299 schools for this prestigious honor.
This is the first time that Niche has ever ranked Sport Management programs for its comprehensive ratings system. Dr. Clark Haptonstall, Chair of the Department of Sport Management, congratulates his colleagues and students on this significant occasion.
"Being ranked as the #1 program in the country is a special honor," Haptonstall says. "It is always nice to have our faculty, alumni, and current students be recognized for all that they have done to elevate the department to this standard."
The 2020 Best Colleges for Sports Management ranking is based on thoughtful analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students, alumni, and faculty. Particularly, Niche examines the ratio of undergraduate students interested in the Sports Management program compared to the size of the program.
In contrast to other peer institutions, Sport Management is a standalone major at Rice University. Many universities in the United States may only have Sport Management as a concentration area within another major. In addition, Rice students may further specialize within the Sport Management major to analytics, leadership, or law.
“The Department of Sport Management absolutely showers its students with opportunity, attentiveness, care, growth, service, and love,” Sergio Santamaria '18, who works as a Basketball Operations Analyst with the Phoenix Suns, said. “The honor of representing and being forever associated with an institution as incredible as Rice cannot be overstated. Especially recently, with the news of the Rice Investment and Sport Management’s number one ranking, the goodwill value of the degree continues to skyrocket.”
While at Rice, Santamaria held internships with the Houston Rockets and Stats Inc. He also worked the NBA All-Star Game twice.
The internship is an important part of the hands-on learning experience within the major. Rice University has partnerships with the Houston Dynamo, Rockets, Astros, Dynamo, and Texans, which allows for unparalleled access to internships with these organizations in the dynamic Houston sports scene. A minimum of 300 working hours for an internship are required to successfully complete the degree requirements.
Taylor Scott ’20 worked for the Super Bowl Host Committee, in 2016-17, during her freshman year.
“That’s an opportunity that would easily be reserved for an upperclassman at any other institution,” Scott says, “Rice trusts in its students from the start and provides the opportunity for everyone to accumulate a large number of valuable experiences over their four years here.”
In addition to the Super Bowl Host Committee, Scott interned with IMG, the Houston Dynamo, Select Sports Group, the NFL Players Association, the NBA All-Star Game, and with DC-based labor law firm Mooney, Green, Saindon, Murphy & Welch.
Rice Sport Management graduates have recently been hired by organizations such as Nike, Houston Astros, Under Armour, Los Angeles Dodgers, Major League Baseball, CBS Sports, National Football League, and Gatorade.
The Department of Sport Management continues to expand its course offerings and internship opportunities. From the popular Sports Ethics class to Pro Sports: Management, a new course designed, in cooperation with the Houston Texans, to teach the business of running a professional sports franchise, the department prioritizes innovation to provide its students a unique curriculum like no other school.
McKinzie Chambers, a senior from Houston, Texas, is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Business.