Master in Global Sports Law


Program Description

Master in Global Sports Law



ISDE and Columbia University are proud to announce the launch of a new companion degree program for internationally-oriented sports industry professionals.

This companion program is the only offering in the market created with an external industry perspective. As the program was developed, leading sports industry professionals and law firms were consulted in order to ascertain the skills and knowledge that students would need in order to best position themselves for employment upon graduation.

Qualified students will earn two professional degrees – Columbia’s market-leading Master of Science (MSc) in Sports Management and ISDE’s innovative Master in Global Sports Law – over the course of 12 months of intensive classroom study in New York City, and another four to six months of hands-on internship experience with a leading sports organization in the United States, Europe or elsewhere. (Longer internships may, in some cases, be possible with the agreement of the student and host organization.)

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).

Columbia/ISDE Companion Degree students enjoy the same academic and administrative benefits as all other full-time Columbia students. At the same time, they also benefit from the special academic content and proven placement services offered by ISDE.

The program’s prestigious faculty represent many of the world’s top sporting organizations, including:

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • National Football League
  • National Basketball Association
  • Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • Major League Soccer
  • International Olympic Committee

Furthermore, guest lecturers include 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 will complement the coursework.

In addition to the academically rigorous curriculum, the program offers students outstanding networking opportunities with peers at Columbia and ISDE and colleagues from across the Ivy League and sports industry. 
Together, these opportunities will prepare graduates to succeed in the next phases of their careers.

The Columbia/ISDE Companion Degree Program is open to highly motivated professionals who already possess a law degree.

Global Sports Law Companion Degree from Columbia Professional Studies on Vimeo.

Course Structure

Students in the Columbia/ISDE Companion Degree Program follow an intensive program of classroom lectures, site visits and global internship experiences that last 18 months. The program begins with a mandatory curriculum of sports law and management courses, all of which are offered over the space of ten months. As detailed below, all classroom instruction will take place during the Fall Semester (September-December 2016), the Spring Semester (January-May 2017) and the Summer Session (May-July 2017).

Fall & Spring Semesters (September 2016 - May 2017)

Globalization of Sports

This course will address the close-knit relationship between globalization, sports, and development from a critical global perspective. This course highlights the extent to which contemporary sports cultures are the result of the interplay among local, regional, national, international and global forces. This is achieved by demonstrating how sports governing bodies, events, business practices, and products are simultaneously expressive of local conditions and also influenced by the workings of global economic, political, and cultural forces.

Social-Historical Foundations of American Sport

The foundation course for the Sports Management program is a chronological and topical examination of the history of American sports, 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 sports, and how sports influenced major social and cultural developments. Particular emphasis is given to the commercialization of sports. Throughout, students read seminal works on the history of sports. Through analysis of the historical, social, commercial, and economic context of American sports, the course teaches students to understand and manage contemporary issues in the business of sports.

Digital Sports Media & Marketing

This course provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of the state of digital media and marking in sports today. Topics include a thorough 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 the 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.

Sports Accounting and Finance

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 relevant 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.

  • Elective Courses
  • Students are able to choose an elective from a list of courses including:
  • Sports Business Communications and Public Relations
  • Intercollegiate Athletics Administration
  • Sports Facilities and Events Management
  • Sport Revenues Strategies and Analytics

International and Comparative Sports Law

This law course serves as the overarching course for the Law component of the Companion Degree Program it exposes students to the broad range of cross-border and foreign jurisdictional, regulatory, and practice issues that characterize the global sports law industry.

The focus of this course is to introduce, synthesize and evaluate theory; introduce scholarly research; and discuss issues and themes regarding international sports law. The differences and similarities between American, European and International sports will be compared via lecturers, readings, and in-class discussions. The following topics will be covered throughout the course: The International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Federations, National Federations, National Olympic Committees, the Olympics, FIFA, FIBA, and the globalization of professional sport.

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. TBD 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.

Leadership and Personnel Management in the Sports Industry

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.

Summer Season (May-June 2017)

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

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.

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

Tuition Fee

The fee for this course is $94,496.40

This school offers programs in:
  • English


Internships will be of a duration of 4 months in the offices of one of our collaborating partners. ISDE works closely with a large number Law Firms, Institutions, Sport Clubs, organizations and companies worldwide.

The destination of the internship is decided after a detailed case-by-case analysis of each student’s academic performance, personal profile and the acceptance of the receiving institution.

Internship opportunities bridge the gap between the educational and professional worlds, making it easier to transition from academic life into a professional career.

Many of ISDE’s students remain working for the organization who hosted their internship after completion of the internship period while others use the valuable experience gained to further advance their professional career by joining another employer in the world of sport. Students take advantage of the internship to build an invaluable network of contacts which is essential for broadening their future career prospects.

Most of the students remain working for the Law Firms, Institutions, Sport Clubs or Companies they do the internship for after they finish that period. Others use the gained valuable experience to build the bridge for a successful professional career joining other important Sports Law golden goals.

Students can build a valuable network which is very important within this sector, so the internship is also a fantastic opportunity to make relevant contacts. Examples of past internship host organizations include:

  • Bichara & Motta (Brazil)
  • Libra Law (Switzerland)
  • Mills&Reeve(UK)
  • Squire Patton Boggs (UK)
  • CRA Law Firm (Portugal)
  • Court of Arbitration for Sports (Switzerland)
  • World Anti-Doping Agency (Switzerland)
Global Internships begin in July, August or September, depending on the needs of the host organization. They last a minimum of four months and in some cases, with the agreement of the student and host organization, may be extended for longer periods. Degrees are conferred at a graduation ceremony that takes place in December.
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
16 months
Part time
Full time
94,496 USD
USA - New York, New York
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
USA - New York, New York
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info

Global Sports Law Companion Degree