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Sport & Fitness Management

Bachelor of Science

From profitable professional teams to collegiate programs and Little League, sports managers have the unique ability to bring communities together and inspire healthy lifestyles in all corners of the world.

Program Overview

Inspire athletes to achieve and exceed their goals.

The Sport & Fitness Management emphasis is an introduction to the business aspect of sport and fitness, including marketing, events and facility management. Through courses in Financial Accounting, Microeconomics, Program Design for Physical Activity Settings and more, you’ll acquire a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of sport management. You’ll also have the opportunity to take classes and conduct research in our state-of-the-art, High Altitude Performance Lab. To gain hands-on experience, you’ll be required to participate in an internship at a professional site in an area of exercise and sport science. The program is a perfect place to start if you have a passion for sports and want to pursue an exciting and rewarding career managing athletes of all levels.

Rewarding careers

The Sport & Fitness Management program is a perfect start for students who have a passion for sport and want to find exciting and rewarding careers beyond being an athlete.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 55 credits is required, including the 15-credit Exercise and Sport Science Nucleus:

To graduate, all exercise and sport science majors must complete ESS 181 Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science and ESS 185 Lifetime Wellness with a minimum grade of “C”:

Exercise and Sport Science Nucleus
ESS 181Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science3
ESS 185Lifetime Wellness3
ESS 320Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity3
ESS 490Sociology of Sport and Physical Activity3
Select one of the following ESS Captone courses: 13
ESS 495
Senior Seminar in Exercise and Sport Science
EDUC 410
K-12 Student Teaching
ESS 498
Internship in Exercise and Sport Science
Total Credits15

EDUC 410 K-12 Student Teaching is a capstone option for K-12 Physical Education majors seeking Colorado licensure; ESS 498 Internship in Exercise and Sport Science is a capstone option for the ESS Standard Emphasis.

First Aid/CPR competency and the following:

ACC 201Introduction to Financial Accounting3
ACC 202Introduction to Managerial Accounting3
ECON 202Microeconomics3
ESS 282Principles of Sport and Fitness Management3
ESS 385Physical Activity Programming3
ESS 405Practicum in Exercise and Sport Science1
ESS 440Topics in Sport & Fitness Management (must be taken twice for credit)6
ESS 450Risk Management in Physical Activity Settings3
ESS 498Internship in Exercise and Sport Science3
MATH 140College Algebra (GT-MA1)3
ROE 333Recreation and Sport Marketing3
One of the following:3
BUAD 220
Spreadsheets and Analysis
CS 120
Professional Computer Skills
One of the following:3
ESS 382
Management of Sport and Fitness Facilities
ROE 466
Facilities and Administration
Total Credits40
Plan of Study Grid
Year OneCredits
"C" or better required for both ESS 181 and ESS 185 to receive credit toward ESS degree.
ESS 181
or ESS 185
Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science
or Lifetime Wellness
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
Gen Ed General Education Courses 9
ESS 181
or ESS 185
Foundations of Exercise and Sport Science
or Lifetime Wellness
MATH 140 College Algebra (GT-MA1) "C-" or better required to move on to ACC 201 and ECON 202. 3
Gen Ed General Education Courses 9
Year Two
ESS 282 Principles of Sport and Fitness Management 3
ACC 201 Introduction to Financial Accounting "C" or better required to move on to ACC 202. 3
COM 202 Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2) 3
Gen Ed General Education Courses 6
ACC 202 Introduction to Managerial Accounting 3
BUAD 220
or CS 120
Spreadsheets and Analysis
or Professional Computer Skills
ECON 202 Microeconomics 3
Gen Ed General Education Courses 3
Elective Elective/Minor/2nd Major 3
Year Three
ESS 320 Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 3
ESS 385 Physical Activity Programming 3
Elective Elective (upper division) ESS/Minor/2nd Major 9
ESS 382 Management of Sport and Fitness Facilities 3
ESS 440 Topics in Sport & Fitness Management 3
ROE 333 Recreation and Sport Marketing 3
Elective Elective (upper division) ESS/Minor/2nd Major 6
Year Four
ESS 405 Practicum in Exercise and Sport Science 1
ESS 450 Risk Management in Physical Activity Settings 3
ESS 490 Sociology of Sport and Physical Activity 3
Elective Elective (upper division) ESS/Minor/2nd Major 9
ESS 440 Topics in Sport & Fitness Management 3
ESS 495 Senior Seminar in Exercise and Sport Science 3
ESS 498 Internship in Exercise and Sport Science 3-12
Elective Elective (upper division) ESS/Minor/2nd Major 6
 Total Credits122-131

Western is committed to doing our part to provide each student a clear path to graduation. This four‐year degree plan is a sample map for fulfilling requirements in the major and General Education. The pathway that you take to your degree may differ somewhat from this illustration, depending on where you start and the detours and side trips you may take along the way. You are responsible for ensuring your overall, upper division, and major‐specific credits as well as GPA requirements are fulfilled for graduation.


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.


The Ernest Degutis Scholarship

This scholarship is available to Exercise & Sport Science (ESS) majors with demonstrated excellence in academics and outstanding achievement in personal fields.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • ESS Major
  • Junior or senior class standing
  • 3.0 Minimum GPA
  • Demonstrated excellence in academics
  • Show outstanding achievement in four of the following:
    • Special talents
    • Leadership
    • Obstacles overcome
    • Community service
    • Unique endeavors
Application Procedures:
  • A written letter of application – please include local address
  • Unofficial transcript (may use DegreeWorks)
  • Two letters of recommendation from Western faculty or staff
    • Letters must NOT be from ESS department members
    • At least one letter must be from a faculty member
  • Essay addressing at least four of the five areas listed above

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship is Provided by:

Ernest Degutis

Amount depends on fund availability.

Scholarship Recipients Selected by:

Western Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science (RESS) Faculty.

Completed applications must be turned in to Terri in the RESS Department office in Wright Gym no later than the second Friday of April for the upcoming academic calendar year.


  • Woman Physical Education or Recreation major at Western
  • Must have completed a minimum of one year in residence at Western
  • Must be a Junior or Senior (ie., will have completed at least 64 semester hours at the completion of the spring semester in which the award is to be granted, but will not be graduated at the completion of that same semester).
  • Must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 at time of selection.
  • Must have exhibited leadership in intramurals, the intercollegiate program or other departmental activities.
  • Must have demonstrated professional promise in the field of Physical Education or Recreation.


This award has been established in honor of Miss Hannah E. Praxl, in recognition of her long and illustrious service as a member of the Division of HPER at Western. The contributions made by Miss Praxl during her tenure at Western were many. In addi­tion to her everyday duties as professor of Physical Education and Counselor and advisor to many students, Miss Praxl contributed much time and effort in working with the Women’s Recreation Association, the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, and numerous local, state, regional and national organizations associated with the development and promotion of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Following retirement, a number of friends, faculty, and alumni have endeavored to establish a suitable award in honor of Miss Praxl, and to be known as the “Hannah E. Praxl Award.” Award for Outstanding Woman Athlete.


A list of all women students majoring in Physical Education and Recreation and whose grade point averages meet the 3.2 criteria, or are close enough that they could meet the criteria at the completion of the spring semester, will be submitted to the selection committee for consideration. This list will be given to the committee as soon after April 15 as possible, with instructions that the recipient be determined by May 1.

The selection committee shall be composed of the women Physical Education staff members, the Division Chairman, and any other Division HPER staff members, as determined by the committee.

DEADLINE DATE: April 15 of each academic year; selection by May 1

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2022. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Expand your community and your network.

There are so many ways that you can maximize your educational experience at Western. Take advantage of these opportunities to advance your career.

  • Graduate Research: Collaborate on research projects with students in the High Altitude Exercise Physiology master’s program.
  • High Altitude Performance Lab: Take classes and conduct research in our state-of-the-art facility.
  • Publish Research: Publish your work in the Center for Wellness and Human Performance Health & Fitness Journal.
  • Wellness Elevated: Work with clinical populations and their exercise programming for a semester or more.
  • Association for Students of Exercise Sports Science: This club is specifically tailored to ESS majors. Outings and events provide social support, professional development and networking opportunities.

The business side of sports

Learn the business side of athletics to shape that passion for competition, exercise and fitness into a fulfilling, lifelong career.

Department Chairperson

Lance Dalleck, Ph.D.

Professor of Exercise & Sport Science

Administrative Assistant

Terri Stinson

Administrative Assistant

Contact Information



Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Paul Wright Gym 209
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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