GWU’s Sport Management Degree Earns National Ranking

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Website Includes Gardner-Webb Bachelor’s Program on Top-20 List

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University offers the best bachelor’s degree in sport management in the Carolinas and one of the top 10 programs nationwide among institutions with fewer than 3,000 undergraduate students.

Sports Management Degree Guide (, an online source for information on the field’s programs and careers, recently ranked Gardner-Webb No. 6 nationally in its “20 Great Small Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management 2015.”

GWU ranked ahead of other North Carolina institutions that made the top-20 list, including Catawba College (Salisbury, N.C.), Barton College (Wilson, N.C.), and Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte, N.C.). The recognition excites leaders of Gardner-Webb’s sport management program and provides a measure of success, said Dr. Gerald Gilsdorf, assistant professor in the GWU Godbold School of Business.

“The overall goal of the sport management program at Gardner-Webb is for each student to become an effective and efficient sport leader who is well-versed in the field, possesses strong analytical and problem-solving skills and is equipped with an ethical and moral compass grounded in Christian principles,” Gilsdorf shared.

Sports management majors often pursue careers as sports industry administrators, publicists, managers and agents, among other professions. Gardner-Webb University’s sports management program offers instruction in business, communications, ethics, law, governance and leadership. Curriculum includes study in courses through the Godbold School of Business, the Department of Physical Education Wellness and Sports Studies (PEWSS) and the Department of Communication Studies.

The rankings were determined through a study of small public and private schools that offer a bachelor’s degree in sports management or a related field. Sports Management Degree Guide chose the 20 most selective schools based on the percentage of applying students who were admitted. Those 20 schools were then ranked based on freshman retention rate as an indicator of student satisfaction. Data was derived from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator, based on the overall undergraduate student bodies of institutions.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University provides exceptional educational opportunities within a Christian environment, preparing students to think critically, to succeed professionally, and to serve faithfully as members of their local and global communities.