College of Business to Offer First Sports Security MBA Program


The University of Southern Mississippi College of Business and the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) announced Wednesday that the school will offer a new, distinct MBA program in fall 2015. The master of business administration with an emphasis in sports security management is the first program of its kind that will be available in the U.S.

It is an exciting program that accomplishes so many things that are the best of what Southern Miss does,” said Faye Gilbert, dean of the College of Business.

According to a USM press release, this MBA program is designed to “provide an educational opportunity for professionals who work or aspire to work in middle to upper management of the sport safety and security industry.”

Gilbert said sports security management began as a collaboration among the College of Business, the College of Health, NCS4 and executives in the sports industry.

Bret Becton, an associate professor and the associate dean of the College of Business, defined sports safety and security as the secure and safe operation of sports venues and the safety of spectators before, during and after games. It also includes protecting highly valued assets and preventing and responding to recovery from disaster incidents that could occur at a sports venue or event.

This program will be distinctive because it is the first and only program to combine the business fundamentals of an MBA with unique training in sports safety and security,” Becton said.

According to the press release, to complete the program with an emphasis in sports security management, students will finish the MBA core with at least three of the emphasis’ courses and a supervised internship in the sports security management field. The program can be completed in the classroom or online.

Since the new degree program is affiliated with NCS4, which works with recognized security experts across the country from professional sports, students will receive firsthand experience through internships, applied research projects, case studies and laboratory evaluations.

NCS4 was established in 2006 at Southern Miss and is endorsed as a top academic research institution in sports safety, security risks and threats at sporting events. Opportunities for students to network with sports security professionals at national meetings will also be available.

Becton said although it is difficult to predict enrollment in new programs, there will be a considerable interest among young professionals in the field as well as potential undergraduates. Also, he said with the program being offered in the classroom and online, it will appeal to a wide range of individuals.

The sports safety and security industry is a relatively new and growing field, so there has been very little formal education available to prepare people for the associated demands until now,” Becton said. “As a result, we expect interest to grow significantly over time.

In fact, MBA is the most demanded graduate degree in the world. USM’s College of Business MBA program is ranked in the top 200 part-time programs in the nation, the press release reported.

It is time for Southern Miss to be recognized for our leading-edge work in sports security and graduate education,” Gilbert said in the press release. “Students can complete this nationally distinctive program and move on to careers throughout the world.”

To learn more about the MBA with an emphasis in sports security management, call 228.214.3496 or visit the degree information page.