Student News

UK launches new sport leadership bachelor’s degree

The Bachelor of Arts in Sport Leadership is based in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion in the UK College of Education. Photo provided by UK Athletics.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 8, 2024) — For the first time, the University of Kentucky is offering a bachelor’s degree in sport leadership. 

The Bachelor of Arts in Sport Leadership is based in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion in the University of Kentucky College of Education and offers three tracks, two in collaboration with the College of Communication and Information.

“Interest in careers in sport is rising each year. With this program, the University of Kentucky, which has a long legacy of excellence in sport, is especially well-positioned to prepare students to be competitive in the workforce,” said Justin Nichols, Ed.D., program chair and assistant professor of sport leadership in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion.

Incoming first-year students and transfer students can select the major for Fall 2024 enrollment, and current UK students can initiate a major change starting Tuesday, Jan. 8. The Council on Postsecondary Education approved the Bachelor of Arts in Sport Leadership during the November 2023 meeting.

The three tracks include:

  • Sport Leadership Careers, is designed to give students a foundational curriculum connected to sport and athletics careers. This degree is 120 credit hours, including 17 elective hours to encourage students to pursue minors and/or certificates to specialize in specific areas of interest within the sporting industry. The content focuses on leadership with underlying principles of sport sociology and sport psychology.  
  • Sport Leadership Gaming, offered as an interdisciplinary degree with the College of Communication and Information, prepares students to lead in emerging and inclusive sporting opportunities. This track will introduce esports and gaming industries. Students completing this track will earn a degree in sport leadership, with a minor in video game design and development.
  • Sport Leadership Entrepreneurs, also offered in collaboration with the College of Communication and Information, provides a foundation in innovation and entrepreneurial thinking for students preparing to lead a sport-related business. 

Students earn a degree in sport leadership with an undergraduate certificate in innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. 

Current students interested in learning more about the program can attend an information session in-person or online. Registration for in-person sessions is not required. Register on Zoom for an online session. All sessions take place 3-4 p.m.

Upcoming sessions include:

  • Thursday, Jan. 18, via Zoom
  • Monday, Jan. 29, TEB 158 (Taylor Education Building auditorium)
  • Thursday, Feb. 15, via Zoom
  • Monday, Feb. 26, TEB 158
  • Monday, March 25, TEB 158
  • Thursday, April 11, via Zoom
  • Monday, April 22, TEB 158

Incoming freshmen and transfer students should reach out directly to Jenna DeMastes, director of recruitment, at

“Our college is committed to preparing students to be workforce-ready as well-rounded leaders for thoughtful change in a wide variety of fields, from teaching to health promotion, to the science of human movement, counseling psychology, and sport leadership,” said College of Education Acting Dean Danelle Stevens-Watkins, Ph.D. “I think it is especially fitting that we are launching this program as we celebrate our college’s 100th anniversary. We are excited about our future graduates of the Sport Leadership program and look forward to seeing how they will impact positive change in the Commonwealth and beyond.”

In addition to the new Bachelor of Arts in Sport Leadership, the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion offers degrees, tracks, and certificates in sport psychology; exercise science; physical education and health education; coaching; sport, fitness, & recreation management; health and wellness coaching, and e-sport athlete performance and management. Among the graduate programs offered in the department is the Master of Science in Kinesiology and Health Promotion, with specialization in sport leadership, health promotion, biomechanics, coaching, exercise psychology, and physical education teaching. The department also houses 27 life fitness courses that provide sport skill development while helping students improve fitness levels, such as golf, tennis, weight training.

Learn more about the new Bachelor of Arts in Sport Leadership at

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.