Since 2013, Adelphi University has prepared students to make a difference in children's lives through sports and physical activity. Students pursuing an MS in Sport Management or MA in Physical Activity Studies have the opportunity to enhance their graduate experience through Adelphi's hands-on Sport-Based Youth Development specialization.

Offered by Adelphi’s Ruth S. Ammon College of Education and Health Sciences, the specialization prepares students for careers in community-based organizations, school systems, youth sports programs, and recreation settings, along with careers on the corporate social responsibility side of for-profit companies and professional sports teams and leagues.

“A hallmark of the program is our close connection to the field, from site visits, internships and guest lectures to field-based assignments, where students gain practical experience applying what they are learning in the classroom,” said Meredith Whitley, PhD, associate professor and coordinator of the program.

From learning how to design and implement programs to understanding the ins and outs of marketing, communications, fundraising and evaluation, students graduate with a wealth of knowledge and skills essential for leaders in nonprofit and for-profit settings striving to use sports for good.

“Students don’t just learn about fundraising in the classroom; they also write a grant for a community partner that enhances their learning, builds their skills and strengthens their connections,” Dr. Whitley added.

Graduates of the Sport-Based Youth Development specialization have landed jobs as program managers at community-based organizations, sports coordinators at youth sports programs, physical and health education teachers in public and private schools, and athletic directors, as well as roles in data, evaluation and account management.

Through this flexible program, former athletes, student-athletes, sports and exercise science majors, and others will gain the skills to transform children’s lives through sports and create healthy environments for communities. Courses are offered at Adelphi’s Garden City or Manhattan campuses, along with some blended and online classes to match individual learning styles, schedules and needs.

Upon completion of the program, students earn an MS in Sport Management or an MA in Physical Activity Studies, with a Sport-Based Youth Development specialization.

Tuition-Free Fellowship in New York City

Students can also apply for the Sport-Based Youth Development Fellowship, which offers a pathway for a tuition-free master’s degree. The fellowship, offered at Adelphi’s Manhattan campus, is an innovative partnership with sport-based organizations, where students gain valuable experience in the field while the organization pays the tuition for their master’s degree. This program has been a launchpad for 40 graduate students pursuing careers in the sport-based youth development field.

Sport-Based Youth Development fellows work part time at a sport-based youth development organization. Past participating organizations have included Kids in the Game, Play Rugby USA, New Amsterdam Fencing Academy, Row New York, Ice Hockey in Harlem and Vita Sports Partners.

The deadline to apply for the fellowship is March 15. For more information, contact Dr. Whitley at

Learn more about Adelphi’s Sport-Based Youth Development program.

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