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Athletic and Outdoor Industry Certificate

The Athletic & Outdoor (A & O) industry employs more than 14,000 workers statewide and includes more than 800 firms with a payroll. The average wages are more than $80,000 annually, 70% higher than the statewide average for all workers.

From concept to consumer, the Athletic and Outdoor Industry certificate program explores the unique challenges and competitive issues within the athletic and outdoor industry. It is for students who want to go beyond product design and sports management to examine the larger competitive industry issues in marketing, retailing, distribution, and sales.

If you are interested in working in athletic and outdoor (A&O) industry retail and product management - think Keen, REI, Columbia, adidas, Nike, Gerber, and many others in the region - this program will give you an overview of the strategies and tactics necessary to succeed. You'll get hands-on practice and learn the business from local industry professionals.

Meet Athletic and Outdoor Certificate Graduates

Matticen Cox '14
Data Analyst, Women's Sportswear Apparel, Nike
Jason Liao '14
Social Media Manager,
Curtis Cooper '14
Account Service Representative,
Nike NFL Specialty


Athletic and Outdoor Industry Certificate Course Requirements 

Required core marketing courses in:

  • Professional Selling (MKTG 338) (Fall, Winter, and Summer)
  • Merchandising Management (MKTG 373) (Spring)
  • Retailing (MKTG 375) (Winter, Spring, and Summer) 

Students will also develop their skills and understanding of the industry in the following required courses:

  • Competitive Dynamics in the Athletic and Outdoor Industry (MKTG 436/536) (Winter)
  • Channel Management in the Athletic and Outdoor Industry (MKTG 437/537) (Spring)*
  • Classes will emphasize experiential learning and network development; industry leaders will provide perspectives on class content.

* Enrollment in Product Management in the A&O Industry (MKTG 437/537) is subject to approval by the Program Director. Interested students must complete and submit an online application for Spring Term 2017. Applicants will be notified by the Program Director as to whether their application is approved. Applicants are strongly encouraged to declare the A&O Certificate prior to application.

* Application must be reviewed and approved to enroll in MKTG 437/537 for spring 2017.

* Application requirement for MKTG 437/537 waived for summer 2016 classes.

Post-Baccalaureate (Post-Bac) Students

Students who have already completed a bachelor's degree can take this certificate for credit by applying to PSU as a post-bac student.  

PSU Athletic & Outdoor Industry Certificate at Portland State University in Oregon

Graduate Students

Competitive Dynamics (MKTG 536) and Channel Management (MKTG 537) are open to graduate students to take as electives.

Interested in taking a non-credit certificate?

Visit to learn more about the Athletic & Outdoor Product Management Certificate offered through PSU's Center for Executive and Professional Education (CEPE).

For questions, contact Jennifer Nolfi at 503-725-9805 or

Join our student organization, A&O Connect.

The Athletic and Outdoor Connect student group at Portland State University links students with outdoor industry leaders and resources to create lasting relationships and build strong networks. Our goal is to bridge the worlds of business and academia to establish an environment of shared learning and mentorship. Throughout the school year, A&O Connect hosts networking events on campus for students within the Athletic and Outdoor Industry Certificate program and anyone who is interested in this industry. Check out their Facebook page for details on upcoming events and ways to get involved!



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