Top Online Sports Management Degree Programs

sports management

What is a Sports Management Degree?

Sports management degree programs apply business concepts to the growing sports industry. For instance, you could study sports marketing, sports finance, and sports facility management.

Programs usually feature a core curriculum in sports management. You could also choose a concentration, like coaching or sports tourism.

Sports management programs could help you prepare for roles like Coach or Scout. If you’re a sports fan and hope to bring your love of the game to a future career, this education path could be for you.

things you should know about an online sports management degree

Associate Degrees

Associate of Arts in Sports Management


Students are exposed to a variety of subjects from sport sociology to sports administration to develop an understanding of the sports industry.


  • Sport Facility Management
  • Sport Finance
  • Sport legal Liability and Risk Management

BACHELOR’S DEGREES

Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Recreation Management


This program covers sports management theories and strategies. These could include professional sports, recreational sports, and even merchandising for athletics equipment. You’ll also study business, decision-making, and industry practices.


  • Sport Facility Management
  • Sport Finance
  • Principles of Marketing

Master’s Degrees

Master of Science in Marketing – Sports Marketing and Media


This Master’s program explores marketing principles as they apply to the sports industry. You’ll study how to market athletic organizations and professional sports teams. Topics like public relations, sales, and business development are included.


  • Sport Marketing and Public Relations
  • Economics & Financial Management of Sport

Online Sports Management Degree Programs

Sports management degree programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Programs focus on applying business and management concepts to the sports industry.

Online Bachelor’s in Sports Management Programs

Online Bachelor’s in Sports Management programs deliver a broad overview of how the sports business works. You could study skill areas ranging from public relations to financial management. And, you could explore different settings for this profession, from athletic clubs to major league teams.

Some common programs include:

  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sport Management
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sport Management
  • BS in Sport Administration
  • BA in Sports and Recreation Management

The curriculum usually features business, sports management, and general education courses. You’ll study key business concepts like financial accounting and marketing. You’ll also dive into sports-specific topics, like the sociology of sport. Some programs even feature coursework in exercise physiology and athletic training.

Other courses you could take include:

  • Planning & Managing Sport Facilities
  • Sport Marketing
  • Brand Management
  • Ethical Issues in Sport
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Sports Psychology

Many Bachelor’s programs also require an internship. This is a chance to apply your knowledge within a sports organization.

Online Master’s in Sports Management

In an online Master’s in Sports Management program, expect to delve deeper into the field by studying marketing strategy, leadership, and more. This program usually features graduate business courses. Plus, you’ll explore trends, issues, and opportunities within the sports industry.

Some common programs include:

  • Master of Science (MS) in Sports Management
  • Master of Education in Sport and Athletic Management
  • Master of Science in Sports Marketing and Media
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Sport Management

At the Master’s level, you could pursue a concentration that’s relevant to your career goals. For example, a Sports Tourism concentration covers the intersection of sports and travel. You could study how to plan and manage sports events that draw a global crowd.

Other concentrations may include:

  • Sports Leadership
  • Sports Law
  • Coaching
  • Athletic Administration
  • Sports Marketing
  • Athlete Development

Finally, most Master’s programs wrap up with a project. That might be a research paper or an independent study. Some programs require an internship.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Sports Management Degree Online?

Most online sports management Bachelor’s programs are at least 120 credits. Full-time students could earn this degree in about four years.

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Online Sports Management Degree Programs That Could be Completed in 18 Months or Less

SCHOOLDegree Level# OF CREDITS REQUIREDSTART DATESMINIMUM MONTHS TO COMPLETE
Liberty UniversityMaster’s38Multiple18
Northcentral UniversityMaster’s3052 (weekly)15
University of Western StatesMaster’s53 (quarter credits)2 (April and October)15

How Much Does an Online Sports Management Degree Program Cost?

Median in-state public tuition for Sport & Fitness Management programs was $7,025 per year, according to the most recent data. Out-of-state private tuition was $27,850 per year.

Some programs charge by the credit. Compare cost per credit for these institutions that offer online sports management programs.

SCHOOLDegree Level# OF CREDITS REQUIREDCOST PER CREDITTOTAL TUITION COST
Lasell UniversityMaster’s36$600$21,600
University of LouisvilleBachleor’s123$497$61,131
Ashford UniversityBachleor’s120$485$58,200

Top Schools for Sports Management Degree Programs

As of 2016, there were 519 schools offering Sport & Fitness Management programs. From those schools, 14,472 degrees were awarded to students. The majority (68.7%) were Bachelor’s degrees.

SCHOOL2016 DEGREES AWARDED2018/19 Tuition* (Out of State Unless **)
California University of Pennsylvania642$15,726
Concordia University – Irvine490$35,400**
Florida State University201$18,786
Liberty University195$22,584**
Texas A & M University – College Station176$37,495
Ohio State University – Main Campus174$30,742
Southern New Hampshire University170$31,136**
SUNY College at Cortland169$18,316
The University of Tennessee – Knoxville153$31,426
St. John’s University – New York152$41,760**

*Estimated for full-time, beginning undergraduate students

Choosing an Accredited Online Sports Management Degree Program

Finding an accredited online sports management degree program can help you make sure your education meets industry standards.

Several organizations accredit sports management programs. A big one is the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA). COSMA accredits bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in sport management. They look at factors like:

  • Program curriculum
  • Program faculty
  • Program links to business and the sports industry
  • How well programs prepare students for their goals in sport management

Organizations that accredit business programs may also accredit sports management programs. For example, the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) accredits business programs in different disciplines – including sports and recreation management.

What Can I Do with a Sports Management Degree?

As of 2016, there were 562,097 Sport & Fitness Management graduates in the workforce. One-year growth for graduates in this field was 8.86%. Plus, entertainment and sports occupations are projected to grow 10% by 2026. That’s faster than average for all occupations.

Wondering if you fit into the sports management field? More men (69.5%) held this degree than women. The average age of a degree-holder was younger than average, at 35.3 years old.

Top Salaries by State for a Sports Manager

The below salary information is for Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes. The stats will differ for other career paths.

STATEEMPLOYMENTANNUAL MEAN WAGE
District of Columbia190$116,140
New York3,230$103,230
Wisconsin60$102,330
Kansas30$99,290
California6,300$96,470

CAREERS WITH A SPORTS MANAGEMENT

SPORTS MANAGER

Agents and business managers for athletes represent sports professionals in their business dealings. For example, they could handle contract negotiation on behalf of their clients.

Median Salary: $64,940
Job Growth Through 2026: 5 to 9% (as fast as average)
Typical Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

SPORTS MARKETER

Marketing managers identify public demand for products and services. That includes those related to sports. They also develop strategies to help promote and develop brands.

Median Salary: $129,380
Job Growth Through 2026: 10% (faster than average)
Typical Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

EVENT PLANNER

Event planners coordinate and arrange the details for events. These could include sports events. They may handle everything from pricing and purchasing to inspecting the venue.

Median Salary: $48,290
Job Growth Through 2026: 11% (faster than average)
Typical Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree

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EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.