Top Online Sports Management Degree Programs

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.

BA in Sports and Recreation Management

Master of Science in Sport Management: Sport Leadership

Master of Science in Marketing – Sports Marketing and Media

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.

This Master’s program covers the theory and practice of leadership within the sports industry. You’ll study core business concepts, plus delve into sports history, trends, and global opportunities. The program requires a capstone internship or research project.

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.

Courses include:

  • Sport Facility Management
  • Sport Finance
  • Principles of Marketing

Courses include:

  • Sports Sponsorship & Marketing
  • Fundraising Concepts & Practices
  • International Sport Management

Courses include:

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

Program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)

No specific program accreditation

No specific program accreditation

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
  • Legal Issues in Sport and Physical Activity
  • 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.

Master’s programs are usually at least 36 credits. They may be earned in about one to two years.

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

School

# of Credits Required

Start Dates

Minimum Months to Complete

Liberty University

38

Multiple

18

Northcentral University

30

52 (weekly)

15

University of Western States

53 (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.

School

# of Credits Required

Cost Per Credit

Total Tuition Cost

Lasell University

36

$600

$21,600

University of Louisville

123

$497

$61,131

Ashford University

120

$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.

School

2016 Degrees Awarded

2018/19 Tuition* (Out of State Unless **)

California University of Pennsylvania

642

$15,726          

Concordia University – Irvine

490

$35,400**      

Florida State University

201

$18,786          

Liberty University

195

$22,584**      

Texas A & M University – College Station

176

$37,495          

Ohio State University – Main Campus

174

$30,742          

Southern New Hampshire University

170

$31,136**      

SUNY College at Cortland

169

$18,316          

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville

153

$31,426

St. John’s University – New York

152

$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.

State

Employment

Annual Mean Wage

District of Columbia

190

$116,140

New York

3,230

$103,230

Wisconsin

60

$102,330

Kansas

30

$99,290

California

6,300

$96,470

Careers with a Sports Management Degree

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