Best Online Master’s in Sports Management Programs

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Sports management is a broad interdisciplinary field that covers the different aspects of athletic organizations, including finances and budgeting, marketing, human resources, and facilities management. A bachelor’s degree is considered the minimum educational requirement for most careers in sports management. For this reason, students who earn an online master’s in sports management are highly valued as job candidates and stand to advance in their careers more quickly than those with less academic experience.

Students who earn a master’s degree in sports management typically enjoy higher salaries and lower unemployment rates than those with just a bachelor’s degree.

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Students who wish to obtain an advanced degree in sports management usually choose from one of two options: a Master’s in Sports Management, or a Master of Business Administration with a sports management concentration. The best online sports management master’s programs emphasize the importance of law, ethics, and professional conduct in the athletic industry. Students who enroll in these programs are often able to earn a degree specialization in areas like sports marketing, athletic training, and sports leadership; these concentrations are designed to prepare students for careers in niche areas of sports management. Many sports management programs culminate in a master’s thesis or capstone project that allow students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have gained through their master’s-level coursework. Other programs require students to gain supervised hands-on training through an internship and/or practicum course.

Learn more about what you stand to gain from pursuing a sports management master’s degree online and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

WILL AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN SPORTS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

The best online master’s in sports management programs prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation and obtain top-level positions with varied employers. The curriculum will introduce students to the industry’s latest tools and technological platforms. Depending on their specialization, students may be required to complete courses or course sequences in areas like marketing, analytics, and/or theories of management. Graduates leave school with a deeper understanding of their role as leaders in the sports management field, with highly developed communication skills, a complete understanding of the inner-workings of athletic organizations, essential administrative skills, and real-world experience.

WILL AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN SPORTS MANAGEMENT WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Online sports management master’s programs offer a flexible alternative to traditional classroom learning. Students are able to access course lectures and readings, turn in written assignments, take exams and contact their professors any time of day. The latest educational technology also enables them to study on the go using a laptop, tablet, smartphone or other device with Wi-Fi compatibility. For added convenience, students are usually allowed to fulfill their internship or practicum requirements at a site close to their home.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY MASTER’S IN SPORTS MANAGEMENT?

Graduates who earn a sports management master’s degree online leave school prepared for most entry-level roles in the industry, as well as some managerial positions normally reserved for candidates who have an advanced degree. They commonly find work in places like college athletic departments, the front offices of athletic organizations, and major sporting goods retailers. Graduates with a specialization in marketing or public relations often go on to work with athletes as agents or business managers.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN SPORTS MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online master’s of sports management programs in the United States. If you are considering pursuing an online sports management master’s degree, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific requirements and offerings.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 University of Florida 83.23 43% Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida, located in Gainesville, is one of the top universities in the state. UF's master's in sports management online degree covers the "behind-the-scenes" facets of the sports industry. Courses explore finance for sports organizations, sociological principles of sport, psychology and physiology of athletes, and more. Students must earn a minimum of 36 credits to graduate. At least 15 elective credits are required; elective courses include athlete development, international sport management, and performance enhancement.

Students have the option to specialize their degrees in either sport law, high performance coaching, or athletic performance and development. Learners with a specialization in athlete performance and development are qualified to apply for certification by the Professional Association of Athlete Development Specialists. Students in the master’s in sports management online program are encouraged to take part in an advanced practicum or graduate internship. Non-thesis students must complete a capstone project. Learners will begin the capstone after completing 27 credits. UF faculty are leaders in the field and are well-versed in issues surrounding online learning.

To be accepted into UF’s online sports management master's program, students must meet the school’s general admissions requirements and program-specific requirements. Ideal candidates will possess a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA, a satisfactory GRE score (a minimum score is not listed), and have experience in the sports industry. UF takes a holistic approach to the application process, so applicants who have low scores or less experience in one part of the application may still be accepted if they have strong credentials in other areas.


Program Overview
Department: College of Health and Human Performance
Program name: Master of Science in Sports Management
Available concentrations: Athlete development, high performance coaching, sport law
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $586/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Two months before intended start date
GPA: Minimum 3.0
Standardized tests: GRE or GMAT
Work experience: Preferred

Contact
School phone: (877) 665-3860
School email: smonline@hhp.ufl.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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2 Georgetown University 82.03 15% Washington, DC

Based in Washington, D.C., Georgetown offers a prestigious master of professional studies in sports industry management that explores all major facets of the industry, including ethics and leadership, business acumen, strategic planning, marketing and media, and project management. Georgetown’s online master's in sports management covers a broad cross-section of knowledge, with faculty members who bring experience from around the industry, including the NFL Players Association, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the Washington Nationals. This fully online degree also emphasizes students’ personal and professional development through networking opportunities and career mentoring.

Georgetown uses a flexible asynchronous format that requires no set class meeting times, though the curriculum is not self-paced, requiring students to complete work on a weekly schedule. Courses typically last 7.5 weeks, except for a final capstone course that lasts 15 weeks. Most students finish the program within two years, though Georgetown offers up to five years for online learners to complete their studies. While no campus visits are required, degree candidates are free to visit Georgetown to take advantage of professional development opportunities, such as career fairs and networking events.

The degree curriculum requires 30 credits spread across 11 courses, covering topics in event planning and facility management, business and finance, and social responsibility and globalization in sports. A sports management internship allows students to apply their learning to hands-on experience in the industry. Along with in-depth management skills, the internship also builds general professional skills, such as communication, resume building, and personal brand management. The program culminates with a capstone course in which candidates create a cumulative project synthesizing overall learning goals and professional interests. This experiential course pairs students with both a faculty supervisor and an industry sponsor, drawing connections between course learning and professional practice. At the end of the capstone, students present their project to their industry sponsor and receive critical feedback.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
Tuition: $1,345/credit
Credit requirements: 33 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 preferred minimum
Standardized tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Phone: (202) 687-8888
Email: Online submission form
Social media accounts: Facebook;

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3 Northwestern University 78.40 11% Evanston, IL

Located in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern’s proximity to Chicago offers many opportunities for sports managers, with access to some of the country’s largest franchises and athletic organizations. The school’s master of arts in sports administration is applicable to college, professional, or amateur sports management, stressing four major competencies: leadership in enterprising sports organizations, evidence-based decision making, revenue stream evaluation and risk mitigation, and business plans and strategic direction. While the program is available fully online, professional learning and networking opportunities in and around Chicago make this degree ideal for students based in the city or able to travel there.

The master's in sports management online degree curriculum requires 11 total courses, including six core courses, three electives, one leadership course, and one culminating course. Core courses explore essential industry topics, including marketing, management organization, sports business, and public relations. Electives cover varied topics in specific industry areas, such as NCAA compliance, intercollegiate sports management, and front office operations. While many electives are available online, others require campus visits, with many held at Northwestern’s Chicago campus to take advantage of the city’s active sports culture. Students may also fulfill elective credit with a sports administration practicum that can be completed in their own community. The program ends with one of two culminating experiences: a capstone class or a thesis. The capstone demonstrates mastery of overall program goals, while the thesis requires candidates to perform substantial original research on an approved sports administration project.

Northwestern also offers a unique sports analytics specialization, available exclusively online. Integrating knowledge in data science and predictive analytics with the general degree curriculum, this specialization prepares graduates for work in an increasingly data-driven industry, using the tools of analytics to evaluate team performance and administrative strategies. The analytics specialization requires a four-course sequence that takes the place of all elective requirements and one core course. The sequence includes courses in introduction to statistical analysis, math for modelers, sports performance analytics, and sports management analytics.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Arts in Sports Administration
Tuition: $3,496/course
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (847) 491-3741
Email: spsadmissions@northwestern.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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4 Mississippi College 71.77 34% Clinton, MS

Mississippi College, the oldest higher education institution in Mississippi, was founded in 1826 and is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention. The school is also the largest private university in the state, with over 5,000 students. Its master’s in sports management online degree is offered as a master's in athletic administration and is designed for students interested in athletics careers at colleges or secondary schools.

The sports management master’s degree online program comprises 37 credit hours, which students typically complete in two years. Learners can choose between an interscholastic concentration and an intercollegiate concentration. The interscholastic concentration focuses on leadership skills, personnel management, school finance, and legal issues at the secondary school level. The intercollegiate concentration emphasizes issues related to athletics, finance, and legal issues in higher education. This concentration is available exclusively online. The intercollegiate concentration also includes a four-hour practicum experience. Both programs require two, six-week practicums, which involves 60 hours at an on-site location approved by the school.

Students must have earned an undergraduate degree in kinesiology, education, business, or related field with an overall minimum GPA of 2.5, and a 3.0 GPA in the last 40 credit hours. Students must also submit scores from the GRE; students with a GPA of 3.75 or higher are exempt from this requirement. As a private institution, MC does not provide tuition discounts to in-state students. The school is considered one of the most affordable private universities in the nation and runs a generous scholarship program.


Program Overview
Department: Department of Kinesiology
Program name: MS in Athletic Administration
Available concentrations: Interscholastic or Intercollegiate Athletic Administration
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $567/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 37 credits
Field education requirements: Two six-week practicums

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: Two years

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: At least one month before program start date
GPA: Minimum 2.5 or 3.0 in last 40 hours
Standardized tests: GRE required

Contact
Department phone: (601) 925-3348
Department email: washam@mc.edu, Christopher Washam
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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5 Texas A & M University - College Station 70.02 15% College Station, TX

Texas A&M University, located in College Station, is one of the top schools in the state. The institution was ranked as one of the top research schools by the National Science Foundation and is home to three Nobel Prize recipients. The College Station campus has nearly 61,000 students.

The master's in sport management online is part of the Department of Health & Kinesiology, and the degree is available as a fully online program. Students are required to earn at least 36 credits to graduate. It is delivered through online course management systems including Moodle, eCampus, and eLearning. Courses include revenue generation in sport, diversity in sport organizations, and sport law. A minimum of five elective credits must be earned. A four-credit internship is required. Courses focus on key concepts within sports management, including sports marketing and sales, athlete development, personnel management, and fiscal management.

This online sports management master's is designed for students who are currently working in the field. Student can pursue the degree on a part-time or full-time basis. Admittance is limited and therefore competitive; applicants typically have a minimum 3.0 GPA and around four years of experience in the sports industry. GRE scores are not required, but they could provide an advantage in the application process. Texas A&M reports that their online sports administration master’s program prepares students for rewarding careers in a variety of settings, including country clubs, collegiate athletic departments, professional sports organizations, and community sports clubs. The program has three start dates throughout the year: fall, spring, and summer. Students are typically notified of admission a month and a half after submitting an application.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education and Human Development
Program name: Master of Science in Sports Management
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $2,173/ 9 credits in-state; $5,987/ 9 credits out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Field education requirements: Internship required

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall: April 1; spring: October 1; summer: February 1
GPA: Minimum 3.0

Contact
Graduate programs coordinator phone: (979) 458-2673
Graduate programs coordinator email: thawkins@tamu.edu, Tami Hawkins
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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6 The University of Texas at Austin 67.27 2% Austin, TX

As the home of famed Texas Longhorns, UT is known as a center of athletics both regionally and nationally, making the school an obvious choice for students pursuing a sports management master's degree online. UT offers a master of education with a sports management concentration, giving students the leadership skills to manage sports organizations, facilities, people, marketing strategies, and events. The program is closely associated with UT’s Athletic Department, offering a variety of hands-on learning experiences and professional development opportunities for degree candidates.

Admission requires at least one year of professional work experience, but UT encourages students of all backgrounds to apply, with no previous business or sports administration coursework required. The college’s active sports culture makes the program ideal for students who reside in or near Austin, though fully online coursework makes it possible to complete the degree without any required campus visits. Courses use a primarily asynchronous delivery method, though many do require set login times for virtual class meetings. Classes never exceed 25 students, ensuring that online learners receive individualized attention from faculty.

This 30-credit degree includes 10 required courses, with subjects including legal issues in sport, facility and event management, sport finance, and strategic management in sports organizations. Courses take place in six-week sessions, with two consecutive sessions available in the fall and winter and one available in the summer. The program caters to working professionals, and students have the option to complete either one or two courses per session as their availability dictates. Many degree candidates complete the program within two years, though UT offers flexibility for those with professional or family obligations outside of school. Though not required, students are encouraged to gain hands-on experience through internships, practicum experiences, and other dynamic coursework. Unlike many master’s programs, UT’s sports management degree does not require candidates to complete a thesis.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Education
Available concentrations: Sport management
Tuition: $675/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE
Work experience: 1 year

Contact
Phone: (512) 232-2383
Email: sparv@austin.utexas.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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7 Liberty University 66.70 96% Lynchburg, VA

Liberty University, the largest Christian university in the world, provides a Christ-centered education. Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, the university has more than 30,000 military students and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Liberty hosts more than 94,000 online students, and distance learners enjoy a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Online courses are delivered in a virtual classroom format that’s flexible and personalized.

The school's master's in sport management online degree requires 36 credits and is a non-thesis program. Courses include marketing and public relations, legal issues in sport, and understanding sport research. Specializations are available in outdoor adventure sport, sport administration, and tourism. Graduates are prepared for careers as athletic marketers, sports broadcasters, event planners, and more. Unique courses include foundations of sport ministry and ethics in sports. The program has an internship requirement, which accounts for six credit hours.

To make the master’s in sports management online program more affordable -- and to give students the option to complete the program more quickly -- Liberty allows students to transfer up to 50 percent of course credits from another institution. Liberty also provides a lower tuition rate to military members. Applicants must submit official and unofficial transcripts and must hold at least a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Liberty also provides preliminary acceptance to students in their final semester of undergraduate education.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education, Department of Sport Management
Program name: Master of Science in Sport Management
Available concentrations: Outdoor adventure sport, sport administration, tourism
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: Part-time rate: $615/credit; full-time rate: $565/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Field education requirements: Non-thesis specialization requires an internship

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Approximately 3-4 weeks before start date
GPA: Minimum 3.0

Contact
Admissions phone: 1(800) 424-9595
Admissions email: luograd@liberty.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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8 Northeastern University 65.70 10% Boston, MA

A major private college in Boston, NEU offers a master of sports leadership applicable both to mid-career coaches and athletic administrators as well as those looking to enter the industry. This practice-oriented degree emphasizes experiential learning, combining academics and professional practice. Students also gain a social perspective on the industry, learning to use sports to increase both social and economic equity. NEU’s master's in sports management online program is one of just 18 in the country accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation, indicating industry prestige. Rolling application deadlines offer four start dates throughout the year, making it easy for working students to begin when it suits their schedule.

The degree curriculum requires 45 total credits, with 18 dedicated to core courses, 18 to concentration courses, six to electives, and three to a culminating experience. Core courses focus on fundamental sports administration topics, including ethical leadership, the role of sport in society, sports law, and sports media relations. NEU offers two concentration options that allow candidates to explore a professional specialization area: professional sports administration or collegiate athletics administration. Each track offers six courses that examine industry-specific topics; the collegiate athletics track, for example, includes courses in NCAA compliance, Title IX, and academic advising for student-athletes. Two elective courses allow degree candidates to further develop specialized skills, with unique options such as the power of social media, ticket sales and strategies, and bystander strategies for the prevention of gender-based violence.

NEU values experiential learning, offering several opportunities for students to apply their learning to professional sports environments. An integrative experiential learning elective course allows online learners to research and define a growth strategy for their workplace, while the program’s culminating experience takes the form of either an internship or capstone. Both experiences are similar, but the capstone is intended for students already employed in sports management, while the internship is offered for those looking to enter the field.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Sports Leadership
Available concentrations: Professional athletics, collegiate athletics
Tuition: $1,450/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (617) 373-3768
Email: a.kramer@northeastern.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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9 United States Sports Academy 64.77 100% Daphne, AL

The U.S. Sports Academy is a nonprofit university located in Daphne, Alabama. Courses are offered entirely online. USSA was founded in 1972 to address the growing demands of the U.S. sports industry. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education.

The academy provides master’s in sports management online degrees with rolling registration, so students can enroll and start the program at any time. There are three degree options for the master of sports science: a thesis option, a non-thesis option, and a mentorship option. Students who choose the non-thesis option must take three additional courses. The non-thesis and mentorship tracks require students to take a comprehensive examination at the end of the program.

Students in the master’s in sports management online program choose from five majors: sports coaching, sports health and fitness, sports management, sports studies, and recreation management. The program takes 33 semester hours to complete, though students may choose to pursue a dual major, which takes anywhere from 42 to 45 semester hours to complete. Emphasis areas are available in NCAA compliance, olympism, personal training, sports psychology, sports hospitality management, and recreation management.

When applying for USAA’s sports management master’s online program, students must submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a completed online application. International applicants must meet additional requirements, including submitting their TOEFL results. As a military-friendly school, USAA is proud to offer a military discount to make higher education more affordable for military veterans and service members. Active-duty military personnel are also given additional time to complete coursework -- 18 weeks instead of the regular 16 weeks.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Sports Science
Available concentrations: Sports coaching, sports health and fitness, sports management, sports studies, recreation management
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $620/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33 credits
Field education requirements: Optional mentorship academic track

Program Length
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Rolling

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.5

Contact
Admissions phone: (800) 223-2668
Admissions email: admissions@ussa.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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10 American University 63.58 20% Washington, DC

A private college in Washington, D.C., American is home to a fully online master of science in sports analytics and management. This specialized program emphasizes the role of emerging and evaluative technologies in the world of sports, building both technical and managerial skills. Accordingly, the forward-looking degree curriculum prepares graduates for positions not only with traditional athletic organizations, but in emerging fields, such as fantasy sports, interactive spectatorship, e-sports gaming, and virtual reality. American’s online master's in sports management curriculum was developed in collaboration with industry insiders and experts from organizations including the NBA, NFL, Nike, and ESPN, ensuring that students gain skills relevant for professional success. For students unsure about committing to the full program, American offers a 12-credit graduate certificate in analytics and management, with all credits applicable toward the master’s program.

The degree requires 30 credits total, divided between 12 credits of field/professional courses, nine credits of core courses, six credits of analytical courses, and one three-credit elective course. The program core builds general skills for organizational management through three courses: intercultural communication, data-driven decision making, and innovation through new technologies. The field/professional section focuses on specialized skills in athletic management, including client communication, strategic management, and social engagement. The analytical component stresses topics in cost-benefit analysis and statistical evaluation methods for sports administration, while the elective allows students to choose from several relevant business courses, such as adaptive project management principles, teams and virtual teams, or professional ethics and project leadership.

The program concludes with a three-credit sports analytics and management capstone, which requires candidates to demonstrate skills in both research and professionalism. Integrating overall program concepts in analytics technology, data, and social media, students complete a substantial independent research project that results in the creation of a comprehensive sports business plan. At the end of the course, students present their plan to faculty and receive detailed feedback.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sports Analytics and Management
Tuition: $1,579/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 20 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (855) 725-7614
Email: Online submission form
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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11 Arkansas State University 63.49 76% Jonesboro, AR

Arkansas State University, founded as an agricultural school in 1909, is located in Jonesboro and offers fully-accredited distance education programs, including a master’s in sports management online. The program can be completed in 12 months. The curriculum prepares students for careers in athletic administration, facility management, sports marketing and sales, marketing, and sales. The university provides networking and internship opportunities with professional teams, collegiate athletic departments, and amateur sports organizations.

The curriculum for this online sports administration master’s degree comprises 36 credit hours with topics in ethical issues, strategic leadership, daily operations management, and current issues in physical education and sports science. Students are prepared to acquire leadership and upper management positions in all areas of parks, recreation, leisure, and professional athletics. The program also emphasizes independent work and professional development. Students are required to complete six hours of internship experience of supervised participation in an approved organizational setting. This can be done in a student’s local community, but approval must be received one semester in advance. Students complete a comprehensive exam either on campus or at a selected proctoring site. The exam is intensive and may involve an oral defense.

With six start dates every year, students can enter the program on their own schedule. ASU boasts one of the lowest online tuition rates available, and students are charged the same price regardless of their residency status. Financial aid is available. Students can earn up to nine credit hours if the graduate course is no more than six years old and approved by the program director.


Program Overview
Department: College of Education & Behavioral Science
Program name: Master of Science in Sport Administration
Accrediting body: COSMA
Tuition: $288/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Field education requirements: Internship required

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Over 12 months
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Approximately 3 weeks before start of term
Work experience: Resume required

Contact
Department phone: (870) 972-3057
Department email: coe@astate.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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12 Temple University 63.17 16% Philadelphia, PA

Founded in 1884 in Philadelphia, Temple’s history is rooted in education for working students, and today the school is one of the country’s top providers of professional education, serving more than 39,000 students annually. Offered in conjunction between Temple’s business school and its school of sport, tourism, and hospitality management, the executive master of science in sport business is a unique professional degree that ranks as the largest provider of sport management education in the Philadelphia area. Temple’s master's in sports management online is designed to meet the needs of mid- and senior-level sports administrators, and applicants should ideally hold at least five years of industry experience. Students come from a variety of fields, including professional sports, college athletics, sport analytics, and venue management.

The 30-credit curriculum requires 10 courses, split between sports industry and business. The 18-credit sports industry core covers topics in financial and economic systems, understanding consumers, legal issues, data analytics, the sports workplace, and sports development. Twelve credits of business courses focus on statistics, HR management, global business, financial analysis, and marketing management. While students are required to take the courses in statistics and sport workplace during the first semester, learners may take the rest of the coursework in any order.

The program uses a fully online delivery mode that combines synchronous weekly meetings with asynchronous coursework that can be completed at any time. Courses last five weeks each and are offered one at a time, with students typically completing three courses each semester. All online content is available in a mobile-friendly format, making it possible for students to complete coursework on the go. With full-time study, candidates can finish the program in 13 months, though part time students have up to four years to complete the degree.


Program Overview
Program name: Executive Master of Science in Sports Business
Tuition: $1,114/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 13-15 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Phone: (215) 204-3315
Email: michelle.rosar@temple.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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13 Gonzaga University 62.93 59% Spokane, WA

Gonzaga University, located in Spokane, Washington, is a Jesuit Catholic institution accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Gonzaga's master’s in sports management online degree is offered as a master of arts in sport and athletic administration. The interdisciplinary curriculum combines traditional sports management subjects with educational and organizational theory. With a liberal arts basis, the program prepares students for a wide variety of career opportunities in professional sports leagues and franchises, sporting goods manufacturing, sport consulting firms, and college and university athletic departments.

Gonzaga’s online master’s degree in sports administration requires 31 credit hours and can be pursued completely online. Students can complete the program in two years. Online students must also complete an internship in a sport, athletic, or entertainment environment. Gonzaga ensures that the online program remains exclusive and student-focused by only admitting between 20 and 25 students a year.

Admission requirements include holding a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, two letters of recommendation, an admissions questionnaire, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. If a student doesn’t meet the GPA requirement, they can submit GRE or MAT scores. Unlike many other accredited online master’s in sports management programs, Gonzaga also requires applicants to submit a three- to five-minute YouTube video answering predetermined interview questions. Students can start the program in the fall semester only.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education
Program name: MA in Sport & Athletic Administration
Accrediting body: NWCCU
Tuition: $970/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 31 credits
Field education requirements: Internship required

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: 2-years
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: May 22
GPA: Minimum 3.0
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT required for students with below 3.0 GPA
Work experience: Resume required

Contact
Program director phone: (509) 313-6283
Program director email: nordstrom@gonzaga.edu, Heidi Nordstrom
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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14 Georgia Southern University 62.32 59% Statesboro, GA

Georgia Southern University enrolls nearly 2,500 graduate students annually. The school is located in Statesboro. Offerings include an online sports management master’s degree that prepares students for sports business, providing the type of practical experience and academic preparation that makes for effective leaders and administrators. Graduates pursue successful careers in facilities and event management; marketing, promotion, and advertising; and sports media and communication.

This program requires students to earn 36 credit hours. Students take eight courses in the major core, with topics including research analysis, sport law, risk management, marketing, revenue generation, and strategic management. The remaining hours are completed through elective choices, chosen in consultation with an academic advisor, which enables students to craft a concentration area or pursue more in-depth understanding of fundamental topics and skills. The program focuses on teaching clear and professional communication and the ability to apply creative and critical thinking in tackling real challenges in the field.

The priority application deadline is March 1, the final deadline is July 1. The program begins during the fall quarter. Required application materials include a statement of purpose, proof of previous college work and related professional experience, and GRE or GMAT scores less than five years old. GSU’s master’s in sports management online program is routinely recognized as one of the most affordable programs of its kind. Tuition is priced per credit hour and dependent on a student’s residency status. Financial assistance is available. As part of the university’s dedication to student success, every learner gets their own counselor, who helps you through application, course registration, and graduation.


Program Overview
Department: College of Health and Human Sciences
Program name: Master of Science, Sport Management
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $410/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Priority deadline: March 1; final deadline: July 1
Standardized tests: GRE or GMAT required
Work experience: Resume required, sport industry experience preferred

Contact
Department phone: (912) 478-1101
Department email: cgipson@georgiasouthern.edu, Christina Gipson
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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15 Nova Southeastern University 61.25 51% Fort Lauderdale, FL

Canisius College, located in Buffalo, New York, is a Jesuit Catholic school that was founded in 1870. The school offers an online sports management master's degree within its School of Education. Core courses include leadership in sport, strategic sport marketing, risk management/contract negotiation, and more. Elective courses cover management of sport facilities, organizational behavior, and rules compliance. A sports internship is required; it can be completed domestically or abroad. Students are encouraged to use Canisius’ network of more than 400 alumni working in the sports industry to fulfill internship requirements. For students who hold an initial physical education certification, completion of this graduate degree satisfies the requirements for teacher certification in New York. One unique aspect of Canisius’ sports management master’s degree online program is its focus on service. A core learning goal of the program is to demonstrate an understanding of the moral and ethical implications of sports policy and a willingness to use the skills students learn to serve society. Canisius supports these learning goals with online courses like leadership in sport and morals and ethics in sport. Students must earn 33 credits to graduate, this includes three credits of elective courses. The program includes a business management core that is AACSB accredited.

The online application is free to submit. Applicants must also supply official undergraduate transcripts and two letters of recommendation. Students can submit applications for program state dates in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education & Human Services
Program name: Master’s in Sport Administration
Accrediting body: MSCHE
Tuition: $795/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33 credits
Field education requirements: Internship required

Program Length
Program length: 1 year
Program start dates: Spring, summer, fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
Work experience: Resume required

Contact
Department admissions counselor phone: (716) 888-2543
Department admissions counselor email: sibbittb@canisius.edu, Bryan Sibbitts
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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16 Virginia Commonwealth University 60.63 11% Richmond, VA

Virginia Commonwealth University, located in Richmond, was founded in 1838. The school offers a variety of remote academic programs, including a master’s in sports management online. The program is administered through the School of Education and the Center for Sport Leadership. Combining fundamental theory with hands-on field experience, the curriculum prepares students to manage sports facilities in a wide variety of settings and manage amateur and professional athletes.

This 36-credit program takes an interdisciplinary approach and focuses on leadership, interpersonal skills, and collaboration. Courses include ethical issues in the field, foundation of coaching, and sports media and communication. Only half of the degree plan consists of required coursework; students have the option to build a concentration that suits their interests through electives. Students also have the option of participating in externships and independent studies. A comprehensive exam is also required, which will be evaluated by two to three faculty members on a pass/fail basis. Three courses are offered every semester, which means students can finish in two years. Learners can choose to pursue a dual-degree, earning a master of business administration in addition to the M.Ed.

Founded in 1999, CVU’s Center for Sport Leadership is one of the top institution of its kind in the United States. The center regularly hosts guest speakers from professional sports teams, the Olympics, and the media, including NBA player Charles Barkley and PGA golfer Peter Jacobsen, which enables students to network with professionals in the field. This can lead to professional opportunities like internships or even jobs after graduation. Tuition for this online sports management master’s program is based on residency status. Students residing outside Virginia should make sure their state allows them to take online courses at VCU. Three start dates are offered annually and a GRE or GMAT score is part of the application requirements.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education, Center for Sport Leadership
Program name: Master of Education in Sport Leadership
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $569/ credit

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Part-time
Program length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall: April 15; spring: November 1; summer: March 15
GPA: Minimum 3.0
Standardized tests: GRE or MAT required
Work experience: Resume required

Contact
Department phone: (804) 828-7821
Department email: mcfaddenmd@vcu.edu, Maggie McFadden
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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17 Concordia University - Irvine 60.46 68% Irvine, CA

Concordia University - Irvine, located in California, is a fully-accredited and comprehensive academic institution that enrolls nearly 5,000 students annually, a substantial portion of which are distance learners. The school offers a master's in sports management online degree that's focused on coaching and athletics administration.

Courses are offered entirely online or through a combination of remote and on-campus options. Students have several opportunities to customize their degree plan, earning either a master of science or a master of arts depending on the track they choose. The degree plan totals 36 credit hours: 20 in the core and 16 units of electives. Course topics include ethical issues, legal aspects, and advanced exercise physiology. The program is focused on independent work and research. One-fourth of the degree plan is dedicated to work leading towards a continuing project, enabling students to pursue the interests and professional experiences that benefits their career goals. Students also have the opportunity to participate in on-site (locations vary) seasonal intensives, which provide a semester's worth of learning in three days. Students are also encouraged to vacation near the Irvine campus in order to take a week-long intensive. A capstone project is required for graduation, along with the completion of a professional portfolio.

Tuition is priced at the same per-credit rate for all distance learners, regardless of residency status, and financial aid is available. Applications for this online sports management master’s program are accepted on a rolling basis, and there are four start dates throughout the year. Concordia considers up to eight transfer credits from previous college work or applicable professional and military training experience. Online students enjoy academic support in the form of course advisement, career services, and research resources.


Program Overview
Department: School of Arts and Sciences, Exercise and Sport Science Division
Program name: Master’s in Coaching and Athletic Administration
Available concentrations: MS or MA
Accrediting body: WASC
Tuition: $525/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 15-18 months
Program start dates: Spring, summer, fall, winter

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.75

Contact
Department phone: (949) 214-3575
Department email: John.Kulstad@cui.edu, John Kulstad
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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18 Canisius College 59.14 61% Buffalo, NY

Canisius College, located in Buffalo, New York, is a Jesuit Catholic school that was founded in 1870. The school offers an online sports management master's degree within its School of Education. Core courses include leadership in sport, strategic sport marketing, risk management/contract negotiation, and more. Elective courses cover management of sport facilities, organizational behavior, and rules compliance. A sports internship is required; it can be completed domestically or abroad. Students are encouraged to use Canisius’ network of more than 400 alumni working in the sports industry to fulfill internship requirements. For students who hold an initial physical education certification, completion of this graduate degree satisfies the requirements for teacher certification in New York. One unique aspect of Canisius’ sports management master’s degree online program is its focus on service. A core learning goal of the program is to demonstrate an understanding of the moral and ethical implications of sports policy and a willingness to use the skills students learn to serve society. Canisius supports these learning goals with online courses like leadership in sport and morals and ethics in sport. Students must earn 33 credits to graduate, this includes three credits of elective courses. The program includes a business management core that is AACSB accredited.

The online application is free to submit. Applicants must also supply official undergraduate transcripts and two letters of recommendation. Students can submit applications for program state dates in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.


Program Overview
Department: School of Education & Human Services
Program name: Master’s in Sport Administration
Accrediting body: MSCHE
Tuition: $795/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33 credits
Field education requirements: Internship required

Program Length
Program length: 1 year
Program start dates: Spring, summer, fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
Work experience: Resume required

Contact
Department admissions counselor phone: (716) 888-2543
Department admissions counselor email: sibbittb@canisius.edu, Bryan Sibbitts
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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19 Northeastern University 58.91 83% Boston, MA

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University is one of the premier academic and research institutions in the United States. Its Global Network offers a comprehensive list of graduate programs for distance learners, including an online sports management master’s program. The degree is earned through the College of Professional Study in collaboration with the university’s Center for Sports in Society. The master of sports leadership teaches students to build and maintain effective teams, handle ethical challenges, navigate legal and financial issues, and foster diversity. Students are taught through a combination of classroom theory and hands-on application.

The curriculum requires a minimum of 45 quarter hours, and students can earn their degree in one year with full-time enrollment or two years as part-time learners. Required coursework includes the ethical leader, sports law, the power of social media, bystander strategies for the prevention of gender-based violence, and more. Students in this master’s in sports management online program can choose from two concentrations: professional sports administration or collegiate athletics administration. Students who choose the administration track develop event planning, risk management, and fiscal best practices in order to function as team members and leaders in stadiums and other sports facilities. Regardless of their concentration, all students are required to complete at least one internship, coordinated in their local community with the help of faculty, as well as a comprehensive capstone project.

Northeastern’s Global Network boasts a network of 3,000 employers in over 150 countries across the globe, providing access to a variety of professional and academic opportunities. All distancer learners pay the same per-credit tuition rate, and financial assistance is available. The university also offers a number of student services, including career and internship resources, 24/7 Blackboard support, and the Global Student Success program for international students.


Program Overview
Department: College of Professional Studies
Program name: Master of Sports Leadership
Accrediting body: CSMA
Tuition: $646/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 45 quarter hours

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Full-time: 1 year; part-time: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Approximately six weeks before the start of the term
Work experience: Resume required

Contact
Admissions phone: (877) 668-7727
Admissions email: cpsadmissions@neu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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20 University of Northern Colorado 58.15 40% Greeley, CO

Located in Greeley (about an hour north of Denver), UNC is a public college that’s home to an online master of science in sport and exercise science with a sport administration emphasis. Exploring general business skills along with specialized industry knowledge, the program prepares students to assume leadership positions in collegiate, commercial, professional, and Olympic athletic organizations. This accelerated degree is available fully online and can be completed in 12 months of full-time study. UNC counts sport management alumni among all the major U.S. athletic organizations, including the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL.

This online master's in sports management requires 21 credits of emphasis courses and nine credits of electives. The program core consists of seven courses that focus on fundamental industry topics, such as management ethics, promotion and marketing, facilities and equipment management, and public relations. Electives allow students to specialize their degree with directed studies in related topics. Common elective courses include financial management for sports organizations, event development and management, and sport and higher education. Degree candidates interested in topics not covered by electives can also perform their own self-directed independent study (worth up to four credits) in an approved subject area. A sports and exercise science internship can also fulfill up to six elective credits, allowing students to gain supervised experience in a professional setting.

UNC offers both thesis and non-thesis options, with the thesis fulfilling six elective credits. The thesis track requires candidates to complete a comprehensive research project that includes extensive data collection and analysis. Students complete thesis work under the supervision of an advisor, who must first approve their research topic. The non-thesis track requires candidates to complete a comprehensive examination that consists of a literature review and an analysis paper, both focused on major topics from the sports administration curriculum.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sports and Exercise
Available concentrations: Sports administration
Tuition: $555/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 12-15 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (970) 351-1722
Email: alan.morse@unco.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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21 Drexel University 57.91 46% Philadelphia, PA

Founded in 1891, Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is one of the 15 largest private educational institutions in America. More than 5,000 of the school's 26,000 students are enrolled online. Drexel Online is a pioneer in providing online programs; the school has been offering online degrees and courses since 1996. Drexel offers an MS degree in sports management online, with course topics including the globalization of sport and sports ticket sales and strategies.

Drexel’s online sports management master’s program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year. The school uses this format so that students can complete courses more quickly. This online sports management master's degree is designed to apply business fundamentals, law and labor relations, and emerging technology to the sports industry. Online students must attend a week-long summer residency in Philadelphia once the core curriculum is completed. The residency includes educational and work sessions. Students must also complete a capstone requirement to graduate and may choose from among four capstone options: a sport industry practicum, a project or research thesis, a seminar in international business, or an independent study in sport management.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution, preferably with a minimum 3.0 GPA. While not required to apply, two years of prior work experience is recommended. Drexel also recommends that students submit scores from the GRE or GMAT exams. Applicants can apply and enroll at the beginning of any of the school’s four quarters. New online students are currently eligible for a discounted tuition rate that is 25 percent less than the school’s regular tuition rate. Special tuition rates are also available for DU alumni and military service members.


Program Overview
Department: Center for Hospitality and Sport Management
Program name: MS in Sport Management
Accrediting body: MSCHE
Tuition: $921/ credit

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 45 quarter credits
Field education requirements: Residency requirement

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, winter, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Preferred 3.0
Work experience: Two years recommended

Contact
Admissions phone: (877) 215-0009
Admissions email: DUonline@drexel.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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22 Western Carolina University 57.78 50% Cullowhee, NC

Cullowhee, North Carolina is home to WCU, a public college that serves a body of more than 11,000 students through both on-campus and distance education programs. Candidates in the online master of science in sport management program develop the skills to administer athletic programs, manage organizations, and execute projects. Admission is open to students already employed in the field and those looking to enter it, and no sport management background is required. This accelerated degree can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. WCU emphasizes flexibility for working students and requires no minimum semester course load, giving candidates up to six years total to complete the program. This fully online degree offers rolling admissions, allowing for three convenient start dates throughout the year.

The sports management master's degree online requires 30 total credits divided between 10 courses. Students explore major industry topics, such as sport administration and governance, project planning and estimating, sport marketing, and sport in the global marketplace. Degree candidates also complete a sport management internship as part of the curriculum, allowing them to gain hands-on experience through supervised work with a sport management organization. The internship requires 200 total hours and takes place over three semesters. Students employed in the industry typically arrange internships at their place of employment, though WCU can assist in identifying other appropriate sports organizations. The curriculum also includes a certificate in project management, further increasing graduates’ professional marketability.

Online learners have access to substantial campus resources, including free online tutoring in business and accounting. The school also offers writing tutoring through its Online Writing Center, which assists with all aspects of the writing process. Tutoring at WCU is available entirely online, though distance students can also visit the on-campus tutoring center.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sports Management
Tuition: $333/credit in-state; $1,000/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum recommended
Standardized tests: GRE or GMAT recommended

Contact
Phone: (828) 227-3731
Email: aowatson@email.wcu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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23 University of Southern Mississippi 57.55 42% Hattiesburg, MS

The University of Southern Mississippi, located in Hattiesburg, has a tradition of excellence in sports performance, research, and education. The university has a diverse population of over 15,000 students and boasts a comprehensive catalog of academic programs, including an online sports management master’s degree. The master's in sports management online prepares students for careers as stadium events coordinators, recreation specialists, special events coordinators, and more.

The master of science in sport management requires a minimum of 33 credit hours: 24 in the core and nine elective hours. Required coursework include topics in financial management, marketing and public relations, research methods and statistics, and sport venue and event management. The university is home to the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security, which opened in 2006 and is the only research and solution center of its kind in the United States to promote professional opportunities and academic research. The university also offers a specialization in sport event security management, which allows students to be effective leaders in risk management, threat identification, and emergency response planning. Students may also earn a number of professional certificates through the center. USM offers students in this sports management master’s degree online program the opportunity to gain a dual-degree, adding a master of business administration.

Application requirements include an accredited baccalaureate degree, a minimum GPA of 2.75, and a GRE/GMAT/MAT score. There are three start dates every year, and tuition is the same for all distance learners. USM is a recognized as one of the most military-friendly schools in the country. Qualified applicants will find assistance through the Center for Military Veterans, Service members and Families.


Program Overview
Department: Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Sport Management
Program name: MS Sport Management
Available concentrations: Sport Event Security Management
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: In-state: $426/ credit; out-of-state: $919/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33 credits
Field education requirements: Practicum/internship required

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall: July 1; spring: December 1; summer: May 1
GPA: Minimum 2.75 over final 60 credits
Standardized tests: GRE required

Contact
Department phone: (601) 266-5578
Department email: Dennis.Phillips@usm.edu, Dennis Phillips
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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24 Fresno Pacific University 56.74 43% Fresno, CA

Founded as a bible school by the Mennonite Brethren Church in 1860, Fresno Pacific University is a comprehensive liberal arts institution offering a number of academic programs, including an online master’s degree in sports administration. The program prepare students for careers as athletic directors or front-office administrative professionals in many public and private-sector environments.

The curriculum requires students to earn 30 credits. Classes are entirely online and asynchronous, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace, finishing in about five semesters. The master of arts core includes three kinesiology courses, which focus on research methods, ethics, and contemporary legal issues in the field. Students then build upon this foundation with more specialized courses, which include sport career development and sport sales and sponsorship. Two practicum experiences are also required, and students must be working or volunteering in the sport administration field while pursuing their online sports management master's. Coursework culminates in a comprehensive exam, which tests student's abilities to comprehend, explain, and synthesize their learnings. The exam can be retaken one time.

FPU’s online sports administration master’s program has three start dates every year. No GRE or GMAT scores are required and applicants do not need to have a background in sports administration, but they should hold a Bachelor of arts/science in kinesiology or business. Tuition is priced at a flat per-credit rate for all distance learners, regardless of residency status. Financial assistance includes scholarships for online students. The school has a generous transfer policy that includes credit for military training experience. A number of student services are available, including online tutoring and a success coach who provides assistance from registration to graduation.


Program Overview
Department: School of Natural Sciences
Program name: MA in Sport Administration
Accrediting body: WASC Senior College and University Commission
Tuition: $560/ unit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Field education requirements: Structured work experience required

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Five semesters
Program start dates: Rolling

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.75
Work experience: Resume required

Contact
Admissions phone: (888) 368-0426
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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25 DePaul University 56.41 25% Chicago, IL

A private college based in Chicago, DePaul serves around 23,000 students. DePaul is also home to a sizeable online education program that includes the master of science in sport, fitness, and recreation leadership, a unique education-based degree intended for professionals employed in organizations such as school or college athletic departments, health clubs, recreation centers, and athletic clubs. The program's focus differs from business-based programs, instead approaching sports from a holistic perspective that emphasizes the care of groups and individuals in recreational and athletic settings.

DePaul’s master's in sports management online requires 58 total credits, consisting of 48 credits of core courses, four credits of on-campus seminar courses, and a six-credit culminating project. The program core includes 12 courses that cover a variety of topics in both management and athletic care, including facility and risk management, strategic communication and marketing, psychology of sport behavior, and advanced health and science concepts in sport. The culminating project takes the form of a research-driven thesis. Students perform work under faculty supervision, exploring a topic specifically related to their personal career goals. At the end of the program, candidates are required to present their findings to peers and faculty.

The degree is offered primarily online, though students are required to attend two on-campus seminars in Chicago. Lasting three days each, these on-campus sessions take place at the end of each academic year, offering both academic and professional opportunities for degree candidates. The campus colloquium includes social and networking events, guest lectures, and final research project presentations. First-year students observe second-year presentations to gain a better understanding of the type of work expected. Different campus sessions bring together different lecturers and other professionals from Chicago’s active sports and recreation community, ensuring new experiences at each seminar and new opportunities to build professional connections.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sports, Fitness, and Recreation Leadership
Tuition: $685/credit
Credit requirements: 48 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (773) 325-7740
Email: studentaccounts@depaul.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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26 Wayne State University 56.10 21% Detroit, MI

Based in Detroit, WSU is a major public college that enrolls more than 27,000 students annually. The school’s online offerings include a master of arts in sports administration that prepares students for leadership positions in professional, commercial, interscholastic, and intercollegiate athletic organizations. While all courses are available online, WSU also maintains several extension centers in cities outside of Detroit, including Warren, Farmington Hills, Livonia, and Clinton Township. These satellite campuses offer opportunities for online students to engage with campus resources, and some host on-campus courses and events.

The 30-credit online master's in sports management curriculum includes 24 credits of core courses and six credits of electives. The program core covers fundamental and advanced topics in the field, such as risk management in physical education and sport, concepts of supervision and management, and equity and access in sport. Six elective credits allow students to explore additional areas of professional interests, with course options including collegiate athletic administration, principles of coaching, media design and communication, and sport event management. WSU offers multiple opportunities for experiential learning, including a sports administration internship and a clinical experience. Required as part of the core curriculum, the six-credit internship has students apply their course learning to hands-on work in a professional sports environment. The internship lasts two semesters and requires faculty approval. The clinical experience counts for 1-3 elective credits and allows students to gain further professional experience.

WSU offers practical support services for online learners, including an online student orientation and dedicated online advising. Academic advisors assist with applications, enrollment, and course selection processes, helping new students navigate the unique online learning environment. Advisors are available for counseling through both phone and email, and WSU employs advisors specifically to help graduate students. Online learners can access several other useful resources, including library services, scholarships, and financial aid.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Arts in Sports Administrations
Tuition: $742/credit in-state; $1,487/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (313) 577-2424
Email: askcoe@wayne.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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27 Texas Woman's University 55.88 63% Denton, TX

Founded in 1901 as a women’s college, TWU now admits students of all genders, but the school remains the country’s largest public college primarily for women, with a student population of over 15,000. TWU’s master of science in kinesiology with an emphasis in sports management explores both the business and social elements of sports, with particular emphasis on training women to serve as leaders who enact change in the industry. This interdisciplinary program draws together foundational knowledge in relevant subjects, including communication, business, marketing, and law. Students also take advantage of TWU’s proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, which serves as a hub of sports activity in Texas.

This 36-credit, fully online program offers significant flexibility, with just two required core courses: methods of research and applied statistical principles. For the sports management emphasis, students select 18-24 credits of elective courses from a variety of available offerings, such as professional affiliation, theory of coaching, sport psychology, and the sport industry. The wide selection of electives allows candidates to tailor the degree to their professional interests while gaining a widely applicable skill set. Other notable course options include the independent study, which allows students to explore subjects that fall outside the range of elective offerings, and the professional internship in sport management, which includes 120 hours of supervised field work with a professional sport or athletic organization.

The online master's in sports management ends with 3-6 credits of culminating experiences, which may include a professional affiliation practicum, a special topics seminar, a professional paper and project, or a thesis. The practicum functions similarly to the internship, allowing candidates to gain supervised experience in a clinical, educational, or recreational sports setting. The special topics seminar varies between semesters but always focuses on a major program subject, comprising three lectures per week. The project paper and thesis also functional similarly, though the thesis involves more research and equates to six credits, while the project paper equates only to three credits.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Kinesiology
Available concentrations: Sport management
Tuition: $260/credit in-state; $675/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 30-36 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (940) 898-2575
Email: dnichols@twu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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28 West Virginia University 55.80 34% Morgantown, WV

A public research college based in Morgantown, WVU is home to over 28,000 students at its main campus alone. The school also operates several additional campuses, along with an extensive online learning program. WVU’s innovative master of science in sports management emphasizes hands-on experience and collaboration, with a curriculum based around industry best practices, modern research, and the acquisition of practical skills. Unlike many online master's programs in sports management, WVU offers the same in-state tuition rate to online students regardless of residency status, making the degree a practical choice for applicants around the country.

The program uses a cohort format, and students work through the curriculum as teams, taking most courses together in a set sequence. The cohort model allows for deeper connections with peers and offers greater opportunities for collaborative learning. A major part of cohort work is the practicum experience, a six-credit learning experience that lasts throughout the duration of the program. Rooted in WVU’s principles of best practices and practical learning, the practicum functions as an in-depth field research project that has students work with a real-world sports organization. Examples of previous practicums include branding development for local athletic programs, sports facility upgrade and renovation projects, and ticket sales marketing strategies. While students complete their practicum projects individually, cohort members work together to share and critique research methodologies, strategies, and outcomes.

While the degree is delivered primarily online, candidates are required to attend two on-campus sessions. The first takes place prior to the program start date and serves as an orientation, allowing students to meet with classmates and faculty for socializing, networking, and a general introduction to the program. The second on-campus session occurs during the summer semester and lasts two weeks. This intensive residency offers opportunities for group projects, workshops, guest lectures, and other activities, along with further chances to socialize and network.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sport Management
Tuition: $546/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Phone: (304) 293-3393
Email: lindsay.augustine@mail.wvu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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29 Jacksonville State University 55.64 63% Jacksonville, AL

Based in Jacksonville, Alabama, JSU is a public college that enrolls around 8,500 students annually. The school’s sizable distance education program offers several fully online degrees, including a master of science with a major in sport management. This professionally-focused degree develops the knowledge and abilities necessary for success in the sports industry. Available fully online, the program uses an asynchronous delivery format that requires no face-to-face class meetings.

The degree curriculum requires 30-33 credits, with a 10-course program core covering topics such as law and ethics in wellness and sports studies, sport facility administration and design, sport promotion and event planning, and administration of athletics. Another important part of the curriculum is the internship experience, available either in sport management or sport marketing and advertising. The internship offers professional experience and learning opportunities in a real sports industry environment.

The master's in sports management online also offers an optional master’s teacher certification in sports management, which requires students to complete one additional survey course in special education. The master’s certification pathway is open only to applicants who hold bachelor’s-level teacher certification or higher. Candidates pursuing the certification track must show at least two years of full-time, professional educational work to gain admission to the program.

JSU’s online learners take advantage of a multitude of services and resources, including online orientation, technical support, library services, academic advising, and tutoring. Admissions counselors can help with the enrollment process, while the online orientation serves to introduce JSU’s distance education platform. Academic advisors assist with course selections and offer general academic strategies, such as finding a balance between work and school. Tutoring services are available both on campus and online to assist students in subjects such as business, writing, and technology. All online learners also have access to both JSU’s library and the Alabama Virtual Library, providing a wealth of research materials.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sports Management
Available concentrations: Class teacher certification and non-certification options
Tuition: $309/credit in-state; $618/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 31-34 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: GMAT or GRE

Contact
Phone: (256) 782-5517
Email: roverton1@jsu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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30 Washington State University 54.49 20% Pullman, WA

Based in Pullman, WSU enrolls over 20,000 students through on-campus programs and over 3,000 through its online Global Campus program. The school’s online offerings include a master of arts in sports management that integrates theory, practical skills, research, and policy. This flexible program is ideal for both industry professionals and academics, preparing graduates to participate in the field of sport management as it suits their personal and professional interests.

WSU offers both thesis and non-thesis tracks. The thesis pathway is typically suited to candidates interested more in research, as it prepares graduates for doctoral work, while the non-thesis pathway is geared toward those who plan to enter the industry immediately after graduation. Regardless of track, the program requires a minimum of 34 credits that cover four main areas: the research core, the theoretical and social foundations core, the sports management core, and sports management electives. Students in the thesis track take fewer electives in favor of additional research courses, though both pathways end with a four-credit culminating experience: either the thesis or a final exam.

Thesis candidates complete an extensive four-credit research project that addresses a relevant area of sport management. Requiring faculty approval and supervision, this in-depth project includes significant research and written documentation of outcomes. After completing their research, candidates must orally present and defend their thesis to faculty members in a departmental colloquium.

Non-thesis candidates complete four credits in special problems and directed study, along with a comprehensive final examination. Directed study topics must be approved by a faculty member and typically include relevant areas of student interest not covered in the general program curriculum. The final exam is offered as either a written essay or an essay paired with an oral presentation; both formats require degree candidates to demonstrate a deep understanding of overall course materials, integrating knowledge from the program core, supplementary subject areas, and research literature.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Arts in Education
Available concentrations: Sport management
Tuition: $587/credit in-state; $559/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 34 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (509) 335-9195
Email: gradstudies@wsu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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31 Bryan College - Dayton 54.49 100% Dayton, TN

Founded in honor of American politician William Jennings Bryan in 1930, Bryan is a Christian-affiliated college that serves around 1,700 students from its Dayton, Tennessee campus as well as an online program. Accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, the school’s MBA in sports management builds the strategic leadership skills necessary to manage and administer athletic programs of all types. The program stresses general business competencies along with specialized knowledge in the context of sports business. Delivered fully online, the degree uses an intensive, accelerated format, with nine-week courses and multiple start dates throughout the year. Taking two courses per term, students can complete the program in 18 months.

The sports management master's degree online curriculum requires a minimum of 36 credits, divided between business courses and sports management courses. Eight of the degree’s 12 total courses are dedicated to general MBA concepts, including accounting information for decision makers, business in a global environment, and biblical/worldview principles of management. The remaining four courses cover specialized topics in sports management, including leading the sports organization, sports finance, sports marketing, and sports facility and event management. The curriculum explores the intricacies of sports management skills and tools, such as financial and economic indicators, quantitative and analytical analysis methods, organizational problem solving, and strategic planning.

Bryan recognizes the challenges working students face when balancing school with professional obligations, and the school’s Academic Success Center offers tutoring and other academic assistance to students of all levels. Tutors assist both on-campus and online students with relevant MBA subjects, such as math, accounting, economics, and writing. Distance learners have access to a wide selection of additional resources, including academic advising, disability services, and library services.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Business Administration
Available concentrations: Sports management
Tuition: $545/credit
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 18 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (423) 775-2041
Email: Online contact form
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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32 Concordia University - Chicago 54.21 72% River Forest, IL

Located in River Forest, Illinois, Concordia University - Chicago enrolls more than 3,500 distance learners annually. The school offers a sports management master’s degree online that prepares students by teaching the necessary administrative, managerial, and business knowledge. Career opportunities include positions in sports media, sports marketing, events management, and more.

The curriculum requires students to earn 36 credits, and at its core, the degree is structured as a master of business administration, where students learn the fundamental theories and best practices related to organizational behavior and the global economy. Multiple specializations are offered, of which sports management is one. The specialization has students take additional courses like economics of sports, sport finance, the essentials in law of sports, and diversity in sports. The creation of an e-portfolio and the completion of a comprehensive capstone project are also requirements of this sports management master’s online program. Students also have the option to pursue dual specialization, with options in school business management, entrepreneurship, and digital marketing. Concordia offers an accelerated one-year option, enabling students with extensive professional experience to gain their MBA quickly.

The school offers a variety of professional and co-educational opportunities to its online students. As part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the university provides a wide range of opportunities for remote spiritual guidance and ministry. Tuition is priced at a per credit rate, and a price guarantee is offered; the price remains the same for continued enrollment. There are several start dates throughout the year, and the school requires neither an application fee or GRE score. A number of financial aid opportunities are available. The school awards approximately $17 million in assistance every year.


Program Overview
Department: College of Business
Program name: MBA in Sports Management
Available concentrations: None
Accrediting body: HLC; Program is candidate for accreditation through Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
Tuition: $690/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 48 credits

Program Length
Program options: Part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Spring, summer, fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.85 or graduate degree with 3.0 GPA
Work experience: Resume required

Contact
Admissions phone: (708) 263-6758
Admissions email: Online.Info@CUChicago.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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33 Eastern New Mexico University 53.95 86% Portales, NM

Located near the Texas border in the city of Portales, ENMU is home to a master of science in physical education with an emphasis in sport administration. This flexible degree is available either fully online or in a blended format that mixes online and on-campus courses. Online learning at ENMU is asynchronous, offering pre-recorded lectures and no required login times.

The 36-credit curriculum includes core courses, sports administration emphasis courses, electives, and a culminating project. The program core builds general background in sport management, including courses in the social and psychological aspects of sport, ethics in sport, and sport law and risk management. Emphasis courses cover the business side of the industry, with topics such as finance and economics, facility management, marketing, and event management. Electives allow students to pursue specialized topics of interest, such as sport and the media. Students may also complete an internship to fulfill three elective credits, gaining experience in a professional sports environment.

The online master's in sports management concludes with one of two culminating experiences: either a thesis or a capstone project. The thesis, worth six credits, requires candidates to perform a comprehensive research study into an approved sports management topic. Students work with a faculty thesis advisor throughout the course of their research and must present and defend their findings at the end of the program. The three-credit capstone project takes a more experiential approach, requiring candidates to develop and implement an administrative or management project for a sports organization. Students in the capstone pathway must take one additional elective course and pass comprehensive final exams that cover all core program topics. In general, the thesis path is intended for candidates interested in the academic and research side of sports management, many of whom pursue doctoral programs after graduation. The capstone path is best suited to professional degree candidates who plan to enter the sports management industry upon graduation.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Physical Education
Available concentrations: Sports administration
Tuition: $299/credit
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: GMAT or GRE

Contact
Phone: (575) 562-2683
Email: beth.birky@enmu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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34 University of Massachusetts - Amherst 53.60 37% Amherst, MA

Located in Amherst, UMass enrolls over 29,000 students annually, and the school is also home to a sizeable online education program. The online MBA with a focus in sports management offers a comprehensive, experience-based curriculum ideal for both students in the sports industry and those looking to enter the field. The program offers both fully online and hybrid delivery options, and students who reside in Massachusetts can mix online courses with on-campus courses at satellite learning centers in Boston, Shrewsbury, or Springfield. Adding to the program’s flexibility, UMass offers three start dates throughout the year in the fall, spring, and summer.

The degree requires 39 total credits, with 30 credits dedicated to core MBA courses and nine credits to sports management focus courses. The MBA core builds general business skills through courses in leadership and organizational behavior, business law, human resources management, and strategic information management. The sports management focus allows students to choose three elective courses relevant to their professional interests, with seven courses available fully online, including sports analytics, consumer sales research, and applied sport market research. All applicants must meet foundational requirements in accounting and finance, which are typically satisfied by undergraduate business credits. Students who lack these prerequisites may complete them online before beginning the MBA core.

For applicants uncertain about pursuing the full master's in sports management online, UMass offers the option to take two courses prior to enrolling, allowing potential applicants to determine if the program meets their professional needs. This trial session also allows students to get a feel for the school’s online learning platform. Online learners can take the courses before applying to the MBA or while their application is being processed. Any credit earned is applied toward the MBA, making this a useful option for candidates who wish to complete the degree as soon as possible.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Business Administration
Available concentrations: Sports management
Tuition: $900/credit
Credit requirements: 45 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: GMAT or GRE

Contact
Phone: (413) 545-5608
Email: mba@isenberg.umass.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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35 Concordia University - Saint Paul 53.45 98% Saint Paul, MN

Concordia University - Saint Paul was established in 1893 and offers a combination of liberal arts education and career-focused training. Concordia is a leader in distance learning and offers a number of academic programs, including a master’s in sports management online. The program focuses on professional collaboration and relationship building. All faculty are active professionals who lend real-world experience to their courses and aid students in finding professional opportunities. Ninety-two percent of graduates receive jobs in the field within six months of earning their degree.

This master of arts in sport management program is completely online and accelerated; students can earn the degree in 18 months. Courses are taught in a seven-week structure and the curriculum consists of 33 credit hours. Course topics include research design methods, managerial finance, sports sales, and sports facilities management and planning. Students, under advisement from a faculty mentor, must also complete a capstone thesis or project on a topic of their choice, which includes independent research and presentation. No GRE or GMAT scores are required for entry, but applicants are required to submit official college transcripts, a personal statement, and a current professional resume. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is recommended.

Tuition for this sports management master’s degree online program is the same for all students; active military personnel receive a substantial discount. Veterans also receive aid, and Concordia is known for its flexible transfer policies, which enables students to earn the maximum amount of credits for previous college work and professional/military experience. Financial assistance, including specific scholarships, are also available for online transfer students.


Program Overview
Department: Department of Sport Management
Program name: Master of Arts in Sport Management
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $475/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 33 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: 18 months

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 3.0
Work experience: Resume required

Contact
Admissions phone: (888) 859-0641
Admissions email: onlineinfo@csp.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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36 Southern Connecticut State University 52.81 12% New Haven, CT

Based in New Haven, SCSU offers an online master of science in sport and entertainment management that introduces both theoretical and practical concepts for leadership and administration in sport organizations, emphasizing a global, ethical approach to business. Requiring a minimum of 36 credits, the degree curriculum includes the 21-credit program core, 12 credits of concentration courses, and a culminating course.

The program core builds fundamental knowledge in major industry topics, including sport and entertainment law, facility and event management, and global issues in sport and entertainment. Another important core component is the practicum, which allows candidates to gain professional experience in a supervisory or administrative position in a real sports organization. Students also complete a three-credit operational research capstone course that requires them to conduct original research in an area of sports management.

Concentration courses hone in on specialized topics related to the sport industry, including governance and administration of sport and sport ethics. The concentration component also offers students the chance to customize their degree with two additional graduate elective courses taken from any academic department. Advisors help with appropriate course selections, and students can also pursue a department minor in either leadership development or event management.

The online master's in sports management culminates with either a six-credit thesis or a three-credit special project. The thesis takes place over two courses and requires candidates to complete an original research project concerning a management area related to professional interests or aspirations. Faculty advise students on the thesis and offer suggestions for appropriate research. The second course takes the form of a thesis seminar in which candidates discuss and analyze research methods, results, conclusions, and ideas for further research. The non-thesis special project also takes the form of a comprehensive research paper that requires a proposal, a final project, and a written report.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sport and Entertainment
Tuition: $324/credit in-state; $674/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 36-39 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GMAT or GRE

Contact
Phone: (203) 392-7278
Email: sportentertainmentgrad@southernct.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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37 Baker University 52.71 42% Baldwin City, KS

Founded in 1858 in Baldwin City, Kansas, Baker was the first officially established college in the state. Today, this United Methodist-affiliated college serves more than 3,000 students through both on-campus and online programs, including a master of science in sports management that prepares graduates for careers in coaching and administration, corporate sponsor relations, sports facility operations, and sport marketing and communication.

This highly flexible, fully online program uses an asynchronous course delivery format, with no required login times. Students complete work on their own schedule, though course components and assignments still have weekly due dates. Baker holds classes year-round, with new courses beginning every seven weeks. Most students complete the program in 22-24 months.

The degree requires 36 credits of core courses, covering foundational topics, such as sponsorship and revenue in sport, sports facility and event management, and legal aspects of sport business. The program core also includes a three-credit directed field experience that allows students to intern at a professional sport organization, observing and participating in the activities of the workplace. The internship offers the chance for online learners to translate theory into professional practice. Interns work under the supervision of both a faculty member and a site supervisor, who help draw connections between academic and professional work.

Baker also offers four concentration options for students pursuing their master's in sports management online: finance, human resources, healthcare administration, and leadership and organizational change. Each 12-credit concentration track includes four courses that build skills in a specific business area, allowing students to choose from a selection of relevant courses. The leadership and organization change track, for example, includes course options in executive leadership, sustainability for future success, and strategic leadership: vision to implementation. Concentration courses can be completed either concurrently with or after the completion of sport management coursework.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sport and Entertainment
Tuition: $555/credit
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (913) 491-4432
Email: business.programs@bakeru.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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38 SUNY College at Cortland 51.97 26% Cortland, NY

Based in upstate New York, SUNY Cortland is a public college that serves around 7,100 students annually. The school’s master of science in sport management is a flexible, fully online program intended for both industry professionals and those looking to enter the field. Most students enroll part time and complete the program in about two years.

The degree includes an 18-credit program core, six credits of electives, and a six-credit culminating experience. The program core introduces major industry topics and practices through courses in sport enterprise, research methods in sport management, sport law, and sport marketing. Electives range from 1-4 credits, allowing students to pursue specialized topics of interest. Some unique elective options include sport media management, sport arbitration, intercollegiate athletic management, and information technology in sport. Students may also take a three-credit independent study course to explore approved industry topics not otherwise covered by elective courses.

The six-credit culminating experience takes the form of either an internship/master’s project or a thesis in sport management. The non-thesis path offers two different options: either an internship practicum or an intensive research project. The practicum requires candidates to complete a minimum of 480 hours of supervised work with a sports organization, applying course learning to a professional environment. Interns receive guidance from both a faculty adviser and a supervisor within the organization. Students can arrange practicum experiences within their own community, and past interns have completed their work with several notable athletic organizations, including Madison Square Garden and the New York Islanders.

The research project option allows students to explore a relevant topic in sports management and complete a written report. The thesis pathway requires an extensive, research-based project, including both a proposal and a research plan, completed under the supervision of a faculty supervisor. While the thesis and the research project are similar, thesis candidates often pursue doctoral work, while most research project candidates enter the sport management industry immediately after graduation.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sport Management
Tuition: $362/credit in-state; $740/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.8 minimum
Standardized tests: GMAT or GRE

Contact
Phone: (607) 753-4780
Email: jordan.kobritz@cortland.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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39 Ohio University 51.76 42% Athens, OH

Located in Athens, Ohio University enrolls over 40,000 students annually, 6,000 of which are part of the university’s distance learning program. Ohio also holds the distinction as the first university to create a specialized academic sports program, which was founded in 1966. The online master’s degree in sports administration is backed by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation. The program is designed for students who want to serve student athletes and manage an athletic department or program. This is the only program in the country to focus on interscholastic athletic administration.

The curriculum for this master in athletic administration degree consists of 36 credits. Topics include seminar-research methods and ethical challenges in the fields of marketing, human resource management, and facility operations. Students must also complete a capstone seminar in sports administration, where they create an independent project, literature review, or action portfolio. The online track does not include elective choices. Students are prepared to sit for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association exam, the leading professional certification in the field. Students are also encouraged to pursue professional development experiences like internships with the help of faculty advisors. Students and alumni enjoy many career resources and networking opportunities through the Center for Sports Administration.

Tuition is based on a student’s residency status. This online sports administration master’s program does not require GMAT or GRE scores for qualified students. College transcripts, a current resume, and a statement of professional intent are required for admission.


Program Overview
Department: College of Business
Program name: Master’s in Athletic Administration
Accrediting body: COSMA
Tuition: In-state: $569/ credit; out-of-state: $588/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online (2-3 day in-person requirement)
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Spring, summer, fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: 6 weeks prior to intended start term
GPA: Minimum 2.7 over last 60 hours
Work experience: 2 years minimum athletic administration or coaching experience at the middle or high school level

Contact
Admissions phone: (740) 593-1000
Admissions email: graduate@ohio.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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40 University of the Southwest 51.26 100% Hobbs, NM

Originally a two-year Baptist college, USW incorporated into a four-year college in 1962, and today the school offers interdenominational education to Christian students of many backgrounds. USW serves around 1,000 students from its campus in Hobbs, New Mexico and through a respected distance education program. The online MBA in sport management and recreation builds sport management skills along with general business knowledge, preparing graduates for careers in many areas of the sport industry, including professional or collegiate athletics, sport tourism, military recreation, sport and recreation merchandising, and youth recreation.

This fully online program offers accelerated courses that last eight weeks, allowing online learners to complete the degree in one year. Asynchronous courses allow students to learn at their own pace, with no required login times or live meetings. Unlike most online master's programs in sports management, USW provides all students with new laptops, ensuring all degree candidates meet the school’s distance education technology requirements.

The degree curriculum requires a minimum of 36 credits, divided between 21 credits of core MBA courses and 15 credits of sport management specialization courses. The MBA core builds foundational business skills through courses covering information technology for managers, business analytics and econometrics, marketing concepts and strategies, and strategic resource allocation and planning. The sports management component includes five courses in key industry topics, such as social psychology of sport and recreation, law and liability in sport and recreation, and programming for sport and recreation organizations. The program culminates with a capstone course in organizational design and strategy, which requires candidates to design and implement business strategies for a sports management organization. The capstone offers students the chance to learn through experience, using their program knowledge to maximize business efficiency and improve competitive advantage.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Business Administration
Available concentrations: Sport management and recreation
Tuition: $449/credit
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (833) 879-4723
Email: swilkinson@usw.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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41 Midwestern State University 50.98 64% Wichita Falls, TX

Located in Wichita Falls, Texas, MSU serves a student body of around 6,000. The school offers several fully online degree programs, including a master of education in sport administration that prepares graduates for management roles in the athletic industry. The 36-credit curriculum covers a variety of industry topics, divided into four main subject areas: organizational leadership, cultural influences, technology, and management functions. Candidates also complete sections in focused study and research, along with one special topics course and a practicum experience.

MSU’s master's in sports management online offers significant flexibility and customization, and most sections of the curriculum allow students to choose from multiple course options. For example, the cultural influence section includes options in either globalization and sports or sport in American culture, while the technology section offers courses in the computer as a tool or multimedia development. The management functions and focused study sections form a concurrent survey of a single topic, with three available options: event and facilities management, media and community relations in sport, and sport marketing and finance. Students complete credits in two of the three subject areas, taking a management course and a focused study course simultaneously.

Courses in research, special topics, and the program practicum offer unique opportunities for candidates to build specialized knowledge and learn through professional experience. The research component requires students to conduct empirical research into a sports management topic a prepare a formal report of their findings. The special graduate topics seminar offers a rotating selection of current sport-related topics, chosen by faculty members. Finally, the program practicum allows candidates to work in a professional sports setting, gaining a real-world perspective on course learning. The practicum requires a minimum of 220 hours in an approved environment, and students may repeat the experience for credit with faculty approval.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Education in Sport Administration
Tuition: $423/credit in-state; $785/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements GPA: 3.0 minimum Standardized tests: GMAT or GRE

Contact
Phone: (940) 397-4641
Email: julie.wood@mwsu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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42 Troy University 49.64 58% Troy, AL

Troy University in Troy, Alabama, provides an online sports management master's degree as a master’s of science in sport and fitness management. Concentrations in sports management and coaching are available. The degree is one of only a few programs accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation. The degree can be pursued with a thesis or non-thesis option, and internships are not required. Troy focuses on equipping students with oral and written communication skills as well as analytical and critical thinking skills. Graduates of this master’s of sports management online program have gone on to work for the NBA, the NFL, Division I athletic departments, minor league sports, and more.

The university uses TROY Online to administer its online courses. Many of Troy’s online courses are delivered in an accelerated nine-week format. Applicants to Troy’s master’s in sports management online program must submit official transcripts and a graduate recommendation form, wherein the recommender endorses the applicant’s potential for success in the program. Graduate transfer students must also submit a petition for credit form.

The university is recognized by national organizations for its dedication to military students. Military service members and veterans may be able to transfer some credits earned at select military service schools thanks to Troy’s Professional Military Education Credit program. Current military service members and members of the National Guard only pay $250 per credit hour, a more than $200 discount off regular graduate tuition. Military spouses and dependents are eligible for discounts. Troy also offers a number of scholarships to online graduate students.


Program Overview
Department: College of Health and Human Services
Program name: Master of Science in Sport and Fitness Management
Available concentrations: Sport Management or Coaching
Accrediting body: COSMA
Tuition: $494/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.5
Standardized tests: GRE, GMAT, or MAT

Contact
Admissions phone: (800) 414-5756
Admissions email: ask@troy.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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43 California University of Pennsylvania 49.61 88% California, PA

Located in the city of California, the school enrolls 7,500 students annually and is routinely cited as one of the best universities in the northeastern United States. CalU has a vibrant distance learning program and offers a master’s in sports management online program designed to provide students with the basic foundations of the industry. The degree can be customized and has flexible options. Courses are presented in a modular structure, ideal for classroom engagement and presentation. All courses are offered online, and students who pursue their degree full-time can finish in 13 months, though part-time options are available.

The curriculum consists of 36 credit hours. The program offers students three concentration tracks in addition to core topics like research methods, legal issues, and ethics in sports. The sport management and intercollegiate athletic administration tracks prepare students for leadership positions in the public, private-nonprofit, and commercial areas of the sport industry. The strategic sport analysis track teaches students to analyze and determine the potential success of sports teams and prepares them for careers as coaches, scouts, athletic directors, and more. Each track in this online sports management master's degree build on fundamental ideas and skills. Students pursuing the sport management concentration must participate in a 12-credit mentorship.

Students can begin their program in the summer or winter. Application materials include a bachelor’s degree, relevant professional experience, and a minimum 3.0 GPA; students who do not meet the GPA requirement may still apply for conditional admission. Tuition for this online sports management master’s program is based on a student’s residency status. Military discounts are provided to online active military or veteran students.


Program Overview
Department: School of Graduate Studies & Research
Program name: Master of Science, Sport Management Studies
Available concentrations: Sport management, intercollegiate athletic administration, or strategic sport analysis
Accrediting body: MSCHE
Tuition: In-state: $483/ credit; out-of-state: $725/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Field education requirements: Mentorship required in Sport Management concentration

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: Over 13 months
Program start dates: Winter, summer

Admission Requirements
GPA: Minimum 3.0

Contact
Department phone: (866) 595.6348
Department email: sportmgt@calu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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44 Adelphi University 49.47 20% Garden City, NY

Adelphi University, founded in 1863 as a private preparatory academy, is located in Garden City, New York, and enrolls more than 2,400 graduate students every year. Adelphi offers a number of academic programs, including an accredited online master’s in sports management. The master of science in sport management, an interdisciplinary degree, takes a dynamic approach to education. It enables students to explore the multifaceted concepts in areas like mass media, marketing, technology, public relations, and sales as they relate to the lucrative and rapidly growing world of sports leadership and administration.

Students can earn their master’s degree in 24 months. The curriculum requires 36 credit hours, and classes are taught entirely online to accommodate your busy schedule. Foundation and core topics include research methods, marketing, contemporary issues, and sport management personnel and program evaluation. Adelphi’s master’s in sports management online program allows students to specialize in either sports marketing, which focuses on product branding and marketing strategies, or collegiate athletic administration for careers in athletic departments and coaching. A capstone course, where students synthesize what they’ve learned into a cogent and well-researched action plan, is also required. Students have the opportunity to develop an extensive network with their peers and faculty through small class sizes and networking and co-educational opportunities. Faculty members include professional sports business leaders, notably from the Major League Baseball Players Association and New York Islanders. Program alumni include Kevin Mawae, former president of the NFL Players Association, and Ann Rina, Director of Community Relations for the New York Islanders.

GRE or GMAT exams are not a requirement. Tuition is priced at a flat per-credit rate for all students. Adelphi grants approximately $50 million in financial aid annually, and there are specific awards for distance learners.


Program Overview
Department: Ruth S. Ammon School of Education
Program name: Master of Science in Sport Management
Available concentrations: Sport marketing or collegiate athletic administration
Accrediting body: MSCHE
Tuition: $880/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 3.0
Work experience: Resume required

Contact
Admissions phone: (800) ADELPHI
Admissions email: graduateadmissions@adelphi.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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45 Belhaven University 48.12 76% Jackson, MS

Belhaven University, located in Jackson, Mississippi, was founded in 1883 and offers 70 programs, many of which are available to distance learners. Among these options is an online sports management master’s program that's designed to turn students into leaders through a combination of practical, technical, and academic skills. Graduates find work in risk management, sports research, facilities operations, national regulations compliance, and more.

The curriculum consists of 36 credit hours, and courses are taught in eight-week terms, enabling students to earn their degree in two years. Coursework includes topics in leading high performance teams, strategic leadership, sports finance and budgeting, and venue and event management. Each course in this online sports management master's program requires team projects and activities to foster a team mindset. Students must also complete a capstone seminar, where they create an action plan or portfolio that directly benefits their career prospects. The curriculum does not include any electives.

Students must have a professional resume demonstrating more than two years of relevant work experience or full-time military enlistment. Students must also provide official documentation of previous college work from a regionally-accredited college or university. Up to six hours of applicable graduate work may be transferred. Courses must have been passed with a minimum grade of "B" to be accepted. The per-credit tuition rate for this online sports administration master’s program is the same for all students, and financial assistance is available. Belhaven is recognized as a top military friendly school. Active personnel and veterans enjoy tuition discounts.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Sports Administration
Accrediting body: SACSCOC
Tuition: $495/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Minimum 2.5
Work experience: Two years of relevant work experience

Contact
Admissions phone: (601) 968-8881
Admissions email: onlineadmission@belhaven.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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46 University of South Alabama 48.00 71% Mobile, AL

Based in Mobile, USA is a major regional education center in Alabama, serving more than 16,000 students annually. The school’s online master of science in sport management offers a broad overview of the sports industry with an emphasis on event and organizational management. The program examines sport management concepts at varying levels of participation and spectatorship, preparing graduates for leadership in school athletic departments, professional sports organizations, city and state sport commissions, and venue operations. Stressing general skills in critical inquiry, research, and problem solving, the degree curriculum trains candidates to address the cultural, social, political, economic, and environmental issues that characterize the modern sports management field.

The online master's in sports management requires a minimum of 30 credits, comprising a research and evaluation section, a sport management specialization section, and a concluding section, with thesis and non-thesis options available. The 18-credit specialization section includes six total courses, covering topics in sport event law and risk management, event marketing, and social and ethical issues. Students are also required to take a course in educational research and evaluation that examines research methodologies.

The nine-credit concluding section offers either a thesis or a non-thesis pathway. For the thesis track, candidates begin with one foundation course in quantitative methods, which stresses data-based decision making and both descriptive and inferential statistics. The thesis itself requires students to develop and explore a research question on an approved sport management topic, working under the supervision of a faculty member to prepare a comprehensive research paper. At the end of the program, students must present and defend their thesis to faculty members. The non-thesis track includes three components: a course in administration of sport/health/physical education, an approved graduate elective course, and an internship in sport management. Students in both tracks must also complete a comprehensive final examination that covers all major program topics.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sport Management
Tuition: $313/credit in-state; $626/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Contact
Phone: (251) 461-1613
Email: ckeshock@southalabama.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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47 Old Dominion University 47.81 52% Norfolk, VA

Based in Norfolk, Virginia, ODU enrolls more than 24,000 students annually. The school is home to a fully online master of science in sport management that trains students to manage athletic organizations of all types. The program curriculum includes a sports management core, research courses, electives, and a culminating capstone experience. The program core covers topics in sport finance, marketing, law, and management, while the research component covers research methods and applied statistics and data analysis. Electives offer unique courses that allow students to explore professional areas of interest, such as youth development in recreation, sponsorship and event planning, facility management, and social issues in sport.

The six-credit capstone offers three options: a thesis, a research project, or an internship. Both the thesis and the research project require candidates to explore an area of sport management; the thesis takes an academic approach to original research, while the research project requires students to use a statistical/analytical approach to solve a practical management problem. The internship requires 400 hours of hands-on field work in a sport management environment, bridging the gap between theory and practice. Both the research project and the internship require students to complete a comprehensive final exam, while the thesis does not.

ODU’s online tuition rate is only slightly higher for out-of-state students, making it affordable for online learners to pursue a degree even if they reside outside of Virginia. The school also maintains partnerships with community colleges in both Arizona and Washington state, which offer campus resources such as computer centers, tutoring services, and library facilities to ODU distance students. Online learners who reside in Virginia can also take advantage of the school’s partnerships with dozens of community colleges around the state, including three regional higher education centers, located in Hampton, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Sport Management
Tuition: $496/credit in-state; $538/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.8 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (757) 683-3351
Email: lreams@odu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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48 Wilmington University 47.70 83% New Castle, DE

A private research college in New Castle, Delaware, Wilmington is home to more than 20,000 students, and the school’s sizeable online program offers a master of science in management with a sport management concentration. The fully online program stresses leadership models and theories, change frameworks, legal principles, and the development of personal business values and goals. Courses use a flexible, primarily online format that generally allows candidates to complete courses at their own pace.

The program curriculum includes an 18-credit business management core, a 16-credit sports management concentration, and six credits of elective courses. The business core follows the standard MBA curriculum, covering key topics in organization theory, leadership development, analysis of decision making, and strategy in organizations. The sports management section covers four major industry topics: business strategy, economics and finance, law governance and compliance, and service and event marketing. Two additional elective courses build deeper knowledge in sports management or specialized business skills.

The program ends with a two-part integrative independent study project. This key program component focuses on the use of qualitative research to solve organizational problems in business, requiring students to develop their own research questions and ethical research practices. In the first section, student teams explore relevant field literature and establish a research methodology that addresses a sports management issue or creates new learning. In the second section, candidates synthesize their research skills and program learning to develop an in-depth organizational project that includes comprehensive documentation.

Unlike many online master's programs in sports management, Wilmington’s degree includes preparation for the Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) certification, approved by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Program graduates are prepared to sit for the CAA certification exam, which demonstrates the ability to devise a comprehensive plan for organizational improvement in an athletic organization. Wilmington also offers certification preparation independently from the master’s program, available fully online.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Management
Available concentrations: Sports management
Tuition: $466/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (877) 967-5464
Email: infocenter@wilmu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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49 Missouri Baptist University 47.43 42% Saint Louis, MO

Missouri Baptist University, founded in 1957 as a preparatory school for pastors and laymen, is located in Saint Louis and offers a selection of academic programs, including a master’s in sports management online degree. Created as the first remote program at MBU, this master of science in fitness management combines effective communication and business skills with the science of exercise physiology and fitness. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers as personal trainers, wellness counselors, health and physical education teachers, physical therapists, and more.

The sports management master’s online degree is an interdisciplinary degree. Students can expect to be continuously evaluated on the quality of their classroom and clinical performance. The curriculum comprises 34 credit hours, and classes are administered through the myMBULearn platform. Students may pursue the accredited online master's in sports management full time or part-time, and estimated program length is 24 months. Coursework includes topics in sport law, marketing best practices, finance and statistics, and facility management. Students are also required to complete at least one internship in order to build professional relationships and test learned knowledge through application. Under the mentorship of a faculty member, students pursue this capstone experience through roles as coaches in an athletic facility or rehabilitation environment. MBU cultivates relationships with partner organizations.

MBU offers a low tuition rate, which is priced per credit hour and contains no additional fees. Financial assistance is available through loans, merit-based awards, and veterans assistance, like tuition discounts and the ability to gain college credit by transferring applicable military training and experience. College transcripts, letters of recommendations, and a professional resume are required to apply.


Program Overview
Department: Graduate Health & Sport Sciences Division
Program name: Master of Science in Fitness Management
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $526/ credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 34 credits
Field education requirements: Internship required

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75 minimum GPA
Work experience: Professional statement required

Contact
Admissions phone: (314) 704.8307
Admissions email: brittany.sansagraw@mobap.edu, Brittany Sansagraw
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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50 Houston Baptist University 47.19 25% Houston, TX

Founded in 1960, HBU is a private Baptist college that serves around 3,300 students through its on-campus and distance education programs. HBU’s online master of science in kinesiology – sport management trains students to fill increasingly innovative and specialized roles in the sports industry. The program prepares graduates with the skills needed for leadership positions in a variety of sports organizations. This fully online program requires no campus visits and uses an asynchronous delivery format with no set class meeting times, making it an ideal choice for working students.

The 35-credit online master's in sports management includes a 29-credit program core and a six-credit culminating experience. Nine core courses examine foundational topics in the sports industry and business at large, including history and culture of sport, management of sport delivery systems and organizations, and financial management in sport. The culminating experience takes the form of either an internship or a thesis. The internship allows students to gain supervised experience in a real-life sports organization, applying course learning and theory to professional practice. The program director must approve the internship, which typically takes place at an organization of the student’s choice. The thesis path requires students to complete a comprehensive research project in a chosen area of sports management. Thesis candidates work with a faculty member to develop their research question, presenting and defending their findings at the end of the program.

HBU provides generous resources for online learners, including library services, technology support, and tutoring. The school’s Academic Success Center is also available to assist with degree planning, course selection, and strategies for maintaining an effective work/school balance. The center pairs students with academic coaches who develop individualized learning plans and provide connections to additional school resources.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Kinesiology
Available concentrations: Sport management
Tuition: $250/credit
Credit requirements: 35 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum recommended
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (281) 649-3000
Email: onlineadmissions@hbu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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A sports management master’s degree online program will vary from school to school. As you consider which program to enroll in, think about what concentrations the program offers, the program’s curriculum, and the learning format of the program. These details will affect your career prospects and how quickly you’ll be able to earn your degree.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN SPORTS MANAGEMENT

Concentration Description Careers this concentration prepares for
Sport Marketing Learn about marketing theories and apply them to the world of sports, including how to parse contract proposals, arrange product and sponsorship endorsements, and market sports events. Students gain the skills needed to develop and execute an integrated marketing plan for teams, events, or athletes. Team marketing director, brand account manager, ad agency executive
Sport Law Uncover the ins and outs of contracts and negotiations, labor relations, and even anti-trust law. Learn how to negotiate sponsorships, product deals, and broadcast rights on behalf of athletes, teams, or leagues. You may also explore how to interpret and influence public policy as it relates to sports. Player representative, contract administrator, team lawyer
Sport Media & Communications Develop the skills needed to run a coordinated media campaign for sports figures and teams. Learn about public relations, advertising, and managing crisis communications. Study how teams or leagues can develop healthy relationships with the press. Team media director, sport journalist, PR coordinator

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN SPORTS MANAGEMENT

From finance to marketing, the courses you take while pursuing a master’s in sports management online will prepare you for many careers. The courses available to you will differ based on what area of sports management you decide to concentrate in. Sample curriculum for popular sports management courses are listed below:

  • Event Management: Learn how to organize major sports events, from the development stage to day-of management. This course covers how to plan sport events, what factors affect an event’s budget, and how to evaluate the success of an event. You’ll also learn how to manage entertainers for a sports event and how to integrate a marketing plan into your event rollout. This course prepares you for a career as an event manager or planning coordinator for sports teams or facilities.
  • Sport Finance: Study the intricacies of finance as it applies to the world of sports. You’ll learn how to manage finances for players, teams, leagues, and sport facilities. You’ll also examine the financial models used by sporting good manufacturers, college athletic outfits, and other sports-related businesses. This course is a good stepping stone for students with an accounting background who want to work in the finance department of major sports organizations.
  • Sport Facility Management: How do you take care of huge stadiums, fields, arenas, and other major sport facilities? Learn how in this course. Sport facility management covers the basics of designing a well-thought-out facility, budgeting, and managing a facility’s operations. You’ll also learn how to market the events that take place at a facility.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN SPORTS MANAGEMENT?

Typically, you can earn an online sports management master’s degree in two years or less in programs that require you to complete 30 to 40 credit hours. The length of an online sports management master’s program will depend on a number of factors, including whether the program requires an internship, whether it allows you to transfer credits from another institution, and whether it offers courses year round.

Another factor that may influence how long it will take you to earn your online master’s in sports management is whether or not your program follows a cohort model. In a cohort model, you will start your graduate program at a set time (like the fall semester) and work through the program at a predetermined pace with peers that started at the same time as you. By contrast, some online master’s programs in sports management allow you to work through the program at your own pace, so you may be able to earn your credits quicker.

CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES A MASTER’S IN SPORTS MANAGEMENT PREPARES FOR

Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE): Sponsored by the National Association of Sports Commissions, a CSEE certification recognizes expertise and professionalism in the sports tourism industry. To earn the certification, professionals must complete curriculum developed by the NASC, which is offered live and online.
Certified NFL Players Agent: To become a sports agent for an athlete in the NFL, you must be certified by the NFL Players Association. Certification requires a $2,500 fee, attendance at a two-day seminar, passing an exam and background check, and holding a graduate degree. A similar certification process is required to represent players in other sports leagues.

As you explore your options for earning a master’s in sports management online, be sure to narrow your list down to schools that are accredited. Accreditation indicates that a school has met certain standards and delivers a high quality education. Typically, a school is either nationally accredited or regionally accredited. National accreditation is usually reserved for institutions of higher learning that focus on a specific type of education, like distance learning or vocational training. Regional accreditation is given to an institution that has met the standards of a regionally accredited association. A degree from a regionally accredited institution is valid in any state. Schools offering a master’s in sports management online are more likely to be regionally accredited.

You may also want to look for sports management master’s programs that have been accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (CSMA). CSMA recognizes programs at the undergraduate and graduate level that provide excellence in sports management education.

Accreditation associations work in tandem with other organizations to establish the standards that institutions of higher learning must meet. For example, the Department of Education (DOE) approves accreditors deemed reliable by the Secretary of Education. The DOE can only provide financial aid to students who attend accredited institutions. Another organization related to accreditation is the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The CHEA advocates for self-regulation among accredited institutions of higher learning to maintain high standards. Over 3,000 colleges and universities are members of the CHEA. To learn whether a school you’re interested in is accredited, you can check the list of schools on the websites of the DOE and CHEA.

Sports Management Salaries

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Placement: Master’s vs Bachelor of Sports Management

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth rate for jobs related to sports management is roughly on par with the projected 8% growth rate for all industries. Candidates with a master’s degree stand to enjoy more favorable employment rates than other applicants who have ended their education with a bachelor’s or less. Using BLS data, the following table includes the projected growth rates of four common career pathways for students who earn a master’s in sports management.

Professional Title Projected Growth Rate (2014-24) Expected Increase in Number of Jobs (2014-24)
Administrative Services Managers 8% 23,500
Postsecondary Education Administrators 9% 15,200
Coaches and Scouts 6% 14,800

Current BLS data indicates that master’s degree-holders face an average unemployment rate of 2.4%; by comparison, those with a bachelor’s degree face a 2.8% unemployment rate and those with an associate degree face a 3.8% unemployment rate.

Earning a Living

In addition to better job placement rates, students who earn an online master’s in sports management also stand to increase their career earnings potential. The BLS notes that the median salary for master’s degree-holders is $1,341 per week, compared to bachelor’s degree recipients who earn a median weekly salary of $1,137. This amounts to a difference of more than $10,000 in annual salaries between the two groups.

However, it’s also important to note that the salary of a sports management professional will increase over the course of his or her career. Master’s degree-holders often advance in their careers — and raise their annual earnings — at a faster rate than their counterparts with lesser credentials. The following table uses PayScale data to reveal the expected salaries for different sports management personnel at four career benchmarks.

Profession Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Athletic Director (College/ University) $61,000 $70,000 $86,000 $100,000
Assistant Athletic Director $42,000 $53,000 $65,000 $71,000
Facilities Manager $52,030 $60,551 $66,865 $71,715
Athletic Coach $31,000 $38,000 $45,000 $51,000

As the table indicates, employees in all four professions experience a significant salary increase during their careers. Assistant athletic directors saw the most growth — 69% between the entry-level and late-career marks. The salaries for athletic directors (college/university) and athletic coaches also enjoyed 64% and 65% career earnings growth, respectively.

PayScale also reports a median annual salary of $62,627 for sports agents at all career levels. Additionally, The Houston Chronicle notes that agents typically receive a commission based on the yearly earnings of each client, which include both player salaries and endorsements. The size of commissions will vary by sport; the National Football Association and National Basketball Association impose a 3% commission limit for agents, while major league baseball and hockey do not restrict commissions. The most successful agents earn millions of dollars per year in commission fees alone.

Career Opportunities

Students who earn an online master’s degree in sports management will qualify for dozens of positions after graduation, although individual eligibility will depend on their degree specialization and level of professional experience. Some of the most common career pathways for recipients of a master’s in sports management are listed below.

Administrative Services Managers: These managers oversee inventories, logistics, recordkeeping, and other supportive services of their organization. In the sports management industry, administrative services personnel typically handle matters like athletic equipment, away-game travel, and facilities management.

Postsecondary Education Administrators: College athletic teams and departments are typically managed by postsecondary education administrators who specialize in student affairs. Their duties include scheduling games and practices, managing equipment, and handling internal team issues.

Coaches and Scouts: Coaches lead athletic teams during practice sessions and games, and work with individual players to improve specific skills. Many teams are managed by a head coach with a supportive coaching staff. Scouts identify promising players who have not yet committed to a particular organization, and work with coaches to help recruit these candidates.

Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes: Agents and business managers represent notable figures (including amateur and professional athletes) and promote them in the media. They also assist their clients with financial matters, such as contract negotiations and endorsement deals.

Profession Median Annual Salary
Administrative Services Managers $86,110
Postsecondary Education Administrators $88,580
Coaches and Scouts $31,000
Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers and Athletes $95,810

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to sports management is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for sports management professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

  • World Association of Sports Management Founded in 2012 at the University of Taiwan, the WASM represents chapters on six continents (Antarctica is excluded). The organization follows a mission to “facilitate sport management research and teaching and learning excellence worldwide.”
  • North American Society for Sports Management: The North American offshoot of the WASM, the NASSM is dedicated to supporting, promoting and educating athletic managers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean countries. Members receive complimentary issues of the Journal of Sports Management and a discount on NASSM conference fees.
  • National Alliance for Youth Sports: NAYS represents after-school athletic programs available to more than 30 million boys and girls in the United States. The organization often partners with other community-based youth agencies, including YMCA, YWCA, and Boys and Girls Clubs.

Despite the relative affordability of online sports management master’s programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Master's in Sports Management Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX
3 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
4 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
5 United States Sports Academy Daphne, AL
6 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
7 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
8 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
9 Troy University Troy, AL
10 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
11 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
12 Concordia University-Chicago River Forest, IL
13 Fresno Pacific University Fresno, CA
14 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
15 Northeastern University Boston, MA
16 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
17 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
18 Concordia University-Irvine Irvine, CA
19 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
20 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA
21 Coker College Hartsville, SC
22 Belhaven University Jackson, MS
23 Ohio University Athens, OH
24 Arkansas State University Jonesboro, AR
25 Missouri Baptist University Saint Louis, MO

Best Online Master's in Sports Management Programs of 2016
Rank School Location
1 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
2 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
3 United States Sports Academy Daphne, AL
4 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
5 Concordia University - Chicago River Forest, IL
6 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
7 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
8 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
9 Missouri Baptist University Saint Louis, MO
10 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
11 Troy University Troy, AL
12 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
13 Texas A&M University College Station, TX
14 Concordia University - Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
15 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA
16 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
17 Concordia University - Irvine Irvine, CA
18 Coker College Hartsville, SC
19 Belhaven University Jackson, MS
20 Lasell College Newton, MA
21 Arkansas State University Jonesboro, AR
22 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
23 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN
24 Franklin Pierce University Rindge, NH
25 Fresno Pacific University Fresno, CA