Best Online Sports Management Programs of 2022

Ready to blend your love of sports with business know-how with a top bachelor's in sports management degree? Check out our guide to the best online programs.

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by Staff Writers

Updated September 21, 2022

Edited by Amelia Buckley
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Students who want to work in sports often find that the broad, interdisciplinary structure of an online bachelor's program in sports management provides them with the business foundations needed to pursue jobs across the industry.

Through coursework in subjects like accounting, psychology, and marketing, sports management students gain the skills needed to pursue careers as sports agents and athletic directors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these agents who work in spectator sports earned an average annual salary of $115,170 in May 2021. According to Payscale, athletic directors earned an average annual salary of $60,620 in April 2022.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

Successful sports management students thrive in collaborative environments and possess strong communication and business skills.

Read on for more information about typical courses, common career paths, and the best online sports management programs.

Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $390

Out of State | $390

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Students in Liberty's online bachelor's in sports management prepare for careers as team managers, event planners, or financial professionals. The university offers five specializations, including sports administration, sports outreach, and venue management.

Liberty professors teach from a distinctly Christian worldview. Courses include sport law, sports marketing, and global sports ministry, along with an internship. Students can complete the program in three years. Applicants need a high school diploma with a 2.0 GPA or better. 

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#2

McKendree University

School Information
Location Lebanon, Illinois
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $400

Out of State | $400

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

A private institution in Lebanon, Illinois, McK offers an online bachelor's in sport management to prepare managers for sports-related business careers. Besides its business core, this degree requires courses in budget and finance, sport psychology, and sport marketing. Learners also complete one semester-long internship.

Each course lasts eight weeks, and students can take two courses at a time. First-year applicants send GED scores or high school transcripts for admission. McK is a test-optional school.

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#3

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $500

Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate

128

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Maryville offers an online bachelor's in sport business management built in partnership with Rawlings and Game Face. Students can pursue one of two concentrations: sport data analytics and results-centered sales. 

Courses include sport finance, sport business data analytics structure and preparation, and approaches to selling - game face selling in the business of sport. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate, and applicants can choose from three entry dates.

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#4

Concordia University-Saint Paul

School Information
Location Saint Paul, Minnesota
Admission Rate 98%
Graduation Rate 51%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $420

Out of State | $420

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

A private institution in Saint Paul, Minnesota, CSP provides an online bachelor's in sport management that helps bridge the gap between theory and practice. The program focuses on core concepts in exercise, kinesiology, and sport management. Learners also dive into business and sport theory.

CSP's sports management major requires 45 credits in the major. Courses include biomechanics, sport business, and sociology of sport and exercise, along with an internship. Applicants submit high school transcripts and an admissions essay.

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#5

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $320

Out of State | $320

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

SNHU's online bachelor's in sport management requires courses in economics of sports, ethics and social responsibility, and global sports business. Students also participate in a 300-hour professional experience, which can include one or two internships or a practicum.

Learners may pursue a bachelor's-to-master's pathway that allows them to earn six graduate credits at an undergraduate tuition rate. SNHU can accommodate all GPAs and does not require SAT or ACT scores.

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#6

University of Alaska Fairbanks

School Information
Location Fairbanks, Alaska
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 35%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $234

Out of State | $234

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

UAF's online bachelor's in sport and recreation business can equip learners to make immediate organizational impact. This degree serves as one of two concentrations in the bachelor of sport and recreation business. Courses include sport psychology, sport marketing, and introduction to esports management.

Students also engage in hands-on educational experiences. These may include serving as a fishing guide or working in the Nanook athletic department. First-year applicants need a high school diploma with a 2.5 GPA and acceptable ACT or SAT scores.

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#7

University of Florida-Online

School Information
Location Gainesville, Florida
Admission Rate 32%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $130

Out of State | $550

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Students in UF's online bachelor's in sport management learn to apply fundamental business concepts to sports organizations. This program requires core courses, such as sport marketing, sport operations and facility design, and social issues in sport. Students may choose an internship option.

First-year applicants need a GED certificate or qualifying high school diploma, along with acceptable ACT or SAT scores. Admission requirements vary for lower-division transfer students, upper-division applicants, and students pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

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#8

Davenport University

School Information
Location Grand Rapids, Michigan
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 49%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 73% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $836

Out of State | $565

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Commission on Sport Management Accreditation and International Accreditation Council for Business Education

A private institution located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Davenport offers an online bachelor's in sport management. Students can develop skills in the business areas of sports, such as statistics, marketing, economics, and IT. Courses include athletic leadership and coaching, sport analytics, and global sport industry.

In addition to their coursework, students complete two internships. The program concludes with a capstone project. First-year applicants should submit GED or high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

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#9

Columbia College

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Graduation Rate 28%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes


Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $375

Out of State | $375


Credits to Graduate

120


Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No


Students can pursue an online bachelor's in sports management at CC, a private institution located in Columbia, Missouri. In this program, enrollees learn about sports management and marketing at all levels, from local to international. 


CC offers both a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts, which requires six credits in multicultural studies. Major courses include psychology of sport, diversity in organizations, and sports and event marketing. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. 


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#10

University of Minnesota-Crookston

School Information
Location Crookston, Minnesota
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $437

Out of State | $437

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

UMC offers an online bachelor of science in sport and recreation management to help prepare aspiring coaches, facilities managers, and sports marketers. Courses include wellness, sport law and governance, and sport finance and economics. These and other courses may include experiential learning opportunities and professional case studies. Students also complete an internship.

First-year applicants should complete an application and essay and provide proof of high school graduation. Transfer applicants with more than 12 credits do not need to send high school transcripts. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Sports Management Programs

Is a bachelor's in sports management worth it?

The value of any online degree depends on each individual student, but many learners find that a bachelor's in sports management is worth it. For many professionals, a bachelor's in sports management is the best way to pursue their dream career in sports. They can also use what they learn in these programs to pursue careers in adjacent fields like business, marketing, and finance.

While average costs for sports management programs vary by school, they often provide a strong return on investments, with most careers paying median annual salaries ranging from $50,000-$75,000.

What can I do with a bachelor's in sports management

These programs can lead to high-paying sports agents and general managers careers. Graduates can also pursue various administrative positions with different sports teams. Additional job titles can include event coordinator and sports marketing professional.

Bachelor's degree-holders in sports management can also use their foundational business, finance, and marketing knowledge to pursue careers in those fields. Learners can pursue additional education with MBA programs or other business-related graduate programs.

Are sports management majors in high demand?

Certain careers for sports management majors are in high demand. For example, from 2020-2030, the BLS projects 26% job growth for coaches and scouts, which is more than triple the average projected growth rate of 8% for all occupations during that period.

Sports management graduates who look for jobs beyond sports and pursue business, marketing, and finance careers can also find themselves in high demand. For example, between 2020-2030, the BLS projects 22% job growth for market research analysts.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in sports management?

Salary potential for bachelor's degree-holders in sports management depends on multiple factors including location, experience, and employer. However, most graduates can expect to earn median annual wages ranging from $50,000-$75,000.

In the sports fields, executives at the very top, such as professional sports general managers and the most famous agents, make much higher salaries than most lower-tier professionals. However, these jobs are among the most competitive in the nation and require significant experience in the field.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in sports management?

The highest-paying job for graduates with a bachelor's in sports management is likely sports agent. The top-tier agents take a percentage of each contract that their clients sign. As such, most of these professionals are multimillionaires.

However, top sports agent positions are very competitive, and very few such positions are available. While still a competitive position, advertising, promotions, and marketing manager is a more accessible career that most sports management graduates can eventually pursue. As of May 2021, these professionals earned a median annual wage of $133,380, according to the BLS.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Program?

Learners pursuing an online bachelor's in sports management need a passion for sports. This competitive field attracts a variety of skillsets, but a desire to work within the sports industry is a must.

As this degree largely focuses on business, an aptitude for math also helps. Nevertheless, since sports management provides a broad array of opportunities, students have the flexibility to take major electives that fit their strengths and interests.

Most sports management programs are BA programs in which students must complete approximately 120 credits of coursework to earn their bachelor's degrees. Required coursework includes both sports-specific and general business classes, giving students the chance to delve into specialized courses that fit unique career ambitions like sports marketing or coaching.

In addition to traditional coursework, degree-seekers typically need to complete an internship in sports management. Internships give learners a chance to gain practical experience while building contacts that could prove beneficial in the future.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.

Popular Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Program?

Online bachelor's in sports management programs offer interdisciplinary curricula. Students often take a mix of business, psychology, and management courses, along with specialized sports management classes. Depending on learners' career goals, elective courses can act as helpful introductions to fields like advertising, event management, and client relations.

Sports Marketing

This course offers degree-seekers an expansive introductory survey to sports marketing. Covered topics include the marketing planning process, segmentation and target marking, and consumer demographics and psychographics.

Personal Management

In this course, students learn how to use effective communication techniques while emphasizing the value of cultivating and sustaining business relationships. They also learn how effective leadership can positively shape sports organizations.

Ethics in the Sports Industry

Designed to help students make ethical and moral decisions in various sports settings, this course provides learners with the intellectual tools to navigate challenging ethical scenarios. Learners gain the skills to become effective leaders and role models within the sports industry.

Organizational Behavior in Sports

In this course, students analyze the culture and behavior of sports organizations and learn to apply leadership and management theories to practical problems.

Legal Aspects of Sports

This course introduces students to the legal issues surrounding intercollegiate and professional sports. This course particularly benefits learners interested in pursuing a law degree. Covered topics include contract law, labor relations and collective bargaining, and intellectual property law.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Program?

Admission requirements are often similar for both on-campus and online bachelor's in sports management programs. In rare cases, in addition to the requirements listed below, prospective students may need to participate in an interview to demonstrate their interest in and commitment to sports management.

Application

All bachelor's in sports management programs require prospective students to fill out an application form, which captures each applicant's basic contact and background information. Online programs typically have their own individual portals so students can submit applications electronically.

Test Scores

While fewer schools now require standardized test scores, some programs still require applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores. Other schools maintain test-optional policies, allowing prospective students to only submit these scores if they strengthen their overall applications.

Letters of Recommendation

Most undergraduate programs require applicants to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. If you are a recent high school graduate, these letters should come from former teachers, counselors, or mentors. If you have already worked for several years, you can ask professional supervisors. Make sure to ask for letters of recommendation several months in advance so writers have enough time to write.

Essays

Many online bachelor's in sports management programs require applicants to submit 2-3 application essays. These essays usually ask students about a time they overcame a challenge, their values, or their career goals. Applicants can sometimes submit essays to multiple schools at once through application systems like the Common App.

Official Transcripts

All undergraduate programs require applicants to submit official transcripts from all prior secondary and postsecondary schools they have attended. If you have already completed some college coursework — for example, through a community college — you can usually earn transfer credits.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Degree?

Career Outlook

Depending on the careers they pursue, sports management graduates can enter many in-demand fields, including player and facilities management. The BLS projects that jobs in entertainment and sports will grow by 22% from 2020-2030. Additionally, the BLS projects 26% job growth for coaches and scouts in that same timeframe.

While personal interest and experience ultimately dictate salaries, and the field can be competitive, careers in sports management tend to pay well. Sports agents and managers, for instance, earned a mean annual salary of $115,170 as of May 2021, according to the BLS.

As sports management degrees teach skills that easily transfer to other fields, graduates can also pursue careers in other business-related industries.

See where a bachelor's in sports management degree can take you.

Learn more about sports management careers

Career Paths

Sports Agent

Sports agents interact with sports teams and endorsers to negotiate contracts for athletes. While no formal education, training, or professional licensure is required to become a sports agent, a bachelor's degree in sports management teaches graduates to effectively lobby for clients.

Median Annual Salary: $115,170

Event Coordinator

A seemingly endless amount of work goes into sporting events, and event coordinators manage everything behind the scenes to put on seamless productions. Event coordinators grapple with an expansive list of responsibilities, including security, guest relations, and transportation.

Median Annual Salary: $49,470

Athletic Director

Responsible for overseeing the entirety of an athletic program, athletic directors manage budgets, personnel, and facilities. Athletic directors often work at high schools and colleges, sometimes taking on additional coaching roles. Salaries vary considerably from public high schools to elite Division I colleges and universities.

Average Annual Salary: $60,620

Sports Marketing Professional

Sports marketing professionals promote teams, leagues, and athletes to fans. Using public relations techniques, advertising campaigns, and events and appearances, these professionals advance their "product" through social media, broadcasting, and various digital platforms.

Average Annual Salary: $46,590

Sports General Manager

General managers are responsible for most of the big personnel decisions that sports teams make. These experienced sports managers hire coaches and players, manage budgets, and negotiate player contracts.

Average Annual Salary: $ Salary Here

Sports Management Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

For sports management degree-holders, the best form of continuing education is often experience. Positions like sports agent and general manager require significant experience and knowledge in specific sports leagues.

Nevertheless, some bachelor's degree-holders in sports management do choose to pursue master's degrees in the field. These specialized, advanced degree programs provide learners with further knowledge of business and marketing that can help them succeed as athletic directors and sports management professionals.

Sports management graduates who want to broaden and diversify their job opportunities beyond sports can also apply to master of business administration programs.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Program?

Cost

Average costs vary widely among sports management programs. Tuition and fees often depend more on the school than on the program. For the most savings, consider applying to in-state public schools as opposed to out-of-state or private universities. Online students can also save on fees like transportation and room and board.

Program Format

Online sports management students should determine whether synchronous or asynchronous learning is a better fit for them. Synchronous learning involves live, scheduled online courses, while asynchronous learning does not. Prospective learners should also decide whether they want to enroll full-time or part-time or pursue an accelerated program.

Location

Even if you enroll online, you may want to consider choosing a sports management program near you. Many sports management programs include in-person internship requirements, which may be easier to arrange locally. Furthermore, since sports management centers so heavily around people and networks, your school may maintain connections with local employers.

Accreditation

Accreditation is a third-party approval process that guarantees the quality of a school's programs and services. You should only enroll at schools that hold institutional accreditation. Otherwise, you cannot receive federal financial aid, and employers may not recognize your degree as valid. Sports management programs may also hold programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

Student Support

Student services can greatly improve the distance learning experience for online learners. Before you enroll, check to see if your school offers advising, mentorship opportunities, career services, internship placements, networking events, and tutoring.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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