Best Online Sports Management Degrees 2024

The best online sports management degrees can lead to positions in sports marketing or athletic directing. Learn what to expect from this program.
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Updated on February 12, 2024
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2024

Best Online Bachelor's Programs in Sports Management

If you're interested in becoming an athletic director, sports agent, or sports marketer, you might consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in sports management. This degree teaches the business side of sports, like running athletic programs, improving financial problems, and managing sporting events.

Payscale data from October 2023 shows that people who graduate with a bachelor's degree in sports management earn an average starting salary of $59,000. Some potential careers for graduates trend higher on the salary scale. Project managers earn an average salary of $65,430, and marketing managers earn an average of $68,670.

Explore this page to help you decide which educational pathway is best for your future career goals in sports management. We introduce the best online sports management degrees according to our methodology and detail what to expect from this degree, including program cost, potential salaries, and career opportunities.

Featured Online Sports Management Programs

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

Top Program Rankings Summary

Rank School In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition Acceptance Rate
#1 University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
$4,477 $25,694 30%
#2 Maryville University of Saint Louis
Saint Louis, MO
$24,766 $24,766 92%
#3 University of Minnesota Crookston
Crookston, MN
$10,822 $10,822 48%
#4 McKendree University
Lebanon, IL
$31,700 $31,700 78%

Best Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Programs

We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. 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. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

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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#1 Best Online Sports Management Degrees 2024

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $129

Out-of-State | $553

Credits to Graduate: 120

Offered through the College of Health and Human Performance, UF's online BS in sport management combines elements of business, marketing, and law. Beyond scheduling flexibility, UF's approach to online learning offers an enriched experience marked by innovative ways of engaging and connecting students.

UF offers you the option of doing a part-time or full-time internship in your final semester. Given the school's high profile in college athletics, the internship can serve as a valuable networking tool. If you opt for the non-internship track, you'll be able to complete 100% of your degree requirements online.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,770
Out-of-state
$27,335
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
30%
Students Enrolled
55,781
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Best Online Sports Management Degrees 2024

Maryville University of Saint Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $525

Out-of-State | $525

Credits to Graduate: 128

Maryville's online BS in Rawlings sport business management holds a unique distinction. The ACBSP-accredited program was developed through a groundbreaking partnership between Maryville and Rawlings, one of the nation's best-known sporting goods companies.

You'll have the opportunity to select a concentration in sports data analytics or sales. Either way, you'll be able to complete 100% of your requirements online, with no campus visits. However, you can connect with potential future employers through optional internship and volunteer opportunities.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$24,766
Out-of-state
$24,766
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,346
Out-of-state
$14,346
Retention Rate
82%
Acceptance Rate
92%
Students Enrolled
10,596
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
84% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#3 Best Online Sports Management Degrees 2024

University of Minnesota Crookston

  • Crookston, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $442

Out-of-State | $442

Credits to Graduate: 120

Interested in a career in sports marketing, coaching, or facility management? UMC's online BS in sport and recreation management can help get you there. The program's enriched 50-credit core uses case studies and real-life examples to help you build sharp, focused insights into sports finance, economics, marketing, and management.

A candidate for Commission on Sport Management Education accreditation, this flexible online program offers in-person internships. UMC can help students land placements with their favorite college or pro teams, creating opportunities that will both excite and educate you.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,822
Out-of-state
$10,822
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
70%
Acceptance Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
2,304
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#4 Best Online Sports Management Degrees 2024

McKendree University

  • Lebanon, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $410

Out-of-State | $410

Credits to Graduate: 120

McK's online BBA in sport management combines an IACBE-accredited learning experience with a convenient online format. You'll take courses in compact eight-week terms, helping you balance school and life.

In your courses, you'll engage not only with the business side of sports, but also with its social impacts. Management-focused coursework covers marketing, event and facility management, and sports economics.

McK will also match you with appealing internship opportunities. Students have landed placements with major pro teams, athletics departments at top colleges, and leading sports agencies.  

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$31,700
Out-of-state
$31,700
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,756
Out-of-state
$9,756
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
1,958
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

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To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

Is an Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Right for Me?

A sports management degree could be a good choice if you want to combine your interests in sports and business into a career.

Although a bachelor's in sports management curriculum varies between schools, these programs typically introduce learners to business ethics, analytics, communication, and operations. You'll also cover topics specific to sports, like venue revenue management, innovation, event management, and program leadership. Some schools offer concentrations to further your understanding of a specific discipline, like sports marketing or project management.

How Much Does a Sports Management Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), one year of college at a public, in-state school costs about $9,600 per year in tuition and fees alone. At out-of-state public institutions, this amount jumps to about $27,500 per year. At private schools, average tuition and fees are even higher, adding up to about $34,000 annually.

You can offset the cost of college in a few ways. You should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to gain access to federal assistance to help pay for your degree. You can also apply for grants and scholarships that you won't need to pay back later.

Average Annual Tuition Cost of a Bachelor's Degree by Institution | 2021-2022

Public, In-State
$9,600

Public, Out-of-State
$27,500

Private
$34,000

Source: NCES

How Long Does an Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Take?

Online bachelor's programs give you the option to enroll full time or part time, which can shorten or lengthen how long it takes to finish a degree program. Part-time students — who take fewer classes to manage other responsibilities — typically complete their programs in 5-6 years. Full-time students usually finish in four years.

Accelerated programs are the quickest way to earn a degree. The workload is more intense, but accelerated bachelor's programs can be finished in 2-3 years.

Average Length of Time
4-6 years*

Required Course Credits
120 credits*

*Varies depending on your school/program

How Much Money Can I Make With a Sports Management Degree?

As of October 2023, graduates with a bachelor of science in sports management earned an average of $59,000 a year, according to Payscale. However, top earners with this degree make as much as $116,000.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Bachelor's Degree in Sports Management?

  • Minus

    Athletic Director

    Athletic directors lead athletic departments in schools (from middle school to college level) or school districts. Their primary responsibilities include overseeing athletic staff, increasing engagement in sporting activities, and managing the department's budget.
  • Minus

    Sports Marketing Manager

    Sports marketing managers typically work with a specific team or league to promote events and athletes. Some of their responsibilities include creating budgets, designing advertising campaigns, and developing promotional sequencing for upcoming events.
  • Minus

    Event Manager

    Event managers plan and direct sporting events, like award ceremonies or games. They often collaborate with others involved in the team or league they work with, like coaches, athletic directors, and marketing managers, to ensure successful events from start to finish.
  • Minus

    Venue Operator

    Venue operators oversee a venue's budget, safety, scheduling, and other areas of operation to help sporting events run as smoothly as possible. They're also responsible for managing crowds and traffic, creating and implementing emergency policies, and planning concessions.
  • Minus

    Sports Project Manager

    Sports project managers handle the planning and execution of a specific project, like a marketing campaign for a basketball team, a league's charity event, or the creation of an athletic department's new youth program.
  • Minus

    Public Relations Specialist

    Public relations specialists in sports are liaisons between athletes, teams, athletic departments, or leagues and the public. They alert the media of relevant news, coordinate interviews, and monitor public perception of the athletes, teams, or departments they represent.

How to Find the Best Sports Management Program for You

If you're not sure how to choose a college for your sports management degree, consider the following helpful tips:

  • Check Circle

    Cost

    Finding a program that fits your budget can relieve a lot of stress while completing your degree. Compare tuition rates between schools, and keep in mind that in-state and out-of-state tuition can vary significantly.
  • Check Circle

    Location

    Location may not be your top priority if you're enrolling in an online program. However, schools in other states might charge higher tuition rates. Also, be aware of any components, like an internship or orientation, that require you to attend in person.
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    Program Format

    Some online courses may have set meeting times with an instructor, while others are self-paced. Ask an advisor about the program's format to make sure it aligns with your schedule and learning needs.
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    Accreditation

    Look for an accredited school if you plan to continue your education after graduating, as most schools won't accept transfer credits from non-accredited schools. Accreditation is also necessary if you want to apply for federal financial aid.
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    Student Support

    The best online sports management degrees offer supportive services for online students, like tutoring, career help, library services, and networking events.

Beyond the Bachelor's Degree: Master's Programs to Consider

Having a bachelor's degree is a great way to start your career in sports management. But if you want to fine-tune your skill set and reach a higher level, why not consider a graduate degree?

BestColleges ranked the best online master of sports management degrees. The following programs are a few to consider:

  • Master of Science in Sports Management
  • Master of Education in Sports Administration
  • Master of Science in Sports Business

Frequently Asked Questions About Sports Management

What is sports management?

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Sports management covers the business side of sports, like directing sporting events, managing venues, and overseeing sports teams or programs. A person with a sports management degree can begin a career as an athletic director, venue manager, or youth program manager, for example.

Are sports management majors in high demand?

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Several potential careers for sports management majors are projected to be in high demand in the coming years. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects coaching and scouting careers to grow by 9% and marketing management careers to grow by 6% from 2022-2032.

What courses will I take in an online bachelor's in sports management program?

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Sports management bachelor's degrees usually include business-focused courses, like financial management, operations management, and communications. You'll also have a sports management core featuring courses in sports law and ethics, leadership, marketing, and event management.

Is it easy to find a job in sports management?

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Sports management jobs can be competitive. Completing an internship and developing your network while pursuing your bachelor's degree could give you an edge when applying for jobs after graduation.

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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