While athletes may receive the bulk of the attention, the world of sports depends on the work of countless managers and other professionals operating behind the scenes. From coaching to event management to marketing, sports managers support athletic organizations in many ways.

As with many industries, a graduate degree often serves as the best way to advance your career in the sports management field. This guide to master's in sports management programs includes information on typical courses, available concentrations, and potential career prospects after graduation.

What are the best sports management programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:

Rank School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 Georgetown University Washington, DC
3 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
4 Texas A&M University College Station, TX
5 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
6 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
7 Clemson University Clemson, SC
8 Concordia University - Irvine Irvine, CA
9 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
10 American University Washington, DC

Professional experience and connections play valuable roles in the sports industry, but a master's in sports management can improve your career prospects greatly. Earning a graduate degree helps build the knowledge and skills necessary to advance to top positions in the field.

Management jobs also offer significant growth potential. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for postsecondary education administrators — which includes college athletic administrators — to grow by 7% from 2018-2028. This growth rate is higher than the national average for all jobs.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read more about our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Sports Management Programs

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1

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 90%

Located in Gainesville, Florida, UF is a public university with more than 200 online undergraduate and graduate degrees. Remote learners can take advantage of the school's master's in sports management.

Distance learners in this program complete 36 credits, including a capstone project, an in-person internship, and a practicum. Additionally, sports management students choose from specializations in athlete development, high-performance coaching, and sport law. Required courses include sport sociology, sport marketing, management and leadership in sport, and sport finance.

Competitive applicants possess at least a 3.0 GPA for all of their undergraduate work after the first 60 credits. Applications must include GRE or GMAT scores, a resume, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and official college transcripts. Incoming students may transfer in up to 15 credits.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Athlete development; high performance coaching; sport law
Tuition: $586/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (877) 665-3860
Email: smonline@hhp.ufl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Georgetown University

Washington, DC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 94%

Georgetown is a private nonprofit school located in Washington, District of Columbia. With regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Georgetown offers remote students access to its master's in sports management.

This rigorous curriculum helps students develop modern skills in strategic planning, sports marketing, global sports business acumen, and project management. Master's degree-seekers must complete a capstone project in addition to courses such as strategic sports marketing, applied ethics in sports, social responsibility and globalization in sports, and sports business finance.

Competitive applicants for this master's in sports management possess a 3.0 or higher GPA and a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Remote students complete this degree with no on-campus or in-person obligations.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,441/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (855) 725-7622
Email: gradmail@georgetown.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 95%

Located in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern serves approximately 21,000 students. The private nonprofit school offers a master's in sports administration with an optional specialization in sports analytics through its school of professional studies.

Online master's students complete 11 courses, including a capstone class or thesis project. Core major courses include sports business, technology of sport, legal and ethical issues, sports marketing, and sports research methods. The specialization in sports analytics requires four additional courses. Most full-time learners need two years to finish the degree.

Prospective students must submit their official transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a writing sample for consideration. Upon completion of this program, Northwestern graduates move on to careers as operations managers, athletic directors, directors of marketing, and other administrative roles.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master's in Sports Administration
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Sports analytics
Tuition: $3,768/course
Credit Requirements: 11 courses
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (312) 503-2579
Email: spsadmissions@northwestern.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Texas A&M University

College Station, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

Texas A&M is a public institution with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Located in College Station, Texas, the university serves approximately 69,000 students. Remote learners can take advantage of the school's master's in sports management program.

Distance students work with an advisory committee comprised of two faculty members throughout the course of the program. Students also choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks. Learners writing a thesis complete at least 32 credits of approved courses, while non-thesis students complete 36 credits. Students need to pass a final exam for graduation.

Prospective graduate students must admit their GRE or GMAT scores for consideration. Incoming master's students can transfer up to 12 credits toward the degree.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $4,023/semester in-state; $8,532/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 32-36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (979) 845-1060
Email: admissions@tamu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University of Miami

Coral Gables, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 82%

Located in Coral Gables, Florida, UM is a private nonprofit institution. The school offers a 20-month master's in sports management program for distance students and holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Learners take 30 credits in courses such as fiscal management in sport administration, essential leadership skills in sport, sport sponsorship, and ethical decision-making in sport. The university hosts an optional on-campus orientation weekend for master's in sports administration students, as well as the UM Sport Conference.

Interested master's students must submit official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, GRE scores, and an online application. Applicants with three or more years of work experience in the field or the military receive a GRE waiver.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Education in Sports Administration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $2,100/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 20 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (305) 284-4000
Email: graduateschool@miami.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Mississippi College

Clinton, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

Located in Clinton, Mississippi, MC is a private nonprofit university with accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).The school offers more than 50 graduate programs, including the master's in sports management program.

This rigorous curriculum helps students explore essential aspects of sports administration and includes training in human resources, finance, personnel management, ethics, and legal structures. Learners choose from concentrations in interscholastic or intercollegiate studies. All learners engage in two six-week practicums, and students in the intercollegiate concentration complete an additional four-hour practicum in lieu of a traditional master's thesis.

Prospective students must possess a 2.5 or higher GPA or at least a 3.0 GPA in their last 48 credits of undergraduate work. Learners also need to submit their GRE scores if they possess below a 3.0 GPA.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Athletic Administration
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Interscholastic studies; intercollegiate studies
Tuition: $731/credit
Credit Requirements: 37 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE for applicants with a GPA under 3.0

Contact

Phone: (601) 925-3348
Email: washam@mc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Clemson University

Clemson, SC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

Clemson is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and offers a master's in sports management online. Founded in 1889, the nonprofit public school serves approximately 27,000 students. This competitive program admits no more than 45 students per academic year.

Students explore philosophical topics in the field, including leadership theories, ethical decision-making, marketing and finance of intercollegiate athletics, psychological components of athletic performance, and community influence.

Prospective students need a 3.0 or higher GPA for consideration. Applications must include a current resume, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and GRE scores from within the last five years. Students with five years of work experience in the field may receive a GRE waiver.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Athletic Leadership
School Status: Public
Tuition: $816/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact

Phone: (864) 656-7656
Email: cuadmissions@clemson.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Concordia University - Irvine

Irvine, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 63%

CUI is a private nonprofit institution located in Irvine, California. With regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), the university offers a master's in sports management online.

This entirely online program typically takes full-time students 15 months to complete. Remote students complete 36 units for graduation, including classes such as legal aspects of sport, research methods and analysis, ethics and sport, and principles of coaching and leadership. Additionally, online students must complete a culminating project to finish the program.

Competitive students possess a bachelor's degree with a 2.75 or higher GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Incoming students can transfer up to eight graduate-level units toward the degree in place of elective units.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Coaching and Athletics Administration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $540/unit
Credit Requirements: 36 units
Program Length: 15 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact

Phone: (949) 214-3025
Email: amanda.barrett@cui.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

With regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), UT Austin is a public school with an online master's in sports management. Students complete courses entirely online with no on-campus obligations.

In total, learners need 36 credits to graduate. Required courses at UT Austin include sport marketing, ethics in sport, sport finance, strategic management in sport organizations, and leadership in sport organizations. Full-time students typically finish the program in two years.

Applications must include a resume, two letters of recommendation, GRE scores, official transcripts, and a statement of purpose. Applicants with a 3.3 or higher GPA receive a GRE waiver. Prospective students should possess at least one year of relevant work experience before applying.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master's of Education in Sport Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $4,637/semester in-state; $9,016/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE for applicants with lower than 3.3 GPA
Work Experience: 1 year

Contact

Phone: (512) 475-6050
Email: extendedcampus@austin.utexas.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

American University

Washington, DC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 80%

A private nonprofit school in the District of Columbia, AU holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Remote students take advantage of its master's in sports management online. This program requires 30 credits for graduation and typically takes full-time students 20 months to complete.

Each three-credit course lasts for eight weeks, including classes such as client communications and professional consulting, innovation through new technologies, strategic management of sports organizations, and Intercultural communication for professionals. Distance pupils also complete a capstone project for graduation.

Incoming students can transfer up to six credits toward the master's degree. Applications must include a resume, a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts. Additionally, applicants must participate in a phone interview with an admissions advisor.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sports Analytics and Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,345/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 20 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (855) 725-7614
Email: admissions@american.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 86%

Located in Spokane, Washington, Gonzaga is a private nonprofit institution. The school is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and holds a religious affiliation with the Roman Catholic church. Gonzanga boasts an online 31-credit master's in sports management program.

Online learners complete classes remotely and participate in one in-person internship. Required classes include sport media and communication, ethical and legal aspects of sport, research methods and statistics, and athletic finance. Students must also complete a final capstone project.

Upon completion of the program, Gonzaga graduates move on to careers in areas such as media relations, marketing and communication, sports facilities management, academic advising, and team operations. Prospective students must submit an application including a letter that highlights their qualifications for acceptance.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Arts in Sport and Athletic Administration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,035/credit
Credit Requirements: 31 credits
Program Length: 5 semesters

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (509) 328-4220
Email: semmensm@gonzaga.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Liberty is a private nonprofit university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. The school holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and offers remote students a master's in sports management. Students choose between specializations in coaching and athletic administration, general studies, outdoor adventure sports, sports administration, and tourism.

Distance students need 36 credits for graduation. In most cases, full-time learners can complete Liberty's program in 18 months. This fully online curriculum features eight-week courses, including courses such as ethics in sport, economic and financial management of sport, sports marketing and public relations, and social issues in sports management.

Incoming students can transfer up to 50% of their total credits from other accredited institutions. All concentrations except for general studies feature a non-thesis or thesis track option.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sports Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $565/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (800) 424-9595
Email: luograd@liberty.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, AR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, A-State serves approximately 14,000 students. The public institution holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and boasts a master's in sports management online.

The master's degree curriculum features an accelerated asynchronous course format with multiple start dates per year. Required courses include sport law, sport marketing, sport leadership, and research design. Degree-seekers must also complete an internship for graduation.

Interested online graduate students must submit an online application with their official transcripts, a statement of goals, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. Competitive applicants possess a 3.0 or higher GPA. Learners with a 2.75 or higher GPA receive consideration for conditional acceptance. Incoming students may transfer in up to nine credits toward degree completion.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Administration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $317/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 12 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact

Phone: (870) 972-2920
Email: academicpartnerships@astate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 74%

Drexel is a private nonprofit school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The college holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and offers remote students a master's in sports management.

Remote students in this program complete a required business core in addition to sports-focused business classes. Required classes at Drexel include total enterprise management, business statistics, sports economics, social issues in sports, and leadership in sports management.

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Drexel expects applicants to possess a 3.0 or higher GPA and two years of work experience. Applications must include two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a resume. Prospective students may submit optional GRE or GMAT scores as supplemental application materials.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $949/credit
Credit Requirements: 45 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 recommended
Work Experience: 2 years

Contact

Phone: (877) 215-0009
Email: DUonline@drexel.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

WCU is a public school located in Cullowhee, North Carolina. The university offers a fully online master's in sports management, which includes a certificate in project management. Full-time learners can complete this program in as little as 12 months. WCU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Required courses include sport administration and governance, project planning and estimating, critical issues in sport, and managing enterprise projects. Master's degree-seekers must also complete a 200-hour in-person internship for graduation.

Prospective master's students must submit their official transcripts, a current resume, a personal essay, and two letters of recommendation. WCU expects applicants to possess a 3.0 or higher GPA. Applicants may submit optional GRE or GMAT scores to strengthen their application.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $247/credit in-state; $757/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 12 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 recommended

Contact

Phone: (828) 227-3731
Email: aowatson@email.wcu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

A public university located in Richmond, Virginia, VCU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Through its Center for Sport Leadership, VCU offers two graduate degrees for distance students, including a master's in sports management.

Remote students complete the program online with only one required on-campus meeting. Required courses at VCU include sports business, marketing of sport, sports law, NCAA collegiate coaching, and foundations of coaching. Learners also need to complete an independent study course and an externship to meet degree requirements. Master's degree-seekers must pass a comprehensive examination to graduate.

Prospective students must submit an application containing a personal statement, an application fee, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, GRE or MAT scores, a residency form, and a current resume.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Sport Leadership
School Status: Public
Tuition: $569/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online except for one on-campus meeting

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact

Phone: (804) 828-7821
Email: ferreirab@vcu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Concordia University - Chicago

River Forest, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

Located in River Forest, Illinois, CUC offers a master's in sports management online. Founded in 1864, this private nonprofit school holds a religious association with the Lutheran church and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

This MBA with a specialization in sports management helps students develop an understanding of the necessary business and legal aspects of the field while acquiring managerial and analytical skills. Degree-seekers complete 16 courses in areas such as economics, sports finance, essentials of law in sports, and diversity of sports.

Interested learners should possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applications must include a personal statement, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a professional resume. Applicants need a 2.85 or higher GPA for full admission to this program.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Business Administration with a Specialization in Sports Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $725/credit
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.85 minimum

Contact

Phone: (708) 340-7660
Email: online.info@CUChicago.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Canisius College

Buffalo, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

Canisius is a private nonprofit college located in Buffalo, New York. With regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the school offers a remote master's in sports management program. The school also holds a religious affiliation with the Jesuit Catholic Church.

Master's degree-seekers complete classes such as leadership in sports, strategic sports marketing, intercollegiate athletics, and sports finance and business. Students need 33 credits for graduation, including six credits from an in-person internship at an approved location. Full-time students can finish the degree requirements in approximately one year.

Prospective students must submit their official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a resume. Canisius accepts students three times per year and admits learners on a rolling admissions basis.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Sport Administration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $820/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (716) 883-7000
Email: info@canisius.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

SUNY Cortland

Cortland, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

One of 64 campuses in the State University of New York system, SUNY Cortland holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Remote students can take advantage of the school's master's in sports management online.

Degree-seekers complete 24 credits of coursework online plus a six-credit internship or final master's project. Online courses at SUNY Cortland include research methods in sport management, sport marketing, business and finance of sport, and sport law.

SUNY Cortland expects graduate applicants to possess a 2.8 or higher GPA and submit their official transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a resume. Applicants with a 3.3 or higher GPA or five years of industry work experience receive a GRE or GMAT tuition waiver.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $5,655/semester in-state; $11,550/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.8 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT for students with a GPA lower than 3.3

Contact

Phone: (607) 753-2011
Email: peter.han@cortland.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Wayne State University

Detroit, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

WSU offers remote students a master's in sports management. Located in Detroit, Michigan, the public university is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The master of arts in sports management at WSU requires distance learners to complete 30 credits for graduation. Pupils choose between concentrations in interscholastic athletic administration, intercollegiate athletic administration, commercial sports administration, or professional sports administration.

Required classes for master's students include sports marketing, professional sports administration, collegiate athletic directing, sports event management, and media design and communication. At least 24 credits must come from classes earned through WSU.

Interested pupils must meet the application requirements of the division of kinesiology. Degree-seekers need a 3.0 or higher GPA for regular admission and at least a 2.5 GPA for consideration.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Arts in Sports Management

Delivery

Format: 100% Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (586) 447-3905
Email: online@wayne.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

JSU is a public university in Jacksonville, Alabama. The school offers more than 50 online degrees and certificates, including a master's in sports management. JSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Master's students complete a variety of rigorous courses at JSU, including administration of athletics, sports promotion and event planning, sport finance, and current issues and trends in athletics. Degree-seekers must also complete an in-person internship in sport management or sport marketing. In total, students need at least 30-33 credits for graduation.

Prospective students apply online and submit their official transcripts for consideration. JSU alumni move on to roles such as event and facility manager, strategic financial planner, athletic talent developer, university athletic director, and sports journalist.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $400/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (256) 782-8172
Email: roverton1@jsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

University of the Southwest

Hobbs, NM Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 18%

Located in Hobbs, New Mexico, USW offers remote students access to a master's in sports management program. With regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), this private nonprofit institution serves approximately 1,000 students.

This MBA in sports management and recreation helps students prepare for careers as general managers, presidents, leaders, and administrators for virtually any type of sports organization. This entirely online, self-paced program features courses such as sports marketing, sports management, probabilities and statistics, and physical education in sports administration.

Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA from a regionally accredited college or university. Applications must also include a 500-word personal essay and a resume.


Program Overview

Program Name: MBA in Sports Management and Recreation
School Status: Private
Tuition: $625/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 recommended

Contact

Phone: (833) 879-4723
Email: mwilliams@usw.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Georgia Southern is a public university in Statesboro, Georgia. The school boasts approximately 26,400 students and offers more than 140 academic programs. Online learners enjoy access to the school's master's in sports management program.

Over the course of two years, this curriculum helps learners develop practical skills and techniques commonly used in sports business and leisure fields. Required courses include research and analysis in sports, sports law interest management, revenue generation and sport, and current trends in sports administration.

Prospective students must submit a personal statement, official transcripts, a resume, and a two-minute video answering the prompts provided on the department's admissions page. Georgia Southern expects learners to possess at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA. This program subscribes to a cohort learning format and accepts students during the fall semester only.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $358/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (912) 478-1101
Email: cgjpson@georgiasouthern.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Concordia University - Saint Paul

Saint Paul, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Located in St. Paul, Minnesota, CSP is a private nonprofit institution with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Full-time students typically complete the university's online master's in sports management in approximately 18 months.

Degree-seekers need 33 credits to graduate, and all seven-week courses are available entirely online. Learners take classes such as research methods, sports finance, ethics and policy in sport management, and legal aspects of sport. Additionally, degree-seekers must complete a capstone project.

Prospective students need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. CSP expects learners to possess a 3.0 or higher GPA. Additionally, applications must include a personal statement. Upon completing their degree, 95% of CSP alumni receive job offers within one year of graduating.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Arts in Sport Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $475/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (855) 641-2525
Email: onlineinfo@csp.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

Baker University

Baldwin City, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

A private nonprofit institution located in Baldwin City, Kansas, BU offers a master's in sports management online. Remote learners typically complete this 33-credit program in 18 to 20 months.

BU prides itself on teaching master's students essential skills such as sports marketing, sports law, event management, and facility planning. Required classes for the major include organizational culture and dynamics, legal aspects of sport business, communication and public relations in sport, and finance for managers.

This diverse program offers online learners four concentrations, including finance, healthcare administration, human resources, and leadership and organizational change. Degree-seekers need to complete concentration courses with a "B" or higher grade to remain in good standing. Overall, sports management students need a 3.0 or higher GPA in core classes.


Program Overview

Program Name: Master of Science in Sport Management
School Status: Private
Available Concentrations: Finance; healthcare administration; human resources; leadership and organizational change
Tuition: $600/credit
Credit Requirements: 33-36 credits
Program Length: 18-20 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (913) 491-4432
Email: business.programs@bakerU.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Online Master's in Sports Management Program Overview

Many sports management programs take an interdisciplinary approach to the field, exploring topics such as administration and management strategies, marketing and media, sports management research, finance and economics, and the role of sports in society. Programs also build leadership and management skills, preparing graduates to lead sports organizations.

Many programs offer concentrations that focus on particular sectors of the sports industry, such as college athletics, sports law, event and facilities management, and coaching. These concentrations develop a student's skills for specific career paths, emphasizing specialized knowledge and competencies.

A master's in sports management typically serves as the highest level of education necessary for most careers in the field. While Ph.D. programs in sports management do exist, they typically focus on academic research and are not necessary for employment in most traditional sports management positions.

Common Master's in Sports Management Degree Courses

Management of Sports Organizations

This course may explore organizational design, finance, labor relations, ethics, and general operations. Some courses focus on the increasingly globalized nature of the sports industry, including techniques for international expansion of sporting organizations.

Sports Marketing

Sports organizations at all levels — high school, college, and professional — employ marketing techniques. This course examines topics like marketing and communication strategies, media relations, market analysis, and public relations campaigns.

Sports and Society

This course considers sociocultural factors that affect sports participation and spectatorship (e.g., money, politics, race, sex, and commercialization). Students in this class may also investigate the complex relationship between sports, society, and politics.

Sport Finance and Economics

Students in this class receive an overview of major financial and economic concepts relevant to sports industry professionals. Common topics include budgeting, financial plans, economic theories, and sources of revenue. Some courses may also examine the impact of globalization on sports finance principles.

Internship

Given the professional nature of the degree, many sports management programs include an internship component. Typically occurring in a professional setting, such as with an athletic organization, internships enable students to draw relevant connections between coursework and the sports industry. They can also provide valuable networking opportunities.

Related Master's in Sports Management Degree Concentrations

Sports Administration/Management

Sports administration/management focuses on the business of sports and trains students to oversee operations for sports organizations. This concentration may encompass topics such as finance, marketing, analytics, leadership, and public relations.

Coaching

A coaching concentration prepares students to train and oversee athletes at various levels, including high school, college, and professional sports. Focused on management strategies and methods for athletic improvement, this concentration typically covers topics like physical training, energy systems, athlete health and safety, and athletic program development.

Sports Analytics

Emphasizing the intersection of data, information technology, and strategic thinking, a sports analytics concentration trains students to collect and interpret sports data for use in organizational decision-making. By using data tools and technology, sports analytics increasingly informs how teams use players and develop playing strategies.

Sports Law

Sports law concentrates on laws affecting and regulating the sports industry. Well suited for students with legal knowledge or those looking to enter positions related to collegiate compliance, sports law typically explores topics like fair competition, antitrust laws, consumer protection, and intellectual property.

Athlete Development

Focused on direct interaction with players, an athlete development concentration trains specialists who can help players navigate personal and professional demands on and off the field. This specialization prepares students to assist athletes in developing and maintaining a variety of skills, such as financial literacy, professionalism, media literacy, and mental and emotional health.

Online Master's in Sports Management Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Master's in sports management programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college. Most programs accept applicants of all academic backgrounds; however, some may require specific coursework or other prerequisites.

  • Test Scores

    Many graduate programs require applicants to submit standardized test scores, such as the GRE or GMAT. Specific score requirements vary widely, but these scores can indicate general preparedness for advanced, graduate-level coursework. Some schools may offer GRE or GMAT waivers based on an applicant's professional background or undergraduate GPA.

  • Transcripts

    Graduate programs require applicants to submit undergraduate transcripts. Many programs maintain a general minimum GPA requirement, though schools may be willing to make exceptions for students based on their professional experience or background. Requesting transcripts from your undergraduate institution usually requires a small fee.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Most graduate programs require applicants to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation from supervisors, professors, and/or other professionals familiar with an applicant's work. Schools use letters of recommendation as another way to gauge a student's readiness for graduate work, and these letters may not need to come from professionals in the field of sports.

  • Professional Experience

    Some programs may require applicants to hold professional experience in the sports field, while others may simply require some level of professional experience that demonstrates a capacity for graduate-level work. However, many programs accept students without any professional experience.


Online Master's in Sports Management Career Paths

Earning a master's in sports management online prepares you for a variety of mid-to-upper-level career positions in the field, such as athletic director, head coach, collegiate compliance office, sports agent, and director of player engagement.

The management skills gained during a graduate program translate naturally into an assortment of leadership positions, and a master's is almost always the highest degree necessary to advance in the field.

Sports managers can also earn professional certificates to further progress in their careers, such as the athlete development specialist certificate.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a master's degree in sports management?

Earning a master's in sports management prepares you for managerial, leadership, and specialist roles in athletics. Graduates can pursue careers as athletic directors/administrators, sports marketers, directors of player engagement, and collegiate compliance directors.

How long does it take to get a master's in sports management?

Exact completion time varies between programs; however, in general, most graduate programs require about two years of full-time study to complete. Many programs offer part-time enrollment options that enable you to complete a lighter course load over a longer period of time.

How much can I earn with a master's in sports management?

As with any degree, earnings potential depends on a variety of factors, including a worker's position, experience, and location. Sports management graduates can expect strong earnings in many positions, including athletic directors. These professionals earn an average salary of more than $60,000, according to PayScale.

Is sports management a good career?

Depending on the specific field, sports management can offer strong career prospects. For example, the BLS projects that the number of coaches and scouts will grow by 11% from 2018-2028 — a rate much faster than the national average for all jobs.

What bachelor's degree do I need to get a master's in sports management?

Many master's in sports management programs do not require applicants to hold a specific academic background. However, candidates should have a strong interest in sports. Additionally, professional or academic experience in the field may help distinguish applicants from the competition. Many schools take a holistic approach to applications, evaluating a student's overall potential for success rather than looking at specific criteria.

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