Best Online Bachelor’s in Sport Management Programs of 2021

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Published on May 26, 2021

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Students who want to work in sports often find that the broad, interdisciplinary structure of a bachelor's 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. 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.

What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Sport Management Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 University of Florida-Online Gainesville, FL
#2 Shorter University Rome, GA
#3 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
#4 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
#5 University of Minnesota-Crookston Crookston, MN
#6 Missouri Baptist University Saint Louis, MO
#7 Troy University Troy, AL
#8 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
#9 McKendree University Lebanon, IL
#10 Concordia University-Saint Paul Saint Paul, MN
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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Sport Management Programs

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University of Florida-Online View School Profile Gainesville, FL

A public university established in 1853, UF moved to its current Gainesville campus in 1906. A senior member of the State University System of Florida, UF welcomes more than 52,000 campus-based and online students a year.

UF Online offers a bachelor of science in sport management. Blending marketing, management, law, and finance, the program prepares students for careers throughout the sports world as event managers, fundraisers, player reps, and more. In addition to general liberal arts requirements and electives, all students take core courses such as sport facility design and management, business finance, and sport and society. All students must also complete an internship.

Applicants need a cumulative academic core average of C or above and satisfactory standardized test scores (waived for applicants who graduated from high school at least five years ago). UF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Shorter University View School Profile Rome, GA

A Baptist university founded in Rome, Georgia, in 1873, Shorter enrolls over 1,500 on-campus and online students annually.

Shorter offers a fully online bachelor of business administration in sport management. All students must take two biblical perspective courses in addition to traditional general education requirements. The program combines business administration courses (e.g., managerial accounting and international business) with focus classes (e.g., sport psychology and leadership). All students must also pass a final capstone course.

Applicants without at least 24 transfer credits must submit high school transcripts showing a GPA of 2.25 or above, along with ACT or SAT scores (waived for those who graduated from high school more than five years ago). Transfer students need a college GPA of at least 2.0.

Shorter is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Davenport University View School Profile Grand Rapids, MI

Davenport — a private university established in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1866 — serves approximately 6,500 students each year.

The university offers a fully online bachelor of business administration in sport management. Students have the option to participate in a three-week study abroad experience that provides immersion in the international sports industry. All students take the same series of foundational and major courses, along with 12 elective credits. Example courses include diversity in society, legal aspects of sport management, and athletic leadership and coaching. Students also complete two internships and a final capstone project.

Davenport is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its sport management program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation.

Southern New Hampshire University View School Profile Manchester, NH

SNHU — a private university established in Manchester in 1932 — educates more than 100,000 students each year, most of whom take online classes.

The university offers a popular online bachelor of science in sport management. The program covers all aspects of sport management, including strategic decision-making, social responsibility, and international contexts. It also offers an accelerated degree program that lets students take six credits of coursework at the graduate level. All students must engage in 300 contact hours of field experiences.

Applicants must complete an online application and submit official transcripts. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Minnesota-Crookston View School Profile Crookston, MN

Founded in 1905 as the Northwest School of Agriculture, UMC serves roughly 2,800 campus-based and online students each year.

The university offers a fully online bachelor of science in sport and recreation management. Many graduates go on to find work with camps, senior centers, tourist sites, and even professional sports franchises. In addition to general education requirements, all students take core courses like foundations of sport and recreation management, athletics administration, and sport finance and economics. Elective options include crisis communication and park and recreation management. All students must complete an internship and a capstone project.

To apply, individuals must submit official transcripts, a short essay response, and an optional letter of recommendation. UMC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Missouri Baptist University View School Profile Saint Louis, MO

MBU is a Southern Baptist university that was established in St. Louis in 1957. The university enrolls more than 5,300 students annually.

MBU's online bachelor's in sport management requires students to complete an 18-credit minor in business administration. Major courses in the 120-credit curriculum include tournament and event management, governance and leadership, and legal issues in sport and physical activity. All students must also complete a practicum, an internship, and a capstone senior seminar.

Applicants must submit official transcripts. Transfer students can apply up to 96 transfer credits toward their degree. MBU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Troy University View School Profile Troy, AL

Troy — a public university in Alabama — was originally founded in 1887 as Troy State Normal School. Today, the university welcomes over 16,000 campus-based and online students per year.

The university offers a bachelor's in sport management - hospitality, sport, and tourism management. Potential career paths for graduates include business manager, coach, sports official, or fitness trainer. In addition to general liberal arts requirements, all students must select a minor. Participants take core courses such as leisure in society, analytics in hospitality, and event management. Students must also complete an internship and a senior seminar.

Applicants need a high school GPA of at least 2.0 and minimum ACT or SAT scores (waived for those over the age of 21). Troy is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale View School Profile Fort Lauderdale, FL

Keiser is a private university that was established in 1977 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The school enrolls nearly 20,000 students annually.

Keiser offers an online bachelor of science in sport management that prepares students for careers in international, collegiate, amateur, or professional sports. Graduates can also pursue work in the fields of recreation and tourism. The program offers both a 120-credit version for new students and a 60-credit degree completion option for those who already hold an associate degree. All students must complete a professional internship.

Transfer students need a "C" or higher in each transferred course. Keiser is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

McKendree University View School Profile Lebanon, IL

A Methodist university based in Lebanon, Illinois — originally founded as the Lebanon Seminary in 1828 — McK serves about 2,300 students per year.

McK offers a fully online bachelor of business administration in sport management. Students may enroll in the general program or pursue a concentration in athletic equipment management. Regardless of their track, all students take core courses like principles of financial accounting and quantitative analysis for business decisions. The athletic equipment track offers courses such as essentials of athletic training and kinesiology. All students must complete a practicum or an internship.

Applicants must submit official transcripts. The university also encourages applicants to send in SAT/ACT scores and letters of recommendation and to sit for a personal interview. McK is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Concordia University-Saint Paul View School Profile Saint Paul, MN

Part of the Lutheran church's Concordia University System in Minnesota, CSP welcomes more than 5,000 students each year.

The university's online bachelor of arts in sport management combines business and sport theory, preparing students for managerial careers at sports facilities, event centers, or fitness centers. Besides general liberal arts requirements, all students take the same sequence of major courses, including sociology of sport and exercise, marketing and fundraising, and exercise physiology. In addition, all students must complete an internship and a senior seminar.

Admission requirements at this test-optional university include official transcripts and an admissions essay. CSP is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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

Learners pursuing a bachelor’s in sports management need a passion for sports. This competitive field attracts a variety of skill sets, 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.

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 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 degree programs.

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

Online bachelor’s in sports management programs provide an interdisciplinary curriculum. 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 a helpful introduction 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 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 sport organizations.

Ethics in the Sports Industry

Designed to help students make ethical and moral decisions in various sport 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 sport 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 Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Sports Management Degree?

Depending on the careers they pursue, sports management graduates can enter many in-demand fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 12% job growth for coaches and scouts between 2019 and 2029. 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, earn an average annual salary of $102,300.

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

Learn more about sports management careers on this page.

Sports Agent

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

Event Coordinator

A seemingly endless amount of work goes into sporting events, and event coordinators provide the organization behind what appears to be a seamless production. Event coordinators grapple with an expansive list of responsibilities, including security, guest relations, and transportation.

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.

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.

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.

Sports management not for you? Check out these related careers.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Sports Management Programs

What skills do you need for sports management?

Because sports management programs are interdisciplinary in nature, students with a variety of talents find success in this degree. Coursework covers diverse topics such as psychology and marketing, and learners develop written and verbal communication skills while honing their business acumen.

Is a sports management degree worth it?

While sports management is competitive, professionals with enthusiasm and love for sports can succeed in the field. Sports management programs offer a broad, holistic education rooted in business fundamentals. Graduates can apply the skills and knowledge gained through these programs in diverse professional environments.

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

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in sports management can pursue careers in various settings. Athletic directors often work in academic environments like high schools and colleges, while agents negotiate high-paying contracts. This degree can also serve as a great first step for an MBA or advanced degree in law or sports psychology.

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

Annual salaries vary substantially depending on location, title, and experience. Athletic directors earn just over $60,000 on average, but athletic directors at elite Division I colleges often earn seven figures each year. Additional education and experience often boost salaries significantly.

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

Top agents generally earn the highest salaries, taking a cut of the contracts they negotiate for their clients. For example, NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus has negotiated $1.08 billion worth of contracts.

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