If you are business–minded with a love for sports and fitness, an online sports management degree might be the right first step in your career. As a sports management student, you’ll learn how marketing, finance, and risk management apply to sports and recreation. Understanding sports administration, and public relations will prepare you to work in athletics at all levels of this growing industry. Due to increased sports participation at both high school and college levels, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth of 13% for careers in coaching and scouting over the next 10 years.
Online Bachelor’s in Sports Management Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
The Best Online Bachelor’s in Sports Management Programs
1. Troy University
Troy University traces its educational roots all the way back to 1887. While plenty has changed in that time, Troy U still takes pride in being an innovative leader in the field of education. Troy U has been offering online programs since the 1990s, making it one of the earliest adopters of internet education in the country. Today, in addition to four campuses and many service centers in Alabama, Troy U offers several online degree programs and hybrid programs. One of the most popular of these online degree programs is BS in hospitality, sport, and tourism management. This 120–credit program is offered entirely online and features a standard per–credit tuition cost for all students.
Students have the ability to choose one of three concentrations: sport management, hospitality management, tourism management. Each concentration requires 21 credits to complete. There are also a few minors available to students, including event management and recreation. Online programs at Troy U are delivered asynchronously, though some classes may require scheduled meeting times.
Applicants must achieve a score of 20 on the ACT or a 1030 on the SAT. Transfer students with at least 24 postsecondary credits must also have a 2.0 GPA. At Troy U, all online students have access to the Trojan Cafe, a well–organized online community of students and faculty. This forum provides students with networking opportunities, career services, and a sense of community while studying off–campus.
Troy University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
2. University of Florida – Online
The University of Florida has been a leader in education for more than 160 years. The 2,000–acre campus in Gainesville, Florida has attracted students from all over the world, but with UF Online, students have access to a UF education without leaving their homes. UF Online students have more than 100 online programs to choose from, including the BS in sport management.
While the core courses in law, marketing, and finance fundamentals are mandatory for every enrollee, students can add one of five available online minors. The course load is flexible as well, allowing students to take as few as three credits or as many as 18 credits at a time. In addition to unique courses such as sport facility design and sport and society, the online sports management degree features a 15–credit, 13–week internship in sport management during the final semester. This 120–credit program is delivered asynchronously.
While the admission process for applicants at UF Online is competitive, the benefits are substantial. Applicants choose from one of three start dates throughout the year. In–state online learners receive significant tuition discounts. The school provides online students with access to career services, online clubs, and the extensive digital library. UF Online also hosts events and activities throughout the year for online students, including networking receptions and various gatherings held at regional service centers (Gator Clubs). The Online Student Plaza is a hub for online students to connect and communicate with peers, faculty, and advisors.
University of Florida – Online is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
3. Averett University
Averett University has a history that stretches back to 1854. The university has been offering distance learning programs since 1980, one of the first to do so in the state of Virginia. In addition to programs hosted on the Danville, Virginia campus, Averett University has offered online programs since 1995. One such program is the online BS in physical education with a major in sport management. This 120–credit degree blends sports science education with business fundamentals such as marketing, communication, and sales. In the senior year of the online sports management bachelor’s degree, students must complete an internship at a relevant location of their choice.
While every online course at Averett University is delivered asynchronously, no student is alone during the learning process. Courses feature many opportunities for peer–to–peer and student–to–instructor interactivity. There are several hands–on experiential learning modules included in every program. Online students that choose the accelerated option can complete the entire degree in less than two years.
For admission into the online or independent study program, Averett U requires students to have a 2.5 GPA from high school or a 2.0 GPA from college or university. Furthermore, of the 120 credits required for graduation, at least 30 must be earned from Averett U. In addition to small class sizes of 15 students, online students benefit from a large online library, tutoring, and writing review services.
Averett University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
4. Davenport University
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Davenport University has been serving the community of Grand Rapids, Michigan for over 150 years. Many of the school’s online programs have become well–recognized in their respective industries, including the BBA in sport management, which recently became part of a select group of programs accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation.
Of the 120 credits required for the degree, 32 are foundational courses in sports management and 46 are specialized classes such as coaching. During the senior year of the online sports management degree, students complete a six–credit, 300–hour internship that allows them to gain professional experience in the field of sport management. Each online class at DU serves around 15 students. While online courses are delivered asynchronously, students have a shorter amount of time to complete the required assignments. However, these shorter schedules mean that students complete their degrees quickly.
DU provides plentiful online resources, including an online bookstore, a virtual library, online tutoring, and online career services. Transfer students may apply up to 90 transfer credits. Students who live outside of Michigan may be eligible for tuition discounts. Students who live near one of the several campuses throughout Michigan have access to the on–campus facilities and can take courses in–person if they wish.
Davenport University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
5. McKendree University
McKendree University has been delivering education to students in Southern Illinois for almost 200 years. The institution has also been a leader in adult education since the 1970s. McKendree has translated its passion for adult education into online learning, offering five online bachelor’s degrees and several different majors. The online bachelor’s degree in business administration features six majors, including a BBA in sport management. This program teaches students about facility finance and operations, marketing, and socioeconomics.
Of the 120 credits in the online sports management degree, 40 are at the senior level and 30 must be completed at McKendree University. Fast–tracking is available for students that can manage taking two courses instead of one during each eight–week term. While all online classes at McKendree University are delivered asynchronously, some teachers may request that students meet with them or their peers at a scheduled time.
Applicants are required to have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students with prior college work may transfer up to 90 credits with a grade of "C" or better. Online students have access to the Student Success Center, online writing consultations, and career services. The career services team provides individual assistance as well as workshops for networking, job searches, and building a resume and cover letter.
McKendree University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
6. Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
Located in Manchester, Southern New Hampshire University’s online programs that have made it into one of the fastest–growing universities in the country. With more than 200 online degree programs offered to more than 80,000 online students, SNHU has something for every student, no matter where they live. The online BS in sport management provides students with a mixture of business and sports–related courses. All students in the program complete a sports–related field experience course, allowing them to put their learning into practice.
SNHU also offers a BS–to–MS pathway, which permits students to take six graduate credits during their bachelor’s program. The credits are offered at a discounted tuition and applied to a master’s degree if pursued. To be eligible, students must have completed 90 undergraduate credits with a GPA of 2.75.
Like most online programs at SNHU, the online sports management bachelor’s degree is delivered asynchronously. Online students have the choice between six start dates per year. Each term runs for eight weeks. With online education playing such a prominent role at SNHU, the resources available to online students are substantial. Distance learners may access academic support, career services, and 24/7 technical assistance. Per–credit tuition rates are the same for all students regardless of location. U.S. service members enjoy a 30% tuition discount.
Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
7. Wilmington University
New Castle, Delaware
Since 1968, Wilmington University has grown from less than 200 students to more than 20,000. In 2005, WilmU began offering fusion programs that blended in–person courses with online learning. Today, there are 22 fully online bachelor’s degrees and many more online concentrations, minors, and certificates. The fully online BS in sports management features sports–related electives in coaching, fundraising, psychology, and current issues. During the final two years, students take two internships within a sports–related profession.
The BS in sports management also offers a concentration in nonprofit management and the option to pursue the Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) certification. In order to take the CAA certification exam, students must take additional courses that are approved by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). These courses also count toward a master’s degree.
Courses at WilmU are run in either seven–week or 15–week formats. All online courses are asynchronous, meaning there are deadlines, but students study and watch lectures during the times that fit their schedules. Many online degrees, including the online sports management degree, offer both hybrid study options and degree completion options. WilmU allows students to transfer to 90 credits or an associate degree. Students are able take up to 19 credits per semester, allowing them to finish their degrees faster. Fast–tracking beyond that is possible but must be approved on an individual basis.
Wilmington University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
8. University of Minnesota – Crookston
The University of Minnesota Crookston offers 15 online bachelor’s degree programs, including an online BS in sport and recreation management. This 120 credit–program features 62 credits dedicated to the major. Students have the opportunity to participate in internships, networking, and shadowing opportunities for hands–on experience. Online students may choose a minor such as marketing.
Students pursuing the sports management degree online have access to the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, which allows them to collaborate with faculty members on online research projects. Approximately, half of UMC’s students are enrolled in online courses, so the resources available to online students and on–campus students are balanced. Distance learners gain access to the library, writing center, and career services. Additionally, all students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of location.
While admission is determined on a student–by–student basis, applicants should have a 2.0 high school GPA. Additionally, potential students should achieve a minimum score of 21 on the ACT or 980 on the SAT. Transfer students with a 2.0 GPA are welcome, and UMC is transfer–credit friendly.
University of Minnesota – Crookston is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
9. Toccoa Falls College
Toccoa Falls, Georgia
Founded in 1907 as the Golden Valley Institute in North Carolina, Toccoa Falls College took its name and found its permanent home in Toccoa, Georgia in 1911. Since then, the institution has grown immensely in both student body and educational programs. Today, Toccoa Falls College offers 12 online degrees, including the BS in sport management. The program consists of 54 credit hours in the major, including 42 credits in the sport management field and 12 in bible and theology. Sports management students take unique courses in sport financial management, coaching techniques, and event and facility management. While Toccoa Falls College has several minors available to choose from, only the minor in nonprofit business administration is available to online students.
Toccoa Falls College also awards certificates to online students. After graduating with the online sports management bachelor’s degree, for example, students also receive the National Coaching Certificate. Every course is delivered with a biblical perspective and students, both online and on–campus, have access to the institution’s ministry sessions. Online students at Toccoa Falls College can join college clubs, use all the on–campus facilities, and participate in the Student Government Association.
To enroll in this 126–credit degree completion program, students should already have 72 college credits completed. Students who have not met the specific program prerequisites should contact Toccoa Falls College directly, as there are opportunities to earn the missing credits. In general, however, a minimum of 64 credits are required for admission.
Toccoa Falls College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
10. Bellevue University
Located in Nebraska, Bellevue University has offered online courses for more than 20 years, making it one of the first accredited universities to do so. Today, Bellevue University offers more than 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs online, including the BA in sport management. The 127–credit degree program features coursework in public relations, marketing, and law, as well as 36 credits in the sports–related major. In the final year of the program, there is an internship for hands–on training and practice.
Most online programs at Bellevue University, including the online sports management degree, provide students with three different study options. The first is the traditional delivery, which allows students to choose how they schedule their classes within the four–term year. There’s also a course cluster format, which groups linked courses into "clusters" to allow for accelerated delivery and faster completion. Finally, applicants with an associate degree or 60 undergraduate credits may be eligible for the accelerated cohort option, a course delivery format that enables students to finish their degree in 72 weeks.
The transfer policy at Bellevue is flexible. Students must complete 30 credits in the degree at Bellevue University, including 12 upper–level credits within the major. Online students at the institution have online access to the library, technology tutorials, writing center, and tutoring services.
Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
11. Midway University
Started as the Kentucky Female Orphan School, Midway University has been committed to women’s education since it was founded in 1847. While the on–campus programs at Midway became coeducational in 2016, online programs such as the BS in sport management have been open to both men and women since their inception. Faculty for the program have expertise in sports and business. Students explore the psychosocial aspect of sports through courses in socio–cultural dimensions in sport, sport psychology, and communication in sport.
Students pursuing the the sports management degree online must fulfill 39 credits within the major. Since online courses run in eight–week terms, online students can finish their degrees in a shorter period of time. Some courses are even available in four–week or six–week formats depending on the major and the term. All the online courses are operated asynchronously, and students can take a single course per term or more.
The admission requirements for online programs at Midway University include a 2.5 GPA from high school and an ACT score of 18 or SAT scores of 860. Students with a 2.0 GPA may transfer in up to 80 credits. Midway University also allows up to 21 credits to be earned for prior learning outside of the classroom. At least 40 credits must be earned at Midway University.
Midway University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
12. Columbia College
When it was founded 160 years ago, Columbia College, then named the Christian Female College, was a women’s school. The school offers both a BS and a BA in business administration with a major in sports management. The primary difference between the BS and the BA is that the bachelor of science requires students to take three additional business electives. Within the sports management degree, students are required to complete courses in sports finance, social media, and sports and event marketing. There are also several sports–related electives to choose from, including integrated fitness, the sociology of sports, and sports–related injury care and prevention. Up to two internships are available for students in either of the online sports management bachelor’s degrees.
Each online course at CC runs for eight weeks, and there are six start dates throughout the year. This allows students to complete the entire 120–credit bachelors degree in as little as 41 months. While assignments have structured deadlines, day–to–day study and coursework is flexible. Furthermore, online students have access to nearly all the CC campus resources, including academic advising, educational assistance, and career services. CC accepts up to 90 transfer credits.
Columbia College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
13. University of the Southwest
Hobbs, New Mexico
Located in Hobbs, New Mexico, the University of the Southwest has been developing online programs since the 1990s. While most its online degrees are at the graduate level, USW does have three fully online undergraduate degrees, including business administration. The business administration degree features 11 areas of emphasis, including sports management.
The BBA in sports management features coursework in sport marketing, administration of physical education, and managing diversity. In accordance with the Christian foundations of USW, all programs feature core curriculum courses in servant leadership and theology. After graduating with the online sports management degree, students are eligible to pursue certification with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and/or the National American Society of Sport Management.
USW offers an online writing lab, online tutoring, academic assistance programs, and career services center for online students. For admission, freshmen students must have a 2.0 GPA and scores of 18 on the ACT or 940 on the SAT. USW allows up to 90 transfer credits. However, students must take at least 30 upper–level credits at the institution in order to graduate.
University of the Southwest is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
14. Culver–Stockton College
Culver–Stockton College’s BS in sport management is a fully online degree that provides students the option to specialize in business, accounting and finance, human performance, marketing, or communications. Throughout the online sports management bachelor’s degree, online students have several opportunities for hands–on experience, including networking and job shadowing opportunities, as well as upper–level internships. There are also for–credit opportunities to travel and study abroad.
Each online course at Culver–Stockton College is delivered in an accelerated format during an eight–week period. Students who wish to finish the degree quicker may choose to take more courses each term. During the first two terms of enrollment, however, students are limited to only one course. For admission, applicants are required to have a 2.0 GPA and scores of 18 for ACT or 940 for the SAT. All students, regardless of location, pay the same low per–credit tuition rate. Every Culver–Stockton campus resource, including the library, academic aid, and career services, are available to both online and on–campus students.
Culver–Stockton College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Choosing a Program
Students who earn their sports management degree online study everything from ticket operations to player representation. Sports management students can go on to succeed in managerial positions, such as sports agents, athletic directors, and facility managers.
Courses for online sports management bachelor degrees include physical education, leadership, sports psychology, and coaching. Students can choose a specialization within the degree, including finance, facility design, or communication. A sports management degree offers many courses in business to help you build skills in finance, information systems, and marketing. Many programs connect students to internships and networking opportunities that fit the students’ specific career goals. To complete a bachelor’s degree in sports management, students must complete 120 credit hours over approximately four years of study.
Online Bachelor’s in Sports Management Careers
Students who earn their sports management degrees online have many career options. Within the profession, individuals are responsible for coaching, ticket operations, franchise sales, player personnel, venue and stadium management, and community relations.
- Working with professional and amateur athletes, coaches provide guidance, training, and practice sessions. They work on fundamental skills to strengthen athletes' abilities in individual and team sports. They instill a solid understanding of teamwork and good sportsmanship in their players.
- Median Annual Salary: $31,460
- Projected Growth Rate: 13%
- Scouts find potential athletes who will succeed in competitive sports. In addition to talking to coaches, managers, and team owners, they study a variety of statistics in order to evaluate skills and seek out top athletes.
- Median Annual Salary: $31,460
- Projected Growth Rate: 13%
- Sports Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager
- Sports advertising, promotions, and marketing managers create campaigns and incentives to generate interest in sporting events through various media outlets. Working with sales and finance, they prepare budgets and cost estimates to develop strategic pricing strategies.
- Median Annual Salary: $127,560
- Projected Growth Rate: 9%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics