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The Best Online Master's in Sport Management

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Sport management careers offer exciting jobs working on the administrative side of collegiate, olympic, and professional athletics.

The sports industry is a constantly changing field that generates a lot of revenue. Employers value candidates with advanced interpersonal skills and a background in management, both of which a master's in sport management provides.

Master's in sport management programs prepare students for lucrative, in-demand careers. For example, graduates can work as athletic agents or business managers, who make a mean annual salary of over $90,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS).

This guide ranks the best online master's in sport management degree programs to help students find the right fit for their goals. This page also covers other important information for prospective students, including common courses and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Top 10 Online Sport Management Programs 2020

#1 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
#2 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
#3 Georgetown University Washington, DC
#4 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
#5 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX
#6 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
#7 American University Washington, DC
#8 Wayne State University Detroit, MI
#9 Ohio University-Main Campus Athens, OH
#10 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA

The Best Online Master's in Sport Management Programs

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4

University of Florida 

Gainesville, FL

About this school

UF values immersive learning, academic excellence, and inclusion. The student body represents nearly every state and multiple foreign countries. UF is also eminent among the Association of American Universities for the number of degrees awarded to hispanic students, and ranks among the top 10 public universities in the country.

The College of Health and Human Performance at UF offers an online master's in sports management that does not require in-person attendance. This program prepares graduates to address the advanced organizational needs of sports organizations, create effective financial strategies, and apply marketing concepts in practical situations. UF offers a 30-credit thesis track and 36-credit, non-thesis, capstone project pathway.

Core courses include evaluation procedures in health and human performance, research methods in health and human performance, issues in sport law, and sport sociology. Online student resources include the Gator Careerlink, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and academic counseling. Students can also access online tutoring and workshops through the Writing Studio.

Admission to the program requires a 3.0 GPA at minimum, a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or comparable international institution, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. UF accepts up to nine transfer credits from approved programs.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
90%
Percent Receiving Loans
93%
5

Texas A & M University-College Station 

College Station, TX

About this school

Founded in 1876, Texas A&M was the first public university in Texas. School values include service, leadership, accessibility, and inclusion. Texas A&M enrolls over 69,000 students every year, offering nearly 400 degrees across 18 colleges and schools. Over 25% of Texas A&M students identify as first-generation college students.

Nontraditional students considering a master's in sports management can earn their degrees online at Texas A&M. This degree requires 32 credits for the thesis track and 36 credits for the non-thesis pathway. Texas A&M accepts up to 12 transfer credits from approved schools. Courses include research methods for sport organizations, financial management in sport, diversity and ethics of managing sport organizations, and personnel management in sport.

Online students access all coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Courses typically follow an asynchronous format, allowing students to access coursework around the clock. However, some courses may require synchronous sessions, which use the student's webcam.

Distance learners can access online resources like an academic success center, career services, the University Writing Center, and digital databases. School admissions requires official transcripts, GRE test scores, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Transfer students from accredited schools with at least a 2.5 GPA may apply.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
82%
Percent Receiving Loans
76%
6

University of Miami 

Coral Gables, FL

About this school

UM is a private university that values leadership, civic engagement, and academic excellence. Every year, UM's more than 17,000 students can access over 180 programs across 11 colleges and schools. While students can earn their degrees on campus, UM strives to accommodate diverse learning needs through online programs.

Students interested in sport administration can earn an online master's in sports management. This degree requires 30 credits, and students typically earn the degree in 20 months. Courses include fiscal management in sport administration, principles of sports marketing, contemporary issues in kinesiology and sport sciences, and essential leadership skills in sport.

UM offers sport management students immersive learning experiences, including sport leader shadowing and access to the UM Sport Conference. Beyond the skills the program provides, students benefit from networking opportunities with industry leaders. Courses typically use an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete assignments on their own time.

Students can access online resources like 24/7 technical support, career coaching, academic advising, and synchronous office hours. Admission to the program requires two letters of recommendation, GRE scores, official transcripts, and a personal statement. Students should also submit copies of their resumes.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
82%
Percent Receiving Loans
72%
7

American University 

Washington, DC

About this school

AU is a private research university that values human dignity, community engagement, generating impact, and practical learning experiences. AU offers over 170 degrees across eight schools, and annual enrollment includes over 14,000 students from all 50 states and nearly 124 countries.

Students interested in sports analytics and administration can earn a master's in sports management that provides graduates with pertinent skills employers value. This degree requires 30 credits, including 12 field professional credits, nine core credits, six required credits, and three elective credits. Students typically earn the degree in 20 months with full-time attendance.

The program is designed to help students understand current trends in sports, approach management from a data analytics perspective, and create communication and management strategies based on their analysis. Online courses use an asynchronous format, which allows students to choose when to log in and complete assignments. Assignments often include discussion board posts, essays, projects, and exams.

AU provides tools for online learners like library research assistance, digital databases, online tutoring, and technical support. Graduate school admissions requires official transcripts, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. Students with professional experience should also submit a resume.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
80%
Percent Receiving Loans
76%
8

Wayne State University 

Detroit, MI

About this school

WSU is the third largest university in Michigan, enrolling nearly 25,000 students from over 75 countries every year. School values include integrity, academic excellence, and innovation. Students can access over 350 programs across 13 colleges and schools. Additionally, learners can earn their degrees online with little to no in-person requirements.

The College of Education offers an online master's in sports management that prepares graduates for roles working in agencies and sports programs. This degree requires 34 credits, including required credits and elective credits. There are four concentration options: interscholastic athletic administration, intercollegiate athletic administration, commercial sports administration, and professional sports administration.

Courses include risk management in physical education and sports, equity and access in sport, media design and communication, and sport finance. WSU requires an internship in sports administration and offers an optional field work experience in sports management. Online students access assignments, grades, discussion boards, and direct messages through the Blackboard learning management system. Assignments include projects, exams, and essays.

Online courses often follow an asynchronous format, which allows students to complete assignments at any time within deadline dates. However, courses may also use a synchronous format, which requires live attendance using webcams. WSU offers online support services, including a digital library system, technical support, and academic advising.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
47%
Percent Receiving Loans
94%
9

Ohio University-Main Campus 

Athens, OH

About this school

OU values innovation, collaboration, and stewardship, striving to provide affordable and accessible coursework. The student body represents all 50 states and nearly 110 countries. OU offers over 250 programs and has not increased tuition in over four years. Working professionals attending OU can earn their degrees online instead of attending classes on campus.

OU's College of Business offers an online master's in sport management degree that is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. It also has a wide alumni network that can provide networking opportunities.

This degree requires 36 credits and students can graduate in 21 months -- about five semesters. Courses include leadership in sports administration, sport governance and policy development, management of public assembly facilities, and sport business revenue strategies. This degree also requires a capstone seminar in sports administration.

OU offers free online tutoring and writing services, academic advising, an eCampus Success Center, and technical support. Students can also access digital databases and testing services for proctored exams. School admissions requires official transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, a resume, and letters of recommendation. OU also requires a professional or personal statement and writing sample.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
64%
Percent Receiving Loans
94%
10

Drexel University 

Philadelphia, PA

About this school

Drexel is a private university that values community engagement, innovation, and immersive learning. The university prioritizes diverse learning needs, including contemporary learners who prefer online courses. In fact, Drexel enrolls over 24,100 students annually, including nearly 5,000 online students. Students can access over 200 degrees across 15 colleges and schools.

The Lebow College of Business offers an online master's in sport management that prepares graduates for administrative jobs in the sports industry. This degree requires 45 credits and students typically earn their degrees in two years. The academic calendar uses four 10-week quarters, allowing students to take more classes in a condensed time frame.

The program covers a variety of subjects, including sport media, economics, marketing and sales, law, and event management, giving graduates a solid base for their careers. Drexel also offers minors that can help students gain a competitive edge in the job market; options include athletic administration and business analytics. Students may also choose a dual degree option by combining this degree with an MBA or master of science in business analytics.

Admission to the program requires a 3.0 GPA and two years of professional experience. Students also need to submit a personal essay, resume, and GRE scores. Drexel accepts up to 15 quarter credits from accredited schools.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
74%
Percent Receiving Loans
100%
11

DePaul University 

Chicago, IL

About this school

DePaul is a private university that offers coursework through a Christian lens, while still welcoming students from all religious backgrounds. School values include diversity, inclusion, global citizenship, and accessibility. Students can access over 300 programs across 10 colleges and schools both in person and online. DePaul also offers study abroad opportunities in 30 countries.

Students interested in leadership opportunities in athletic-related work environments can earn an online master's in sport management through the College of Education. This degree requires 48 credits, and students can earn their degrees in two years. DePaul employs a cohort model in which students complete two courses each quarter. This program also requires two in-person seminars.

Courses include facility and risk management in sport, program and special events management in sport, psychology of sport behavior and athletic performance, and advanced care of the athlete. Students also need to complete a six-credit, culminating capstone research project.

Online learning uses an asynchronous format, allowing students to access coursework at their convenience. However, students must still submit assignments within deadline dates. Admission to the program requires official transcripts, a professional resume, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
72%
Percent Receiving Loans
98%
12

West Virginia University 

Morgantown, WV

About this school

WVU is a public university and a member of the West Virginia University system. The Morgantown campus enrolls nearly 27,000 student annually from all 50 states and 118 countries. School values include service, accountability, innovation, and accessibility. Students can access over 380 degrees both on campus and online.

The College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences offers an online master's in sport management that teaches students about the inner workings of the sports industry. Students develop advanced leadership, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. The degree requires 30 credits, including an emphasis in comprehensive sport industry management or interscholastic sport administration.

Courses include international sport governance, fundraising and development, leadership in interscholastic athletic administration, sociocultural and ethical dimensions of sport, and sport publicity. This degree requires a thesis or dissertation. WVU offers multiple resources to ensure student success, including online tutoring, digital databases and research support, and technical assistance.

WVU also pairs students with an academic advisor; these advisors assist students throughout their programs. Graduate admission requirements include a minimum 2.75 GPA, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and a two-page career statement. Transfer students from accredited institutions may apply.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
60%
Percent Receiving Loans
89%
13

Virginia Commonwealth University 

Richmond, VA

About this school

VCU is a public research university that prioritizes student-centered learning and inquiry. School values include diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. In fact, of the over 30,000 students enrolled every year, 30% identify as a member of underrepresented populations and 45% belong to minority groups. Students benefit from a vast and active alumni network with over 199,100 members.

Students can access over 200 programs in both traditional classroom and online settings. For instance, the online master's in sport management only requires one on-campus course. In-person options include summer seminar courses that only meet for one week, an externship, or an independent study.

This degree requires 36 credits; courses may include sport and entertainment event development, contemporary issues in sport, foundations of coaching, and leadership models in sport. The program allows the opportunity to apply learning to practice through a capstone project. Online students experience the same quality instruction and opportunities for engagement that on-campus students receive.

VCU uses both asynchronous instruction, which allows students to learn material on their own time and submit assignments within deadline dates, and synchronous instruction, which requires live attendance through a webcam. Admission to the program requires three letters of recommendation, a written statement explaining students' career interests, a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, and official transcripts.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
81%
14

Gonzaga University 

Spokane, WA

About this school

Gonzaga is a private university that develops its curriculum through a Christian lens and maintains its Jesuit traditions. With just over 7,500 students enrolled annually, class sizes typically do not exceed an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Students at Gonzaga can earn a sport management master's degree that helps graduates extend their reach in the sports industry. This degree requires 31 credits and students typically graduate in two years with full-time attendance. While students complete all coursework online, Gonzaga does require one internship experience.

Courses include sport and athletic promotions, ethical and legal aspects in sports, research methods and statistics in athletics, and sport finance. This program also requires a culminating capstone course, where students prepare a final portfolio to present to an audience.

Admission to the program requires a 3.0 GPA, two letters of recommendation, a video interview not exceeding five minutes, and a resume. Students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement can still apply. In these situations, Gonzaga requires a GPA explanation statement.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
86%
Percent Receiving Loans
100%
15

Clemson University 

Clemson, SC

About this school

Clemson is the second largest university in South Carolina, promoting diversity, academic excellence, and student growth. Clemson accommodates nontraditional student needs through flexible online programs.

Students interested in athletic leadership careers can earn an online sport management master's degree that emphasizes ethical decision-making in administrative and coaching environments. Clemson admits 45 students to the program each year. This program requires 12 credits, and students typically earn their degrees in 24 months.

Courses include strength and conditioning in intercollegiate athletics, ethical issues in intercollegiate athletics, administration and organization of intercollegiate athletic programs, and sociological dynamics in intercollegiate athletics. Distance learners access coursework, gradebooks, discussion boards, and messaging through the Canvas online learning management system. Courses follow an asynchronous format, providing flexibility; however, students must submit assignments within deadline dates.

Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, at least a 3.0 GPA, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Students should also submit a resume and GRE scores. Clemson does offer a GRE waiver for qualified applicants.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
83%
Percent Receiving Loans
93%
16

University of South Dakota 

Vermillion, SD

About this school

USD is the oldest public university in South Dakota and the state's flagship university. Nearly 10,000 students access 280 degrees at USD each year. Students also benefit from an active alumni network with over 70,000 members. USD strives to provide accessible coursework; while students can earn their degrees on campus, many programs are available online.

USD offers an online sport management master's degree that prepares graduates for careers as athletic directors, educators, and administrators. This degree requires 30 credits, including 12 core credits and 18 specialization credits. Students can choose from three tracks: exercise science specialization and thesis; exercise science specialization non-thesis; and sport management specialization non-thesis.

The thesis track requires a six-credit thesis, while the other two tracks require additional elective credits. Students can earn their degrees in 12 months with full-time attendance or 24 months with part-time attendance. Courses include sport facility and risk management, applied physiology of exercise, graduate research and design, and strategic sport communication.

Admission to the program requires official transcripts, a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school, at least a 3.75 GPA, and a 500-word statement of purpose. Students should also submit three letters of recommendation, including one letter from a former professor who can speak to their scholarly abilities.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
58%
Percent Receiving Loans
95%
17

Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus 

Teaneck, NJ

About this school

FDU is a private university that prioritizes academic excellence, accessibility, and forward thinking. Annual enrollment exceeds 12,000 students, and the alumni network includes over 125,000 members. Students can access over 100 degrees on campus and online.

For those considering athletic-related leadership roles, FDU offers an online sport management master's degree that requires no in-person attendance. This degree comprises 36 credits, including a three-credit internship. Students can also take advantage of a week-long study abroad experience in Britain. FDU offers concentrations in sports administration, coaching theories and strategies, and high school athletic director.

Online courses use 10-week terms over three semesters, teaching students how to develop, communicate, coordinate, and implement strategic planning in a sports business environment. Students benefit from an asynchronous format, which allows them to access coursework at any time, though assignments must be submitted within deadline dates.

Distance learners can access support tools like online tutoring, digital databases, technical support, and academic advising. Admission to the program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, a resume, and GRE scores.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
46%
Percent Receiving Loans
99%
18

Canisius College 

Buffalo, NY

About this school

Canisius is one of only 28 Jesuit colleges in the country, offering class sizes that typically do not exceed an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The student body represents 44 states and nearly 30 countries.

Canisius' School of Education and Human Services offers one of the top sport management master's programs, preparing graduates to compete in a fast-paced, competitive industry. This degree requires 33 credits, and students can earn the degree in one year. Courses include risk management and contract negotiation, moral and ethics in sport, strategic sport marketing, and sport communication.

This program also requires a six-credit internship in sport administration. Distance learners access coursework through the Desire2Learn learning management system, and asynchronous courses allow students to complete assignments at any time of the day. Online courses at Canisius use weekly modules, which include deadlines, assignments, and supplemental reading materials.

Canisius provides multiple resources for online students, including information technology services, career development, and academic advising. Admission to the program requires two letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement, and official transcripts.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
68%
Percent Receiving Loans
99%
19

Old Dominion University 

Norfolk, VA

About this school

ODU is one of the largest public universities in Virginia. Annual enrollment includes over 24,000 students, who represent all 50 states and nearly 90 countries. ODU also offers a vast alumni network with over 150,000 members. Students can access nearly 155 degrees across eight colleges. ODU also strives to accommodate working students by offering over 100 online programs.

The College of Education and Professional Studies offers an online master's in sport management degree that explores the skills required to excel in a competitive industry like athletics. This degree requires 36 credits, including 12 core credits, six research credits, six capstone credits, and 12 elective credits. ODU offers three capstone experience options: a thesis, a research project, or an internship.

Courses include introduction to applied statistics and data analysis, strategic marketing in sport, ethics in sport management, sport analytics, and sport entrepreneurship. Online classes use an asynchronous format, which does not require students to log in at specific times. However, students must submit assignments within deadline dates.

School admission requires at least a 2.8 GPA, GRE scores, a two-page personal essay, and three letters of recommendation. Students with relevant work experience should also submit a resume and may qualify for a GRE waiver.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
52%
Percent Receiving Loans
93%
20

University of Southern Mississippi 

Hattiesburg, MS

About this school

Established in 1910, Southern Miss is a public research university that holds an R1 Carnegie classification. School values include immersive learning, inclusion, and service. Southern Miss also boasts competitive tuition rates and strives to meet diverse learning needs through its online programs.

The College of Business and Economic Development offers an online master's in sport management degree that prepares graduates for advanced roles in intercollegiate or interscholastic athletic administration and coaching. This degree requires 33 credits, including 150 hours of applied learning, with an optional concentration in sport event security management.

Courses include policy and governance in sport, sport event emergency response planning, trends and issues in sport, and financial management in sport. Students can access weekly assignments, discussion boards, gradebooks, and email through the Canvas online learning management system. Assignments include essays, exams, projects, and discussion board posts.

Southern Miss' online resources for distance learners include a writing center, online tutoring, and technical assistance. Students also work with an academic advisor throughout the duration of their programs. School admission requires GRE or GMAT scores, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and a resume.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
49%
Percent Receiving Loans
94%
21

Baker University 

Baldwin City, KS

About this school

Founded in 1858, BU is the oldest four-year postsecondary institution in Kansas. BU maintains close Methodist ties and develops its coursework through a Christian lens. School values include academic excellence, freedom of expression, inclusion, and service. While students can earn their degrees in traditional classroom settings, BU also accommodates working professionals through online programs.

BU offers an online master's in sport management degree that provides experiential learning and explores current trends in the field. This degree requires 33 credits, and students can graduate in 18-20 months as they develop management skills applicable both to coaching and working in the front office. Students can choose from concentrations in finance, healthcare administration, human resources, and leadership and organizational change.

Courses include organizational culture and dynamics, marketing strategies in sport, sponsorship and revenue in sport, and legal aspects of sport business. BU also requires a three-credit directed field experience internship. Online students access courses through the Moodle learning management system.

Distance courses use an asynchronous format, which allows working students to complete assignments at any time. Assignments include class discussions, presentations, essays, and case studies. School admissions requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school and official transcripts. Baker alumni qualify for a 10% tuition discount.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
100%
22

Johnson & Wales University-Providence 

Providence, RI

About this school

Founded in 1954, JWU is a private university that values ethical citizenship, diversity, and academic excellence. The Providence campus enrolls over 6,700 students annually, offering over 80 majors. While students can earn their degrees in traditional classroom settings, JWU accommodates working professionals through online courses.

Students interested in athletic-related leadership roles can earn an online master's in sport management degree that examines both business and social components of sport leadership, as taught by industry leaders. This degree requires 30 credits, and students can earn their degrees in under two years with full-time attendance.

Courses include effective communication strategies in sport, diversity and social responsibility in sport, advanced marketing methods in sport, and global issues in sport. JWU delivers online coursework through ULearn and Blackboard Collaborate. Students can access online services like librarian research support, a bookstore, tutoring, and career services.

Distance learners can choose from four start dates, and online courses follow an eight-week format. JWU also offers competitive tuition rates and does not require GRE or GMAT scores for admission. School admission does require official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a 250-word statement of purpose. Transfer students from accredited institutions may apply.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
99%
23

Concordia University-Saint Paul 

Saint Paul, MN

About this school

CSP is a private liberal arts university dedicated to the Christian faith that prepares students for successful careers and promoting thoughtful living. CSP welcomes students from all religious backgrounds, offering over 80 degrees in both traditional classroom settings and online.

CSP offers an online sport management master's degree that mirrors its on-campus program. This degree requires 33 credits, and students typically earn their degrees in 18 months with full-time attendance. Courses include facility and event management in sport, ethics and policy in sport management, sport sales and fundraising, and research methods.

CSP also requires a culminating capstone course, and students can take advantage of a graduate study abroad opportunity. Each course lasts for seven weeks, and CSP online uses both synchronous and asynchronous formats, depending on the class and faculty. Assignments include supplemental readings, essays, exams, and projects.

Distance learners have access to online resources like career development advisors, the Library Technology Center, tutoring, and a writing center. CSP also provides each student with an academic advisor, who provides assistance throughout the duration of the program. Admission to the program requires at least a 3.0 GPA, a maximum 1,000-word personal statement, and official transcripts.

School Type
Private Non Profit
Graduation Rate
59%
Percent Receiving Loans
99%
24

California University of Pennsylvania 

California, PA

About this school

Cal U is a public university and a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. School values include affordability and accessibility; in fact, Cal U offers some of the lowest tuition rates in the state. Additionally, working students can earn their degrees at Cal U without ever setting foot on campus.

Among Cal U's programs is an online sport management master's degree that provides students with the strategic skills required to fill leadership roles in intercollegiate athletics. CAL U also offers multiple concentrations, including intercollegiate athletic administration, sport management generalist, and strategic sport analysis.

Courses include leadership and management in sport, legal aspects in sport, public relations in sport, and socio-cultural aspects of sport. This program uses an accelerated cohort format, which allows students to build meaningful relationships with their peers as they move through the program. Students can earn their degrees in 12 months with full-time attendance or in 17 months studying part time.

This program also includes a 12-credit, culminating mentorship experience to prepare graduates for the workforce. Distance learners access coursework through the D2L Brightspace learning management system. Cal U provides technical support, digital databases, and academic advising. School admission requires a bachelor's degree and official transcripts.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
53%
Percent Receiving Loans
97%
25

University of Northern Colorado 

Greeley, CO

About this school

UNC is a public research university that values immersive learning, intellectual freedom, and diversity. Enrollment includes nearly 12,900 students every year, representing over 50 countries. Students can access 220 degree options. UNC also strives to accommodate working students through online learning.

Students interested in advanced roles and the business side of the athletic industry can earn an online sport management master's degree with a sport administration emphasis. This degree requires 30 credits, including 21 sport administration credits and nine elective credits, culminating in either a thesis or non-thesis track. Applicants who plan to earn a Ph.D should choose the thesis option. Students can earn their degrees in 12 months with full-time attendance.

The program is designed not only to provide the training necessary for a career in sports management, but also to help build networking skills and contacts in the industry. Courses typically use an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete assignments at any time.

School admission requires at least a 3.0 GPA, a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school, and official transcripts. UNC does not require the GRE; students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement may contact the program coordinator for conditional admission. Transfer students from approved schools may apply.

School Type
Public Non Profit
Graduation Rate
47%
Percent Receiving Loans
93%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Master's in Sport Management Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Master's in Sport Management Degree?

The best master's in sport management programs focus on developing leadership skills, covering areas like strategic planning, risk management, financial management, and sport marketing. A sport management master's degree also helps students hone soft skills in areas like collaboration and communication.

The ideal applicants for a master's in sport management program holds a bachelor's degree in a related field and has previous professional experience, though some programs may accept students with an unrelated bachelor's degree. Applicants may also need to submit letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and a resume.

Choosing an Online Program

Online master's in sport management degree programs can come in a variety of formats. For instance, some programs deliver courses asynchronously, meaning students can watch lectures and complete assignments at their convenience within set deadlines. Students seeking more structure may prefer synchronous programs, which have set login times. The link below provides additional information about how to choose an online program.

How To Choose Your Major

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Sport Management Program?

An online sport management master's degree prepares graduates for jobs at all levels of sports, including professional, amateur, recreational, collegiate, olympic, and interscholastic. The following sections outline common courses found in these programs, common careers and salaries for graduates, and relevant organizations and professional certifications for sport management professionals.

Master's in Sport Management Curriculum

Ethics in Sports

This course reviews ethical issues in sports, such as gender equity, spectator behavior, and performance-enhancing drug use. Students use theoretical frameworks to examine issues of ethics and morality in sports. Common topics include sportsmanship, coaching, youth sports, injury, and health.

Sports Finance

Students in this course explore principles of financial management and learn how to apply them to the finances of sports teams or clubs. Learners study topics like generally accepted accounting principles, cash flow, balance sheets, and supply and demand as it applies in athletics.

Analytics in Sports

This course examines the sporting ecosystem and how data is used to inform strategic decisions. Students explore revenue streams, fan engagement, and the metric challenges posed by fragmentation. Learners may also study market segmentation, consumer behavior, and revenue projection.

Sport Management Certifications and Licenses

  • NBPA Certification: To represent talent in one of the four major U.S. sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL), a sports agent must obtain certification from the players' union. For example, pro basketball agents must apply for an NBPA license, which requires applicants to hold a degree from an accredited college or university and successfully pass a 50-question proctored exam.

  • NIAAA Certification: This voluntary certification is awarded upon completion of a professional development program in interscholastic athletic administration. There are five NIAAA certification levels, each requiring a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants for the certified athletic administrator credential need at least two years of experience as an athletic administrator.

Sport Management Professional Organizations

Sport management students and graduates can take advantage of professional organizations, which offer networking, professional development, and continuing education opportunities. They may also offer job and mentorship opportunities or discounts on professional resources.

North American Society for Sport Management

NASSM furthers sport management research, study, and academic writing. The organization's official research journal, the Journal of Sport Management, focuses on the governance, management, and marketing of sport organizations.

Sport Marketing Association

Founded in 2002, SMA develops and expands the knowledge of sport marketing professionals by providing them with networking opportunities, online forums, and career development opportunities.

National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics

With more than 12,500 members, NACDA is the largest association of collegiate athletic administrators in North America. Members have access to continuing education and networking opportunities.

Careers in Sport Management

Graduates with an online sport management master's degree can pursue careers in areas like public relations, management, and coaching. The following list outlines a few example job opportunities available to sport management graduates.

Sport Managers

Sport managers specialize in the business aspects of sports and recreation. They may manage facilities, orchestrate marketing campaigns and promotions, or oversee events. These professionals may also negotiate contracts and seek player endorsement deals.

Sport managers must be skilled in financial management, public relations, and sports administration. These professionals typically have at least a bachelor's degree, but many employers prefer to hire candidates with a master's degree and relevant experience.

Median Annual Salary

$64,940

Projected Growth Rate

4.7%

Coaches and Scouts

Coaches work with athletes at all levels, helping them develop the skills required to succeed in their respective sports. They lead practice sessions, call plays during games, and direct physical conditioning programs. Scouts help coaches search for new athletic talent, evaluating athletes' skills and potential for future success. They may offer incentives for prospective players, coordinate with coaches, and study athlete performance statistics.

The best candidates for both positions need excellent communication, observational, and strategic management skills. They typically hold a bachelor's degree at minimum and extensive knowledge of the field.

Median Annual Salary

$34,840

Projected Growth Rate

11%

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Public relations managers develop and direct marketing campaigns to influence the public image of their client or organization. They identify target audiences, write press releases, and create promotional programs. Fundraising managers specifically oversee campaigns seeking donations for their companies, which can mean securing donors, applying for grants, or planning events.

These professionals usually need at least a bachelor's degree and relevant experience. While not required, professionals can earn certification through the Public Relations Society of America or the Certified Fund Raising Executive program to demonstrate their expertise to potential employers.

Median Annual Salary

$116,180

Projected Growth Rate

8%

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Do With a Master's in Sport Management?

A master's in sport management can lead to a variety of roles, including coach, athletic or sport agent, and public relations manager.

What Does a Sport Manager Do?

Sport managers work in a variety of environments, including secondary and postsecondary schools managing athletic programs. They can also work for professional sports teams or for individual athletes. Their duties usually include hiring service staff, coordinating resources, and managing player schedules.

What Skills Are Needed for Sport Management?

The best sport management professionals possess excellent critical thinking, decision-making, communication, and active listening skills. They also need basic technology skills to operate calendar and spreadsheet software.

How Do You Become a Sport Manager?

Sport managers typically need at least a bachelor's degree, but many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree and experience in the field.

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